Body Wraps: Are They as Effective as Claimed?
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear honey, clay, butter, chocolate and eucalyptus? No, these are not ingredients for an exotic dish but the requirements of a rejuvenating body wrap. Body wraps are the latest fad introduced by day spas. A body wrap promotes blood circulation and increases the body temperature to enhance your body’s functioning.
Body wraps: What are they?
When the concept of body wrap was introduced, they were known as herbal wraps because of the ingredients used. Then, linen sheets were used instead of thermal blankets or plastic sheets. With time, body wraps evolved to grow beyond the ‘herbal wrap’ tag. A favourable choice for a spa day, the procedure of a body wrap is carried out in a dark room with relaxing background music. The procedure involves laying the thermal blanket on the massage table, over which a plastic sheet is placed. You are wrapped with this sheet and a third layer of warm towel cocoons you.
At first, a scrub is applied and a gentle massage exfoliates the dead skin to expose the soft and supple new layer. Scrub options include mud, green apple, pear, walnut, blueberry, rock salt, and so on. Post scrub, a warm shower washes off all the debris. The process of scrubbing is the preparation stage for a body wrap.
The wrap ingredients are smeared over the plastic sheet in a thin layer before wrapping it around the body. Once the wrap is completed, the electric blanket is pulled up to keep you warm. The temperature maintained by the blanket will leave you sweating for the entire duration which may last anywhere between half an hour to forty five minutes. If it’s your first time, the experience may be a tad bit uncomfortable because for the entire duration, your body movement is restricted.
Cooling down is a slow process. Moisture retaining body lotion is applied post rinsing to mark the completion of the procedure.
The options for body wrap include:
Detox wrap: The main ingredients include mud or seaweed that pull or tighten the skin.
Moisturising wraps: The ingredients and lotions used are many.
Cellulite treatment: Herbal concoctions that target the cellulite.
Slimming: The material used is smaller in size and the wraps are snugger.
Are they effective?
For a detox wrap, the claims made are promising, while there is lack of scientific validation that a mask drains out toxins from the body. Detoxification is dermal which means that sweating it out opens up clogs on the skin surface but the kidney and the liver are unaffected. The effectiveness of the wrap varies from spa to spa based on the ingredients they use. The effect of any slimming mask is temporary. Losing water weight gives the illusion of weight loss and the results are evident for a maximum time of two days
The verdict: Keep your expectations real. Yes, your skin will feel soft and fresh. With repeated treatments, the overall appearance will be improved.