(Wraps and packs are staple items on the beauty spa menu. They help to-reduce the appearance of cellulite, boost the circulation, ease painful joints, and improve problem skin.)
The principle of most body wraps is to plaster the skin with ingredients that are high in vitamins, minerals, and essential oils, which are then absorbed through the pores of the skin into the bloodstream and lymphatic system. This absorption is, in most cases, aided by encasing the body in plastic wrap, bandages, or metal foil, which help to keep in the heat and raise the body temperature. Once this occurs, the skin becomes red as the blood rushes to the surface, and the ingredients in the wrap are able to reach the bloodstream more effectively and efficiently.
As the temperature rises, perspiration also occurs, which helps to flush out the toxins and other impurities from the body that are responsible for cellulite, tiredness, problem skin, and water retention. As the pores of the skin dilate, they also become more receptive to the ingredients in the wrap or mask, which can pass into the skin more readily.
(Soak a towel in an infusion of lavender and wrap it around the body to promote perspiration and help expel toxins from the body. Other ways to kick-start a sluggish system include massage and regular exercise.)
(Feel the heat: There are a number of natural ingredients that help to heat up the body and improve circulation, including apple cider vinegar, nutmeg, root ginger, or a blend of cedar-wood, lavender, and grapefruit essential oils. Steep them in hot water, then soak a towel in the water and wrap it around the area of the body you wish to treat.)
Mustard Body Pack Recipe
Mustard is known for its pyre-tic effect on the skin; that is, it causes a rise in temperature. This helps to bring blood to the surface of the skin, thereby increasing the circulation. This mustard pack will relax and relieve tired, aching joints and muscles.
- 2tbsp (30ml) mustard powder
- 8tbsp (120ml) flour
- 2 drops pine essential oil
- 2 drops thyme essential oil
Mix the mustard and flour into a paste with tepid water, adding a little at a time. Add the essential oils and stir well. Place the paste into a folded cloth and heat it by placing it on top of a hot radiator or hot-water bottle.
Apply the pack to the painful area. Leave for 10 minutes, then rinse off and pat dry.
(To make the mustard pack more effective, wrap the treated areas with bandages, plastic wrap, or metal foil, all of which will help to retain heat and induce perspiration.)
We all recognize cellulite, that lumpy, orange-peel skin on the thighs, hips, and buttocks that seems to afflict every woman over the age of 25. Cellulite is actually nodular pockets of fat stored just below the skin. It is caused primarily by poor circulation, which can slow down the elimination of toxins and fluid.
Cellulite may be alleviated if the correct changes to diet and lifestyle are made, such as avoiding tea, coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol. Although cellulite is extremely difficult to shift, spa treatments can help. You will need to drink plenty of water, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, exfoliate at least once a week to boost circulation to affected areas, and regularly apply some of the body wrap recipes described in this section. In addition, carry out the following spa routine twice a week – or every day if you have time – to achieve a visible and lasting result.
- Direct alternating hot and cold water to the affected area using a powerful shower head. Switch between hot and cold every 30 seconds for five minutes.
- Brush the affected area with a dry natural bristle brush. Always brush in the direction of the heart.
- Rub the skin with sea salt using a sisal mitt. Work in the direction of the heart and make sure that you use light, circular movements.
- Have a warm bath, then massage your body with vitamin E oil to smooth the skin’s texture. Mix 3 drops grapefruit and 3 drops rosemary essential oils with 2tsp (10ml) sweet almond carrier oil. Massage the oil mixture into areas of cellulite.
Strawberry and ginger body wrap recipe
Ginger has a warming effect on the skin and is an excellent circulatory stimulant. Strawberry has cleansing, astringent properties.
(Strawberries, ginger, and kaolin clay powder blended together will work wonders for circulation.)
- 2 ginger roots, each 4in (10cm) long
- 4tbsp (60ml) kaolin clay powder
- 15 large strawberries
Put all of the ingredients into a blender and whiz for a minute. If the mixture is too runny to adhere to the body, add more kaolin powder until you achieve the consistency of a thick paste.
Apply the wrap to areas affected by cellulite or poor circulation, then wrap your body in metal foil. Lie down in a warm room for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off the wrap with warm water. Turn the water to cool for the last 15 seconds, then pat the skin dry.
Slimming wrap recipe
If you are going to a special party and would like to lose a little weight to fit into your favorite party outfit, you can harness the diuretic effect of these natural minerals and essential oils to achieve “instant,” though temporary, inch-loss. The wrap uses elasticized cotton bandages soaked in a warm seaweed and clay solution and acts like a huge poultice, drawing toxins from the body and stimulating fluid expulsion via the body’s own waste disposal process. You will need sufficient bandages to bind each leg from ankle to thigh. For maximum benefit, exfoliate first.
- 3oz (85g) concentrated, dried, micronized seaweed powder
- 3oz (85g) Fuller’s earth powder
- 8tbsp (120ml) lime juice
- 1tbsp (15ml) sweet almond oil
- 1/2tsp (2.5ml) clear honey
- 4 drops sandalwood essential oil
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
Mix the seaweed powder and Fuller’s earth with the lime juice to make a paste. Add a little water if necessary. Stir in the almond oil and essential oils and mix well. Add a little warm water to thin the paste into a fluid consistency. Soak the bandages in the warm seaweed and clay solution.
Starting at the ankles, wind the soaked bandages around your legs. Pull them taut enough to compress the fatty tissues, but not uncomfortably tight. Lie down in a warm room for 45 minutes, then remove and discard the bandages and shower off the seaweed and clay mixture.