Day Spa Services 3: Body Wraps & Scrubs

by Glenn Reynolds

Part 3 of our series of services in the Day Spa is looking at the body.
Here is a guide to wraps and scrubs for your whole self…

1. Usually performed in a ‘wet area’.
Other than massage, which is received on a massage table, body treatments usually involve creams, lotions, and masks, some of which need washing off. Although some smaller spas will offer these treatments in dry areas, utilising towels to wipe off the product, usually these services will be performed in a room that has shower facilities or other running water.
A number of spas use hydrotherapy tubs with a table insert to lie on, as this allows them to use water and steam in a controlled environment.

2. Your skin is prepared first
A dry brushing, or for a wrap, a gentle scrub with salts is performed on the skin. This cleans and invigorates the skin a little, while encouraging you to relax into the treatment. This preparation is needed to allow the later products to work more effectively.

3a. The mask is applied
This is a type of cream or lotion that is applied to the skin, usually with hands, and left in place for a period of 20min or more. Algae, mud and seaweed are popular ingredients that bring natural cleansing and hydrating properties to the treatment. Sometimes other hydrating elements are added to the mask.


3b. The scrub is performed
Here the therapist will gently massage your skin with a salt product, designed to exfoliate and invigorate the skin. This will remove some of the dead skin and dirt that resides in the surface of the skin. Encouraging the blood flow in the skin will help remove some of the toxins beneath the surface.

4. Cocooned in warmth
Once the mask is in place, your therapist will ‘wrap’ you in a warm environment, for your comfort, but also to allow the natural properties of the mask to soak into your skin. This warmth is also used after a salt scrub. How they provide this warmth varies: it might consist of wrapping you in warm cloths, seaweed or even steam, using a hydrotherapy tub environment with a lid, trapping the steam around your body, but not your face.

5. Rest
After your scrub, or as the mask is allowed to work, your therapist may leave you for a period of time to relax and enjoy the quiet, or may offer a scalp and/or face massage while you are lying there. Cool towels can be used to offer relief to the face if the steam is getting too hot. Feel free to ask your therapist to adjust the warmth appropriately.

6. Removing the mask and moisturising
After the necessary time has elapsed, your therapist will wash off the mask or salt scrub, usually with either vichy showerheads in the hydro tub or ceiling, or a hose facility. Once the residue is removed, a body moisturiser is applied, to retain the hydrating already received, and to protect the skin from the elements.

Masks and scrubs are used to detoxify the skin, encouraging the removal of dead skin, dirt and any other impurities. Sometimes this means that your skin will breakout with blemishes or pimples in the next day or two, as your body rids itself of toxins. Just like face treatments, body treatments are best performed regularly, about every 4-6 weeks.

Body treatments can easily be combined with other services, such as facials or massage.

Next article – Day Spa Services 4: Hand treatment (manicure)

Previous articles – Day Spa Services 2: What’s a Swedish Massage?

and Day Spa Services 1: What’s in a Facial?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 30, 2009 at 8:30 am

The body wrap was my latest indulgence at the spa and I absolutely loved it! I have been visiting many of my local Chicago Spas trying out the body wraps. I think as far a total rejuvenation of the body is concerned, go with a body wrap.


Glenn January 30, 2009 at 9:42 am

Hey Anonymous,

Glad to hear you are enjoying the body wrap! It is pretty sensational. Thanks for your thoughts.


Ruth March 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I am looking for a place in Melbourne where I can get a body scrub like the one they used to do at the Ginseng Bathhouse in Sydney (with a mit of a rough fabric, for about 1/2 an hour or so). There seem to be lots of Koreans in Melbourne so does anyone know of a place where these treatments are on offer?


Glenn Reynolds March 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Hi Ruth,
Thanks for your question. Most spas will offer a great salt scrubs, followed by a shower, but haven’t come across a spa that uses a mitt of fabric like you are describing. The Japanese Bathhouse in Melbourne offers a self-scrub bathing experience.


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