Spa Treatments - The Spas that Spoil

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

You’ve heard about the spa craze, but what do you really know about spa treatments for your skin? Spas have came along way from the ever-so-loved facial. Well, here’s a little insight into the growing $12 billion dollar industry. With baby boomers trying to hide those fine lines, and younger consumers trying to keep up with the Hollywood Glam squad; spa’s have become the rage in skin care. A holistic approach, that of organic background, has become the backbone to the spa industry. We will be discussing both natures loving skin remedies found at spas and the many treatments that benefit from technological advances, such as microderabrasion.

For hundreds of years people have often looked to the sea for skin care regiments. Since the turn of time, Ancient Greeks told of the beautiful Aphrodite, Goddess of the Sea, rising from the ocean in all her glory; gifted with beauty from the sea. Sea products are rich in minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc; all of which are known for their deep cleansing and antibiotic properties. The minerals found in these types of treatments are easily absorbed in the skin, chelated minerals. Because of this, the minerals can protect against environmental pollution and ward off aging by nourishing and moisturizing the skin. Today, in the spa industry you will find seaweed wraps, salt rubs, algae wraps, Sea Mud wraps, Sea Water treatments and various other treatments.
  • Seaweed wraps/Algae Wraps are both very popular spa treatments because seaweed and algae is known for cleansing, toning and soothing the skin’s appearance. Seaweed and Algae is loaded with natural vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E, and minerals such as zinc, selenium, and magnesium.
  • Salt rubs or salt scrubs are rich in minerals, as well, sea salts have a high concentration of magnesium, calcium, and potassium. These minerals allow for the absorption of more moisture, which increases skin suppleness.
  • Sea Mud wraps/Sea Water treatments both are rich in minerals and are used to detoxify the skin and improves circulation.
There are an abundance of treatments that spa’s offer that combines the benefits of the sea with other essential oils found organically. A Dulse Scrub is a combination of seaweed powder, water, and oil which exfoliates and re-mineralizes the skin. A Loofah Scrub is a body treatment that exfoliates dead skin cells and aids in circulation. Thalassotherapy is a combination of seawater and marine by-products, which are mineral and nutrient rich that aids in restoration of the skin.

As with the healing powers of the sea comes the benefits of essential oils found in herbs and plants. For hundreds of years, the Chinese, the Balinese, and Eastern India women have benefited from the herbs, oils, and plants of their countries. Not only are these natural elements used to heal and help the skin, but are believed to balance the inner self; body, mind, and spirit.
  • Ayurveda originated in India, this healing system combines oils and herbs with massage to balance the body, mind, and soul while improving circulation. Treatments such as Basti, a herbal purification treatment, or Bindi, an exfoliate treatment using herbal infused topicals and light massage helps improve circulation while removing dead skin cells.
  • Herbal Wraps are wrapped around the body to relax the muscles and draw out impurities in the skin.
  • Rassoul is a mineral rich compound found in Morocco used to exfoliate and detoxify the skin. It can also be used on the hair as a conditioner.
  • Boreh is a Balinese cleansing and exfoliating body treatment that utilizes herbs, seeds, grains, and various oils to stimulate and increase circulation.

    S.P.A, Latin for “solus per aqua” or to enter by means of water, other interpretations include “health through water”. Often spas specialize in different types of Hydrotherapy for the skin. Usually these are used for relaxation purposes or to increase circulation. A Swiss Shower is a water therapy treatment aimed at pressure point areas in the body, temperature alternate between hot and cold. Marine hydrotherapy utilizes water jets that propel seawater; this massages, stimulates circulation, and reduces pain and inflammation. Crenotherapy incorporates mineral water, mud, and vapor.

    Other spa treatments incorporate today’s technology with ancient remedies and organically found compounds.
    • Volcanic mud mixed with paraffin is applied to the body to relieve pain and decrease swelling in the skin.
    • Paraffin Waxes are applied to the body to hold in heat and draw out toxins, this deeply relaxes the muscles and leaves skin moist and smooth.
    • Cell Therapy involves the injection of lamb embryonic cells, believed to regenerate cell growth and reverse the aging process.
    • Cathiodermie is a low-voltage electrical stimulation of the facial area used to oxygenate the skin and stimulate circulation.
    • Golden Spoons based on the Kneipp Treatment Principle of alternating hot and cold utilizes twenty-three karat plated `spoons` on the face. Creams are applied to the face and the spoons generate penetration opening and closing pores, stimulating circulation.
    • Microdermabrasion or sand blasting the face resurfaces the skin being treated. It removes dead skin cells and scarred tissue using a continuous vacuum of microcrystals. Cleaning pore at a deep level, reducing the pore size, as well as fine lines and discoloration.
    • Chemical Peel Treatments are designed to remove dead skin cells, often using different type of acids, usually Glycolic Acid, researched as the leading Alpha Hydroxy Acid for minimizing fine lines and discoloration.
  • The spoilage of the Spa; a great experience in mind and body, as the business of treating aging consumers reaches an all high. Spas have become the food for the soul, as well as the skin.