Scrubs & Body Wraps
Have you ever received a Body Scrub or a Body Wrap? What exactly do Body Wraps do?
A scrub can be full body or partial body (meaning one particular region). A scrub is just another word for Exfoliation. Exfoliation is the process or product that removes dead skin cells(there's another blog post upcoming that will talk more on Exfoliation). But there are three major results of exfoliation that benefit the general health and wellness for our clients. Exfoliators cleanse the skin pores; this preps the skin to absorb other products or treatments. Exfoliation aids and enhances the skins natural process of skin rollover and regeneration (which remember can slow with age)- the regeneration being vital to healing the skin and protecting from pathogens! And finally, exfoliators or scrubs improve the skin texture and appearance. That last one may sound more like the scope and domain of estheticians, but Massage IS Skincare, and that Healthy skin is Beautiful skin!
Salt Vs. Sugar
When choosing a scrub product that is best suited for you (or your client), there are a few differences to keep in mind when it comes to salt products versus sugar products.
Salts will have natural minerals, like Magnesium, in them. Because of their size and grainy quality tend to be a stronger exfoliant and therefore can feel more abrasive to some clients- this can be a precaution with certain clients or merely a preference for others. Salts also dry out the skin, so be sure to always follow with a moisturizer or lubricant. Some acceptable salts that can be used in body treatments include sea salt, dead sea salt, and Epsom salts, but NEVER table salt.
Sugar on the other hand will not have the natural minerals that salts have. Sugar products is also a precaution to be aware of and generally avoided around diabetics. The greatest benefit of sugar products however are their gentler exfoliation and less abrasive texture- these can especially lend themselves to the more luxurious and pampering feel.
Wraps can also be thought of as masques for the whole or partial body! Masques are products with high concentrations of their ingredients that often create an occlusive barrier trapping the product in to be easily absorbed into the skin. A body wrap takes it one step further by using plastic sheets as well as linens and blankets to trap the client’s body heat very close. This is done to encourage perspiration to eliminate waste and purify the body through it’s natural process. Most wraps are very warm and create a snug sensation. However, there are cold wrap processes out there in the world of hydrotherapy! Most body wraps are done with a scrub and share a few similar process to facial massage.
The three phases of a body wrap are 1) exfoliate & prep the body for treatment, 2) masque & wrap the body in product and plastic/linens, and finally 3) rinse/cleanse & moisturize – usually done as a brief massage after the products have been removed or washed away. Body wraps are recommended to be done in a wet room (tiled with the option of having a bathtub or shower in the same room), however there are adaptations and adjustments that make providing a body wrap in a dry room achievable (albeit a cumbersome and challenging process).
I’ll close this week’s blog with a disclaimer; the popular mindset and marketing for offering body wraps was for weight loss. We’ve since found evident that those claims are not the most accurate. Any slimming effects resulting after a body wrap are likely due to temporary water loss from the perspiration. Therapists should take care to not make promises they cannot keep or claim results that cannot be achieved. Set the expectations of the client appropriately for the results they will realistically get from a body wrap treatment.
Peace and Healing,
Kirby Clark Ellis, MMT, BCTMB