Bathing ranks high in my list of preferred unwind activities and when the opportunity came to try a Voya seaweed bath, it seemed like an invitation too good to pass up on. The Voya Seaweed baths are tucked away on the west coast of Ireland and have breath-taking views out over the Atlantic ocean. The spa is filled with earthy tones and has a seaside casual feel about it as well as a distinct smell of the sea. The hand harvested sea weed is farmed further up along the coast and following a long revered Irish tradition is said to contain healing properties as well as being an excellent detox for the body.
My bath was a free standing enamel tub already drawn and filled with dark green seaweed. At the edge of the bath, the hot tap was so hot it came with a warning, while the cold tap drew sea water directly from the Atlantic ocean. In preparation for the treatment, I took a 10 minute steam shower which helps open the pores and heat up the body. Once ready for my bath, I have to admit I hesitated before putting my foot gingerly into the tub, my child hood angst about seaweed seemed to be alive and well and it took me a few minutes to get the courage to plunge right in!
I can’t say that I love the feel of slippery seaweed but what I can say is that I love what it does to my skin. The seaweed once in contact with seawater emits a jelly like substance which feels like you have been smeared in cream. The moisturizing effect is quite immediate, and when I dipped my hair in the water, it felt like I was getting a deep conditioning treatment. My seaweed bath lasted an hour and during before and after I was encouraged to drink as much water as possible, given the strength of the sea weed detoxing power.
All too soon, the clock showed that my time is up and as I finished my treatment, I followed the advice of my therapist to only pat myself down, so that the detoxifying power of the seaweed could continue to work on my skin which already felt silky smooth. At the end of my visit I was offered a choice of herbal teas and as my bath was emptied and prepared for the next bather, I chilled out in the bustling reception area and prepared for a relaxing stroll along the seafront.