After six weeks in the windswept North West, my skin was feeling dry and in need of some serious exfoliation and after a consultation with the Shelbourne Spa, I booked myself in for an elemis Exotic Coconut Body Rub and Milk Ritual Wrap. Even though, an exfoliation treatment is less about relaxation and more about results, I was hoping for a repeat of my wonderful visit to the Six Senses in Paris [see here].
My very first experience of a ‘rub and wrap’ type treatment was way back in the day when Spas were still called Health Farms. Wrapped in cling film from head to toe, I was mummified and baked for a good hour and then measured for inch loss results. It was uncomfortable but hailed as the greatest thing since toweling robes. In later years, the cling film was dispensed with and newer techniques were introduced with mud, white clay or special paste like concoctions going in and out of vogue as beauty trends evolved. I can still remember vividly being covered in blue mud (or fango) as the Italians call it, extracted from the healing thermal waters at the Fonteverde spa in Tuscany. A ritual still being practised today since the Roman Times.
The technique is reasonably straightforward. With various twists and turns on a treatment table, an exfoliating product is applied with a light scrub. It is then removed usually by a warm shower, with a deep moisturizing lotion being applied to give a polish and glow to the skin. The trick is to make it all as seamless and relaxing as possible, while still getting great results.
I would offer that my treatment at the Shelbourne Spa could have been made a little more relaxing if the shower cubicle had been located within the treatment room itself. Covered in coconut rub shuffling down the corridor in my robe wasn’t wholly inconvenient but the wait outside the shower with my therapist while the current occupant finished their business, was more than a little awkward.
That being said, once we had recovered from this indiscretion, the treatment continued with a warm layer of milk gently poured over my body. While this was being absorbed, a mini facial was applied which finished off the treatment neatly.