Bathing suit season is right around the corner, so I’ve been exploring fun ways to get ready besides just eating right and adding in a little more exercise. I realized that doing some at-home spa treatments would be very effective and of course, a great way to relax and de-stress!
One of my favorite body treatments is a Dead Sea mud body mask or wrap. It’s detoxifying and revitalizing and it reminds me of the time I spent at the Dead Sea years ago where I had my first real DIY spa treatment — a healthy slathering of black, mineral-rich mud all over my body under the hot, blazing sun of the Dead Sea. It was a really uplifting experience and there were noticeable benefits.
It improved my skin tone, texture, and clarity, because the treatment increased circulation, pulled out toxins, and nourished my skin with all the fabulous essential minerals found in the Dead Sea, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and boron. Soaking up the sun and swimming in the Dead Sea didn’t hurt either.
But now, I’m after more than just nice looking skin, I’m hoping to also reap some of the health benefits. You see, after doing a series of treatments, you may even notice a reduction in cellulite because the treatment increases your metabolic rate, makes you perspire, and enhances the elimination of toxins, thereby breaking down cellulite. It also relieves aches and pains, such as those caused from arthritis, and can even heal certain skin conditions like psoriasis as I discuss in “5 Proven Health Benefits of Dead Sea Mud.” So, it is truly much more than a beauty treatment.
By the way, this is an especially fun treatment to do with a partner. And if you choose to do a wrap versus just a body mask, it may even be necessary to have someone help you. The only difference between the two is that for the wrap you envelop yourself in a sheet and blanket, and for the mask you simply let it dry as you would a facial mask.
Sounds good, right? Give this therapeutic — and yes, a little messy, but fun — DIY spa treatment a try!
For a body mask:
- Warm Dead Sea mud
- Container for mud
- Microwave or water bath
For a wrap, use the above items plus:
- Old cotton sheet
- Warm, heavy blanket
- Optional: New plastic paint drop cloth
- Optional: Inexpensive natural bristle paint brush
Dead Sea mud is available at most natural products stores in the bath and body care section and is also available online in regular and bulk sizes from places, such as Amazon. Plastic paint drop cloths and inexpensive natural bristle paint brushes can be had for around $2 and 40 cents, respectively, at your local home improvement or hardware store.
For one treatment, total supplies will probably set you back around $10 — easily about 15 to 20 times less than what a spa would charge. And much less than a trip to the Holy Land I might add.
This treatment can be done about once a week as a regular part of your health maintenance regimen. Prior to doing the treatment, I suggest the following:
- Drink plenty of water. About an hour prior to your treatment, make sure you are well hydrated. Enjoy some mineral water (or add minerals to your own water) or a spa water, such as cucumber water.
- Get the room warm. Waiting for a body mask to dry in a cold room is downright unpleasant, so use a small space heater to get it toasty and comfortable.
- Dry skin brush. Dry skin brushing is a quick, do-it-yourself spa treatment using a natural bristle shower brush, that will help exfoliate your skin and promote circulation.
- Take a Dead Sea Salt bath. Taking an aromatic and remineralizing Dead Sea salt bath, a form of balneotherapy which in and of itself is full of many therapeutic benefits, will really enhance the positive results of the mud treatment.
- Figure out if you want to apply it as a mask or a wrap. If you want to do a wrap, you may want someone to help cover you with a blanket after wrapping yourself with an old sheet that you don’t mind getting stained. If you’re applying it as a body mask, simply hang out in your tub or shower until it’s dry. Listen to some music, meditate, do yoga…
Then follow these easy steps to do your mud treatment:
- Warm up the mud. Place it in a glass measuring cup and immerse it in a hot water bath over the cook top, or microwave it at 30 second intervals. Then mix it well. To keep it warm, leave it in the hot water bath, wrap it with a towel, put it in a thermos, or place it in an insulated lunch bag. Before using it, be sure to test the temperature.
- Apply the mud all over your body to clean, moist skin using either a clean, new paint brush or your hands. Avoid any open wounds.
- Wait for the mud to dry. If applying it as a body mask, wait about 10 to 15 minutes until it’s dry. (Depending on humidity levels, it will vary.) Or, if you are doing a wrap, first wrap yourself in a plastic sheet (optional) and then an old sheet that you don’t mind staining. Next, lay down, cover yourself with a blanket, and then rinse the mud off after about 30 minutes. This is tricky, but definitely possible as I have done it solo on multiple occasions!
- Rinse well with warm water. No need to use soap afterwards, but feel free to use a Dead Sea moisturizer, if desired.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. After doing any spa treatment, be sure to drink plenty of water, such as lemon water, to rehydrate and assist in the detoxification process.
- Relax. Settle down and have some time to yourself. Enjoy feeling renewed!
- If you like scents, mix in a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, grapefruit, or eucalyptus to the mud after heating it.
- If you feel the mud is drying too quickly and unevenly, spritz yourself with water or a hydrosol.
- To clean up any remaining mud in your bath or shower, use a vinegar spray to loosen it and baking soda to scrub it away safely and naturally.
- To remove mud from towels and linens, spot treat it with one of these top eco-friendly stain removers, launder in an enzyme-based detergent (e.g., Boulder), and use a non-chlorine bleach (e.g., Seventh Generation’s Natural Oxy Stain Remover). If you have hard water, use a baking soda laundry booster. Finally, add vinegar to the fabric softener cup to remove any remaining residues and soften your linens naturally.