See off the orange peel effect as we put some of the best treatments to the test.
For many of us, operation beach body involves months of preparation and countless hours at the gym to get your figures in shape for their summer debut. But for those of us who prefer to cheat, haven’t managed to stick to a gruelling workout regime or are simply looking for ways to feel more confident on the sand, there are slimming treatments out there that vow to have you looking your best in a matter of hours. Here, we put five of them through their paces.
Knockout anti-cellulite treatment at The Cure
The promise: The treatment is based on aloe vera, which the salon claims is a powerful detoxifier with many ‘magical properties’ such as vitamins, enzymes, minerals, plant sterols, salicylic acids and amino acids. It claims to minimise the appearance of cellulite and firm the skin.
The experience: Somewhat differing in reality from the process described, the first stage of the treatment is a vigorous body scrub. A truly hard, fast-paced massage is performed and this is so painful that at times we yelp in agony. Finally, a body mask is applied to our thighs, stomach, arms and back, which is then left for 20 minutes before being peeled off.
The results: Following a warning that we may experience some bruising the next day, we examine ourselves with trepidation. Surprisingly, there are no marks at all, and our legs at least feel a little smoother – however five treatments are recommended for best results.
Weirdest part: Having the insides of our thighs pinched.
Pain factor: 5/5
Dhs450 for 90 minutes. The Cure, Dubai Media City, www.thecure.ae (04 391 6485).
Get skinny body contour at Talise Spa
The promise: To soften and remove cellulite over a period of up to six treatments by using organic natural marine extracts.
The experience: The therapist explains that all the products are natural and organic and the treatment’s active ingredients of seaweed, spirulina and marine algaes work together to break down the cellulite. The treatment begins with a full-body scrub using a very fine exfoliant. Once applied, we shower off and a clay based mask is then smooth all over. The therapist then wraps us in a soft plastic film and warm towels to enhance the properties of the mask. After another shower, a rich moisturiser with macadamia oil is massaged into the body with special attention paid to our wobbly bits.
The results: Our skin was noticeably smoother, softer and tighter.
Weirdest part: Nothing weird. It was all very relaxing and luxurious.
Pain factor: 0/5
Dhs890 for 90 minutes. Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.jumeirah.com (04 366 6818).
Slimming seaweed cocoon at So Spa
The promise: To renew the skin’s elasticity, combat cellulite, reduce signs of ageing and also to provide soothing relief for sunburnt skin.
The experience: The knowledgeable therapist provides us with plenty of information regarding the process and products used. (In this case it’s Voya, an organic range from Ireland). She begins with a gentle body scrub and warm strips of fresh seaweed are then wrapped around the stomach and thighs, and covered with silver foil. The therapist wraps blankets around us in a warm, cosy cocoon, while massaging the head with a leave-in conditioning treatment.
The results: Our skin certainly feels smooth and nourished, but the most immediate effect is that the treatment is very relaxing and pleasant.
Weirdest part: The seaweed appears as long, thick squidgy strips. Also, while we like the intense aroma of the sea from the plants, the therapist admits it isn’t for everyone.
Pain factor: 0/5
Dhs850 for 90 minutes. Sofitel The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 5433).
Velashape III at American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
The promise: To rid cellulite, smooth skin and reduce body circumference.
The experience: Cooling gel is applied to the skin, then the therapist gets to work with the machine. It’s a bit strange, but not an unpleasant sensation, which we can only describe as hot suction being applied uniformly and repeatedly to our tummy. As long as it doesn’t get too hot, (the therapist does random checks with a body thermometer to help with this), it’s quite a relaxing experience.
The results: Three sessions are advised for best results and we were happy to report feeling slimmer even after session number two. There’s no astonishing change, and don’t expect to look different immediately, but drink the recommended increased volume of water, and you’ll see smoother skin and a slightly slender torso after a day or so.
Weirdest part: The sensation of hot suction being applied all over our tummy.
Pain factor: 2/5
From Dhs5,500 for three tummy sessions. American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Healthcare City (04 237 600).
Bootcamp for butts at SensAsia Urban Spa
The promise: Tailored entirely for the derriere, this treatment promises ‘a butt lift in an hour’ with reduced wobble and a higher, perkier rear.
The experience: The therapist is well-informed about the revolutionary Mama Mio tightening products used in the treatment and begins by exfoliating the legs, thighs and posterior with a mitt. A super tingly peel-like formula is then painted onto the area, and we must gather our composure not to scratch. After an excruciating ten minutes, the resurfacing product is removed and the area is once again exfoliated before tightening cream is massaged into the thighs and rear.
The results: Our derrière is noticeably smoother, tighter and perkier and the results last for a few days. We can imagine the recommended six sessions would do wonders.
Weirdest part: The tingly sensation of the resurfacing peel. But no pain, no gain.
Pain factor: 3/5
Dhs515 for one hour. Various locations including Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills (04 417 9820).