With the majority of the city’s most scene-centric beach clubs re-opening late this month and the weather cooling to an average of 33°C, it’s time to shed tired, summer skin. We put four exfoliating body scrubs and hydrating wrap treatments to the test in the search for a smoother beach bod.
Organic Seaweed Leaf Wrap at The Spa, The Palace Downtown
The promise: A cellulite-busting, smoothing and nourishing treatment, using natural products from family-run Irish brand Voya Organic.
The experience: The treatment begins with a gentle scrub using Dead Sea salt and after showering off the residue, the therapist wraps warm, slimy strips of seaweed around our thighs and abdomen. We’re then encased in plastic sheeting and heated towels to create a warm cocoon. It’s very relaxing, with the therapist messaging our neck, arms and legs, while waiting for the seaweed to take effect.
The results: The entire experience is pleasant. After removing the seaweed, the skin feels soft and taught, but we experience no adverse reactions. If you wish to, the therapist will even give you the seaweed to take with you, for use in the bath at home.
Dhs750 for 60 minutes. Downtown Dubai (04 428 7805).
Tropical Anti-Ageing Mango Body Scrub and Wrap at Akaru Spa
The promise: Exfoliation of the skin and tension-relief for muscles.
The experience: It begins with a salt mousse mango scrub using all-natural Pevonia Botanica products. Dehydrated sea salt in the products helps impart minerals into the skin and using a circular scrubbing motion, the therapist gently exfoliates to even out and smooth problem areas. After showering we then lie down in a plastic, cellophane-style sheet before the therapist applies a mango yoghurt cream containing fruit extracts rich in malic and citric acids as well as repairing vitamins A and C. We’re then wrapped up under a heated blanket and left to relax for 25 minutes before showering.
The results: The treatment is relaxing but not suitable for those who feel claustrophobic in confined spaces. We feel refreshed, with smoother and shinier skin.
Dhs615 for 90 minutes. Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Garhoud (04 230 8565).
Invigorating Journey at Willow Stream Spa
The promise: This total body treatment involves a scrub, mask, scalp massage and mini facial in order to cleanse the body, eliminate dead skin cells and hydrate the skin.
The experience: Better defined as a posh take on a hammam, we’re led into a steamed room and lie down on the heated marble bed before our friendly therapist soaps us up. We can’t help but feel her style considerably lacks the elbow grease of a traditional Moroccan bath. Using exfoliating gloves, she then performs a firm scrub over our entire body. With the steam puffing away in the corner, we’re feeling quite hot at this point. After applying the clay body mask the therapist begins a mini facial and briefly massages our scalp. We’re left in the heat for another ten minutes (during which we request some cold water and for the steam to be turned off) before later being lathered up with moisturiser to finish.
The results: We’re quite red in the face and feeling a little overheated, but our skin is soft, smooth and we’ve definitely sweated out any remaining toxins from the weekend.
Dhs455 for 90 minutes. Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3388).
Detox Marine Algae Wrap at The Spa, The Address Dubai Marina
The promise: It’s designed to aid detoxification, as the seaweed’s natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes nourish and clear your skin.
The experience: It begins with a scrub made from finely granulated bamboo husk, which is gently massaged all over the body, with the therapist taking extra care over sensitive parts of the skin. Leaving the scrub on, she then applies the algae body mask, which has a strong seaweed smell. We feel a little like a piece of tuna in a sushi roll as she envelopes us in plastic film. Covered in blankets to allow the mask to absorb, the therapist administers a relaxing head massage – easily the best part of the treatment. We are then unravelled and ushered to the shower to wash the mask off. The finishing touch is the application of a Natura Bissé moisturiser.
The result: The algae wrap promises to help detoxify the body. That’s hard to measure, but the epidermis was certainly smooth and glowing.
Dhs480 for 60 minutes, The Address Dubai Marina (04 428 7805).
Oriental delight wrap at Talise Ottoman Spa
The promise: To soften super-dry skin and loosen muscles with a relaxing massage. The treatment also uses a lotion made up of shea butter and argan oil.
The experience: Beginning with a chilly spritz of rosewater on each limb, our therapist sets to work massaging in the shea butter and argan oil mixture with long, light strokes. As the rosewater leaves us a little cold, we’re relieved to notice the bed begins to heat up, which helps
us relax. Once we’re wrapped in towels (rather than cling-film), we’re given a luscious, deeply relaxing head massage.
The results: Our skin feels silky, though the lotion is a little pungent, and our dinner date later remarks that we ‘smell weird’. For those who have extremely dry skin, we recommend adding the sugar body peeling session, which you can do before your wrap, as the wrap itself doesn’t include a scrub.
Dhs529 for 60 minutes; sugar peeling scrub Dhs500. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah (04 453 0456).