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Thursday 6 September 2012

What to do AFTER a spa treatment!

For all the admonishments I get to arrive at least 20 minutes before the appointment, switch off the cellphone, steer clear of the razor and clearly communicate any discomforts, there is surprisingly little advice dispensed at the end of a spa treatment on what to do in the hours ahead! But ignorance does not make for spa-bliss – in fact, since your body is at its most vulnerable immediately after a massage or scrub, it’s important to take precautions. This will not only help avoid the wreaking of havoc on your skin but also optimise the skincare, wellness and feel-good results you paid for (often through your nose!).

1. Stay off the alcohol and cigarettes

Most spa treatments expel toxins by releasing them into your blood stream, from where they are gradually pushed out of the body – usually over 24 hours. Drinking alcohol and smoking can dehydrate your body and further increase toxicity, so avoid both these for at least a full day.

2. Turn to water

In order to flush away these toxins and replace lost hydration (which is common after a spa therapy), drink lots of fluids – namely water and green tea – for 24 hours post-treatment.

3. Eat light

Avoid eating a heavy meal for a few hours after the treatment as your digestion needs all it’s power to eliminate toxins. For optimum results, have a meal made with garlic, which lowers blood pressure, boosts circulation, reduces fat, and flushes toxins from the body. Your best bet? A light, Asian-inspired dish.

4. Load up on the fruits

Swap dessert for a platter of fresh fruits: chock full with vitamins, enzymes and water, these are the best option for maintain the health effects of any spa treatment.

5. Rest, rest, rest… and then rest some more!

A massage reveals it’s optimal benefits over a few hours, so you need some “me-time” to fully absorb the results of a spa session. By doing anything stressful, you might lose the effects of your treatment. Plus, any strenuous, rigorous or exciting activities (including steamy sex!), which make you sweat, will cause dehydration, leading to extreme fatigue. Instead, indulge in some quiet, relaxing pursuits like getting lost in a book or zoning away to music for 24 hours after your spa visit.

6. Resist the shower

Although it may sound counter-productive, if you have any treatments that use essential oils, creams or botanicals, refraining from rinsing off will allow your skin to soak up the minerals and anti-oxidants completely.

7. Skip the steam and sauna

You’ve been cleaned and steamed… heating up the face and body is going to strip away that just paid-for glow. And that’s highly avoidable, right?

8. Go light on home products

This is especially true is you have had a peel or scrub: adding on potent at-home products after these is a surefire recipe for redness. So, give your skin a two or three day break after a treatment.

9. Stay out of the sun

After a massage, peel or scrub, you’ve got a whole new batch of vulnerable skin cells that can easily burn in the sun. Better to stay in the shade and avoid the skin damage.

10. Sleep on a soft sheet

Your skin is super-soft after a spa visit (which is good). However, this also makes it super-prone to allergies, dust and harsh fabrics, which can easily cause rashes and other irritations (which is bad). To avoid, sleep on a soft sheet – preferably silk or satin (sigh!) – that won’t irritate your skin. And, yes, stay away from those rough towels as well.

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