What is a Body Wrap?

Initially, a body wrap was an application of Ace bandages or saran wrap that was tightly wrapped around the body to enable rapid weight loss through vasodilation. Now, a body wrap is much more likely to be a treatment where you're slathered with a body mask made of seaweed and potent botanical ingredients, and depending on the treatment, possibly wrapped afterwards to keep warm. Soon thereafter, the product is rinsed off or removed, and the body wrap usually ends with application of a lotion or followed up with some a maintenance lubricant of some type. This treatment is sometimes also referred to as a body mask or body treatment.

Body Wrap Benefits

Body wraps that use algae and detox treatments help rid the body of toxins through metabolic stimulation. Body wraps using moisturizing rich lotions are hydrating treatments geared towards softening and healing the skin. Body wraps utilizing other ingredients are typically formulated to aide in weight loss.

Body wraps often begin with exfoliation through dry brushing or a salt scrub. You are typically clothed in whatever you will eventually be wrapped in – often plastic of some type, but sometimes towels or sheets. I think the most enjoyable method is when a massage therapist does the body wrap, because they naturally incorporate massage techniques as they apply the product. (An esthetician, on the other hand, is just simply rubbing product on the skin.) Once the product is applied to the skin, you're wrapped to stay warm for usually 15-60 minutes. Often, the therapist will leave the room, but sometimes they will stay and continue the massage, if possible.

When the time is up, you're unwrapped and the body wrap is removed. For this reason, the wraps often take place in wet rooms, equipped with a shower or wet table. Its possible that you may either jump in the shower or the therapist will rinse you off with a handheld shower or a special rinse that feels fantastic. After that, you will dry off, and there's usually an application of lotion of some sort to moisturize your skin.

Cautionary Items

- Don't expect a body wrap to simply be a massage. You can get both treatments – a body wrap and a massage -- or look for signature treatments that include scrub, body wrap, massage, etc...

- If you have extremely sensitive skin, check with your therapist or esthetician before starting any wrap for an extended period of time.

- If you are looking for a fat/weight loss body wrap, these are often not available at your standard spa or salon.