Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud…

1st April 2010

Mud baths are not for the faint-hearted, explains Mary Linehan

Applying a delightful body mud mask evenly over my back in the knowledge that I’d soon have to clean it off both me and the bath was challenging, to say the least. But, let me tell you, this muddy at-home ritual is well worth the effort and has to rate up there with my favourite DIY top-to-toe body treatments – not only was my skin rejuvenated and refreshed for days afterwards, but I also slept like the proverbial baby.

When it comes to harnessing Nature’s healing and regenerative properties, the Dead Sea is arguably the most famous source. The lowest point on earth, at 400 metres below sea level, it’s rich in high concentrations of health-giving minerals and has been a ‘health spa’ for millennia.

AHAVA bases its skin care and body preparations on these Dead Sea Minerals. Slathering on their Pure Energising Body Mud Mask (£14) was, as I said, no mean task, but the results were definitely to write home about. Duniella seaweed, Dead Sea minerals and a beautifully aromatic blend of mandarin and seaweed left my skin really refreshed and deep cleansed. You only need to leave it on for 5 minutes, while you run a warm bath.

Next came perhaps the quirkiest face mask I have ever used. Balatan Spa 100% Natural Face Mask (£27, plus a free beauty bag of products worth £50) is a blend of flowers, plants, grasses and living herbs indigenous to ancient lowland valley areas in Hungary and Austria. It’s shockingly dark brown, almost black, apparently a result of the continuous natural organic changes in the plants used in the formulation that have taken place over thousands of years and are still present in the mud. Balaton Spa is not one of the most famous brands in beauty, but it’s definitely one of the most curious – and cult-like – that I have ever come across. And, it has to be said, it does appear to possess the remarkable healing properties it claims.

Now all I had to do was step into that warm bath, to which I had added a generous and indulgent helping of E’Spa Detoxifying Seaweed Bath (£24), a deeply effective blend of mineral-rich sea algae extracts, that helps cleanse the skin of impurities and soothes away stress. I am a great fan of E’Spa products; the ingredients and formulations are exceptional and, as a spa brand, their bath/body treatments are seductively luxurious.

Fifteen minutes soak was enough for me to reap all the benefits of my home treatments. All I now had to do was reach for the bathroom cleaner, and then take myself off for a good night’s sleep…

For stockist details and mail order, visit:
AHAVA – www.ahava.com
Balatan Spa - www.balaton-spa.co.uk
E’Spa – www.espaonline.com

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