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What is a marine-based treatments?

Natural seawater spas have been around for thousands of years, visited by people seeking well-being and even cures. Doctors once sent people to "take the waters", breathe in the fresh, salty air, and do some light aqua-aerobics. One theory is that, as we evolved from the sea, our bodies can easily assimilate marine nutrients and minerals, so they can quickly rehydrate and remineralise us. Now, companies have developed a wide range of products and treatments to bring you the healing, restorative waters in new and wonderful lotions and potions. In many ways, then, a marine-based spa treatment is the essence of traditional spas.

There are many treatments available involving marine mud and algae and seaweed, particularly in Ireland where they use local ingredients.

Water-wise, you'll find a range of hydrotherapy, thalassotherapy, pools and baths designed to help you get the most from marine ingredients. Some spas are dedicated to just that.

In terms of brands, Thalgo corners much of the marine spa treatment and product market. Their treatments are tried, tested (but not on animals!) and very popular worldwide. They even have their own Thalassotherapy spas ("thalasso" means "sea" in Greek) where you can have hydrotherapeutic treatments with seawater. But there are some other brands available, too.

Whatever your choice, we recommend having a marine treatment in a spa with plenty of water facilities so that you can really indulge yourself and your skin in the whole water experience.

Germaine de Capuccini

The Germaine de Capuccini spa marine firming wrap lasts for 1 hour 45 minutes. It involves an algae-based body exfoliation followed by a citrus-y massage. They then wrap you in a deep-sea mineral goo, which will firm and tone your body.

The only place in the UK that you can have this (that we know of, anyway) is Harrogate Turkish Baths and Health Spa

Pevonia

The most commonly available of the Pevonia sea-based treatments is their Detoxifying Thalasso Wrap, This is a soothing, warm seaweed wrap that brings micronised minerals, vitamins and enzymes straight from France to you. Pevonia also offer the intriguing Litho-Cal Seaweed Exfoliating Treatment and an Aromatic Seaweed Wrap, though these are harder to find in the UK.

Thalgo marine treatments

Thalgo are the main "marine" brand in the UK and beyond in terms of seawater, marine-based treatments and products.

Thalgo facials

Thalgo treatments are all about well-being, whole-body health, purifying and balancing. They're very hydrating and generally have a light, fresh smell (although their famous micronised marine algae bath smells very swampy!). Their facials include:

  • Pure Collagen Velvet Luxury Facial - 1 hour 10 minutes devoted to easing your wrinkles
  • Hydra-Moisture Source Facial - 55 minutes featuring active marine ingredients and something called "vegetal milks"
  • 02 Marine Facial - they call this 55 minute treatment "the ultimate skin boost", combining oxygen and marine and plant proteins to nourish and refresh your skin
  • Cold Marine Facial - this is an hour long treatment that involves mint as well as marine and plant extracts to calm sensitive and sore skin
  • Absolute Rehydrating Patch Facial - 75 minutes of marine ingredients, vegetal milks and a "marine collagen patch" or mask that aims to get rid of your wrinkles and leave your skin all soft and plumped up.

Thalgo body treatments and rituals

Rebalancing back treatment This 45-minute treatment does include some massage but is essentially a mask for your back. Natural active marine algae will cleanse and ease your muscles and skin, to leave you feeling fresh and your back loose

  • Aromaceane wrap - 70 minutes of exfoliation, sea mud, dry flotation, and one of four essential oils depending on whether you're looking to slim, detox, have more vitality, or relax
  • Micronised Marine Algae Seaweed Body Wrap - again, 70 minutes, this time the seaweed is "deodorised" (let's hope to smell less swampy!), rich in minerals and vitamins, and smoothed into the skin to detoxify and relax. Finished off with a rich body lotion
  • Sea and Senses - hot and cold stones - this ritual features exfoliation as well as a massage with hot volcanic stones, and cold marine ones. It will stimulate your muscles and intensify the impact of a good massage
  • Skin Conditioning Pre-Natal Treatment - nearly 90 minutes of treats for the mum-to-be. This ritual uses Thalgo's marine-based and vitamin-E enriched products to improve the elasticity of the skin so it's less prone to stretchmarks
  • Marine Prelude - what's described as "an ultra-exfoliation body treatment which combines natural sea salts and marine mud". It claims to activate "microcirculation" to transform rough skin to smooth and revitalise you
  • Indoceane - this is a whole two hours aimed at relieving stress and tension with marine-based products and treatments.

Utopia Zing

The Utopia Zing range is exclusive to Utopia Spas, such as Rowhill Grange in Kent, Alexander House in Sussex, and Melville Hall Hotel on the Isle of Wight. The principle of these marine products is similar to Thalgo's, but their treatments and products have more of a "fusion" approach and feature influences from other therapies and spa cultures.

  • Sea Holistic Spa Treatment - this hour-long treatment claims to be inspired by traditional Thai medicine and combines "exfoliation, a body massage to energy lines and the use of marine salt crystals, to create harmony between body and mind" (Sounds lovely!)
  • Detox Cocoon Wrap - just over an hour long, the marine elements of this wrap - seaweed and minerals - are Slathered onto your body to detox and relax you, then you're wrapped in a snug thermal blanket and have a moisturising massage. Delicious and soothing
  • Aspara - this body treatment "promotes relaxation by stimulating reflex points on the feet and the back using a warm marine mud". You are exfoliated using lavender and seawater.

Courtesy of the Good Spa Guide

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