At-home body wraps are all over Facebook feeds and social media.
The headlines boast their detoxifying effects with headlines that promise to shrink your waistline or shed inches. These claims are catchy but miss the most important point of body wraps – improving the health of your whole being. They’re one of the most effective and efficient ways to treat the body inside and out.
But let’s get real, it’s a lot harder to give yourself a body wrap at home versus a professional service at the spa. The good news, there are methods that allow you to get the benefits of a body wrap without the hassle. We call it the Unwrapped Body Wrap. Professionals call it a poultice.
What’s a Poultice
Traditionally, a poultice is a soft, saturated mass of material, usually plant-based, that is used to treat an area that is inflamed or sore. For our purposes, a poultice is basically a body mask.
Poultice formulations tend to be very concentrated with plant material that is high in vitamins, minerals and other skin-loving properties. They are a highly effective means of infusing nutrients into the body through the skin.
By feeding the body the nutrients it needs for optimal health, we have a great opportunity to positively impact the functioning of the body systems.
Unwrapped Body Wrap Technique
The steps involved in the Unwrapped Body Wrap are fairly similar to an at-home body wrap but they eliminate the need to actually wrap the body, and allow for much easier prep and cleanup.
Essentially you mix together the ingredients needed to make a body mask, prep the skin, apply the mask and then soak in the bath for about 30 minutes. Any mess will go down the drain with the bath water.
Ingredients are extremely important! For best results, you’ll want to use all-natural, concentrated formulas. Remember, the bath water dilutes the body mask.
SOURCE VITÁL APOTHECARY PROFESSIONAL TIP: Never use any type of soap when taking therapeutic baths. This includes aromatherapy baths and the soaking process of the Unwrapped Body Wrap.
When you use products with naturally active ingredients like essential oils, Dead Sea Salts and algae powders, with therapeutic properties such as detoxification or mineralization, soap essentially stops all of this beneficial activity.
Soap can also be drying to the skin if you soak in it for too long. That’s why we aren’t big fans of bubble baths. Therapeutic bathing is not the same as a cleansing bath (or shower).
There are a few things you’ll need for the Unwrapped Body Wrap. Feel free to customize the ingredients and supplies to best meet your individual needs.
- Natural bristle body brush
- Several small to medium-size bowls for mixing ingredients
- Wooden spoon or wooden/plastic spatula for mixing ingredients
- Essential oils and carrier oil such as Jojoba or Coconut (or a premixed bath & body oil)
- Ingredients for the body wrap of your choice. We like Silt Body Scrub, Cool Body Mask and Algae Powder Blend
- Towels and washcloths
- Natural moisturizing body mist and body lotion/cream
Step 1 – Preparation
Before starting with the wrap gather all of your supplies and get your at-home treatment room ready. We suggest doing all the steps (except for mixing the poultice) in the bath tub for home-friendly clean up.
Light some candles, choose a favorite essential oil or diffusion blend to scent the room, have a glass of water handy and some extra towels.
If using a pre-formulated mask—one that is ready to use out of the container, such as our Cool Body Mask or Silt Body Mask—there is little preparation required. Place the recommended amount of product in a bowl, although you may want to warm the mask up a bit by placing the mask bowl in a larger bowl or pan of hot water for about 30 minutes prior to your wrap.
If using a seaweed or powdered mask, such as our Algae Powder Blend, place the recommended amount in a separate medium size bowl. Our Algae Powder Blend recommends 6 rounded tablespoons of powder for a full body wrap. Add hot water (approximately 10 tablespoons) until you get a thin pancake batter consistency. Keep mix warm until ready to use. Just before you’re ready to apply the mask, mix in the essential oil or bath oil of your choice.
Step 2 – Dry Brushing
Dry brushing skin prior to a body wrap treatment is a great way to kick-start your system into receiving all the nutrients and benefits of your wrap. It may seem like a silly extra step but don’t skip it!
SOURCE VITÁL APOTHECARY PROFESSIONAL TIP: Dry brushing is particularly helpful for poor circulation, cellulite, dry/dehydrated skin, gooseflesh-type skin, fatigue and when fighting illnesses like the cold or flu. Spending a few minutes dry brushing before your daily shower in a great holistic ritual to add to your personal care routine.
For more information about how to dry brush, check out our blog all about how dry brushing is good for holistic health. There, we walk you through dry brushing step by step.
Step 3 – Anoint the Body
After dry brushing, pamper and care for the body with 100% pure essential oils and natural botanical oils. You will apply 10 drops of your oil blend or bath & body oil to the abdomen and other pulse points like the upper chest, wrists, back of the knees and ankles.
This part feels good, smells good and begins the process of feeding the skin – and the soul.
Depending on the goal of your body treatment, you may want to use specific oils:
- Lavender is universally beneficial for calming, soothing and caring for any skin type.
- Rosemary is stimulating
- Eucalyptus enhances breathing and great for use after an illness
- Peppermint is invigorating
- Citrus oils are happy oils
- Rose and Jasmine are rich and luxurious precious oils
CAUTION: Lavender can be applied directly to the skin; however, Rosemary, Eucalyptus Peppermint, Citrus oils, Rose and Jasmine should be diluted with a few drops of a vegetal oil, such as Safflower or Sunflower.
SOURCE VITÁL APOTHECARY TIP: You can mix your own oils or choose a bath & body oil that’s ready to go. We suggest Fluid Reduction Bath & Body Oil for those with water retention, bloating or swelling, Stress Relief Bath & Body Oil to reduce the feelings of tension and Renew Bath & Body Oil for purification. If using pure essential oil, dilute in equal amount of a vegetal carrier oil; 10 drops of essential oil = 10 drops of carrier oil.
Step 4 – Application
Applying your mask can be a bit messy, especially full body application, getting in the bath tub is convenient to the process, or apply mask in the shower while you run the bathwater. You may also want to spread out a towel next to the tub. Stand on the towel while applying your mask and start filling the tub.
Using your hands, apply the body mask in a thin layer over the area of focus. This may be the abdomen, legs, arms, chest or full body.
You’ve probably seen photos of models covered in a thick layer of body mask. Keep in mind, you’re not doing a photo shoot and covering up sensitive areas. You’re at home and treating yourself, so a thin layer will do the job.
NOTE: Do not rub in the mask, you want it to sit on top of the skin. Also, body masks are for topical application only. Take care applying to skin that is particularly sensitive.
Step 5 - Soak & Relax
Once your mask is applied, it’s time to relax.
Submerge yourself in neutrally-warm – not hot bath --water (around 93-97 degrees). The mask will absorb into the water and you’ll be totally immersed in the mask.
Soak for 20-30 minutes. Lie back, read a book, listen to some comforting music and let yourself escape while your “wrap” works its magic.
Step 6 – Rinse & Protect
Once the 20-30 minutes are up most of your mask will have dissolved into the water. There’s no need to further rinse. It’s best to let yourself air dry. This keeps the skin hydrated and allows the body to continue absorbing the nutrients of the wrap.
Finish the ritual by misting the body with a moisturizing body spray, body lotion or cream of your choice. Your body and soul will thank you for the extra TLC.
SOURCE VITÁL APOTHECARY TIP: You may want to consider using white towels for your wrap. Many of the ingredients tend to stain the towels. By using white towels, you can wash them in hot water and bleach and they will come clean.
Depending on your goals, try the Unwrapped Body Wrap once a week, every other week or monthly for maintenance. Also, try incorporating ritual bathing into your personal care routine. For more information read our ritual bathing blog by clicking here.