Today’s spas lead you on a natural journey to bliss and beauty. More often than not, Mother Nature is the source of the most innovative and beneficial treatments and the inspiration for the most relaxing settings. Here’s a sampling of what nature has to offer in Aruba’s best spas.
An exfoliating scrub is a great prelude to a massage. It prepares your skin to absorb all the benefits of the essential oils used in your treatment. If your skin is normal to oily, a Caribbean sea salt scrub followed by a mineral water rinse will leave it softer and smoother, not to mention that it’ll be perfectly prepped for tanning. Drier or more delicate skin types will benefit from a naturally nourishing exfoliation to slough away dead cells; tropical fruits like pineapples, mangoes, and papayas are often used in this instance because of the beneficial enzymes and antioxidants they contain.
Here’s the rub
There are so many massages to choose from, and one of the most popular types these days is the hot stone massage; everyone should try it at least once. Stones are treated with seawater and/or herbal infusions and then heated. The hot stones are initially placed on muscles and then used by the massage therapist to perform deep tissue manipulations. This type of massage promotes intense relaxation and opens up energy pathways. Sometimes cool, treated stones are used alternately with the hot stones, along with various essential oils. Just one session can help you to relax, release muscle tension, and lift your spirits. Some devotees of hot stone massage claim it can even ease depression.
A lava shell massage is a variation on the hot stone massage where the therapist lightly massages with heated lava shells. Minerals, algae, salt water, and essential oils – from relaxing lavender, rose, and clary sage to energizing ginger, grapefruit, and ylang ylang – are combined inside the heated shell. The mixture produces a chemical reaction that creates additional heat for about one hour. The shells used are usually tiger-striped clamshells. Previously they were discarded after the clams were eaten, but now they are being recycled, making the lava shell massage eco-friendly too!
It’s a wrap
Wraps are fabulous for a sleeker, firmer you, thanks in part to the natural elements they employ. In a body wrap treatment, your torso, legs, arms, and neck are enveloped in elastic cloths that have been presoaked with special ingredients. The cloths create a thermal blanket that promotes gentle sweating to help eliminate toxins and fluids between body tissues resulting in smoother skin. A green wrap uses live spirulina algae from the sea to impart essential vitamins, minerals, and protein and thus encourage slimming. An organic coffee wrap, rich in caffeine, helps rid the body of excess fluids, smoothing even the dimpled look of cellulite.
Too much fun in the sun? A facial and body treatment enriched with cucumber, aloe, and cactus will calm the burn. The cooling properties of cucumber and the healing powers of aloe, combined with cactus milk’s ability to nourish and provide much-needed moisture, leave sun-parched skin deliciously supple and comfortable. Other facial treatments contain goat’s milk, honey, and sugarcane… not to be missed for their pampering pleasures and unique beauty benefits!
To make your hair shine, your scalp breathe, and some even dare to say, your hair grow, try a hibiscus hair treatment. The petals of the lovely hibiscus flower, which is native to Aruba, are crushed and added to coconut oil, creating a natural, fragrant mixture. This aromatic cocktail is massaged into your scalp and hair and then a warm, moist towel is wrapped around your head. Left on for 30 minutes, it is removed and
followed by a coconut-enriched shampoo and hibiscus-scented water rinse. Your hair is left silky, shiny, and divinely fragrant.
Finally, forget high tech. The simplicity of nature has long been the theme when it comes to the décor and ambience of the island’s spas. On Aruba, breathtaking views of the ocean with its lulling sights, sounds, and scents are given top billing in many spas. Natural, unbleached cottons combine with the rich luster of hardwoods like teak and acacia to create soothing surroundings. Tropical gardens are another favorite locale for the relaxing and beautifying rituals you’ll always remember.