What to Expect from a Body Wrap

What to Expect from a Body Wrap

People rave that body wraps can help you detoxify, moisturize, and slim down. Spa and at-home body wraps become more and more popular every year. You may wonder if they're worth the $100-plus price tag. And what can they really do?  

Why Wrap?

Spa literature claims that after a body wrap, you'll be inches thinner and feel purified. But medical research shows that you only experience temporary weight loss that's equivalent to what you'd lose in an intense high-humidity exercise or from taking a diuretic. Realistically, wraps will:

  • Detoxify and moisturize skin (not the whole body)
  • Improve appearance of cellulite by plumping skin with moisture
  • Ease tired muscles and soreness
  • Provide overall relaxation
  • Drain water weight

The Process

Most spas offer a variety of body wraps that target different goals. Wraps usually take 1-2 hours and involve the following steps:

  1. Your skin is exfoliated or prepared.
  2. The therapist applies the product to your skin or pre-soaks cloths.
  3. Your torso, arms, and legs are wrapped is elastic cloths or plastic. You lie down under a layer of blankets, sheets, or towels.
  4. You rest for 15 or more minutes underneath this thermal blanket, working up a sweat.
  5. Product is rinsed off and skin re-moisturized.

Treatments may vary - some therapies involve multiple applications and repeated rinsing. Often a gentle massage accompanies the resting period.

What You Should Know

  • If you tend to feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable with heat, body wraps can be uncomfortable.
  • You will be nude, wearing only disposable underwear, or wearing a bikini.

Popular Kinds of Wraps

Most body wraps aim to detoxify and moisturize your skin, while encouraging interstitial fluid (excess water-weight) loss. Here are some popular treatments you may find in your local day spa:

  • Herbal & Algae Wraps. Usually designed for detoxification, these use assorted herbs and often aromatherapy techniques.
  • Clay/Mud/Mineral/Seaweed Wraps. These traditional wraps that help move water weight.
  • Anti-Cellulite Wrap. As the name implies, these minimize cellulite dimples by plumping skin with moisture.
  • Infrared Heat Wrap. Direct heat is applied to targeted areas of the body to increase sweating. Said to be more intense that a traditional wrap.
  • Lipase Enzyme Body Wrap. Lipase is a compound that's supposed to break down stubborn fat. These wraps are often done in tandem, where you first get a wrap containing lipase followed by a traditional wrap in the same session.

Who Shouldn't Have a Body Wrap?

You should speak to a medical professional before you undergo a wrap if you have any underlying health condition, though spas will generally require a medical questionnaire before they treat you. People with the following conditions may not be candidates for a body wrap:

  • Allergic Skin Reactions
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Circulation Problems
  • Pregnant/Nursing Mothers

Home Wraps

Since spa body wraps usually cost $100 and up, you may want to consider an at-home option. Several at-home kits are available, though you may need a friend to help you wrap your body. You can also create your own wrap formula with clay, essential oils like lavender or lemongrass (or even olive oil), and sea salt. You should not attempt at-home wrap if you have one of the health conditions above. And if attempting an at-home wrap, use care to not over-heat or dehydrate yourself too much.

How Long Do Results Last?

According to medical researchers, your results will not be long-lasting. If slimming is your main goal, they may not be worth the cost and you may need a series in order to really see the benefits of detoxification and moisturizing. However, a single treatment will help you flush water, so if you're looking for a relaxing way to shed inches right before a big event or give your skin a blast of moisture, this may be just the treatment for you.


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