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Spring clean your body

All gain and no pain – this detox treatment is positively decadent 
Edited by Gaby Soutar

I’m not one for the January detoxing fad.  I only have two settings: getting toxed up (which involves lazing about), and normal (relatively healthy, with an almost balanced diet). However, when I heard that Edinburgh’s Zen Lifestyle salon was offering a New Year Detox Package, which includes a selection of four rather lovely treatments, I couldn’t help but be tempted.

This experience starts with 10 minutes of body brushing, which – according to them – works to stimulate the circulation and speed up lymphatic drainage.  My therapist Jill used a brush that resembled a curry comb with, with stiff bristles.  This was whisked across the surface of my back including the abdominal area, but focusing on the rough bits like knees and elbows.  Then it was time for a 40-minute back, neck and shoulder massage, using Elemis’s Cellutox Active Body Oil.  This zesty potion contains a detoxifying blend of sea buckthorn, sea fennel, lemon and juniper oils – a recipe that has been designed to help combat the build-up of toxins.  Jill is top-notch masseuse and utilised a combination of techniques on my upper body which included the firm use of her forearms and some manipulation of my arms and shoulders, so she could access the cricks underneath the scapula.

Once this ended, I was turned over for my 30 minute long Hydrating Facial which also incorporated a Rapid Exfoliator Peel.  My skin was thoroughly cleansed, before the latter elements vaguely stingy gel which contains salicylic and lactic acids, was applied with the help of two giant cotton bud-like implements.  These were constantly swirled across the surface of my face and, after five minutes of mild tingling the potion was gently removed.

With my skin prepped and polished, I could be thoroughly moisturised with a soothing mask that was as thick as honey. “You can have your scalp, hands and arms, or feet massaged, while that sinks in”, said Jill.  I went for the latter, as I slipped in to zoned-out state.

After ten minutes, the mask was gently removed, before a protective SPF was daubed on to my newly exfoliated skin. I emerged from the treatment room looking as pink and fresh faced as a new-born gerbil.


This blissful package is a bargain, with a little bit of everything for fusspots.  If you’re not in to the whole detox thing, then think of it this way – 80 minutes of beauty therapies equals an 80 minute break from stuffing your face.  That’s the only excuse you need.


Zen, 84 Hanover street, Edinburgh (0131-25 7009, Available until the end of February.

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