While the main focus of a seaweed wrap is to detox and slim, it can also diminish the appearance of stretch marks by tightening the skin and stimulating blood circulation. The overall benefit of this wrap is the skin looks and feels supple and smooth and new stretch marks will be avoided. Visible results in existing stretch mark reduction, however, are not immediate. As with any stretch mark treatment, the University of Maryland Medical Center advises that while the body is undergoing repair, it will take time and several treatments before the marks begin to shrink and fade.
Seaweed wraps are popular at spas, not only for relaxation, but to stimulate circulation and rid the body of toxins. The body is first exfoliated with a salt scrub or dry-brushed to stimulate circulation and prepare the skin to absorb the nutrients from the wrap. A seaweed paste is then spread over the body. Next the body is wrapped in moist, hot towels or a thermal cellophane sheet, and the client is left to relax for up to an hour while the seaweed processes. The sheets are then removed and the client is rinsed in a shower or with more warm, wet towels. A hydrating body cream is applied to the body as a final step.
Benefits of Seaweed
Seaweed body wraps contain sea salt, seaweed, algae, amino acids and vitamins that are essential to good skin care and skin maintenance. In “Advanced Face and Body Treatments for the Spa,” a textbook used in beauty and esthetics school, Pamela Hill writes that the seaweed wrap speeds up metabolism, which activates the lymphatic system to rid the body of toxins. The exfoliation of the skin leaves the body feeling soft and clean, and the flushing of water helps smooth the appearance of cellulite.
Diminished Stretch Marks
According the University of Maryland Medical Center, the rapid expanding of the skin during pregnancy or sudden weight gain stretches and tears collagen fibers, and we see what we know as stretch marks. The best remedy for stretch marks is generating collagen production and improving blood circulation. The textbook "Advanced Face and Body Treatments for the Spa” instructs that seaweed wraps stimulate blood circulation and boost lymph fluid drainage, which leads to regeneration of tissue that aids in collagen production. When the seaweed wrap is applied to the target problem areas such as the upper thighs or hips and stomach, it enhances blood flow in that area.
The seaweed wrap is a very popular spa treatment. According to Spa Finder Magazine, most fees as of 2010 range from $80 to $100 for 45 minutes and $100 to $200 for 60 minutes. Rates are highest at spas that use exotic Dead Sea seaweed or algae for the wrap.
At-home kits are available and easy to use, so the treatment can be enjoyed at home for a fraction of the cost.
The results after two or three treatments will be highly noticeable. As the body loses weight and slims, the skin will be smoother, firm and toned as the areas damaged by stretch marks heal and lighten. Skin cell regeneration in ongoing and new collagen is produced, reducing the scarring. As long as there is no additional weight gain, the stretch marks will fade away and skin tone will continue to improve.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Stretch Mark Relief and Therapy
- “Remove and Prevent Stretch Marks: How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks: Prevention and Treatment”; Ramona Glyde; 2010
- “The Herbal Home Spa: Naturally Refreshing Wraps, Rubs, Lotions, Masks, Oils, and Scrubs”; Greta Breedlove; 1998
- “Milady's Aesthetician Series: Advanced Face and Body Treatments for the Spa”; Pamela Hill; 2007
- Spa Finder Magazine: Body Wraps
- Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images