It seems that everywhere we turn, we’re confronted with another “lose weight fast” product or plan.
From fad diets to crazy workout equipment, and even going as extreme as plastic surgery, there’s no shortage of money-making schemes designed to hit on the insecurities that we women face on the daily.
But, have you heard about body wraps?
They’re nowhere near as extreme as a cosmetic surgery, and they’re nowhere near as tough as a low-calorie juice cleanse.
In fact, if the idea of wrapping yourself up like a big, beautiful piece of sushi (or maybe a burrito) sounds appealing to you, you may even find body wraps enjoyable!
But while you may know of body wraps as a way to lose weight (thanks to their appearance on shows such as The Real Housewives), that’s just one type of body wrap.
In fact, regardless of a body wrap’s ability to help you lose weight, they can be amazing for your skin!
Today, we’re taking a deep dive into all things body wraps.
We’ll talk about what body wraps are and where they came from, what you can expect if you decide to try one yourself, and the alleged benefits.
And of course, I’ll give you my two cents on if I think they’re worth your while (and your money).
So, What Exactly Are Body Wraps?
While there are all different kinds of body wraps (we’ll get into those later), the premise of them are all the same.
Essentially, you wrap it around your body (your midsection, in most cases) and leave it on for the prescribed amount of time.
You can do a DIY body wrap, or have the service done at your favorite local spa.
Some body wraps are made to be worn while you’re exercising, and others are made for more of a luxurious experience (or, more realistically: worn while you’re multitasking with something else on your long to-do list).
Body wraps have been around for decades, and were originally referred to as “herbal wraps.”
These herbal wraps were done with linen sheets, and the term body wraps caught on when spas started using plastic or thermal blankets instead in the 80s and 90s.
It was only later that body wraps for weight loss became publicized by Hollywood stars and spas that offered them at $50+ a session.
A weight-loss body wrap can be compared to a waist trainer, in that it’s supposed to cinch you in and help you to sweat in your midsection while working out.
However, while the weight loss body wraps might be the most popular, it’s probably due to their shock value.
I’m personally more interested in the body wraps that can do something for my skin!
What Kinds of Body Wraps Are Out There?
It’s tough to talk about body wraps generally since there are so many different kinds.
These can range from relaxing, still wraps to moving wraps meant to be worn while upping your heart rate.
Here are some of the most common types of body wraps!
Who doesn’t love the sound of a detox?
It’s nice to think we can book a spa treatment and immediately repent for any “bad” skin behavior we’ve done lately (think eating too much sugar or getting too much sun), and that’s where the detox body wrap comes in.
Detox wraps incorporate ingredients with “pulling” properties such as clay, mud, or seaweed.
They were extremely popular circa 2007.
If you’ve done a clay or mud mask, you know how great these can feel.
While a detox wrap won’t completely help your skin heal from a bad sunburn (in fact, it might actually hurt it), or a week’s worth of sleeplessness, it can be particularly useful if you struggle with acne.
It can be difficult to treat body acne in particular, especially if we get breakouts in places that are hard for us to reach on our own, such as our backs!
For that reason, a detox body wrap may be a great way for you to cleanse your pores in all those hard to reach spots.
Unfortunately, if sweat tends to trigger breakouts, you may want to be careful with body wraps that involve lots of sweating.
Or, simply make sure to shower immediately after to avoid any sweat-induced pore clogging.
If you're looking for a way to combat body acne at home, I recommend the Glo Skin Beauty Clear Skin Body Spray.
Ideal for use on the chest and back, it targets acne-causing bacteria!
As I mentioned before, some of the most infamous body wraps are supposed to slim you down.
These wraps generally involve smaller strips of material wrapped very tightly, particularly around the midsection.
Many of the slimming wraps are made to be DIY or applied at home by an on-location spa service or specialist.
In addition, many of the slimming wraps focus on the midsection and are meant to be worn while working out.
Of course, a body wrap will never replace a balanced diet and regular exercise, but some women do claim that the short-term effects can be worth it for special events or photo-ops.
The effects (if any) will likely only last for a few days.
The slimming wrap’s little sister is the cellulite wrap.
Many wraps claim to have both benefits, and cellulite wraps, in particular, incorporate certain herbs that are said to help with those pesky skin folds that we all deal with.
Similar to the slimming wraps, there’s only so much cellulite wraps can do for your cellulite.
And just like the slimming wraps, the effects — which may involve temporary plumping of the skin that appears to eradicate cellulite — are likely not going to last.
Image Skincare's Body Spa Cell.U.Lift Firming Body Creme works at the cellular level to firm and tone skin - no repeated cellulite wraps necessary!
A moisturizing wrap is the perfect option if you’ve recently gotten too much sun, or if your beautiful skin is having trouble adjusting to a change in climate — resulting in dry and flaky skin.
Even if you’re not having major dryness problems, most of us could use more moisture!
After all, moisture is one of the major keys to anti-aging!
A moisturizing wrap will generally involve a variety of lotions that are incorporated in the procedure to give you that added skin-quenching boost.
Epicuren's After Bath Moisturizer is fragrance-free, so it's ideal for sensitive skin and maintains your skin's moisture levels when used on a regular basis.
What Is The Process of Getting a Body Wrap Done?
As you can tell by now, there are many different types of body wraps, so the process differs depending on which type of wrap you’re getting done.
The oldest and most traditional body wraps are offered in a spa and many women find the experience to be very relaxing.
The process and experience are similar to receiving a massage, and there’s a good chance you’ll be laying on a massage table.
To set the scene: you’ll probably be escorted to a dimly-lit room with scented candles and relaxing music — you know the drill.
Often times, before the wrap, the therapist will start with a scrub to exfoliate your skin and get rid of any dead skin, dirt, and the like.
Once you’re feeling smooth, you’ll be escorted to the shower to wash off the scrub, and then — it’s wrap time, beautiful!
A massage therapist will have you lay down on the massage table that’s been lined with a thermal blanket, where she’ll start applying the wrap all over your body.
After that, you’ll likely be wrapped up in plastic, then towels, and then perhaps even a sheet.
You’ll probably be feeling like a big, cozy burrito at this point.
Last is the thermal blanket pulled on top of you as well, and this is where it starts to get toasty!
You’ll likely be sweating during the entirety of the session (the average session is around 30 minutes), but many women find this relaxing.
Think of sweating in a sauna rather than sweating at the gym!
After your session is complete, the therapist will slowly start peeling back the layers and start cooling you down.
You’ll likely feel super smooth and refreshed after the session!
At this point, you can choose to shower, or perhaps take a nice dip in the pool if your spa offers one.
While there’s no exact number for how often you should get a body wrap, many women enjoy getting one once a month, or perhaps even once a year as a nice splurge for themselves.
If you’re trying your luck with weight-loss wraps, I recommend not doing them more than three times a week to ensure you’re not getting too dehydrated!
What Are The Benefits For Me?
Unfortunately, and maybe unsurprisingly, there is no scientific evidence that body wraps can help you tighten, tone, or lose weight.
However, some women do say they notice a tightened appearance post-wrap.
While this side effect is most likely temporary, it may be the confidence boost you need right before a big beach weekend or #selfie.
But aside from your muscles, body wraps can have a wonderful and beautiful benefit on your skin.
As I mentioned before, detox wraps may be particularly helpful for those of us who suffer from body acne.
Additionally, a moisturizing wrap may be exactly what you need after a vacation in Palm Springs or Vail!
That being said, if you’re trying to save time or money, doing a similar treatment at home may be more cost effective and quicker than going to a salon to get a body wrap treatment.
However, if you’re looking to spoil yourself with some “you” time — body wraps are a super fun way to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh!
Are There Any Negative Side Effects?
Some critics of slimming body wraps claim that the wraps meant to be worn while exercising can lead to circulation problems or dehydration due to the loss in water weight (which is why some women tend to shed some pounds temporarily).
While the more extreme advocates against body wraps have even warned that using body wraps without hydrating yourself can lead to hypovolemic shock (otherwise known as low blood volume shock), this is pretty unlikely.
However, it’s always a good idea to ensure that if you’re feeling lightheaded, thirsty, or weak, you should immediately unwrap yourself and take a seat.
If you’re simply trying a classic spa, moisturizing, or detox body wrap, you won’t have to worry about any medically dangerous side effects.
Keep in mind that you should be careful if you have any allergies or particularly sensitive skin because many body wraps involve fragrances, herbs, and other ingredients that your lovely skin may or may not be accustomed to — specifically moisturizing body wraps.
If you’re worried, simply find out the wrap ingredients beforehand so there are no surprises, and keep in mind that certain herbs may make certain medications ineffective as well.
Lastly, if you’re at all claustrophobic, you may not find a body wrap as relaxing as other people do (for obvious reasons).
As with anything, always be sure to drink lots of water and keep your beautiful self-hydrated — especially when you’re sweating!
Wrapping It All Up
I hope you’ve found this post informative and that I’ve answered any questions you had about body wraps!
If you've been wanting to give the skin on your body - not just your face - a little TLC, I say body wraps can be a good occasional perk.
It all comes down to your individual needs, though!
And now, it’s time for me to end this post with a pun I’ve been thinking of all day: that’s a wrap!
Have you tried a body wrap before? What kind was it—and did you enjoy it? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!