When it comes to spa treatments, there are so many trends to keep track of, it can get overwhelming fast. It's not easy to separate the fads from the science-based treatments that actually work.
At the end of the day, if a treatment makes you feel more confident and sexy, then it worked! However, there are some treatments that are actually based on scientific research, and others that are just pseudoscience. Sometimes, the most expensive treatments of all are the ones most filled with misleading claims. Here, we picked out our favorite treatments that are really based on the science of beauty, to help you know which pre-wedding spa treatments to spend your hard earned money on!
There's nothing like a hot sauna or miracle bath, but do they actually have the benefits touted by the spas that offer them? Actually, saunas have been widely studied, and found to have lots of beneficial effects. However, as soon as you hear someone say they "flush toxins" from the body, run the other direction! That's what your liver and kidneys are for. Saunas will, however, make you sweat., which is a good thing as long as you're plenty hydrated. They've also been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation, which is one of the main reasons you took a spa to begin with! A study from Finland found that sauna use over the course of two decades was associated with better heart health. Maybe it was from all that stress reduction!
In one study, a one-hour hot mineral bath was shown to burn as many calories as a half-hour walk! They were also found to have lowered blood sugar levels, and had a similar anti-inflammatory effect as exercise. Whether or not the mineral content of a bath has an added benefit, but many dermatologists claim that minerals in water can't absorb through the skin. So that one claim about mineral baths may be debunked. The health effects of a hot spa bath, however, cannot be denied!
Steam rooms are like wet saunas, using steam instead of dry heat to warm up the room. This is another spa service often touted to "flush toxins" from the body, but as usual, this claim is bunk. Instead, use steam rooms to recover after a workout! Scientific studies have shown that a steamy session can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMs -- also known as barely being able to walk for a few days after you go running. If you're trying to get in shape for your wedding day, a steam room session after exercising can help keep you from getting too sore, and can keep you working out harder.
Whether it's a facial, lotion, or a wrap, moisturizing treatments are one of the most surefire ways to nourish your skin. To be honest, facials in a general sense haven't been found to have any scientific beauty benefit, but moisturizers most definitely have. Moisturizing treatments replenish the skin, reduce fine lines and winkles, decrease puffiness around the cheeks and eyes, and generally will just help you look your best. The human body is mostly water, so some moisturization will have you looking young and healthy for your wedding day!
Massages promote circulation and reduce inflammation. That means better skin and a healthier body! Massages are also relaxing, which has a huge benefit in terms of decompressing your mind and relieving the stress of wedding planning. Whether you get a massage after your wedding fitness workout, or just to let go of some of that extra tension from trying to figure out which in-laws to invite to the wedding, massage is one of the oldest and most effective spa treatments on earth. Deep tissue, Swedish, shiatsu, you name it! They all help you unwind and reduce inflammation to your tissues.