FOR MY first journey into the world of the beauty salon, a moisturising, hydrating, detoxifying, relaxing and toning treatment is not a bad place to start. The Salão Elysium in Vilamoura has a range of treatments available, from manicures to massages, cleansing to waxing, as well as providing the little known Parafango body treatment. Although advertised as a treatment for dry skin, the benefits and results, I found, went further than just moisturising my skin.
After stripping down and putting on a very attractive pair of paper pants, the treatment began with an all over exfoliation. By using a cream gel exfoliant to gently remove all those dead skin cells, Renette and Kate were preparing my skin so that it could fully absorb all the minerals of the Parafango, a mixture of paraffin wax and micronised sea mud.
The Parafango is heated to a gooey texture to be applied to the skin with what look like paint brushes. By heating the product, not only is application made easy but it allows the skin to absorb the active ingredients of the wax to the maximum and the heat really relaxes you. As the mixture is brushed on, there is no mess as it sets into a wax pretty much instantaneously. Once I had been covered head to toe, I was wrapped in tin foil (I’m sure there’s a technical term for it, but that’s the best way to describe it), with towels over the top to keep all the heat in, given a facial and then left for 15 minutes to let the Parafango do its work.
The warmth generated within the foil wrap and towels takes you to the ultimate state of relaxation and comfort. If you are an arthritis sufferer, then this is the treatment for you as the heat penetrates deep into the body, making it the perfect thermal treatment.
With the lights turned down, relaxing music in the background and the heat from the wax, any longer than 15 minutes and I would have been in the land of nod. I never realised just how relaxing these things were!
The wax is then peeled off and the treatment ends in a massage with oils especially picked for the client. What could be better than finishing of this extremely relaxing treatment but with a full body massage, using essential oils, which not only make you smell lovely but help to relax those muscles further and add that last bit of indulgence to the process.
You don’t even need to shower afterwards as the Parafango is simply peeled off. It doesn’t stick to your body hair and after removing the wax, you are as clean as when you went in, minus a few dead skin cells. The sea mud, mixed with the paraffin, deeply moisturises the skin.
Renette told me that she advertises it as a moisturising treatment but it can also be used as an aid to help with arthritis, skin rejuvenation and rehydrating dry skin. She says, due to the heat, the treatment isn’t advisable during the summer months, but if you undergo the treatment before the start of the summer and again at the end of the tanning season, your tan will look healthier and last longer.
The natural, micronised sea mud, is rich in oligo-elements, which act as detoxifiers. The re-mineralisation properties of the warm wax stimulate your lymphatic flow, drawing out toxins. It is recommended to drink plenty of water after the treatment to flush the body system and achieve further detoxification.
Renette mentioned that I might be visiting the little girls room a little more frequently after the treatment as the minerals flush out the toxins in the body – and she was right.
I couldn’t help asking if this treatment could be the answer to women’s cellulite problems, a common moan among females! The toxified fatty deposits, or cellulite, are stored within the skin tissue trapping water and inhibiting the flow of the lymphatic system, which is the body’s natural waste disposal system. The active ingredients, combined with the warmth of the Parafango, work in synergy to degrade fat and stimulate the elimination of fluids. However, this is not the answer – a healthy diet, exercise, drinking lots of water, combined with deeper treatments, such as ultrasound, are the best defence against that orange peel skin.
The treatment is simple and effective and gives lasting results. Using the regenerating powers of the earth and sea, combined with the latest active ingredients, Parafango is totally natural, simple and effective, which, unlike other lengthy treatments, is done within an hour-and-a-half.
• For more information on this treatment, or any other health and beauty products and treatment, contact Salão Elysium in Vilamoura on 289 301 768. Louise Pimm