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What Is a Clay Body Wrap?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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A clay body wrap is a spa or at-home skin treatment in which a clay mixture is applied to the skin, and then the body is wrapped in cloth or plastic to help the mixture to fully penetrate. Several different types of clay can be used in this treatment, with the most common types being green, red, bentonite, and Dead Sea clay. This main ingredient is mixed with salt and numerous herbs, applied to the skin, and then sealed with a cloth or plastic wrap. The wrap is left on for varying periods of time before the wrap is removed and the clay mixture is rinsed off. These types of spa treatments are intended to detoxify the skin, as well as produce a slimming effect or reduce the appearance of cellulite.

The type of clay used in this body wrap varies depending on what the wrap is meant to accomplish. Green clay is most often used in wraps intended to remove toxins or impurities from the skin, and is one of the most common clays used in at-home kits. Red clay is used to even out skin tone as well as to detoxify the skin, while bentonite clay is believed to draw out toxins from not only the skin, but also the rest of the body. Dead Sea clay is often used in high-end wraps, and its moisturizing properties provide the unique combination of soothing and detoxifying the skin at the same time.

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In addition to the clay in these types of body wraps, salt and herbs are often used to provide additional skin benefits. Sea salt or kosher salt help to intensify the detoxification qualities of a clay body wrap, while herbs and other natural ingredients can provide a wide array of benefits. Chamomile, lavender, and aloe, for instance, are common additions to a clay body wrap, and can help to soothe and moisturize the skin.

For this treatment, the entire combination of clay, salt, and herbs is applied to freshly cleansed and exfoliated skin, and then strips of cloth or plastic are wrapped around the body, pressing the clay mixture firmly into the skin. The wrapping helps to trap the body’s heat, drastically increasing the effectiveness of the clay and other ingredients. As heat improves the benefits of this type of treatment, a person will often sit in a very warm room or cover up with a heated blanket while wearing a clay body wrap. After a certain amount of time, which varies depending on the ingredients used and the purposes of the wrap, the cloth or plastic is removed and the clay mixture is rinsed off.

Although the exact purpose of a clay body wrap varies depending on the type of clay used and the other ingredients added to the mixture, this spa treatment is most commonly intended to detoxify the skin or body. While clay is known to remove toxins from the outermost layer of the skin, claims stating that this type of wrap can remove toxins from the entire body are unproven as of 2011. The compression and removal of toxins is also believed to help to slim certain areas, and some people notice improvement in the appearance of cellulite following a clay body wrap. As with most skin treatments, the benefits of a clay body wrap are typically temporary unless the wrap is incorporated into a skin care routine.

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