When I initially pondered the prospect of a seaweed body wrap, it evoked childhood memories of slipping on slimy tendrils on the beach, running screaming from the sea as they slid over my feet. But now, being an (ever so slightly) more mature adult, I have learnt to appreciate the humble weed, thanks to an eye-opening experience at London’s Landmark hotel with Irish seaweed beauty brand Voya.

Voya has grown from a family-run seaweed-bath business, based on the coast of Ireland, to be the first certified-organic beauty range that harnesses the natural beauty benefits of the humble ocean weed. The seaweed bath was a well-loved tradition in Ireland throughout the 20th century, fabled for its detoxifying and restorative properties. Voya’s Seaweed Body Wrap is the modern-day, luxury-infused version of this, using hand-harvested, certified organic weed sourced from the Atlantic sea.

voya products

The body-wrap treatment itself is 90 minutes of pure stress-busting indulgence. At London’s Landmark hotel, it begins with a firm body-brushing session, which stimulates blood flow, and a coarse body scrub that sloughs away dead skin cells. A warm shower follows, washing away the grains while leaving the oils to soak into the skin.

Next up is the weed itself. The smell is, thankfully, more akin to a salty day by the beach, than a plate of sushi, and while the pungent air may once have caused me to run away screaming, the fragrance was remarkably soothing. My arms and limbs are wrapped tightly in the hot seaweed strips and mummified in cotton, allowing the minerals and nutrients to sink deep into the skin. It’s at this point that it becomes incredibly hard to stay awake. The warmth of the weed, combined with a soothing Espa scalp treatment and a firm head massage, is delightfully soporific.

seaweed

Once I’ve woken up (a little) the leaves are removed and my skin is left feeling incredibly fresh and supremely moisturised – my legs, in particular, are glowing. Now, where did I put my hotpants?

The Voya Seaweep Body Wrap is available at the Landmark Hotel, London, as well as destinations around the UK. For a full list of spas, see here.

Words: Roberta Lister

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