WHAT I TRIED The Super Detox at the SensAsia Urban Spa, Dubai. The treatment is described as "a last-minute, de-bloating treatment using galvanic and faradic stimuli, algae-rich ivy and kelp to detox your body, resulting in the perfect pre-swimwear watershed from your thighs to your abdomen." WHAT I WANTED If I'm honest, self-control has never been my thing. There is just a certain charm about the forbidden that makes it so remarkably desirable. As my mother once said, "the conscience whispers, but the desire for more screams". I like a quick-fix, the cheat's way to putting my wrongs to right, so when I heard of this treatment to rid my body of its toxins (and, believe me, there are many, but more on that later), I was sold, and off I went, faster than I can polish off a cream bun. I wanted Elle Macpherson when she was described as "the body", for my skin to feel like taut velvet, and to watch with glee as those tenacious little toxins march out of my system like defeated soldiers. But I would settle for getting rid of unwanted water retention, general puffiness and to feel, well, just a little bit better.
WHAT HAPPENED The treatment began with an exfoliating Urban Balance Salt Scrub, removing dead skin cells. This is almost painful, and the salt feels like mighty big chunks of the stuff, but afterwards I have to admit I have never felt my skin so smooth. I then showered - one of four showers during the treatment, which must be some sort of record for an hour and a half. Next came the application of a warm body mask, containing a complex mix of sea plants, algae and aromatherapy oils. The mixture was applied like a paste to my body in wonderful, deep massage movements, and the oils are left to draw out the toxins. I was then cocooned in a warm wrap and left to "detoxify". As I lay there covered in algae, wearing nothing but paper pants and wrapped in tinfoil - I did feel ridiculous, like the subject of a scientific experiment or a basted turkey ready for the oven. In a mantra, I reminded myself of why I was doing this: "inch loss, inch loss".
After a while I started to feel hot and sticky, like being in a sauna, which I am told is a good thing. However, I became slightly nervous when, as she removed the foil and surveyed my body, the therapist shook her head and muttered, "very toxic ma'am, very bad". Then I saw that my was skin covered in a strange substance, which I was told (with some glee) was the layer of toxins that had worked their way out. I admit to having been called many things before, but a walking toxin has to be a first and I felt rather ashamed as I sloped into my last shower like a dog who has just been kicked.
THE VERDICT Primarily, this treament has been been something of a revelation. I am much more aware of what I put into my body since the "toxic" comment, and although I was warned that to see a visible difference I would need to take at least three sessions, I am amazed to notice that in the days following the detox, my skin is noticeably smoother and my jeans that little bit looser. And that is just the right kind of quick fix for me. Katie Trotter
The Super Detox lasts 90 minutes and costs Dh485 at SensAsia Urban Spa, The Beach Club 1 Al Nafura, Shoreline Apartments, The Palm Jumeirah. Call 04 422 7115 or see @email:www.sensasiaspas.com