By Cal Orey
“My chocolate fantasy would be that I could eat all the chocolate in every conceivable form that I could possibly ever want and it wouldn’t do anything bad to my body or my skin or my disposition. Actually, it would have no calories at all.” --Helen Gurley Brown
Surprise. Chocolate, straight from Mother Nature’s cocoa plant, is used in posh health spas for body treatments: wraps, mask, massages. I talked to some of the well-known spa retreats, from Calistoga, California, to Reno, Nevada, and other regions around the globe to find out how chocolate works and why it is used. Chocolate soaks, bean polish, scented massage, scrubs, and wraps are part of chocolate treatments at resort spas in America and worldwide.
Chocolate Spa Beauty Treatments
Eating chocolate can make you feel better, but treating your body from head to toe with chocolate beauty treatments can make you look better, too. It’s not just a gimmick or a pampering treat—chocolate contains the real deal to help nourish your hair, skin, and nails, and much more. Chocolate treatments also soften skin, enhance your blood circulation, and zap stress and anxiety.
Indeed, there are also some all-natural compounds in chocolate that can make your skin feel silkier and even more youthful. After all, you know by now that chocolate is antioxidant rich, which is ideal for fighting free radicals in our environment, stress, and again. All-natural cocoa teamed with other natural plant extracts and essential oils can help exfoliate, soften, and even make your skin look firmer and glow.
And this is why some progressive spas around the nation and world include chocolate in their pampering spa treatments. Here, take a look at just some of the popular treatments. Prices will vary depending on the spa, region, and season. (Chocolate beauty products can be found on the Internet. Companies to contact include www.bellalucce.com and www.sweetbeautyspa.com .)
Chocolate Body Masque
This is ideal for couples who can enjoy the steps in a private room: Choose the chocolate body masque. Apply the warm chocolate body masque. Relax on a steam table. Feel the aromatic steam. An attendant will also apply a facial cleansing/moisturizing during your treatment. Finish the treatment with a special shower gel and shampoo.
A mask can contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while chocolate does its job and the sweet aroma soothes your body, mind, and spirit.
Chocolate Hydrotherapy/Cocoa Bath
Wonder what it would feel like to dip into a bathtub filled with chocolate silk bubbles? You’ll soak in a tub of warm water and enjoy the chocolate aroma of the pure cocoa, lush oils, and silk proteins moisturizing your skin from your feet to your neck.
After a pedicure and before the nail polish is put on your nails, a chocolate powder paste is heated and the warm concoction is put on both feet—top and bottom. After 10 or 15 minutes, once chocolate potion has dried, it is peeled off much like a facial masque. This, in turn, gets rid of dead cells, dry skin, and closes pores.
This popular treatment can be used with ground cocoa beans mixed with essential oils.
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Wrap
A chocolate fondue wrap is a sensual and soothing delight. But if you’re looking for something a bit more exotic, a treatment pairing chocolate and real strawberries, pure shea butter, and organic cocoa will be the ultimate body treatment.
Pamper Yourself In Chocolate
If you think chocolate spa treatments are just for fun, think again. Today’s spas offer a wide variety of pampering and healthful chocolate-related regiments, for all budgets. And more people—both men and women—are discovering the beauty benefits of chocolate.
In fact, you can even get the same treatment right at home. I have a drawer full of chocolate based beauty treatments that promise to pamper the body from head to toe. In other words, it is the next best thing to getting spa’d without spending a lot of money.
Before you get started, the night before, make this recipe and cut up seasonal fresh fruit chunks. Put in the fridge for the following day—your special beauty day.
1/2 cup half-and-half
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or pistoles
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped or pistoles
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Marshmallows, pound cake, or brownies, peppermint sticks, strawberries, bananas, raspberries, or apricots.
In saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Stir in vanilla until smooth. Pour fondue into a serving bowl or individual cups. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed. Dip the goodies!
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Chocolate