When thinking of spas in Japan, onsen usually come to mind. As much as we all enjoy a nice long soak in the hot springs, it can be nice to take advantage of other spa treatments Japan has to offer. From exfoliating treatments to head spas, there are spa services for every skin care and relaxation need. If you want to experience a new beauty treatment next time you’re at an Japanese spa, we recommend trying one of these.
Here are eight amazing spa treatments offered in Japan.
Akasuri is a whole body skin exfoliation treatment. It is offered at many onsen in Japan. Before the treatment begins, you will be asked to prepare yourself by showering and soaking in hot water for 30 minutes. The treatment begins with the practitioner pouring buckets of hot water over you. Then, the practitioner will exfoliate your skin using a sponge, nylon pads, or special gloves. After all the dead skin is sloughed off your body, your treatment will end with an oil massage and/or facial. Before you go home, the staff will remind you to drink lots of water and avoid using soap that day to keep the oils on your skin.
Massages are performed for both relaxation and healing in Japan. Massages meant to promote relaxation are offered in spas, while massages meant to help heal muscles and other injuries are performed by chiropractors or other medical professionals. Relaxation-type massages include aromatherapy, lymphatic, Thai, Hogushi, and oil treatment massages. Seitai and Seikotsu are massages meant to heal injuries. They are said to be particularly effective for neck and back pain.
The Clinical-Salon Ci:z.Labo spa in Tokyo offers a snail facial. It is supposed to relieve inflammation and exfoliate your skin. Snail facials are recommended for people who have oily or combination skin types. During the facial, live snails are placed on your face and allowed to roam around. They leave behind slime that helps make your skin smoother and more even toned. The snails used in the facial aren’t the average snail you see hanging out on the sidewalk after it rains. They are professionally grown in labs to be used in skincare treatments. As odd as this treatment seems, snails are used in skincare more than you might think. Skin creams containing snail filtrate are common in Japan and other Asian countries. It goes without saying that this is a treatment that vegetarians and vegans should skip.
Foot Spa Treatments
Foot spa treatments usually involve a combination of soaking the feet in hot water, applying oils or creams, and a massage. One variation of this that is popular in Kyoto involves soaking the feet in water with tea leaves or seasonal flowers. For the foot massage, your practitioner might use a bamboo roller or acupressure. In addition to helping those with sore feet relax, foot massages can be beneficial for people with plantar fasciitis. If you’re booking a foot spa treatment to help with this painful foot condition, it’s best to see a reflexologist that has experience working to relieve pain.
Weight Loss Treatments
Losing weight is a very common goal and there are many spa treatments to help you achieve it. Ultrasonic treatments meant to help reduce cellulite are a popular offering. There are also heat pack and wrap treatments meant to help you shed some pounds. While it might be fun to try some of these out, any weight loss is usually just from sweating out water weight. If you’re serious about losing weight, it might be better to go to a gym instead of a spa.
Head spas are quite popular in Japan. Combining both skin and hair care, head spas nourish the scalp, helping you achieve healthy and strong hair. Treatments can vary greatly depending on the spa and individual needs. That being said, head spas usually involve steam, massage, and exfoliation. One type of head spa in Japan that’s fairly unique is the sparkling water head spa. It involves washing the scalp and hair with carbonated mineral water. The treatment is supposed to help those who are struggling with dandruff, oily scalp, thinning hair, or grey hair.
Japanese spas and salons offer a variety of hair treatments. Some treatments make hair less frizzy, while other treatments make hair more shiny. Since Japan has a very humid climate, hair treatments are especially popular during the summer. One special hair treatment is steam hair conditioning. In traditional hair conditioning treatments, the treatment is applied to and coats your hair. During steam hair conditioning treatments, an ultrasonic inducer is used to transform a deep conditioning formula into steam. The steam is absorbed into the hair much better than traditional conditioning treatments are.
Trying to stay young is as common of a goal as trying to lose weight. Facials are the most commonplace anti-aging treatments. They can involve the use of ingredients like vitamin c, astaxanthin, and peptides. A spa might use an electronic device like the Meso Acthys that helps anti-aging ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin. Other treatments involve the use of LED or IPL lights or radiofrequency technology. Some spas even offer IV drips containing vitamin c.
Written by Julia Nagai.