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It’s a wrap ... and a holiday for your skin

Body wraps can help detoxify the body as well as leave skin soft, smooth and healthy

Posted: February 5, 2009 11:09 p.m.
Updated: February 6, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Aesthetician Cari Karratti prepares to apply warm Sedona mud to the body before the wrap.

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As a kid, I never liked playing in mud. Some decades later, I've had a change of heart.

Lying on a heated bed, wrapped in mud, plastic and blankets, an eye pillow blocking out any light, I was transported from Balance Point Spa in Canyon Country to a sunny, tropical isle, complete with birds chirping and soft yet festive music in the background. My skin a-tingling, my mind empty of the usual chatter, it was a half hour of blissful calm, a mini-holiday. Oh, and unlike some vacations, it's good for you, too.

"The skin is the largest organ in the body and mud wraps help the lymphatic system excrete the bad stuff that gets stored in our pores. Getting a mud wrap draws impurities and toxins from your skin, improving circulation, while adding minerals and nutrients back," said Balance Point Spa owner Karen Maleck-Whiteley.

Given a disposable black bra and panty set to wear during the treatment, I laid face down while aesthetician Cari Karratti brushed my body all over to exfoliate dead skin cells. It was an invigorating start.
Next it was mellow mode as Karratti took a brush to paint the warm mud onto my skin, a relaxing sensation similar to a hot oil or lotion massage. Little happy tingles began to spring up in reaction to the iron-rich Sedona mud, which smelled like ginger and was about the same shade. This was not the same stuff found in the suburban backyard of my youth.

As Karratti worked her magic, I asked her about the popularity of mud treatments.

"It's a seasonal thing," she said. "In the summer, people are more body conscious and want their skin to look good. That's when we do a lot of wraps, especially the M'Lis."

For $105, the M'Lis Body Contour Cellulite Detox Treatment takes body wrap benefits a step further. The niacin and herbal formula works externally to internally, aiding in the removal of wastes trapped in connective tissue underneath the skin due to poor circulation, also known as cellulite. The M'Lis guarantees a loss of four to 14 inches in a 2-hour treatment; clients are measured before and afterwards.

Definitely something to consider when bathing suit season approaches.

Back in Mudland, I flipped over on my back while Karratti used her hands to apply mud to my arms, stomach, and legs, using long, even strokes. I was then sheathed in plastic, which I never imagined as a particularly comfortable substance to spend a long period of time wrapped up in, but the mud provided a barrier and it became something of a second skin. Layers of blankets were piled atop the plastic and I was, as they say, snug as a bug in a rug.

A grown woman taking a nap in the daytime felt somewhat scandalous, so I struggled to stay awake and think deep thoughts for a while, but it was no use. Soon, I was asleep, the deliciously narcotic kind that involves drooling.

A faint knock brought me back to reality. Karritta was ready to open Michelle en papillote. As the blankets and plastic were removed, I felt a bit of a chill, a sensation soon replaced with comforting hot towels removing every trace of mud, followed by an oil rubdown.

After all this attention, my usually dry, neglected skin felt like someone else's: smooth, tight and moisturized. It was heaven for $100.

On my way out, Karratti suggested I drink lots of water to help flush away toxins released during the treatment. While chugging bottled H20 in the parking lot, I began to calculate a new personal budget in my head, one that made room for regular mud wraps.
Balance Point Spa is located at 18285 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country. For more information, call (661) 252-0560 or visit


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