When a neat brown box arrived on my desk, it naturally sparked intrigue … followed by confusion as opening it revealed a sachet of salt and and a large net filled with dried seaweed.
I have long been a fan of VOYA, this is the brand that harvests seaweed from the Irish coast, freeze dries it, and packages it along with all its nutrients, so that the rest of us can bathe away our toxins in the comfort of a spa, our own homes, or anywhere that will permit you to fill the tub with marine plant life.
It is a tradition that spans more than 100 years in Strandhill, Co. Sligo, and has remained something of a skincare pilgrimage thanks to its organic properties. However, since the original concept was developed, VOYA, has also taken the seaweed essence and transplanted it into a number of other products including herbal teas, massage oils, soaps, and moisturisers.
Despite being a fan, I had not yet sampled the seaweed baths for which it is famed, and while I am not entirely sure what I was expecting, what arrived in that unassuming box, really did come as quite a surprise.
This has happened to me a few times of late – someone tells you a product is natural, organic, filled with the goodness of Mother Earth, and yet for some reason I think Mother Earth must smell of essential oils and summer fruits. She doesn’t, I can now categorically point out; she smells like seaweed.
So the way the Lazy Days seaweed baths work is that you pour the salt into the running bathwater, and then soak the net of seaweed in it as well, which will rehydrate it and bring it back to life so that you are faced with the prospect of basking in a relocated seabed. The hot water releases the plant’s alginate properties, and if you squeeze it, more of the gel oozes forth.
I have to confess, both the appearance and the smell do not make for a relaxing soak, they are quite off putting in fact – at least to start; but settle in with a good book for a while, and you do soon forget about the less appealing aspects, as any agitated areas of skin feel soothed. The gel from the seaweed feels instantly healing, and I don’t believe that that is a conciliatory perception I have developed, as for several days afterwards it appeared moisturised and less agitated by the biting winds that have been hanging around to the very end of the winter months.
Equally, there is something very reassuring about the earthy nature of the product. This is something you can be assured is chemical free, a factor that’s pretty hard to find, and something that is reiterated by the recommendation that after three uses you can use the seaweed as a fertiliser on the garden – so that’s nice.
The purpose of the seaweed bath is to moisturise the skin, to aid Detox, and help reduce cellulite. I think a few more baths are going to be necessary before the cellulite is sent packing, but in the meantime, the immediate effects of the seaweed on winter ravaged skin is enough to keep me interested …
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