What if you could indulge in healthful beauty treatments from around the globe without leaving Howard County?
You can if you take advantage of an array of services with roots in Austria, India, Morocco and Turkey.
Spa and salon owners tout the mind-body benefits of these treatments, which run the gamut from relaxation to invigoration — or a combination of the two sensations. Consider these worldly options when you’re ready to be pampered.
Moor Mud Body Masque
[$80 for 60 minutes]
Lynn’s Day Spa
5999 Harpers Farm Road, Columbia
Prepare to lie down and indulge in a treatment that is part massage and part detoxification. The Moor Mud Body Masque at Lynn’s Day Spa paradoxically, but wonderfully, combines relaxation and stimulation.
“Our mud is the most nutrient-filled because it comes from a rocky place in Moor, Austria, where trees and plants that are now extinct rotted a long time ago,” says spa owner and manager Lynn Shannon.
As the mud relaxes sore or tense muscles, it simultaneously stimulates circulation and improves skin texture and tone, Shannon says. Face and scalp massages can also be performed during the session.
“This is a detoxification treatment that also helps with inch loss by pulling out the toxins in skin tissues, causing them to shrink,” Shannon says. Translation: If you’re trying to fit into a smaller dress size, this treatment might help.
While it’s not a substitute for taking care of your body, “it does deal with the toxin buildup that can result from lack of exercise and proper nutrition,” she says.
Prenatal Belly Art
[$75 and up for private session]
7060 Oakland Mills Road, Suite K, Columbia
What’s in a name?
Henna is a healing plant that grows in the hot, dry climates of Morocco, India, Pakistan and Yemen, and is used for body art and for dyeing hair naturally. “Sooq” is Arabic for marketplace.
Combining the two words gave Montreal native Khadija Carryl the name for her beauty supply and body art website, which she manages from her home in Elkridge. She also recently opened a private studio in Columbia.
Carryl offers a pampering experience for mothers-to-be: She uses handmade, organic lavender henna paste to draw a complex, freehand design on a woman’s expanding belly.
“Every woman’s belly and belly button are unique, so the art is adjusted to fit,” says Carryl, who is self-taught. In about 30 minutes, she can complete her own design or one matching a client’s description or photo.
“The sensation of the design being created combined with the lavender essential oils in the henna paste make this process very relaxing,” she says of the art, which lasts 10 to 14 days.
[$100 for 60 minutes]
Oasis Day Spa
10840 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Suite 201, Columbia
If you’re prone to headaches or tension brought on by stress or allergies, it’s amazing what a stream of hot oil can do, says spa owner Gagan Deep.
Derived from an ancient Indian tradition, this treatment involves warming up a mixture of aromatic oils and then dripping a fine stream across the face and upper body from a special copper utensil, she explains.
“We can make the oil mixture lighter or heavier, depending on the client,” says Fenny Lay, a specialist at the spa. “We begin on the forehead and neck and then move down to the shoulders and upper chest.”
Then the Asian technique of acupressure is added by using fingertips to massage pressure points, she says.
“This treatment makes the client feel deep relaxation,” Deep says. “A lot of people get a sauna first so their whole body is relaxed and warm before beginning this therapy.”
Turkish Body Treatment
[$125 for 60 to 75 minutes]
Farashé the Day Spa
5570 Sterrett Place, Suite 105, Columbia
“Turkish Body Treatment has been done for thousands of years and is such a wonderfully relaxing experience,” says Yasemin Leonard, Farashé owner and skin care specialist.
“First, we apply our mineral mud all over the body by hand to really soften the skin,” she says. Clients, who are men and women of all ages, can opt to wear disposable undergarments during this treatment.
As the client rests on the massage table, the specialist uses a special glove to rub off dead skin cells. The client is then wrapped in plastic from the neck down while lying face-up on a table for 15 to 20 minutes.
After removing the plastic wrap, the specialist rinses off the mud using a Vichy shower with 10 shower heads.
“The skin is the body’s largest organ, and afterward it feels so light and clean. No skin product exfoliates the way this does,” Leonard says.
Moroccan Scalp Massage
[$15 when added to a massage or body treatment]
The Massage Boutique
8086 Main St., Ellicott City
Moroccan argan oil — made from kernels of the African country’s native argan tree — nurtures the scalp and relaxes the mind, says Genice Brown, owner of the boutique, which has been open in historic Ellicott City since March.
First, the pure imported oil is warmed up. Then it is massaged into the skin and hair follicles.
“It is unscented and has no additives, but contains natural vitamin E,” Brown says. “Vitamin E is good for moisturizing the hair and the skin, so it’s especially beneficial to someone with split ends or a dry, itchy scalp.”
The technique is considered an enhancement to be paired with one of eight massages or body treatments, which take 30 to 80 minutes and cost $55 to $85.
The way the treatment makes a client feel is just as important as its health benefits, Brown says.
“Who doesn’t like to get their scalp massaged?” she asks. “This is a really great way to have the best of both worlds — beneficial treatment and indulgent relaxation.”