Zanzibar Body Scrub Gone Wrong

Zanzibar Body Scrub Gone Wrong

When I travel, I like to try local beauty and wellness traditions. My most recent experience was a spa treatment in Zanzibar. My treatment of choice? A Bridal body scrub. I'd like to consider myself a body scrub expert, and what better way to prepare for a special occasion than to get scrubbed down. Usually, brides undergo this service multiple times before their big day. I imagine that brides like to be smooth and detoxified as they transition into wifehood.

I happened upon this opportunity as I walked past a little hut on the beach. I'd never tried this before and was hesitant, but after being in the hot sun all day, the idea of someone else rubbing an exfoliator all over my body was hard to resist.

Now, I have exceptionally sensitive skin. I created Sugar Plum Scrubs for this very reason. The Lavendula Tea - Tea Tree and Lavender Body Scrub is a gentle exfoliator that helps to both cleanse and moisturize the skin.  Body scrubs, depending on the exfoliant included, can sometimes be very abrasive.  I also have quite a few allergies to different products. But who can say no to a spa treatment on the beach, I went ahead and took the risk.

Wrapped in a towel, I watched as the ladies mixed up a paste using a powder that looked very ominous. I wasn't sure what to expect as I laid on the massage table.

Once they started to rub my skin, I felt instant regret. Not only did this burn, but they had heavy hands. I didn't cry, but I definitely felt a layer of skin being removed from my body.

It didn't stop there. After the initial paste was finished being applied, I watched them mix large granules of sugar with water, essential oils, and some honey. Now, this mix looked less questionable than the first. As they mixed it with their hands, I just wondered how I was going to manage being brutally massaged again.

I made it through the second round of bodily torment and nearly jumped off the massage table when they began to rinse the scrub off my skin.

Looking back, I'm realizing that this scrub experience was too much for my sensitive skin. Unfortunately, I broke out all over my body. I'm just grateful that I've healed.

Here are some post-treatment tips that I wish I had followed. 

  1. Moisturize: After a body scrub, your skin may feel a bit dry. Apply a gentle and fragrance-free moisturizer to hydrate and soothe your skin. Look for ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, or chamomile to help calm any irritation.

  2. Avoid Fragranced Products: If you have allergies, it's best to steer clear of heavily fragranced lotions or creams. Opt for hypoallergenic and fragrance-free products to minimize the risk of any adverse reactions.

  3. Wear Loose Clothing: Tight clothing can rub against freshly exfoliated skin and cause irritation. Choose loose, breathable fabrics to give your skin some breathing room and prevent further discomfort.

  4. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Hydration is essential for maintaining healthy skin, especially after exfoliation.

  5. Sun Protection: If the body scrub exposed new layers of skin, it may be more sensitive to the sun. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin when going outdoors.

  6. Listen to Your Skin: If you notice any unusual redness, itching, or irritation after the body scrub, it's crucial to pay attention to your body's signals. If the discomfort persists or worsens, consider consulting a dermatologist.

  7. Take a Lukewarm Shower: Hot water can exacerbate sensitivity, so opt for a lukewarm shower to avoid further irritation. Also, refrain from using harsh soaps immediately after a body scrub.

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