A Detox Massage You Can Recreate At Home


Hey hey, happy Friday! Got any plans this weekend? Just making fondue and watching the Oscars? Perfect. Because I've got a suggested activity that'll take up the other 42 hours you've got to spare.

The inspiration comes from the best spa treatment I've ever experienced: the Detox Body Treatment at The Standard Spa in Miami Beach. Part massage, part body facial in their Turkish-style Hammam, there's something about this treatment that left me in such a state of bliss, I was actually ready to go back to work after my vacation. Can you imagine—so detoxed that you're ready and willing to go back to New York and retox with hours in front of the computer screen? It Happened To Me™.

Anyway, the experience was great and I hightly recommend it if you find yourself within spitting distance of Miami Beach. But, if that's not on the itinerary, no worries. I got you. Follow these steps to get the most out of your weekend, your bathtub, and all the podcasts burning a hole in your iPhone.

Step 1: Dry Brush

Is it bad that I'd forgotten all about this trend and my interest in it until a month ago? I always intended to get into it, but have spent the last 12 months focusing solely on my face and nothing else. Well, no more! The treatment starts with a rough rub-down with dry brush gloves, but at home I'm using the Mila Moursi Dry Brush that fits in the palm of my hand. Don't be afraid of it; it looks intense but it's really quite soft. Go up each leg, then up each arm, then in circles around your abdomen. I haven't figured out how to get my back without contorting myself. Consider this your granular exfoliation step and the first part of your massage. Do dry brushing vigorously enough and you'll start to stimulate lymphatic drainage and "get your circulation going." Now, if you're alive, your circulation is always going, but now it'll be going better. You're not going to lose weight after this, but you're going to feel like you did. That's the detox part of a detox massage.

Step 2: Tone

Toner for your body! My lovely masseuse Elizabeth used Biologique Recherche P50 Corps, which makes sense since it's derived from regular P50, the mother of all exfoliating toners. After she drizzled it on, she massaged it in using Biologique's patented rubber glove covered in little nubs. This part is kind of stressful, but that means it's working. You're getting deeper into the lymphatic drainage section of this process, plus encouraging that physical exfoliation with some more serious acids. You're going to glow after this.

Step 3: Mask

I don't know how to recreate this step at home without making a mess, so maybe just lean into it. Grab a thick body butter (I recommend the Kai one for this because it smells like paradise), and cover yourself in it. Let it marinate. Walk around naked for a little while. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable listening to the West Wing Weekly in the nude. Realize the answer is yes and keep going. Run a washcloth under hot water and remove when you can't stand it anymore. But don't worry—more lotion is coming up.

Step 4: Lift

Bring out that nubby glove again with your favorite lifting body lotion. Elizabeth used the Biologique Recherche Crème Réparatrice during the treatment. Do another stressful massage to get all that lifting or whatever going on.

Step 5: Take The Hottest Bath Of Your Life

This part is crucial and you can't skip it. I mean, you can, but it's the whole point of the exercise in my opinion. Run it hot. Almost too hot. When it's too hot, cool it down, but not too much because the heat is what shocks your system. While it's running, dump all your salt and oil in. Alex Beggs can advise on which oils here. For salts, I like this Detox Bath Bomb that Gwyneth Paltrow uses. This Pursoma Hot Tub Bath also seems fitting. Or just use all the epsom salts you can find. Cheap and it works.

Sit in there as long as you can muster—keep a cool washcloth on ice by your side for relief. I made it maybe 10 minutes. Which didn't seem like long, but it worked. I swanned out of the Hammam feeling like a transcendental meditation guru. So calm, I wondered, maybe it's not safe to be so relaxed all the time? So save the at-home version of this treatment for weekends—I wouldn't want you to get too far from your origins as a tense person. Never forget your roots.

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by the author.

More experiences, like how to sweat the fat right out of your body, this way.