DIY Body Wraps – All of the Benefits, a Fraction of the Cost

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We’re sure you’ve seen the “before and after” photos flooding all the social networking sites. It sure looks like those fancy and expensive spa body wraps can work wonders. And they’d better, since most of them can cost upwards of $200!

But what if we told you that homemade, DIY body wraps can be just as effective, sometimes even more so, than those offered in the spas and doctor’s office?

Well, it’s true! And better yet, it’s easier than you might think to do!

What is it?

Body wraps first came to light in the 1980s, when they were referred to as “herbal wraps.” And they actually used linen sheets or pressure bandages, rather than the plastic and/or thermal blankets we use today. For the most part, they were solely for the purpose of losing inches in the form of water weight.

What does it promise?

Today though, the term “body wrap” is more all-inclusive, and are used for several very realistic and worth-while goals: detox the body, tighten the appearance of the skin, reduce the appearance of cellulite, lose inches, and hydrate and super-moisturize the skin.

Cosmetologists using body plastic wraps to treat patients

Through a specific process of exfoliation, ingredients, application, heat, and most of all, sweating, a body wrap can activate increased and improved blood circulation and skin regeneration.

And actually, the entire process can not only relax you, but cleanse and tone your skin and get you beach-body (or dinner party, or wedding, or 10 year reunion, or Friday night) ready in no time.

Does it REALLY work?

Let’s be realistic here.

A wrap…any wrap…is not a miracle cure for weight loss.

Can you temporarily lose visible inches? Yes.

How well it works depends on how much water your body is retaining, the type of wrap you choose, and how long you leave the wrap on.

Can a wrap smooth and soften your skin? Yes.

Can a wrap remove some toxins from your body? Yes. Even though the results may be temporary, it might just be the kick start you need to get in better shape. Sometimes seeing yourself looking slimmer, fitting into clothes better, even if it’s only for a short while, is all you need to visualize the end results. It might just be the incentive you need!

Why make them at home?

Mud Wrap in Spa

Why? Money, that’s why! With some everyday ingredients you can find at the grocery or health food store, you can literally save yourself a boatload of money…not to mention the sometimes awkward embarrassment of being wrapped up like Sunday leftovers by a total stranger in an office. Even if the room is drowned in soft, low light, calming music, and aromatherapy gadgets, you’re still likely to be much more uncomfortable than in your own home.

Ready to try it? Here’s what you need…

  1. Cellophane and bandages – Depending on what area you will be wrapping, you can adjust the amount of wrap/bandages you need. Start with 1 large roll of cellophane and at least 4 rolls of wrap bandages.
  2. Towels and garbage bag – It’s best to apply any mixture while standing in the shower or bath, but having some towels nearby helps to quickly clean your hands and remove any “wayward” mixture that might have dripped. And a garbage bag/can nearby when it’s time to unwrap will make clean up extra easy! (throw out the plastic wrap, keep the bandages to reuse).
  3. Wrap ingredients –
    • Essential oils and other add-ons – These will be added to any body wrap mixture, both for their diuretic effects, as well as the skin-conditioning benefits they provide. Choose from cypress, fennel, geranium, grapefruit, juniper berry, or rosemary. Also, ingredients like goat’s milk powder, whole milk powder, and apple cider vinegar are great for additional exfoliation. All should be available at your local health food store.
    • Basic ingredients for weight loss – Bentonite clay powder, Green tea. Mix 1 cup clay to 2 cups liquid green tea. Add 2 drops of any diuretic oil above.
    • Basic ingredients for cellulite – Seaweed powder, Aloe Vera, Caffeine. Use 1 cup seaweed powder, 2 cups of cold coffee (liquid, not ground), 2 drops of an anti-cellulite oil (like fennel, rosemary, or juniper).
    • Basic ingredients for detox – Bentonite clay powder, Apple cider vinegar, water. Mix 1 cup of each. You can also add 2 drops of any diuretic essential oil above.

      Mix all the basic ingredients together first, getting it to a more muddy-than-watery consistency. Then you can add several drops/teaspoons of your essential oils/add-on ingredients.

  4. Tape measure – Be sure to have a paper tape measure, pen, and paper to record the before and after measurements. Try to relax and stand exactly in the same way/position when measuring. And remember that it may take a few wraps in a row before you see the really dramatic results (1-2 wraps per week is the recommended pace for beginners).

These are just some basics here. But the good news is that there are only about 1 MILLION recipes online for DIY wraps. Pinterest is a fount of unlimited resources and ideas! Get creative!

On your mark, get set, WRAP!

  1. Exfoliate – We’re talkin’ body scrub with a loofah, bath mitt, or microdermabrasion device (like Clarisonic scrub brush) … the whole deal. Your skin is constantly shedding dead skin cells, and it’s the build-up of that that causes dullness, dryness, and uneven, unhealthy appearance.
  2. Wrap! – Now is not the time for the “more is better” approach. Wraps work best when only a thin layer of the mixture is applied. Take your time, apply with a brush or your hand, then wrap each section as you finish, before moving on the next section. And don’t wrap the compression bandages too tightly! You want it just tight enough, but not so tight as to cut off your circulation.
  3. Wait – As the plastic wrap causes your pores to open, your body begins sweating out excess water and also some yucky toxins, while the bandages work to compress the area to create the loss of inches you’re looking for. You need to stay determined here…the sweating might be an uncomfortable feeling, but just remember, the sweating is what is going to produce the results!
  4. Unwrap – Leave the wrap on each area for about an hour. When the time is up, while standing in the shower or bath, start to unwrap. Then take a warm (not hot) shower to remove the excess.
  5. Moisturize – Once all the gook is gone, dry off and slather on a good moisturizer. And be prepared to be amazed at how gorgeous, smooth and supple your skin will look and feel! Oh…and the loss of inches won’t look too shabby either!
Woman applying cream on her legs and body

Maintaining the results

Depending on the wrap, results can last up to 1 month! While consistency when applying the wraps helps to maintain the results, obviously, improving your food and fitness will be the key to really increasing and prolonging results.

There is only so much a wrap can do up against daily donuts. Remember, this could be just the incentive you need to get into better shape and adopt healthier habits.

If you love the results you see from the wraps, why not make them even better by increasing your exercise, drinking lots of water, and trying to cut down on unhealthy, processed foods?

Sometimes change isn’t easy…but it’s always worth it!

Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.