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Even though I thoroughly take care of my face, my body is a little lackluster. I shave my legs a few times a week, exfoliate if I use a self-tanner, and hydrate with lotion multiple times a day, but that’s about it. I make a point of dermaplaning my face once every few months, but I never thought of doing the same for the area below my neck.
One of my ex-girlfriends had what I called “dolphin skin.” I don’t think about him (or his skin) much anymore, but the first time I heard about a spa treatment called “Body Planing,” I thought, “Eventually, a VIP membership to the elusive Soft Skin Club.” I wondered if he would hand me the .
Before I got into this process, I didn’t know much about what the process would be like other than that it included exfoliation. However, people on the net claim that using this will give you softer skin than a baby’s butt, and that’s enough to convince me that I need to see what the hype is about. did. I wasn’t sure if it would involve shaving like dermaplaning, but I thought my best bet would be to try a professional treatment. So I visited the Conrad Los Angeles spa to try it out.
Upon arrival, I was shown to the treatment room where I was met by a therapist who performed a body planing. Before her treatment began, she showed me the tools she used and I must admit she looked a little intimidated. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be the Esker Body Plane Exfoliator ($45), which you can purchase for your own use at home. This is basically the latest version of the strigil, a curved blade that the ancient Greeks and Romans used to scrape dirt off when bathing. This version works just as well, but utilizes the blunt edge of sterling silver to remove dead skin while gently massaging the body.
As I lay prone on the massage table, the therapist placed steamers near my feet and legs to soften my skin. From there, we applied a detoxifying body oil and started the body planing treatment. Starting on my left toe, she slowly moved the exfoliator upward in long strokes. The purpose of moving upwards instead of downwards, she explained, is to raise the energy towards the center of the heart and stimulate the nervous system.
I was worried that the process would be painful in some way (I wasn’t kidding when I said the tool was scary), but I quickly found it to be very relaxing. . After my left leg was done, the therapist moved the steamer, then it was time to flip over, repeating the process with the opposite leg, back, and both arms.
When I lay on my back, the therapist repeated the same process, but since I chose to work on my stomach as well, I had to towel off a bit to make sure everything was covered except my belly. Before I knew it, time had passed. And although there was a gentle feeling of ‘I just got a massage’, the process was not entirely what I expected.
If you imagined “body planing” as a vigorous massage to exfoliate dead skin cells, it’s not. This treatment felt like someone was dragging an acrylic nail all over my body. There was no pain at all, and when I got up and touched my arms and legs in that order, I felt a clear difference in the feel of my skin before and after the treatment. It is visibly softer and smoother and looks a little brighter.
But what really surprised me was what was on the towel the therapist showed me after the treatment. Each time she scrubbed my skin, she wiped off the remnants of the body planing tool with a white towel. What was left was one of the most disgusting things I have ever witnessed, dirty brown skin shavings.
I hadn’t just exfoliated before booking, nor had I showered (I had spent a few hours at the hotel pool beforehand), but still what I saw on the white towel was what I expected. I thought something had happened instead of nothing. Body planing treatments, whether performed by a professional or at home, should be added to your weekly routine as soon as possible.