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Body wraps

Cocooning yourself into a wrap may make you feel like a mummy, but it may also stimulate circulation and ultra-moisturize your skin.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: August 9, 2016

Body wraps involve applying a treatment to the skin, then wrapping the body tightly in towels. Typical treatments include mud, salt, algae, seaweed, caffeine, clay, shea butter and moisturizing lotions, or sometimes several of the above. Some wraps even employ actual foodstuffs like chocolate and honey. Body wraps are often advertised as a nonsurgical method of slimming the body and tightening the skin, including reducing the appearance of cellulite.

Body wraps may indeed temporarily shrink waists and thighs. This reduction is due to water loss and will return within days, if not hours. While wraps can moisturize and smooth the skin, there is no evidence that they affect cellulite or “purge toxins,” as many advertise. However, clay-based wraps may reduce acne on the body.

People typically get body wraps because they hope to lose inches temporarily (perhaps for an event like a wedding) or to suppress cellulite. Body wraps work by wrapping the body in towels or plastic after the application of moisturizers or clay to the skin, then adding heat. The wrap works by causing temporary water loss, which can help you drop pounds and inches.

The weight and mass will come back over the next few days. The moisturizing lotion in body wraps, as well as additions like caffeine, can temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite by plumping the skin, but they cannot eliminate the dimples for long.

Who's Done It?

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres received a body wrap to prepare for the Oscars. Model Tyra Banks tried one out for her talk show as well.