Extreme Beauty : The Cleopatra Milk Bath
Each fortnight Extreme Beauty investigates what's new and cutting edge in the battle to remain young and beautiful. This week we make like an Egyptian queen in our search for eternal youth and beauty.
What is it?
A luxury milk bath infused with rose and geranium essential oils.
What does it do?
Milk has been proven to work wonders on the skin. The lactic acid in milk is an alpha hydroxy acid, which, as well as hydrating and nourishing the skin, also works as a natural emulsifier which dissolves the glue that holds dead cells together with newer cells.
This aids regeneration and acts as an aid to younger, fresher skin.
Who likes it?
Anyone called Elizabeth. There is no actual archaeological evidence to suggest Cleopatra favoured bathing in asses' milk but it seemed to work for Elizabeth Taylor, Elisabeth of Bavaria and Elizabeth I of England.
What's the procedure?
Quite simple really. You head along to the Mandala Day Spa in Dublin where a magnificent Carrera marble bath of warm milk and sensual oils awaits for your pleasure. Swirling a delicate hand in the milk to make room amongst the floating rose petals, you slide in for 30 minutes of warm, sensuous decadence.
What does it feel like?
Surreal and sublimely relaxing. Once the novelty of lying in warm milk has subsided, your attentions turn to the private bathing area. Silks, dark polished woods and bamboo of the Balian inspired decor are wonderfully relaxing and the heat, rose scents and enchanting Thai music lull whatever might be left of your senses. Bliss.
The benefits - real or imagined?
Very much real and very much imagined! After 30 minutes in the tub my skin felt nourished, smooth and incredibly supple. Lost amongst the warmth of the giant marble bath and surveying the candle-lit luxury of the decor left me feeling as if I were floating away in the dark heart of a Sumatran jungle. It's a bit different from my usual Sunday night routine and even thinking about it makes me sleepy.
Going home. Although 30 minutes seems like ample time normally, you simply will not want to get out of this bath and go back to your normal life and your normal house. Leaving the sensual delights of my own private oasis and walking through the deserted aisles of the Ilac shopping centre on my way home was profoundly depressing - whatever you do, go directly home.
Very extreme. Although the treatment itself is bliss, the decadence factor of bathing in milk and rose-petals is quite real. A peak into what true luxury feels like will play havoc with your sense of comfort. Just looking at my bathroom afterwards made me want to clasp a snake to my breast. I have decided to redecorate.
The Cleopatra Bath treatment is available from the Mandala Day Spa Dublin and costs €45 for 30 minutes. For more information visit www.mandala.ie