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Extreme Beauty: Cold wrapping


Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Each fortnight Extreme Beauty investigates what's new and cutting edge in the battle to remain young and beautiful. This week, in a desperate effort to slim our hips we tried to beat the fat cells using a treatment known as Cold Wrapping.

What is it?

A super cold slimming treatment designed to target problem areas by draining the fat cells and firming skin. As well as being a shock to the system, the wrap also contains seaweed, ivy, mineral salts and horse chestnut, which combine to boost cellular renewal, strengthen the capillaries and stimulate cellular exchange. The end result - a far slimmer and much cooler new you.

What's the procedure?

After being fitted with a cap to protect your hair and a towel to protect your modesty, the treatment begins with a consultation aimed at targeting the worst affected areas. Skin is then dry brushed for circulation and a slimming gel is applied to the worst bits. Bandages soaked in mineral salts and a menthol solution are then applied and the treatment begins to get to work. The ingredients in the soak cause the skin to cool, cold at the beginning, cold in the middle and beyond freezing at the end. After 10 minutes that feel like 10 hours the bandages are peeled away.

How does it feel?

Like nothing you've ever experienced. Like crawling into a bath full of ice cubes but worse, far worse. After the bandages are removed, the cold stays in the bones for hours afterwards and even hot tea and a warm duvet don't seem to get rid of the chill factor.

The benefits ... real or imagined?

Thankfully real. Thighs and hips are left feeling energised and look more streamlined. Excess water and toxins are eliminated and the dreaded bloat seems to disappear as if by magic. Some claim to have lost as much as an inch after a course of treatments although for this reviewer even the thought of going back brings me over in a cold shudder.

The downside?

If being wet and cold is something you only reserve for January trips to the zoo, this probably won't be high on your list of priorities.

The warmer blooded amongst you may just scrape through this but to be quite frank only the most hardened beauty sadist would take two steps forward for this one.

Extreme rating?

Any beauty treatment that requires repeated chanting of 'pain is gain' to get you through can only be for the diehard beauty fan. On the other hand, if being cold for a few hours is more favourable than shunning the biscuit tin for a month it may be worth it. If all that weren't enough, the final sting in the tail comes when you discover at the end of the treatment that there is a 'hot wrap' version with paprika which does much the same job!

How much does it cost?

The treatment is available at the Nuala Woulfe Beauty Salon in Sandycove and costs €50. Call (01) 230 0244 to book.