Health & Beauty: All gain and no pain - this detox treatment is positively decadent writes Gaby Soutar

I’M NOT one for the January detoxing fad. I only have two settings: getting toxed up (which involves snacking and lazing about), and normal (relatively healthy, with an almost balanced diet)

However, when I heard that Edinburgh’s Zen Lifestyle salon was offering a New Year Detox Package, which includes a selection of four rather lovely treatments, I couldn’t help but be tempted.

This experience starts with 30 minutes of body brushing, which – according to them – works to stimulate the circulation and speed up lymphatic drainage. My therapist, Gill, used a brush that resembled a curry comb, with stiff bristles. This was whisked across the surface of my skin, front and back, including the abdominal area, but focusing on rough bits like knees and elbows.

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Then it was time for a 60-minute back, neck and shoulder massage, using Elemis’s Cellutox Active Body Oil. This zesty potion contains a detoxifying blend of sea buckthorn, sea fennel, lemon and juniper oils – a recipe that has been designed to help combat the build up of toxins. Gill is a top-notch masseuse, and utilised a combination of techniques on my upper body, which included the firm use of her forearms and some manipulation of my arms and shoulders, so she could access the cricks underneath the scapula.

Once this ended, I was turned over for my hour-long Hydrating Facial, which also incorporated a Rapid Exfoliator Peel. My skin was thoroughly cleansed, before the latter element’s vaguely stingy gel, which contains salicylic and lactic acids, was applied with the help of two giant cotton bud-like implements. These were constantly swirled across the surface of my face and, after five minutes of mild tingling, the potion was gently removed.

With my skin prepped and polished, I could be thoroughly moisturised with a soothing mask that was as thick as honey. “You can have your scalp, hands and arms, or feet massaged, while that sinks in,” said Gill. I went for the latter, as I slipped into a zoned-out state.

After ten minutes, the mask was gently removed, before a day cream with a protective SPF was daubed on to my newly exfoliated skin. I emerged from the treatment room looking as pink and fresh faced as a newborn gerbil.

This blissful package is a bargain, with a little bit of everything for fusspots. If you’re not into the whole detox thing, then think of it this way – two and a half hours of beauty therapies equals a 150 minute break from stuffing your face. That’s the only excuse you need.

New Year Detox Package 150 minutes for £65 (£150 if you were to book treatments individually)

• Zen, 84 Hanover Street, Edinburgh (0131-225 7009, Available until the end of February.

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