From thermal springs to mineral rich muds, the globe is fettered with natural beauty spots offering dramatic views and breathtaking scenery, as well as powerful skin soothers.
So if you're looking for a little more than just sea and sand, come with us on a sunshiny skincare pilgrimage...
THE DEAD SEA, ISRAEL
The ancient Egyptians were on to something when they declared the Dead Sea a healing hot spot. With 29% salt content (normal sea water has just 4%), it's thought to be the most mineral-rich water source in the world, containing 23% oxygen, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium, which combine to help treat everything from acne and inflammation to psoriasis and dehydration (of the skin). Also, being 417 meters below sea level with no humidity, it's thought a whopping 15% more oxygen goes into your brain and body too. Now that's got to help, right?
AVÉNE, LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILON REGION OF SOUTHERN FRANCE
Nestled among the Black Mountains, Avène's thermal spring water has long been credited with having a healing and naturally soothing effect on severe skin conditions. Thanks to it being rich in silica and trace elements but very low in minerals, the water has been shown to significantly ease the symptoms and effects of eczema, psoriasis, rosacea other conditions. Backed by the French health service, the Avène Dermotological Hydrotherapy Centre treats hundreds of patients every year, while the dramatic scenery isn't bad to look at either. Rolling hills of lush green forestry anyone?
DALYAN, WESTERN TURKEY
Rich in sulphur, salt, hydrogen, bromide and fluoride, even Cleopatra is said to have ditched her milk baths for a dip in Dalyan's mud. Said to cleanse, tone and exfoliate your skin with anti-ageing effects, the mud baths are sandwiched between two hot springs that deliver both heat and minerals to the muddy baths. After slathering your skin with the Dalyan mud, you then let it dry in the sunshine before soaking it off in the nearby sulphur-rich water pools. So, fancy a mud pack with a difference?
WARM MINERAL SPRINGS, FLORIDA
Long sought after by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, the Warm Mineral Springs in Florida are known in legend as the Fountain of Youth. With a natural temperature of 87 degrees, a reported 51 essential minerals including magnesium, potassium, sulphur, sodium and strontium, plus a continuos flow that never lets the water fall stagnant, the springs even have American scientists to back up the water's rejuvenating powers. Nobody does it like the Yanks, eh?
One of the most famous onsen (natural hot springs powered by volcanic activity) areas in Japan, the Beppu Onsen partly thanks dramatic mountainous scenery and a close proximity to the town of Beppu for its popularity. Along with seven other naturally heated pools nearby, a tour of the mineral rich onsen in Beppu will see your skin bathed in muds, sands and of course clear waters rich in replenishing minerals. Prepare to up your skin's iron, hydrogen, sodium chloride and sulphur intake!
What do you think? Any of these skin care pilgrimages take your fancy?
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