Ever Heard of Thalassotherapy?
While SeaLuxe may be all about beauty harvested from the ocean, we’re definitely not the first to recognize the power of seaweed. Did you know its use goes all the way back to ancient times? That’s right, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used it in their heated baths as a way to draw out toxins from the body and rejuvenate skin.
In 1753, Dr. Richard Russel advocated the need to bathe in seawater, drink seawater (eeek) and eat anything marine-based. Twenty years later, in 1791, it was thought to be so effective that a hospital specializing in treatment with seawater opened in Margate, England. Patients were treated for black lung, cholera, and other skin conditions. Dr. La Bonnardière d’Arcachon coined the word thalassotherapy in 1865, deriving it from the Greek words “thalassa” meaning the sea and “therapeia” meaning treatment.
In the 1800s, thalassotherapy became the “in thing” in France, which was a destination for the wealthy. They flocked to the first warm water spa in Dieppe that opened in 1824. The first modern thalassotherapy centre opened in France in 1964 by three-time Tour de France champ Louison Bobet.
The cyclist had used thalassotherapy as part of his recovery from a car crash and was so convinced of the healing powers of seaweed and ocean water, he opened the Louison Bobet Centre at Port du Crouesty at Quiberon. It was the first of its kind that boasted the concept of health and leisure.
Thalassotherapy spas are plentiful these days – as long as they’re located near the ocean. These places are governed by strict standards set by the International Federation of Thalassotherapy. To give you an example: a spa cannot be situated more than 1000 meters from the sea, it must be located in a coastal climate, and can only use pure, clean seawater. Spas located in France must not be located 10 kilometers within a factory.
Seaweed is nourished by osmosis and, thanks to its iodine content, seaweed helps speed up the cell’s ability to exchange substances and eliminate toxins. Seaweed contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, C, D, E, and K and the amino acids in seaweed help with the development of tissue while the mineral salts help tackle sebum in oily complexions.
Some of these European spas offer eight-day stays but, if you aren’t going to France any time soon, you can still reap the benefits of seaweed and salt water with many SeaLuxe products such as our wonderful bath teas as well as the rejuvenating and deep-cleaning Seaweed Face Mask.
And if we ever get to one of these spas overseas, we'll be sure to let you know what it was like!