Kokum butter? Do you mean cocoa butter?
Not cocoa. Kokum is an ingredient most often used in Indian kitchens to soothe palates in the form of a chilled sherbet or sol kadi, but the humble pod also soothes tired skin. The new menu at the recently renovated Rejuve spa, which offers Ayurvedic and international massages, now includes quintessentially Indian ingredients. So basil and marigold, which are combined with Himalayan white sand to help break down cellulite and slough away dead skin, have made their way into a scrub. I picked the Rejuve Experience package, which comprises a deep tissue massage, a kokum butter and honey wrap, and a facial.
How do they do it?
My masseuse, Kevi, began by briefly covering my feet with a towel soaked in warm water, making my toes tingle even before the massage had commenced. Soon a mix of rose and geranium oil was massaged onto my skin. Pesky thoughts of pending assignments blurred with its heady aroma. Kevi worked her way up, loosening knots and soothing tired muscles. She paid extra attention to the area between my left shoulder and neck, which had turned sore from regularly carrying a heavy bag. An organic fruit scrub did away with the dead skin on my face, followed by a thick layer of kokum butter. Finally, it was time to get wrapped.
Was it as refreshing as the drink?
It really was. For my skin. I moved to a bed with steamers attached to it. Those who think that the kokum butter, honey and milk used for the wrap will be freshly prepared like I had assumed, will be somewhat disappointed. All the products are bottled by skincare brand Forest Essentials. My arms, legs and torso were liberally covered with the gloopy concoction. I then lay down, swaddled in Turkish towels, contemplating life in a cloud of hot air.
After the steam session, Kevi washed off the wrap using a shower-head attached to the steam bed. Inertia had set in thanks to her skilled ministrations and sitting up seemed especially arduous. Finally, I waddled over for a long, hot shower.
Does the treatment deliver its promise of smooth skin?
Yes. It had removed all the dead-skin deposits. My skin definitely felt softer and had even acquired a glow. The Rejuve Experience is a load of TLC for dry, chapped skin.
Rejuve experience, 2 hours 30 min, R5,500.
By Mithila Phadke on November 11 2011 4.30am