Americans and the Japanese both live hectic lives, as modern society places stringent demands on members of both cultures. As such, each has developed its own way to unwind. In America, haggard business professionals turn to the spa to relax and melt away stress. In Japan, busy workers visit the Onsen to regain their inner calm. Both the Onsen and the spa have skin care benefits and provide a relaxing way to deal with the cares and concerns of modern life.
What Is the Japanese Onsen?
The Japanese Onsen is a tradition that has been around since ancient Japan. Since Japan is built on a bunch of volcanoes, there are numerous hot springs on its islands. These hot springs are filled with minerals that seep from the volcanic rock that they must travel through. The water is naturally warm and the minerals are believed to have healing properties. The people of Japan soak in these hot spring baths in order to benefit from the mineral content of the water.
Each Onsen has its own unique mineral makeup, and this will change the effect it has on the body. The Japanese have been using Onsen water for centuries to maintain beautiful skin. It also has the ability to ease pain and muscle tension.
While the Japanese Onsen bath is filled with only hot springs mineral water, the Onsen tradition has spread to other continents where this water is not available. While these baths may be artificial, the water still carries the minerals and warmth that makes it excellent for the skin. Many Onsen combine the mineral baths with traditional spa services, such as facials and massages, to create a total skin care package.
What Is an American Spa?
American spas are a bit more diverse than the Japanese Onsen. The Onsen focuses primarily on the hot springs bath, but a spa offers a variety of treatments, many of which are focused on skin care. In America, one of the most popular spa treatments is a massage, which does not directly impact the skin. However, most spas also offer facials, body wraps, and salt glows, among other treatments.
A facial is the most popular skin care treatment available at an American spa. Facials start with a basic skin cleansing, followed by exfoliation, extraction of blackheads, a facial massage, facial mask, and creams. The facial can be tailored to meet a variety of purposes, including age defense, wrinkle fighting, and a simple cleansing facial.
A salt glow is a whole body treatment available at a spa. It, like the Onsen bath, uses the power of minerals. It is basically a salt scrub that helps hydrate the skin by combining sea salt with oil and aromatherapy oils. This mixture is rubbed into the skin and then rinsed off. This is followed by moisturizer, leaving the skin soft and smooth. The treatment is sometimes followed by a body wrap with either seaweed or mud, which helps detoxify and increase circulation.
Which Is Better?
So is there a better treatment when comparing Japanese Onsen and the American spa? It is hard to say, as both use minerals and water to hydrate and exfoliate the skin. An American spa offers more options to the visitor, but to many the simplicity and natural nature of the Japanese Onsen are appealing. Both will give your skin an added glow and help you reduce your stress levels. The warmth of the Onsen water and the benefit of the scrubbing and massage of an American spa both increase the body’s circulation and help remove toxins, which makes the skin look more healthy. If you have the chance to try both, go ahead and do so. You will enjoy the benefits of each and then be able to decide which is the best match for your skin care needs.