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Healing Waters: The Trending Destinations That Are Good For Your Skin

Convalescence travel is the latest wellness practice seeing travellers visit healing locations, specifically designed to boost their wellbeing. But, did you know that there are specific skin-boosting destinations able to improve the quality of your complexion too?

Offering more than just indulgent spa treatments or an escape from your stressful day-to-day routine, these trending travel hot spots use their healing waters and other bountiful natural resources to rejuvenate your skin.

From the Dead Sea’s mineral-rich waters for soothing irritation, to the hot springs of Costa Rica for tropical relaxation, if you are struggling for inspiration for your next spa trip, make these skin-boosting destinations top of your list.

The Dead Sea, Jordan

An iconic location, the Dead Sea is renowned for its high salt concentration and mineral-rich mud making it a must-visit for rejuvenation. In fact, it is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet, with particularly high levels of therapeutic minerals, such as magnesium, calcium and potassium. That’s what makes it so easy to float in, even if you aren’t the most confident swimmer. The unique waters are not only incredibly relaxing to experience though; the minerals help boost skin hydration, leaving it feeling super soft, while the mud acts as a natural exfoliant, leaving your skin smooth and refreshed. Both can have an anti-inflammatory effect on your complexion too, making a trip excellent for anyone with skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Famous for its geothermal seawater (and beautiful social media pictures, it has to be said), the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is the perfect place to try balneotherapy – aka immersion in mineral-rich water for healing. The waters are rich in silica and sulfur – two minerals that might smell a little ‘off’, but have incredible skin-healing properties. In particular, silica helps strengthen the skin’s barrier function, leaving it hydrated and soothed, while sulfur is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. The combination of the mineral-rich water, UV light from the sun, and the exfoliating properties of the area’s mud can also help alleviate symptoms of psoriasis, and, of course, the warm, soothing waters create a serene and stress-reducing environment as well.

The Healing Hole, Bahamas

The Healing Hole on Cat Island in the Bahamas has to be seen to be believed and, as the name suggests, it has long been considered a place of healing. For adventurous types who like to discover places off the beaten track (away from conventional and crowded tourist spots) it is well-worth a visit. Only accessible by boat, the unique freshwater pond sits within saltwater mangrove swamps, and swimming in the spring water is said to help treat skin conditions and other health issues such as arthritis, due to its mineral content and refreshing water temperature. Be warned, there’s no fancy facilities nearby – you truly are out in nature here – but the caves and water networks are a tranquil and beautiful natural wonder to behold, which is a treat for your skin – and for your mind.

Tabacón Hot Springs, Costa Rica

Consisting of a series of natural thermal springs fed by the heated waters from the Arenal Volcano, a dip in Costa Rica’s renowned Tabacón Hot Springs is said to help boost hydration, stimulate circulation, and promote the elimination of toxins. Rich in skin-boosting minerals such as calcium, magnesium and silica, there are a variety of hot and cold pools and cascading waterfalls to choose from, meaning you can relax in one, or dart between them for some hot-cold therapy. The springs are part of a resort, so reservations are required and it does get busy, but the benefit is that a visit also includes treatments, restaurant options and even swim-up bars, leading to an indulgent once-in-a-lifetime outdoor spa experience, surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. Evening visits are also recommended, as the space is illuminated by a magical soft lighting as the sun goes down, making for some gorgeous ‘Golden Hour’ photographs.

Thermal Baths, Budapest

If skin-boosting rest and relaxation is on your agenda for your next European city break, make Budapest your destination. The capital of Hungary is famous for its thermal baths, fed by natural springs that have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits. There’s numerous spa sites to choose from too. There’s the stunning Neo-Baroque architecture of Széchenyi Thermal Bath, with its indoor and outdoor pools; the joint pain-relieving waters at Gellért Thermal Bath; and the wealth of the quieter, historic Turkish baths too – all of which benefit from mineral-rich thermal waters to hydrate and detoxify your skin. Team this with the Turkish tradition of steam rooms, hot pools and exfoliating scrubbing treatments, and the experience can help prevent clogged pores, flush out toxins, and leave you with brighter-looking skin. Just what you need if your busy schedule has been dulling your complexion.

Safaga, Egypt

A coastal town located on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, Safaga has become a go-to destination for travellers looking for skin healing and overall wellness, due to its famously mineral-and-salt-rich waters, natural hot springs and warm, desert climate. It’s eye-catching black sand – a particularly memorable feature of the area – is said to be high in joint-soothing minerals, and it’s also worth a visit to enjoy the popular practice of thalassotherapy which involves the use of seawater and other ocean-based ingredients such as seaweed to soothe and nourish your skin. Whether you choose to wallow in the mud with friends, indulge in a seaweed wrap, or soak in a seawater bath, Safaga offers a unique and entertaining experience that has also been shown to help soothe irritation-based skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.

Onsen Bathing, Japan

The tradition of onsen bathing is an integral part of Japanese culture, and soaking in the sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and potassium-rich waters of the country’s geothermal hot springs is said to have multiple skin-healing benefits. These include boosted skin hydration and exfoliation, as well as improved circulation, and an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help acne, eczema and joint pain. For the best experience stay at a ryokan, or Japanese inn, which tend to have onsens in picturesque mountain and forest-locations. They’re often inherently linked to forest bathing, an ancient Japanese process of relaxation, which involves surrounding yourself with the peace and quiet of nature; the technique is designed to help reduce stress and burnout, especially when combined with the slow, thorough body cleansing treatments that are recommended as part of Japanese bathing therapies.

Roman Baths, Bath

Dating back nearly 2,000 years, the Roman Baths in Bath combine historical significance, architectural beauty, and skin and wellness benefits, so it’s no surprise that the iconic spa town is such a favourite with wellness seekers. The bubbling, naturally-flowing thermal spring that flows underneath the city is laden with minerals such as calcium and sulfate, and while the original baths are now a no-swim tourist attraction, more modern spa experiences mean you can still reap all the benefits. The most famous of these is the nearby Thermae Bath Spa with rooftop thermal pools and incredible views of the whole area. Here you can sample the ancient healing waters and engage in a wide-selection of pampering treatments. The nearby Pump Room, which was frequented by Jane Austen, is well-worth a visit for refreshments post-dip.

Tikitere, New Zealand

The world-famous geothermal park, Hell’s Gate, or ‘Tikitere’ in the Maori language, is a sight to behold with its boiling mud pools, steaming fumaroles, and 35-foot Kakahi Falls waterfall. One of the most active geothermal areas in New Zealand, visitors can immerse themselves in therapeutic mud baths to exfoliate and detoxify their skin, and improve their circulation and skin hydration in the sulfur hot pools. Sulfur also has soothing properties and can help with oil regulation, making Hell’s Gate another of the leading skin-boosting destinations for soothing inflamed complexions, including acne-prone skin. For further indulgence, take the opportunity to experience one of the mud wraps and massages at the on-site spa facilities, as these all use the famed skin-nourishing ingredients from the local area.

Additional research: Shira Frankl; Lead photo credit: Blue Lagoon

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