Ever since Charolette Cho gave a rundown of jimjilbang (Korean spas) in her book, The Little Book of Skincare, I’ve had a serious case of the wanderlusties.
I’d love to be planning a trip right now to go visit one and indulge in all the hot herbal baths, cold plunges, and suanas, all while munching on killer Korean delicacies, but no, no naengmyun and patbingsoo in a hot tub for me.
Ironically, out of the all the glorious assortments of treatments, the simplest one caught my eye: the K-spa body scrub.
Even when there are clay suanas with literally a warm clay bubble pit to bury yourself in, I’m all for having a person in, (I must quote Cho as she says it best) “maximum-coverage black granny panties” scrub my entire body down with an Italy cloth until little grey pills of dead skin fall off. Jade steam room? Nah, not when I could be scrubbed!
Now, it’s not the granny panties drawing me in here, it’s the level of exfoliation that happens with these aforementioned Italy cloths. Cho in her book, and a large number of people on the Interweb, always recount and emphasize the ridiculous amount of dead skin sloughed off their bodies with these babies.
Large balls of dead skin coming off my body? Where do I sign up?
Since a trip to NYC or Seoul is not exactly in my budget, I went about acuring the next best thing to this K-spa treatment a la broke college girl: Amazon. Two days later and a package of 8 Italy cloths were in my greedy paws.
While it’s true that you can just stand in a piping hot shower for a few minutes, get to work, and see some results, for maximum effectiveness (and skintertainment), it’s best to soak in a bath with water as hot as you can stand it anywhere from 15/30 minutes to an hour. By soaking in hot water, dead skin has a chance to soften and separate from the healthy skin below. The longer you allow this to happen, the more skin can come off.
I boiled myself in the tub for a solid 45 minutes before letting the Italy cloth anywhere near my skin. Go big or go home is the motto here. What Cho and everyone else was saying was delightfully true. Big grey balls of dead skin were just rolling off like some sort of giant Baby Foot peel for the entire body.
I’m not exactly a walking callous, but man, this thing made my skin feel INCREDIBLE! I lost about a small child’s worth of dead skin off my legs alone, and the remaining skin on my body was that of a newborn’s behind. Like, I won’t ever need to moisturize again type of soft.
Where have these things been all my life?
It also made everything very shiny as well-another side effect of the scrub people always mention.
Since I got the green type of towels-the roughest- most people recommend to use them only on the body and not on the face. I very gently (key words here) used it on my face with a ton of foaming cleanser. The results were again, amazing and baby soft, but I definitely agree: if something is rough enough to take off my foot skin with ease, it really shouldn’t go anywhere near that delicate facial skin.
So while I don’t have some auntie in black granny panties scrubbing me down until my skin is redder than a strawberry, I can still achieve that enviable softness at home on the cheap. For skin this soft and shiny, these things are well worth the 5.49$.