October 01, 2004

Salt is corrosive

Tonight I went to the Russian Turkish baths on E. 10th Street. It was my fourth time there, first time going alone.

I signed up for another Dead Sea salt scrub, this time with S . Last time, T scrubbed me down, so this time I wanted to try a woman. It was a much different experience. S explained to me every step of the process which was especially good when my skin started to sting. She is studying skin care and her scientific explanations were both interesting and a little frightening. Keep in mind that when T did the scrub there was no stinging involved.

S explained that, because she was doing it correctly, the salt was stinging because it was corrosive and burning off the top layer of my skin. Huh? What? Come again? After she slathered the corrosive agent all over the back of my body she told me to turn over. Those large grains of salt sstarted pressing into my back and were getting very warm. I was getting concerned. But I stayed the course while S rubbed more stinging salt all over my front. When she was done she wrapped me in a sheet, covered my eyes and told me I had to stay like that for 12 minutes. She warned that if the salts became too hot that I should yell for her, but just in case she couldn't get in there fast enough she left the hose for me to rinse myself off. IT WAS ALL VERY DRAMATIC and for no reason. Yes the salts were hot but their hotness leveled off. I was so relaxed lying there wrapped in salt and wet sheets I didn't want it to end.

S really knew what she is talking about. She said I shouldn't put anything on my skin that I can't eat. Instead of baby oil I should use olive, almond or sesame oil. She said I should use sour cream on my face because it has lactic acid. She then gave me a facial mask from her school that doesn't contain a single ingredient that I would want to eat.


She washed off the salt (I love being bathed - does that make me evil) packed away my left over salt and advised me that now that I'd been scrubbed I was really ready to sweat. So I did. I went into the various saunas before washing my hair and heading home.

I feel more relaxed than I've felt all week.


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