Offering a treasure trove of centuries-old beauty and holistic health treatments, Korean spas are often paradoxically tucked away in place sight in many large cities across the U.S. A traditional treatment that has been steadily gaining traction among the non-Korean population is the skin scrub, natively known as “seshin.” In contrast to the sugar and salt scrubs most Western spas offer, the seshin is not for the faint of heart, but in the end, the process is so rewarding.
What Happens During a “Seshin” Session
There are certain aspects of the Korean body scrub that may make some seshin novices shy away. First, before scheduling a scrub, it is best to mentally prepare to 1) be fully nude and 2) get up close and personal with the staff member who administers the scrub. Both men and women may receive a scrub service; however, men may only be scrubbed by male staff members, and women must be scrubbed by women. It is also worth noting that the person who administers the scrub will also likely be wearing the equivalent of a black underwear set (a utilitarian black bra with matcching full coverage briefs for women). The minimalist “uniform” is traditional for Korean scrub specialists as body scrubs are generally performed in what is known as the “wet” area of the spa in close proximity to steam rooms, hot and cold pools, and showers. During the procedure, the staff member will move the customer’s limbs and body in different positions to thoroughly scrub all parts of the skin.
What Method of Exfoliation is Used?
At the beginning of the process, the staff member rinses the scrub recipient’s body with water before buffing every inch of the skin with a coarse scrub mitt. Many regard the feeling of the level of friction as intense or even slightly painful. However, this act of deep exfoliation causes dull, gray pieces of skin to generously roll off along with trapped toxins and grime, unveiling softer, brighter skin underneath. The service usually lasts no longer than 30 minutes. At the end, the customer is advised to rinse off and may explore the rest of the Korean spa without layers of dead skin impeding the spa’s therapeutic benefits. It is important to note that while the smooth, glowing results after receiving a seshin may be downright addictive, most spas recommend having the treatment done no more than once a week.
Finding a Spa That Offers the Korean Skin Scrub
Korean spas or jimjilbangs are generally located wherever there is a Korean community. Nowadays, many Korean spas advertise on mainstream outlets and have their own websites. A basic online search is most likely to yield the closest spas that offer the traditional scrub. Asking around the Korean community while visiting a restaurant or shop may be a more social approach to conducting a search. Regardless, the extra footwork is justified by the smooth, glowing skin that is the end result of the treatment. For people who have rough skin and chronically clogged pores and those who are simply looking to maintain and detox skin that is relatively smooth and healthy, the Korean scrub is a treat that is well worth trying.