"Bali beauty rituals have been forming over centuries and are based on traditional JAMU medicine. Knowledge about beauty, plants, and their impact on the human body has been passed down from generation to generation and has not lost its relevance to this day. Fortunately for the residents and guests of the island, traditional SPA centers can be found on Bali, which still operate with grandmother's recipes and will gladly perform various procedures for you."
1. Traditional Balinese massage
This is a basic massage in Balinese culture. It includes techniques from traditional schools of India and China, works with muscles, relaxes pain points, stimulates nerve endings, and relaxes while reducing pressure. It is performed using massage oil.
Naturally, for a good massage, it's recommended to visit reputable salons. Beach masseuses will likely just apply oil and give you a pleasant rubdown. Don't expect therapeutic or healing effects. Although, lying on the warm sand, it's tempting to have a little back massage too.
Read: Good massage in Bali.
Shirodhara is more of an Indian procedure, but since Hinduism is the main religion on the island, Shirodhara is very popular. During the procedure, warm oil is poured onto your forehead in the area of the third eye for an hour. As it flows through your hair, it brings many positive effects.
Shirodhara effectively calms the mind, positively influences everything happening in the head on both physiological and subtle levels, relieves headaches, neck and olfactory syndromes, dispels insomnia, alleviates nervous disorders, and overall tension.
3. Enzyme papaya wrap
This procedure is performed over the entire body. Papaya is fermented in a special way, its juice undergoes fermentation, resulting in substances that are very beneficial for the skin. There is no need to fear an unpleasant odor; the mixture itself smells quite good.
Such wraps have a very positive impact on the condition of the skin, eliminating toxins and excess fluids from the body. Nutrients easily penetrate the skin into the body and stimulate the lymphatic system.
For centuries, Balinese women have used this method to combat skin rashes and diseases, ranging from cracked heels to ringworm.
4. Mandi lulur
Balinese people adopted this ritual from the ancient inhabitants of Java. Mandi lulur is a body scrub accompanied by floral baths, used by Balinese women as a regular beauty ritual. It is also a mandatory procedure for preparing a bride for the wedding ceremony.
The scrub itself is made from a mixture of rice flour, turmeric, and yogurt. This combination effectively cleanses and exfoliates the skin. The scrub is applied to the body with large circular massage movements, and then washed off in a bath filled with flowers and aromatic oils.
The scrub serves as a natural exfoliant and contains hydroxy acids. It brightens the skin and nourishes it with beneficial nutrients. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that fights acne, helps with the appearance of spots, eczema, and overall skin dryness.
Mandi lulur is also a natural peel. It treats the entire body, moisturizes it, and makes the skin soft and elastic. The procedure is also excellent for sunburned skin, as the scrub removes irritation and soothes it. In general, it is a versatile and multipurpose beauty ritual.
5. Cream bath for hair
This is a traditional treatment for hair and the scalp. Almost all local women regularly undergo it either in salons or at home. The procedure usually includes a head, neck, and shoulder massage as well.
Essentially, during the cream bath, a hair mask and massage are applied, followed by rinsing with water. The mask typically contains ingredients such as avocado, ginseng, turmeric, and other beneficial elements for hair and the scalp. The composition may vary as it is often mixed on the spot rather than using a pre-prepared mixture. The mask is left on the head for half an hour.
This is a very common procedure not only in spas but also in local hair salons. Even the not-so-wealthy residents of the island try to do such a mask at least once every couple of months, as it is quite affordable.