How far would you travel to get naturally dewy, glowing skin?
Let me rephrase: How far would you travel for the fountain of youth?
Obviously, the fountain of youth is the stuff of old lore. But like most legends, there’s a fraction of truth to this one.
The fountain of youth legend dates back to the 1500s (and possibly earlier) when explorer Juan Ponce de Leon learned from the Indians that Bimini was home to this magical body of water. Ponce de Leon never found the fountain, but if you ask locals, they’ll point you to a small well that was carved out by limestone thousands of years ago.
It’s easy to believe why the Indians associated such a fountain with youth – especially when you learn about these 6 places to travel to help your skin improve.
Each of these places is home to a body of mineral-rich water to help nourish and rejuvenate your skin. These healing spas are anything but typical. They won’t reset the clock per se, but their benefits are still worth traveling for.
1. Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is the only destination on the list that’s also considered a world wonder by National Geographic. It’s actually a man-made open air spa that’s made up of mineral-rich water and geothermal mud.
Here, you can soak in the swimming area that remains at a pleasant 98-102 degrees Fahrenheit, but the relaxation you’ll feel is only a bonus. This water is loaded with earthy ingredients like algae, silica and a boatload of nourishing minerals. Together, many believe that these ingredients play a role in clearing conditions like acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.
An Experimental Dermatology report concludes that the silica mud and microalgae found in the Blue Lagoon waters improve skin barrier function and prevent premature skin aging. So, basically, science says you have to put this destination on your bucket list.
2. Poca da Dona Beija in Furnas, Portugal
If you’re on the quest for the fountain of youth, you should probably plan a visit to the place people call the Youth Pools. You’ll find them in the Azores Archipelago in Portugal. The Poca de Dona Beija gets up to 102 degrees, heated by an actual volcano. As you soak in the springs, your body absorbs minerals such as sulfur, sulfate, calcium, iron, magnesium, chloride, zinc and potassium.
The high silica content found in these waters can smooth rough, dry skin, but it’s probably the sulfur content that provides the most benefits. Sulfur is found mostly near hot springs and volcanic craters. You’ll notice the smell (it’s not always the most pleasant), but you’ll want to push through to experience the benefits. Sulfur is used to make collagen, which keeps your skin looking healthy and youthful.
3. The Dead Sea on the Israeli Coast
Legend has it that floating in the waters of the Dead Sea can relieve all types of skin problems, and even joint pain. The Dead Se is the saltiest body of water in the world with mineral-rich mud to help you exfoliate and restore your skin’s pH balance.
The Dead Sea is so famous for its healing powers that you can purchase Dead Sea salt from virtually anywhere in the world. But you’ll have to visit the sea itself to experience the unique solar and mineral properties you’ll find only at the Dead Sea.
4. Pamukkale in Turkey
Translating to “cotton castle” in Turkish, Pamukkale is a tiered pool complex that’s believed to have healing powers. Deep beneath the earth’s surface lies a vast water source that’s heated by volcanic lava. The water dissolves and then becomes saturated with calcium before it bursts to the earth’s surface. Locals tell stories about the immense healing powers of the waters, but you’ll have to experience it for yourself.
5. Spring Baths in the Japanese Alps
Located in the Japanese Alps, surrounded by active volcanoes, you’ll find the Spring Baths, or onsen bathhouses. You’ll find the most luxurious onsen houses in the towns of Kusatsu and Hakone. Know before you go: Bathing completely naked alongside strangers is the norm. Actually, it’s the custom. You can cover yourself with a small towel for modesty until you enter the water. In the water, most people place the towel on their heads. Wearing any clothing, or even wringing out your towel, in the water is a big no-no.
6. Volcanic Hot Springs in Araucania, Chile
Chile sits right at the edge of a tectonic plate, so you’ll find some amazing geothermal hot spots and beautiful volcanoes throughout the country. In southern Santiago, more than 170 volcanos support slate waterbeds and mineral pools.
If you’re interested in natural skin care, at least one of these destinations should be on your bucket list. But before you drop thousands on a skin care vacation, make sure you stop any unhealthy habits that are detracting from your skin’s natural glow. Smokers, I’m looking at you.
If you’re smoking tobacco or marijuana, it’s time to quit. Marijuana has some health benefits, but smoking anything is bad for your skin. If you’re having trouble stopping, get help. Get a patch or check into a rehab. Once you’ve fixed your bad skin habits, you’ll be ready to soak in all the benefits of these amazing skin spa destinations.