4 Surprising Spa Benefits of Sea Shells

Whenever I visit a beach, I search for natural mementos to bring home as souvenirs. A beautifully intact shell is my favorite, though I often settle for a bag of sand. Shells are also a popular choice in seaside spas. We chatted with spa directors about how they use sea shells in their spas and what benefits the services offer clients.

  • In Jamaica, couples can indulge in the Fern Tree Spa’s Heated Seashell Massage ($165, 50 minutes) in Half Moon, A RockResort’s overwater bungalow. The treatment starts with a foot scrub using local Cerasee herbs and is followed by deep relaxation as heated seashells are used to sooth muscles, release tension and promote over all wellness. “Our heated seashell massage offers relaxing and therapeutic benefits including improved circulation and relaxation for deep muscles which are easier to reach with the warmth of the shells softening up the surface muscles. The shape of the shells also provides the skilled therapist to work in narrow spaces, using the natural slender clam opening and projections from the contours of the shell. Also great is the ease of keeping the shells warm, which after being activated with a sea water solution, remain warm for over an hour, make it hassle free and provide a smooth flow for the therapists who do not need electricity or other equipment to keep their shells warm,”—Tanya Vassell, spa director
  • At Cheeca Lodge, The Spa at Cheeca’s signature treatment is the Hot Lava Shell Massage, which uses polished Tiger Clam shells to provide comforting warmth throughout the service to invigorate the body’s flow of energy for a deep relaxation. "Our Lava Shell Massage provides many benefits to our guests including the release of toxins from cells, enhanced blood flow, increased extension of soft tissues, increased function of tissue cells, and deep relaxation.  The Lava Shells (actually recycled Tiger Clam shells) are filled with a sachet of natural minerals and then a lava activator saline solution, together creating an exothermic reaction which allows the shells to remain heated for over an hour. This allows continual contact with the body during the massage, resulting in ultimate tropical relaxation,"—Susan Johnson, spa director
  • Madinat Jumeirah Talise Spa’s exclusive Sea Shell Experiencecombinessoothing strokes with smooth and gentle pressure applied by natural seashells from the Arabian Gulf. “What’s interesting about using seashells for treatments is that no additional energy source is needed to heat them. The soft and silky surface of seashells creates an incredibly pleasant and unique experience for guests. Seashell treatments are highly recommended for anyone seeking to release muscle tension, relaxation and stress relief,” Stephan Wagner, spa director
  • The Mother of Peal treatment is a true indigenous island experience at The Palms Turks and Caicos. A blend of precious, hand-crushed, local queen conch shells is mixed with aromatherapy oil to polish the skin. Following this full body exfoliation, the therapist will then complete the treatment with a rich moisturizing application leaving  skin silky soft and revitalized. “At The Palms we love to use locally-sourced and locally-inspired products in our treatments to give guests a true island experience. Conch is extremely popular in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and is one of the three symbols on the flag. The crushed conch is the perfect way to soften and polish the skin, leaving it silky smooth," Karen Whitt, general manager