And so off to the spa I went on Monday afternoon for a back massage, facial and a spot of laser hair removal. Now, I don't go to spas often, because the thought of taking my clothes off for a complete stranger leaves me a in cold sweat. Any women with fat rolls where there should be bone and muscle would know what I'm talking about.

So I made my way to the Elixir Spa in Mouille Point, Cape Town and awaited my fate. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I was shown to the changing room and introduced to the fantastic Sarah who was going to take care of me.

After getting out of my clothes and throwing on one of those white towelling robes (why do those never fit me? Anybody else have the same problem?) I filled out a form and was led to the Tranquillity Room by Sarah.

Sarah immediately made me feel comfortable, and explained what would happen to me for the next two hours. I was to have laser hair removal for my underarm, a back and neck massage, and a Beaute Neuve facial. I was not conscious of my body, nor the fact that I had little or no clothing on. I suppose it is the therapist who determines your mood.

Laser hair removal
The thought of a laser removing hair from one of the most sensitive parts of my body – my underarm – freaked me out a bit, but it's not painful at all.

It just feels like little warm pricks, and it's quite quick. The entire process lasted about 15 minutes. Quick and painless, perfect.

Expect to pay R200 at Elixir for underarm hair removal, which I've heard is a really good price. Sarah said I'd probably need between four and five treatments to get rid of the hair forever, maybe even less. A worthwhile investment I think. That's it, I'm sold!

Back and neck massage
What an absolute pleasure this massage was. I have a lower back problem, caused by a car accident a few years ago, and was worried that the massage might harm me, but thankfully this was not the case. I told Sarah about my injury, and she got to work on the lower back area straight away.

Wow! The muscles in my lower back were extremely tight and Sarah managed to loosen them up nicely. She then continued to rub out the rest of my back and arms, and I proceeded to slip into a state of semi-unconsciousness as she rubbed all my tension and strain away.

I felt fabulous afterwards, the massage was pure bliss and the best part? Sarah didn't speak. I can't understand massage therapists who insist on speaking to you while they work, I'm not there for conversation, I'm there to relax.

So how am I feeling now? Well a little bit sore, but that's normal for me. I bruise if someone squeezes my arm so a little bit of soreness means nothing to me. The coolest part of the massage was how Sarah seemed to float around the room. Every now and again, I'd realise that she must have moved to the other side of the bed because her hands were positioned differently. Not once did I hear or feel her move. I laid there imagining her floating around the bed while never removing her hands from my back. Nice.

Beaute Neuve facial
What an experience. This facial uses fruit acids, enzymes, protein and vitamins to provide a renewing effect on the skin by eliminating dead skin cells. Quite a mouthful.

This treatment was just as relaxing as the back massage, and I managed to actually fall asleep this time.

First, my face was cleansed and prepared for the treatment. This meant a protective cream for my lips and eyes, and cotton wool to cover my eyes. Then I felt like a bit of a mummy when a big piece of gauze was placed over my face, but the best was yet to come. It was time for the enzymes and acids.

What a weird sensation. It felt like fizzy tablets were being dissolved on my face. There was a bit of discomfort and a bit of a burning sensation, which I was warned about, but then it was just this warmish, comforting feeling afterwards.

And so the enzymes and acids were applied all over my face and the gauze tightened. After the gauze came off, my face felt fresh, clean and revitalised. This facial is 50 minutes long and is well worth it. My skin feels almost new and those dry problem areas are as soft as a baby's bottom.

All in all, a massage, facial and laser hair removal treatment is a fantastic way to spend a Monday afternoon.

Anthea's treatment was sponsored by Elixir Spa in Mouille Point, Cape Town. The treatment was performed by the tiny but fabulous Sarah. To contact Elixir Spa, phone (021) 439-2266, email or visit

Relaxing treatments at a spa are fantastic, but how comfortable do you feel with your body when going to a spa?