Warning: severe scrubbing ahead. If you’re of the ethos pain before gain, this Korean delicacy could be for you. Literally translated as dirt (Aka) rub (suri), this Japanese treatment is more commonly known as ‘red scrub’ and is fairly unheard of in the western world, perhaps due to its slightly ‘aggressive’ nature.
A traditional oriental beauty treatment, Akasuri put plainly is an extreme form of exfoliation which harks backs to a time in the Korean culture where bathing and cleanliness represented the spiritual process of washing the soul and purifying the body.
Traditionally an Akasuri treatment will begin with a swift session in the sauna, steam room or a hot bath in order to open up the pores on your body and tenderise your skin in preparation for a liberal scrubbing. Then, once your skin is suitably pink and wet, a therapist will begin the exfoliation process. This will involve the vigorous use of a rough cloth, towel, brush or loofah sponge being worked all over your body to slough away dead skin cells and accumulated dirt.
After a good few layers have been shed and piles of your discarded epidermis are scattered beneath your therapist's feet, the scrubbing will cease and a brisk oil massage will begin. The rigorous massage is designed to stimulate the lymph system, improve circulation and generally give your body an almighty good cleanse. The treatment will end either with a shower (sometimes using warm milk) and/or an application of body moisturiser.
Usually taking just over an hour, excluding the time taken to heat up your pores, the result will be a beautifully clean, shinier and perhaps lighter version of yourself.
Akasuri is certainly not for the faint hearted, but if you enjoy a brutal manual exfoliation fix, the benefits can be far reaching. Not only will you enjoy the delights of smooth fresh skin, the body brushing and massage will improve your circulation, help combat low blood pressure and shift a few pounds in dead skin.
An alternative name for Akasuri in Korean is Taemiri.