I experienced this Gwyneth-approved body treatment and consider this a friendly heads-up

My first experience with dry brushing was not what I expected. 

For several years, I’ve seen this popular beauty ritual captured in stylish, still images at the top of Goop articles, usually featuring Gwyneth herself serenely posed, brush in hand and long, toned limbs a compelling advertisement for the practice, and no doubt the Goop-branded brush and body lotion being recommended to readers.

The key word here is ‘still’ image. For while it might show off the results, it doesn’t speak to the very, very vigorous motions that get you there. 

At the start of November, Aotearoa-founded skincare brand Tronque teamed up with holistic skin clinic and dispensary Tonic Room to offer a seasonal treatment, the Summer Glow-Up Body Prep. The treatment lasts 75 minutes, costs $235 (inclusive of the Tronque Ionic Body Brush, worth $70, which you get to keep), and is available by appointment at Tonic Room’s Kingsland, Auckland premises.

I trialled the treatment this week and I loved it – but fair warning, this is not the blissful, Balinese massage you might be used to.

Body brushing works to slough off winter skin and stimulate blood flow for smoother, brighter skin. What they don’t tell you is that it feels as though you are being sanded down like the textured lime green wallpaper in the spare room of your doer-upper. I could practically see the dust cloud of dead skin being forcibly exfoliated from my epidermis.

Bear with it. The second phase of the treatment uses Tronque’s Vitamin C Body Oil in combination with their uniquely-designed Gua Sha tool to improve lymphatic drainage. This stimulates the metabolism and helps to rid the body of toxins while contouring the arms, legs and (if you like) stomach. Gentler than the body brush, it’s still much more active than your standard relaxation massage, but that’s because it’s pursuing tangible results. 

Don’t worry, the final phase is a relaxing rub down with Tronque’s luxurious Firming Butter – a ritual made all the more satisfying by the knowledge that you’ve earned it.

Available from now until the end of January, this treatment is here for a good time, not a long time. It’s being marketed as a summer body prep essential, not just for its aesthetic results, but as a kind of bodily espresso shot to cure you of that internal sluggishness we’re all feeling this time of year.

If you can handle a Shakti mat, you can handle this. And if you’ve been investigating other full body treatments in the same price bracket, I would recommend it on the basis of bang for your buck. I would probably not suggest it for Nana’s Christmas present. Stick with the aromatherapy facial.