Where’s the Best Place to Get Pampered for a Wedding?

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Forget putting anything on your skin—in Russia, it’s all about sweating everything out! Banya (Russian baths) are de rigueur for Muscovites, who congregate at these communal bathhouses once a week, not only to purify their skin, detoxify their livers and rid their muscles of excess lactic acid, but also to socialize with their friends. Patrons alternate between sweating it out in a steam room or sauna (where temperatures can reach 200 degrees Fahrenheit) and cooling off in a pool of icy water to amp up their circulation. “It’s invigorating when you alternate the temperature of the pools that you’re submerged in. It’s called contrast therapy,” says Debra Jaliman, MD, New York City dermatologist and author of Skin Rules. “When you plunge into a cold pool, all the blood vessels constrict and there is decreased blood flow, then the warm water increases the blood flow. It reduces muscle soreness and is anti-inflammatory.”

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