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Whether you DIY or treat yourself, a good rub down cure is boss

LUSH Tender Is The Night Massage Bar

8.70 HHHHI

As ever, the brand are continually innovating and this bar has benefitted from a do-over. The old bars used be hard as rocks, but this is as soft as butter. It takes no time at all to warm up so it can get down to business. Also as ever, the scent is either for you or not.

DERMALOGICA Stress Relief Treatment Oil


No artificial colours, loads of essential oils, and a multi-tasker to boot: you can use this for sexy times, you can put it in your bath, you can use it as a spot treat for especially dry bits of your bod - this is really good.

NELSONS Arnicare Bath and Massage Balm

€10.69 HHHII

This is excellent for muscle relief, and works best when applied directly to the skin. If you are lightly aching, then it's fine for the bath, but seriously, if you want the best out of it, slap it straight on your bod.

THE MARKER HOTEL SPA Lava Relax Body Massage

€130/90 minutes HHHHI

Christmas is coming, and being on either the giving or receiving end of a treat like this will set you up for the new year. Lava Shells are a new innovation, and are superior to hot stone massages, mainly because they are self-heating, and recharge in a finger-snap. They save the wear and tear on the hands of the masseuse, and also allow for a more even, stronger massage.

I went for the 90 minute version (it comes in 30 and 60 minutes, with an applicable decrease in price), and I got 'shelled' from the back of my neck to the tips of my toes. Even my fingers got their fair share of attention. The sensation of heat takes about two seconds to get used to, and by the end of it, I was wondering if the masseuse could turn them up somehow - but I was too zoned out and relaxed to inquire.

Get there early and go for a swim, or a soak in the best jacuzzi I've been in for years: it's the perfect temperature, just on the cusp of hot, but not too hot. The relaxation area is hampered by a lack of a pastoral view, but for a city centre hotel spa, this one was quiet, tranquil and easy enough to get to. Highly recommended.

Nothing liked relaxed muscles to give you a youthful glow. Since we will soon be hunched up against the cold, start thinking about relaxation treats now...