What's boreh? A look at the Balinese skincare ritual

December 6, 2018

Our new Wellness tours offer the perfect balance of awe-inspiring destinations, rejuvenating activities, and healthy food experiences, helping you return home feeling even better than when you left. Each of our Wellness tours covers three important pillars: Mindfulness, Movement, and Nourishment. In this new blog series, we want to shed a little more light on exactly what this will look like once you embark on your tour. Here, a look at the ritual powers of boreh, a Balinese beauty product.

As we all know, true beauty comes from within. But in Bali, there is an ancient ritual involved in the creation of one of the country's most important — and potent — beauty and wellness products: boreh.

Th understand boreh, we can first understand the root of the word: the word "bo" in Balinese means "ready," while "reh" means "blood." The treatment, traditionally administered to farm- and field-workers after a long day of manual labour, is literally meant to bring the body back to life.

So what is it, exactly? Boreh takes the physical form of a paste, comprising ground and mashed herbs, spices and other plants that might traditionally otherwise be used in Balinese cooking. Farm labourers would use a mortar and pestle to mash these ingredients into a paste, adding water, and cover their bodies in it, sometimes wearing the paste head-to-toe overnight to relax muscles, detoxify skin, and protect from illness and insects. In the morning, the paste was washed clean, opening the body and mind to experience a new day fully refreshed and rejuvenated.

Today, boreh is more often applied in spas and wellness centres as a therapeutic treatment on a slightly smaller scale: it is used in massages and facials, and generally worn for a length of time, though not overnight. You will feel physically rested, and while the boreh is prepared, applied, and worn, will have the opportunity to reflect on centuries of ancient tradition -- in addition to your own time in Bali, and what you will take away from (and bring to) it

Getting there

Experience the preparation and application of boreh on our Wellness Bali tour.

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