The World's Seven Best Natural Beauty Destinations

Sometimes the best beauty secrets aren't ones you can find in your own backyard. Whether it's a shamanistic steam bath or geothermal healing water, these unique experiences are worth the trip.

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A fruitful Rosa centifolia harvest, which happens every May in Grasse, France. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images
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Destination: Grasse, France

Specialty: Rosa centifolia. This ancient and highly coveted varietal of the rose is used to make some of the best perfumes in the world by brands including Chanel, Hermès, and Dior. Centifolia thrives in Grasse because of the hilly landscape and warm climate.

Fun Fact: In the Middle Ages, Grasse wasn't so much known for its flower harvests as for its tanneries (a place where animal hides are tanned). Townspeople began harvesting flowers to cover the smell of raw leather.

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See le-domaine-de-manon.com for more information on how you can visit the flower fields. Some flower oil distilleries also offer tours. 

Ancient Mayan city of Tulum in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Destination: Riviera Maya, Mexico

Specialty: Travel to the Riviera Maya to experience a Mayan temazcal steam bath where you're shut in a sweat lodge (basically a stone igloo) with a shaman who chants and creates atmospheric aromas from rosemary, basil, and peppermint.

Fun Fact:  The temazcal is an ancient Mayan tradition meant to cleanse the body and the mind.  Its name is derived from two Aztec words: temal, meaning bath, and calli, meaning house. The therapeutic powers of the baths are believed to come from the goddess Temazcaltoci, who could heal hidden ailments and fortify internal weaknesses.

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See cenoteencantado.com for more information on how you can visit. Other sites also offer the treatment.

Bathers warm up at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Destination: Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Specialty: Geothermal seawater baths. Natural properties, including silica, algae, and minerals, give the water special healing powers. The water can help stimulate collagen and treat skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Fun Fact: The Blue Lagoon is actually man-made! While the seawater is all-natural, originating from over 6,500 feet underground, the lagoon formed after operations began at the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power plant.

See bluelagoon.com for more information on how you can visit.

Les Thermes Evian, Évian-les-Bains, France. Photograph courtesy of Jasperdo/Flickr

Destination: Évian-les-Bains, France

Specialty: The name Evian may sound familiar because of the bottled water, but it is also a top destination for its hydrotherapy treatments. The minerals in the water are said to treat rheumatic illnesses, as well as digestive, urinary, and metabolism disorders.

Fun Fact: These famous waters originate in the Alps, where melted snow and ice filter through the soil for 15 years before being sourced from the earth.

See evianresort.com for more information on how you can visit.

The Monoi flower. Photo courtesy of FlowerPhotos/UIG via Getty Images

Destination: Tahiti

Specialty: Monoi. This exotic gardenia flower, native to Tahiti, is noted for its soothing aroma and as a remedy for dry or irritated skin and hair.

Fun Fact: Ancient Polynesians used monoi as a healing agent for headaches, earaches, or mosquito bites, and to anoint religious objects. Back then, they soaked the flower petals in coconut oil to create cosmetic products, a process still done today to make the coveted monoi oil!

Manea Spa is one of many that uses monoi as a main ingredient, and has several locations throughout Polynesia. See maneaspa.com for more information on how you can visit.

A conch, waiting to massage you. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Destination: Turks and Caicos

Specialty: Conch shell massage. Hand-crushed queen conch shells mixed with aromatherapeutic oil makes for a gentle body scrub that gently polishes the skin.

Fun Fact: The lining of the conch shell has long been celebrated by Caribbean natives for its high protein levels and anti-aging keratins. It wasn't until recently that aestheticians realized its effectiveness when ground into a scrub.

See thepalmstc.com for information on how you can visit.

The coca leaf body mask in action. Photograph courtesy of Inkaterra Machu Picchu

Destination: Aguas Calientes, Peru

Specialty: Coca leaf body mask at Inkaterra Machu Picchu. A three-hour experience, this treatment includes steaming in an Andean sauna, a coca oil body massage, a coca leaf body mask, and finally, a coca leaf moisturizer.

Fun Fact: The key ingredient in cocaine, the coca leaf is not addictive on its own. It's been used as an ingredient in Andean medicine for centuries to treat headaches, depression, high blood pressure, and muscle pain.

See inkaterra.com for information on how you can visit.

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