“ Brand: The Body Shop / Type: Other Beauty Accessories „
I really feel the cold, so this seemed like an ideal product to buy in the winter, once the Christmas stock comes out there are tons of products like this, but this one was on offer in the body shop for 3 for 2 which slightly reduced its high £24.99 price tag.
The wrap comes in a red mesh bag, with a pretty ribbon zip up bit. It is a lovely gift bag, and has a cardboard sleeve over it with details of the product and how to use it. The disposable packaging is 100% recyclable.
The wrap is quite heavy and red fleecy coloured and smells of Cranberry (as the name would suggest). The scent is subtle and not at all over whelming as Carnberry can be quite a particular scent.
The idea is to put the wrap in the microwave for a few second, and it is made of special beads and seeds that hold the heat. A bit like a hot water bottle but without the danger of boiling water leaking out and burning you. The seeds hold the heat for about thirty minutes, gradually fading the whole time. The material is a rectangular shape and nice and soft. It wraps nicely round you back (well one half of your back) or is nice over your lap or wrapped round your feet. I think the name is quite misleading, it makes you think you can fit your whole body in there, but it really isnt that big.
I am pretty sure body shop will start selling these again over the Christmas period, but you can also pick them up on ebay. Beware though as the postage is quite high as it is a very heavy item, due to the filling.
My other half went away for the weekend, he stayed at his parents. We live in sunny Somerset and they live in dirty Essex (sorry personal view is rather apparent from that isn't it!) He caught the train down on the Friday night after work and came back on the Sunday evening. It is the longest we have spent apart since moving in together three years ago, apart from that weekend only on two other nights have we been separated, one for a course he went on through work and another where I stayed at my mums while trying to get their internet connection sorted (don't ask!).
While away he missed me, awwwww bless him! I can't say I didn't miss him! He had rather a long time at Paddington station and while there noticed their branch of the Body Shop and decided to have a wander round and find a little something for me.
He said he was going to get me some toner as he knew I was running low but they didn't have the one I like sold separately only in a gift pack and he decided against that option.
What he ended up coming home with is this cranberry wheat bag. It was a good choice on his behalf and I will explain why.
I hate the smell of lavender, yes I know the word hate is very strong but so are my feelings towards that awful stink! I have wanted a wheat bag for ages and looked about for one but haven't found one at a reasonable price that is unscented and all the ones that are scented are damn lavender!
I gave up looking a few weeks back and decided to make my own wheat bag and went about searching for wheat to use. Well that was just as hard as finding the unscented wheat bags! I eventually came across a site where you could buy it but it was enough for ten bags! They sold it on its own, with lavender, with lavender and the bags to make them and in the same but for making twenty rather than ten too. I was planning to buy some over the next couple of weeks.
I had a look on the Body Shops website at completely unrelated products and happened across this product while on there and liked the look of it but thought I would stick with making them as I couldn't smell it where it was just a picture on my computer screen and had resigned myself to making them (I should point out that he didn't know that I had seen this).
*The product and packaging*
The wrap comes in a net deep pink/red zip up bag. Around the bag there is a piece of card with all the information on it. The card is deep red and gold. The zip up bag can then be used to store the wheat bag or as a makeup bag or whatever you wish.
The bag itself is contained within what can only be described as a little fleece pillowcase. You have to rake this off to heat it but it is simple enough to remove and put back on.
The fleece is nice and soft and as it is removable it can of course be washed which is ideal. The fleece is made of 100% polyester.
The wheat bag is in deep red thick cotton material and you can feel all the little grains. To be sure that you wont have a lop sided bag with all the wheat at one end (and therefore all the heat) the bag is sown into sections to keep it even.
I am calling it a wheat bag as that is what I know these types of products as but and this is a big but, it is not wheat contained inside but flaxseed. I don't know that it makes any difference really but there you go.
The bag measures 55cm x 18cm approximately. It is not overly heavy so is not difficult for someone elderly and infirm or very young to carry about and handle.
*Heating the bag*
This is simple, you remove the inner wheat bag from the fleece pillow case type thingy it is in and bung it in the microwave! Doesn't get any easier does it.
The packaging recommends putting it on full power for one minute (obviously different microwaves are more and less efficient so you need to adapt the times to suit yours)
The first time I used this I zapped it for a minute like they said got it out and it wasn't very warm. In fact not warm at all really and it wasn't going to make much difference to my ice cold feet like that. I put it back in and zapped it again for another thirty seconds. Warm but not exactly what you want. I put the fleece outer on and sat with it over my cold tootsies. After about twenty minutes it was cold, I say cold but it only cools to room temperature, which is a great advantage it has over a hot water bottle but I will go into all that a bit later in my review.
Now when I use this wheat bag I put it on for a minute then turn it round in the microwave and put it on for another minute. Even after twice the recommended time it still isn't very hot but is very nice on cold feet or any aches and pains you have.
Our microwave is rather good so in a lesser microwave it would take even more than twice their recommended time.
I am rather disappointed with this element of the bag if I am honest. I love fruity smells and thought this would be great, sitting with it on my feet and the room filling with that juicy scent of tangy cranberries. When ever we visit my future in-laws and they get ready for bed, my other half's mum heats her wheat bag and the stench of lavender is unmistakable throughout the whole of the downstairs! This bag doesn't give off hardly any scent at all. To smell anything you have to sniff hard right next to the bag and even then it is only faint.
*What can it be used for*
Because of its shape it can be used on any part of the body and is ideal across tired and aching shoulders. I suffer from cold feet in the winter, which is why I have wanted a wheat bag.
A wheat bag can be used to ease stomach aches, period pains, strains, sore and tired muscles, arthritis and joint stiffness.
I have read about wheat bags on other sites that they can be put in the freezer so that they can be used cold to reduce swelling and inflammation, relieve migraines and ease the pain of sports and other injuries. The Body Shop have not said that about this bag in particular but I would have thought it would be ok to use in that way and if I need to at any point then I will give it a try.
*Why chose a wheat bag rather than a hot water bottle*
We all know that hot water bottles do exactly the same as this product, are cheaper, retain the heat longer and are warmer so slightly more soothing than this bag just being warm, so why should anyone want a wheat bag instead?
When I was younger my younger brother and I would stay at my grandmothers house in Oxford for a week each summer holiday. One year we stayed and on the last night my brother complained of a tummy ache before going to bed and my grandmother made him a hot water bottle and settled him in bed.
The next day we got home and my brother who had been quite withdrawn all day showed my mum why, he had a very bad scald on his leg that was oozing and obviously very painful. Not wanting to upset my grandmother he hadn't told her what had happened and so had waited till then to tell our mum.
His leg still has the scar, it was a rather deep burn that got a little infected. Neither of us has used a hot water bottle since. His had leaked and that is a real danger of hot water bottles. Before that I had been going to bed with one for my feet since I was very little as had my brother.
After my brothers burn would I give my child a hot water bottle? NO! However I would let them have one of these, as they are not dangerous in that way.
Hot water bottles when they go cold cool to a temperature which feels cold against your skin, wheat bags only go to room temperature so if you take this to bed to warm your feet and you turn over in the night and put your foot on it there is no nasty cold shock to be had.
Should it split the worst that can happen is you get some wheat on the floor and it can easily be repaired with a needle and thread.
It moulds to the shape of what it is against so can give better relief than a more ridged hot water bottle.
I find that this does cool rather quickly but the more I use it the easier it heats up and the longer the heat stays. I would say it stays nicely warm for about two hours now and to start with after an hour it was cold. I say two hours but at the end of that it is not cold now.
I am used to wheat bags retaining their heat better than this one, maybe that is because it is new still or where it isn't wheat but flaxseed, I am not sure.
If it cools a little and I want to warm it back up it just goes in the microwave again but for a shorter period of time than the full heating time.
If I am cold and waiting for the heating to warm up having this on my lap will warm me up almost completely!
*Do I recommend*
I know it may seem like I have slatted this a bit but I do recommend it. It doesn't stink, is nice and soft, can't burn you and is a great gift too. It is a little pricey but it is from a shop where everything is. At £16 it isn't the cheapest wheat bag out there but at least there is no stench to fill the house when you buy this one!
I think it's a good investment as you will have it for a long time and it will get used. My other half gets a lot of tension in his shoulders from bad posture while sitting at his desk at work and enjoys heating this up and sitting with it draped over them. It is very relaxing.
I am giving this four stars as I am really pleased with it and the fact it doesn't hold the heat as well as I expected is the only real downfall.
The Body Shop no longer sell these, they were very popular and sold out quickly, they do however pop up on ebay now and again and some stores may have the occasional one or two in stock. At the same time as these they also sold boots filled with flaxseed to heat up, another great idea!
We all know they don't test on animals and try and work to an ethical standard. They also use a system similar to fair trade called Community Trade, try to work towards better lives for people by campaigning for 'Stop violence in the home', a campaign against domestic violence, 'Trafficking is torture', this is all about the trafficking of young women who are then forced into prostitution they support the charity Helen Bamber Foundation, also they have launched a campaign to try promote awareness of HIV and AIDS.
If you want any more information on the campaigns that The Body Shop is involved with then have a look here www.thebodyshopinternational.com and go to the values and campaigns section of the site.
You can buy online with reasonable postage and packing costs and they are pretty quick with delivery so it is very convenient even if you are in a bit of a rush and they have offers on quite often for freebies when you buy online too! If not then you can just find your local store by looking on the site too.