Malay Beauty Treatments

Muka berseri purnama mengambang
kulitnya licin pauh dilayang
rambut ikal mayang seludang
buyung petani leher jinjang
badan lampai tinggi
betis bunting padi

(The typical description of perfect Malay beauty)

In a land that embraces cultural diversity and flourishes in the strength of each ethnic composition comes a new concept of spa culture. Malaysian Spa is a concept that is based on age old beauty traditions of various cultures that have come, conquered and changed the face of the present Malaysia. These tried and tested beauty treatments have over the years been adapted to incorporate the flora and fauna of the surrounding rain forest.

A Unique Experience
Being one of the oldest rainforest in the world with over 8,000 herbal species of medicinal values, it is only normal that herbs with healing properties play an important role in Malaysian spa treatments.Going into a Malaysian spa that practices traditional spa treatments, one will immediately notice the wonderful fragrance of herbs like serai (lemongrass), limau purut (kaffir lime), sireh (betel leaves) and pandanus as opposed to sweet smelling rose or lavender fragrance of the west.

The history of Malaysian beauty treatments can be traced back to nearly a thousand years and richly influenced by local Malays, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Javanese and countless other races that have come and resided in Malaya then.For example, the beloved “minyak urut” can be traced to the Arabs who used to boil oil with camel fat to give the oil a natural heating property. The camel fat have since been replaced by herbs with natural warming properties such as ginger, black pepper, onion, garlic but the concept remains essentially the same.

Secrets from Generations
Traditional Malay beauty treatments are generally family secrets that are handed down from generation to generation and rarely shared for commercial gain. However, with younger generations showing less interest in the traditional beauty treatments, older generations are more willing to share less the art dies with the lack of practitioners. So, what was once practiced behind closed doors by midwives, healers and wedding planners or more commonly known as “mak andam” are now revived and shared to keep the art of Malay beauty treatments from dying.  Strictly Malaysian beauty treatments adapted from Malay, Peranakan, Borneo, orang asli cultures to name a few, are already appearing in Spa menus nationwide. The authenticity of these Malay beauty treatments are still being studied and recorded but the one that is most identifiable is the Malay art of beauty treatments. In this page we will proceed to explore the many unique Malay treatments that have been introduced in Malaysian Spas in the last decade.

 Traditional Malay Beauty Practices


Traditional Malay beauty practice gives equal importance to internal and external beauty treatments. Internal beauty treatments are practiced by taking various jamu/herbal drinks to maintain general health or for more specific benefits.

External beauty treatment involves detoxification process by way of Malay traditional massage and various other treatments from head to toe. Some of the best and most unique Malay treatments are described in this page: