Ready to Try a Chocolate Bath? Hmmm?

People in search of the ultimate spa experience have been known to bath in oil, gelatin, warm rocks, and of course, mud. Now you can indulge in chocolate baths, if you're extreme enough.

A "chocolate bath" sounds like something you'd experience in Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory, but in fact they do exist outside of fiction. In fact, we Americans came up with this bright idea, though the concept wasn't highly publicized until a Japanese day spa got ahold of it back in 2007.

So, how extreme is taking a bath in chocolate? Actually, if you've braved such things as chocolate cheese, chocolate onion cake, and cupuacu, having a nice bath in the chocolate of your choice doesn't seem so weird -- to us X-choc fans, anyway. But rest assured: to rest of the world, it's something odd, all right.

Rich and creamy

Who among us hasn't dreamed (possibly literally) about having a chocolate bath? Maybe in Willie Wonka's chocolate river, or maybe in your own bath tub. Most of us have held off due to the expense and the fact that, well, we're at least trying to pretend to be normal. But now it's publicly acceptable -- at last!

The hubbub tub started during Valentine season in 2007, when a day spa in Hakone, Japan reported that dumping cacao extract (translation: chocolate) into one's bath helps the skin retain moisture, which helps it stay beautiful. Great news! Since then the idea's spread all over the world.

An American first?

Surprisingly, it turns out that the Hotel Hershey, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, put the idea of the chocolate bath into action way back in 2001. At their day spa, you can bathe in whipped cocoa for 15 minutes ($40), have chocolate hydrotherapy for 25 minutes ($25), and enjoy a cocoa massage ($2 a minute).

Now, aren't those all great ways to enjoy chocolate without gaining a single ounce? You can even experience chocolate-scented candles, or chocolate fondue body wraps. No word yet on whether those wraps use milk, mild, or dark chocolate -- but never fear, we'll keep you posted.

A few possible negatives

We like the idea of a chocolate bath, though we fear the medium would be a bit too tempting for an X-choc fan not to taste. Now, we don't recommend drinking the "bathwater" when you get out...unless maybe they add some sugar...naw, who'd want to drink chocolate after dunking your body in it? Ewww.

Plus, can you really get clean in a chocolate bath? You'd probably smell good afterward, but you'd have all that chocolate on you, and it would doubtless get itchy as it dried. All joking aside, of course you'd have to rinse off with water before you left the bath. Darn it.

This seems to us like an awful lot of trouble, but we suppose you have to make some sacrifices to stay beautiful. And if you've got to make sacrifices, taking a chocolate bath is hardly the worst possible option.