ONE OF the latest treatments to be hailed by its makers as the ultimate weapon in the battle against the dreaded cellulite is Fanghi d'alga Guam. And unlike most mud-wrap products, the Guam range is a DIY affair: you can enjoy its skin-firming qualities in your own home.

At pounds 18 (plus pounds 2.99 postage) for a pack with enough for three applications, it is much cheaper than going to a salon. Made in Italy from 100 per cent natural ingredients (mainly seaweed extract and clay) it claims to be free from synthetic agents - not hard to believe given the unmistakable odour of oregano.

Contrary to expectations, the job is not too mucky as long as you don't slap too much on at once. Then wrap your thighs in plastic film, lie down for 45 minutes and imagine you are at Champney's. For the first 20 minutes or so, the Guam produces a tingling sensation that indicates the mud is doing its job.

The Fanghi d'alga Guam does have a noticeable effect on the skin, leaving it smoother, softer and firmer. But obviously it cannot compete with salons in terms of the sheer self-indulgence of being pampered. Just make sure you use it in absolute privacy: it's hard to find a plausible excuse for wearing green plastic shorts stuffed full of gunge and smelling like pizza.

Beauty Quest, tel: 0541 505 000.