IT SEEMS the French hold the world rights to beauty treatments, having been at the forefront of the industry for centuries. Fortunately for the rest of the world, the French are more than happy to share these secrets. Ms Frederique Deleage makes a career out of it. At her salon, Frederiques, in Wyndham Street, she works to transform women of all ages. While not promising miracles, perhaps there is something to be said for looking as young as you feel. Which mother wouldn't like to forget her usual routine and spend half a day doing nothing and looking great at the end of it? A half-day spa at Frederiques begins with the beautician applying a lotion before going over the body with a loofah to exfoliate dead skin. Next, comes a Phytomer seaweed body wrap and detoxifying mud treatment. This is not just some gimmicky way of selling mud. The term ''thalassotherapy'' dates back to mid-19th century France. But sea and water cures are classic forms of therapy for myriad human ailments. The Greeks and Romans were conscious of the fact that, in the beginning, life existed only in the sea. So,they returned to the sea for a solution to physical and medical problems. Sea water has long been recognised as having antibiotic properties. It is particularly effective in the treatment of skin disorders, from acne to psoriasis. In France, there are 56 medical marine cure centres operating along the sea coasts. Marine algae treatments are used for a whole range of problems, including obesity and cellulite, and are found in poultices, face packs and shampoos. The results are due to the mineral salt content - potassium and magnesium - iodine and trace elements, which are capable of penetrating the skin barrier to help rid the body of excess water and lipids by improving blood circulation to speed up the process of detoxification. Once the mask is applied, the client is totally wrapped in a heated blanket, which causes her to sweat. As if she isn't already feeling totally relaxed, it's then time for a head massage before hopping into the shower. Next, the beautician applies a soothing cream and then, the piece de resistance, the body massage with aromatic oils - lavender for aches and pains, a mixture of rosemary, basil, lemon and jojoba if she lacks energy. Finally, there is the deep cleansing facial, which, depending on skin type, includes a steam or mask treatment. Frederiques also have a new treatment to slough dry skin and reduce fine lines. One can also have a reflexology foot massage, with soothing strokes of the feet, relating to acupressure points to treat a specific part of the whole body. This very personal gift will cost about $1,250. A basic facial will cost $350 for about one hour.