Wouldn't it be amazing if we could all have a spa in our own home? While few of us can make that a reality, there are many simple and inexpensive ways to enjoy a spa experience without leaving the house. Whether you're looking for beauty treatments, relaxation techniques or a combination that will leave you looking and feeling refreshed, these DIY ideas will get you there.
1. Set the right mood.
Get into a tranquil, spa state of mind by creating a serene atmosphere. This can be achieved with a few simple touches like aromatherapy infused candles or oil diffusers. Let the sound of a tabletop fountain or your choice of relaxing music carry you away. Use a special tub pillow for your leisurely bath and don't forget to have a light snack on hand, maybe even a glass of wine or two. Even something as simple as buying a bouquet of your favorite flowers and clearing a space to relax can make all the difference.
2. Apply a rose-water toner.
Roses aren't just beautiful; they also have numerous medicinal benefits. You can even use them to make your own astringent. Try this recipe from Lianne Farbes of TheMakeUpGirl: For each "firmly packed cup of rose petals, pour two cups of boiling water over the top. Cover and steep until the liquid is cool. Strain, squeeze out the liquid from the petals and refrigerate the rose water in a sterilized jar between uses."
3. Mix up a sweet body scrub.
We all know how important it is to exfoliate, and homemade body scrubs can be an easy, inexpensive option. To give your skin a smooth, dewy finish combine 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of olive oil, and 1 cup of raw oatmeal. After mixing the three ingredients together, apply to dry skin using your hands. Slowly work the mixture all over with circular motions (place a plastic bag or towel on the floor to catch crumbs) then rinse off in the shower.
4. Take a dip in a mustard bath.
Something that can be both soothing and detoxifying are mustard baths, which have been popular at spas for decades. According to Shape, Olympic swimmer and gold medalist Natalie Coughlin, who uses these baths to relax following her workouts, favors Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath, combining mustard seed powder, eucalyptus, rosemary, wintergreen, and thyme. For a shortcut try buying pre-made bath mixes to use whenever you need a pick-me-up.
5. Pamper your feet.
Who doesn't love a good foot massage, especially when you can nurture your skin at the same time? Start by mixing a simple foot scrub, combining olive oil, sea salt and a few drops of peppermint. Rub on, with circular motions. Afterward, use a damp towel to wipe clean. Next, apply massage cream from your feet up to your knees, with long strokes. Gently massage feet, careful to avoid the sensitive area near the soft part of the ankle.
6. Make your face delicious.
Who knew you could smooth and moisturize your skin by smearing dessert on it? As if we didn't already love chocolate enough, now we find out it can beautify our skin. Follow this Hot Cocoa Facial Recipe and mix 4 tablespoons raw cocoa powder, a few drops of marshmallow root extract, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 4 teaspoons of marshmallow leaf tea. Apply to face and relax for 15 minutes; then rinse with warm water.
7. Refresh tired, puffy eyes.
We've all heard of cucumber slices for puffy eyes but some dermatologists also recommend iced green tea, explaining the caffeine helps to shrink the appearance of blood vessels, while the tea's antioxidants decrease inflammation. Chill a batch of iced green tea in the fridge. Soak a couple of cotton rounds in the beverage and lay them over your eyes. Refrigerated raw potato slices also help to eliminate puffiness.
8. Try a steam facial.
Requiring little more than hot water and a sprinkling of herbs, this indulgent treatment can be beneficial in a number of different ways. Steam is known to improve circulation, hydrate dry skin, deep-cleans clogged pores and loosens blackheads. Boil a saucepan of water, adding a small handful of fresh or dried herbs, such as mint for dry skin, lavender for oily skin, calendula, comfrey or chamomile for sensitive skin. Licorice root is effective for cleansing any skin type. Rose petals or orange blossoms create a sweet and relaxing aroma.
Let us know your favorite tips and tricks for getting the spa treatment at home!