How to Treat Yourself to a DIY Spa Day at Home
I love the notion of booking myself for a spa getaway, but I know I’m not alone when I say it’s not always a realistic idea when it comes to time and money. But luxury, after all, can be found in the little things in life, so why not create a relaxing spa experience in your own space? Our tips for how to treat yourself to a DIY spa day at home, may not take you completely away, but can transport you for at least a moment in time.
Preparing for Pampering
1. Set up your spa space
To set the tone for your day of relaxation, tidy up the space you’ll be using for your home spa (which will most likely be your bathroom and bedroom). Studies have shown that people who describe their houses as cluttered tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so your spa indulgence is more likely to be calming and soothing in a neat room.
2. Gather your supplies
Make sure you have all the necessary treatments and tools on hand and close by before you begin your do-it-yourself spa day. There is no sense in wrecking your “zen moment” by having to paw through the bathroom cabinet in search of that body butter you just know is…around here somewhere…
3. Create a mood
Turn up the serene spa vibes by turning down the lights and adding relaxing touches. If you use essential oils, turn on the diffuser to produce a soothing scent. Carefully placed candles or dimmed lighting create a soft glow, and you can cue up a relaxing music playlist (Enya is my personal favorite artist for this). It’s worth noting that the tempo and type of music you are listening to can have a profound effect on your nervous system; a slow or instrumental piece can reduce feelings of anxiety and even lower elevated blood pressure or a quick heart rate.
4. Dress the part
For this DIY spa day at home, wear what makes you feel like the best and most relaxed version of yourself. For different people, that means different things. It could be a silky nightgown that makes you feel pretty, perhaps your comfiest yoga pants with a soft tee, or slippers and an indulgent robe that recalls traditional spa attire. There’s no wrong answer.
At-Home Spa Treatments
Enjoy a hot soak
Why not kick off the spa activities with a relaxing soak in the tub? Warm water immersion can be an effective way to soothe tight and tense muscles, joints and tendons. Stay hydrated during this thermotherapy by sipping cool cucumber and lemon water. If bubbles and aromatherapy are your thing, throw bath bombs into the water.
For those looking for a simpler form of relaxation, soak just your feet in a tub or bucket. Epsom salt relieves aches and pains, softens calluses and loosens the dirt that gets under nail beds. Slather a rich cream on your feet afterwards, for that pricey pedicure feeling.
Use a scrub
Bath time is the right time to use an exfoliating body scrub that sloughs off outer layers of dead skin cells for a healthier epidermis. You can buy a scrub from a trusted brand or make your own. I’m interested in testing out the benefits of a do-it-yourself coffee scrub (which, reportedly, range from containing antioxidants to helping reduce dark spots).
Mask UP: Face, Eyes and Lips
Did you know there’s a mask for almost every part of your body these days? From lip masks, face masks and eye masks to hair masks and nail masks, there’s no shortage of masks to fill your DIY spa day schedule.
The skin on your face should come first. A good face mask will moisturize, decongest clogged pores, remove excess oils, improve skin texture and boost the overall appearance of your complexion. Apply your favorite mask evenly over your face and décolleté, leave it for 5-10 minutes and then gently remove with a damp face cloth. You don’t have to wait until your next spa day to repeat the mask process; skin care masks can be applied once or twice a week.
Eye masks make for another restorative spa treatment. They quickly infuse ingredients into your skin, and eye masks featuring hyaluronic acid and ceramides are particularly effective for plumping the skin around your eyes (which is 40% thinner than the rest of the skin on your face). Simply apply, leave for a few minutes (according to the instructions) and remove.
Before you laugh at the idea of a lip mask, know that I’ve found this treatment to be very effective for hydrating my own lips. Lips tend to dry out fast, and lip skin is thin and sensitive. A lip mask can be an effective way to help heal this delicate portion of the face.
The great thing about leave-on masks is that you can multitask with other home spa day treatments while the mask works its magic.
Don’t Neglect Your Nails
Now’s your chance to show your nails some love without having to make an appointment at the nail salon. A nail mask (yes, a nail mask), aims to repair ragged cuticles, strengthen the nails, and lighten up nails that might have yellowed from wearing dark nail polish. Leave the mask on your digits for 15 to 30 minutes, and then behold: absolute rejuvenation.
Tend to your scalp
Not everyone loves a scalp massage, but when done gently, this massage enhances blood circulation to the top of the head and can even strengthen hair follicles and lead to thicker hair. If you don’t have a scalp massage device, simply use your hands and apply light-to-medium pressure, moving your fingertips in a circular motion for five minutes or so. You can do the scalp massage while you wash your hair, or after it’s dry.
A scalp serum or detoxing mask can also help address dead skin cell buildup and moisturize skin and hair roots. This treatment might seem more like a hair salon than a day spa, but self-care can be whatever you need it to be.
Here’s to pampering yourself, and making a DIY spa day at home a regular habit!