If you don’t have time or money to visit the spa, try making and using home spa treatments. These often use the same or similar ingredients as those found at the spa or salon, while saving you some serious cash. Many skin and hair products can be made with organic ingredients, letting you go green while you get pretty. Make any day a spa day with these easy ideas for home spa treatments!
Home Spa Treatment – Sugar Body Scrub
One popular home spa treatment is the sugar scrub. Mixed with white sugar (also known as table sugar) and a mixture of other ingredients, this scrub exfoliates and really makes skin soft. Add between ½ cup and 1 cup sugar to an almost equal (but slightly less) amount of oil. Add the oil slowly so as not to oversaturate the mixture. I prefer olive or baby oil, but vitamin E or coconut oil are viable alternatives. Apply in the shower, then rinse.
This scrub can be easily scented by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils, such as lavender, peppermint or vanilla. If you’re feeling really lazy, a small handful of sugar can be worked into your body wash in the shower for a quick all-over body scrub.
Home Spa Treatment – Invest in a Facial Steamer
Facial steamers will give your face the detoxifying benefits of a sauna in just a few minutes. Before you give yourself a facial or apply moisturizers, steam the skin to open up pores. Facial steamers are fairly inexpensive – buying one made by “drugstore” brands like Conair or HoMedics will only be within the $20 range.
Similar effects can be achieved by steaming the face with a hot washcloth, but facial steamers will open the pores evenly all over the face and won’t have you with hot water running down your neck. The closest alternative to a facial steamer is covering your head with a towel and leaning over a pot of hot water – but this has the potential to be very hazardous, so I wouldn’t recommend it. You should see greater results from any moisturizing products, including eye and night creams, by applying them after using a steamer.
Home Spa Treatment – Clarisonic Skin Care Brush
If you have the money to invest in a “big” skin care purchase, go for the Clarisonic (which retails around $150). This is a skin care brush, relying on oscillation using sonic technology to clean and exfoliate (similar to sonic toothbrushes like the Sonicare). The results are similar to using microdermabrasion, a popular spa and salon treatment for the skin. Microdermabrasion can severely damage the skin, so while there are several “home microdermabrasion kits” available, they should be avoided in most cases unless being applied by a licensed aesthetician. Oscillation is safe for home use, making the Clarisonic a product worth investing in.
The Clarisonic skin care brush is designed to be used daily to improve your usual face washing. It can get very deep into the pores, eliminating dirt, oil and makeup residue. This is a great home spa treatment product as well, as it pairs nicely with the facial steamer to give a more pampering facial.
Home Spa Treatment – Take a Milk Bath
Women have sworn by milk baths as home spa treatments for centuries – Cleopatra was rumored to bathe in milk. Milk alone in a bath will soften skin, but adding other ingredients can nurture the skin in other ways. Add ½cup oatmeal to soothe sunburned skin or skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. A few tablespoons of natural honey can add extra softness. Just like with the sugar scrub above, a few drops of a favorite essential oil, vanilla or peppermint extract will turn your bath into an aromatherapy spa. For one milk bath, add between 1-2 cups of liquid or powdered milk to a running bath. If using powdered ingredients, you can also make a batch in bulk to give as a handmade gift.
Home Spa Treatment – Clarifying Hair Rinse
Salons cash in on clarifying treatments to remove excessive oil and styling buildup. Once every two weeks, pour a cup of lemon juice into hair while in the shower. This should be done after shampooing, but before conditioner. Work lemon juice into hair and rinse, then add conditioner as usual. Take caution, as doing this too often could be drying to the hair. To keep buildup from happening, try Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo – a cult favorite among beauty entusiasts.
Home Spa Treatment – Homemade Eye Treatment
Beat under-eye puffiness and dark circles with egg whites. Combine 2 well-beaten egg whites with a few drops of witch hazel and apply under eyes with a medium-sized makeup brush (such as a foundation brush – not one of the big fluffy powder brushes). Let mixture set for about 15 minutes or until egg whites have completely dried up, then rinse. Skin should feel “tighter” after use.
Home Spa Treatment – Homemade Paraffin Wax Treatment
Paraffin wax soaks are popular manicure/pedicure add-ons at the salon, but you can do yours at home. Start with a ¼ pound paraffin block, which can be purchased at craft stores or organic markets with a canning section. Melt wax in a double boiler, along with 1 oz. olive oil and about 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil, if desired.
When wax is melted, pour into greased (also with olive oil) long casserole dish. Wait a few minutes for the wax to cool, testing heat with a fingertip. When cool enough, dip hand into wax up to the elbow and move around to coat completely. When this wax has dried, dip hand again – it will take at least 3-5 dips per hand to get a thick coating. Wrap hand in Saran Wrap or Ziploc baggies, and repeat process with other hand. Leave wax on for 20-40 minutes before removing. The wax should peel off in chunks.
Home Spa Treatment – Aromatherapy Foot Soak
Relax your tired feet with a foot soak. Add ½ cup epsom salts and 10-20 drops of essential oil to a warm basin of water to soak feet. To add a massage element, fill the bottom of your basin with regular glass marbles (which can usually be found at the dollar store). Craft marbles, the oblong kind put into candle holders in vases, will also work but don’t massage as well. Add marbles before filling the basin and add slightly hotter water to the first few inches – the marbles will stay warm! Soak for 30-45 minutes, then remove feet to a towel. Add moisturizer and wrap feet in Saran Wrap for 30 minutes to 1 hour while product soaks in.
Home Spa Treatment – Homemade Face Mask
You can make face masks out of several readily available food items. Everything from baking soda, strawberries, and even peanut butter are ingredients for different homemade face masks. My favorite is made with oatmeal.
Take ½ cup rolled oats (regular Quaker oatmeal) and add 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons honey (warm for a few seconds in microwave to make sure it’s liquidy) and a few drops of milk. Mix ingredients into a paste, and then apply all over face with a makeup brush. The mixture can be microwaved briefly if desired (5-15 seconds). The ingredients can get too hot, too fast and you’ll have to wait for them to cool before applying. Leave mask on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Home Spa Treatment – Avocado Hair Mask
Hair masks can help you regain a lot of lost softness. I’ve seen quite a few people complain on message boards about how their hair felt after a mask, because they simply rinsed it out. That’s not going to cut it – when rinsing a hair mask, make sure to use a shampoo to help it wash out. Baby shampoo is good for this, or any gentle formula – you don’t want to use an organic mask and then load your hair back up with chemicals immediately after.
For an easy hair mask, combine 1 mashed avocado, and 2 tablespoons each of honey and olive oil. When pasty, comb through damp hair with a wide-toothed wooden comb or apply using a tinting/highlighting brush (used in hair coloring and available at any beauty supply). Cover hair with a shower cap or an old plastic shopping bag, and leave on for 20-30 minutes. For extra moisturizing, slide your blow-dryer under the shower cap and apply a few seconds of heat on all sides to warm the product.