While we’ll take any excuse to book in some professional pampering, the shorter days and colder nights of winter can actually make DIY self-care treatments more appealing. ‘Tis the season for scented candles, bath oils, and fluffy towels, after all. But what to do if you haven’t been schooled in the art of recreating spa time at home? With a bit of ingenuity, there are a few simple ways to recreate the bliss (and benefits). You don’t need a bathtub.
Ditch the Technology
This tip won’t cost you a thing, except perhaps a little discipline. Minimising distractions is essential to recreating a relaxing spa experience, and eliminating electronic devices fits in with that. Would you take your phone in while receiving a pro massage? Exactly. Leave laptops, phones, iPads and anything else that beeps at the door, or shove them in a drawer if you must. Allow yourself a full hour (at least) to unwind and to forget about the outside world.
Cue a Pamper Playlist
The only exception to the above is if you use one of your devices to play music, in which case, we’ll allow it, but be sure to switch it over to flight mode. If you find yourself singing along to your favourite bangers consider choosing instrumental melodies over tunes with lyrics, to cut down on distractions. It’s also a good idea to keep the volume low-ish for a mellow soundtrack in the background. We’re looking for elevator music vibes, not house party.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Sipping on a cup of herbal tea—chamomile and lavender are said to be particularly soothing—is a great way to wind down before you start on your chosen self-care rituals. Use this time to take a few deep breaths, pull your shoulders back and down, and allow yourself to become fully present. Take your tea with you to your designated ‘spa room’ or prepare a carafe of filtered water with a few wedges of lemon or lime to keep you well hydrated.
Set the ~Mood~
Candles are perfect for recreating the gentle, ambient lighting of your favourite treatment space. Scented varieties can be lovely, but make sure the fragrance is not too overwhelming. (Or open a window.) If you have a tub, take a soak with a few drops of essential oil and a handful of Epsom salts. Otherwise, jump in a warm shower to create that steamy, spa vibe and open up your pores. Next, get comfy in a soft robe (a worthy investment) or towel.
DIY a Face Mask
While there are plenty of lavish face mask options out there we’re all about being as resourceful as possible, which is why we suggest making a beeline for your kitchen if you don’t have a ready-made one on hand. Ingredients like honey, cacao and yoghurt are good for more than making just a superfood smoothie, so get creative (search ‘DIY natural face mask’ on Pinterest for endless recipes). You’ll save money and smell delicious enough to eat.
Deep Treat Your Hair
Adding a hot oil hair treatment in at the same time as your face mask will really maximise your time. (Plus, you probably already have a jar of coconut oil in your cupboard.) Simply warm a small handful between your palms then massage in from roots to ends. Gently twist your hair into a knot and leave it there for as long as you like. You will need to give your scalp a thorough shampoo (maybe two) to remove all the oil, but it’s worth it for soft and silky strands.
Brush, Buff and Moisturise
Woolly scarves, comforting soups, Netflix marathons—there’s a lot to love about winter. Dry, scaly skin isn’t one of them. Using a dry body brush make long strokes, starting at your feet and moving upwards, all over your body. This not not only exfoliates away dead skin, it also stimulates the lymphatic system giving your circulation a boost. Follow up with a scrub—coffee grounds work a treat if you have any around—and a good slather of body oil.
Finish With a Manicure
If time permits, complete your day spa experience with a DIY manicure and/or pedicure. By now your hands and feet should feel nice and soft from all the soaking, making it the perfect time to give them a little love. Set up a mani-pedi station beforehand with a foot file, nail file, toe separators (or cotton balls) polish and top coat. All done? Reach for your pajamas and slink off to bed for the ultimate self-care treatment, some quality shut-eye. Night!