We all know that spas and beauty salons are great places to relax, whether you’re getting a massage or facial, or treating yourself to a new ‘do. But you shouldn’t miss out if you can’t get an appointment.
Home spa days allow you to indulge, so you still get to feel pampered. Home spa treatments don’t need to be elaborate either; you could simply put on a sheet mask or paint your nails.
So, if you’re looking for ways to relax and unwind, our home spa tips can help.
Set the mood: Create a spa atmosphere
You can’t help but feel calmer in a spa setting. Luckily, you can easily recreate this at home.
Scented candles are a great way to help you get into the right frame of mind. Lavender is thought to reduce anxiety and has a calming effect; it’s why people spray lavender on their pillow to help them sleep at night. In one 2012 study, participants said they felt more relaxed and in a better mood after inhaling lavender oil. Vanilla and jasmine scents are also linked to relaxation, but any scent that you love will do the trick!
You should also make sure your space is clean and clutter-free. It’ll be impossible to quiet the mind when you know there’s a pile of dirty dishes stacking up, or an overflowing laundry basket to tackle later. Music can help to reduce stress too, so think about compiling a ‘relaxation playlist’ or simply choose a soothing, slow-paced album to play in the background.
Lastly, put on your comfiest loungewear or pyjamas, or throw on a bathrobe. Soft fabrics like cotton and terry towelling won’t feel restrictive, and will ease you into a relaxed state.
Skincare treatments are a cornerstone of spas, but at-home facials can be just as effective if done properly.
In fact, the weekly application of face masks can really help to nourish and protect the skin, especially if you can’t get to a spa or salon.
Your step-by-step guide to at-home facials
1. Cleanse and remove any make-up. Prep your skin by removing any make-up, or residual dirt and oil. Wet your face with warm water and apply a foaming gel cleanser or face wash, massaging this in. Wash it off with a warm, damp cloth, or by splashing your face with water.
2. Exfoliate. Exfoliation helps to remove any dead skin cells and get rid of excess oil from your pores. Use an exfoliating face scrub (those with sensitive skin should opt for a gentler scrub). Wash this off with warm water.
3. Apply a face mask. Face masks are designed to target specific skin concerns; it’s worth thinking about your skin type, and finding a mask that’s going to be the most beneficial to you. Those with oily skin should choose a clarifying, clay-based mask; if your skin is dry, a moisturising mask will help to soothe and replenish your skin. After applying the face mask, leave it on for around 15 minutes before removing.
4. Tone. Toners help to cleanse and close pores, which ‘open up’ during facial treatments.
5. Moisturise. Finish your at-home facial by applying a hydrating moisturiser. If you want to use a serum too, put this on before moisturising. Massage in the moisturiser to boost blood circulation and reduce puffiness.
Take a luxurious spa bath
Bathing cleanses and moisturises the skin; studies have shown that warm baths can even improve your breathing and lower your blood pressure. But to take your bath from regular to downright regal, add a scented bubble bath or bath bomb. As we’ve mentioned, lavender and vanilla scents can help to relax the mind; chamomile is another popular bath time scent with similar properties. And if you’re feeling a little under the weather, eucalyptus acts as a natural decongestant when added to your bath.
If you don’t have a bath, don’t worry; you can make your shower extra special with luxurious body washes.
For a scented, spa-like treat, you can use essential oils in your shower too. Shower melts – which you just pop in your shower tray – contain essential oils that are released as you shower. You could even add an essential oil to your face cloth and take this in the shower with you for a similar effect.
Bring out the body scrub
Though we typically focus on our faces when it comes to home spa treatments, it’s just as important to pamper your body.
Body scrubs exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells that can sit on the surface layer. For smoother skin from head to toe, we recommend using a body scrub once a week, taking extra care on stubborn areas like your knees and elbows.
Experts agree that body moisturisers and body butters work best when applied after exfoliation. Once dead skin cells are removed, products can be absorbed more deeply into the skin – leaving it properly nourished.
If there’s one part of the body that tends to get neglected, it’s the feet! Cracked heels are common, but you can easily treat this at home – and take a little time out for yourself while you do it.
Foot masks are designed to soften and remove dry skin, hydrating our hard-working soles. They’re effective and require minimal effort. Usually, they look like socks; you simply slip them on and sit back for 20 minutes or so as they get to work. The ‘peeling process’ can last a few days, but you’ll be left with baby-soft feet after.
Look after your hands and nails
If you’re sat watching your favourite film or TV series, why not treat yourself to a hand massage at the same time? Regular hand massages are known to reduce pain and tension, and can calm the mind.
How to give yourself a hand massage
To give yourself a hydrating hand massage at home, follow the steps below:
1. Remove any jewellery. It’s recommended that you wash your hands too.
2. Apply a pea-sized amount of hand cream to the palm of your hand. Look out for ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil, which hydrate the skin (and smell great too!).
3. Rub in the hand cream on each hand, using the thumb of the opposite hand, and rub your palms together.
4. Flex your fingers and work the hand cream into the spaces between each finger, then lightly pinch the tips.
5. Gently massage the top and underside of each hand, making sure that the hand cream is properly absorbed.
How to do a manicure at home
Following this, keep your nails looking their best with an at-home manicure.
1. Start by cleaning your nails using a nail polish remover.
2. Gently file your nails, moving the emery board in one direction.
3. Buff your nails until they feel smooth.
4. Push back your cuticles using a cuticle stick.
5. Moisturise your cuticles with a hand or nail cream, or a specialist cuticle oil.
6. Apply a clear base coat to prevent chipping. Base coats can also strengthen and hydrate nails, and support healthy nail growth.
7. Apply one layer of nail polish. Wait for this to dry before applying a second coat.
8. To prevent chipping and add shine, finish with a clear top coat.
Hair treatments at home can help to repair and protect hair in between salon visits. Give your tresses some TLC whenever you can’t make an appointment, by applying a nourishing hair serum or hair mask after shampooing and conditioning as normal.
Oil-infused masks and serums are especially effective if left on overnight. However this tends to work best on coarser hair types, because fine hair is more easily weighed down by product.
If your hair really needs some attention, apply a deep conditioning mask. These are designed to hydrate and soften dry or damaged hair, restoring shine and improving elasticity (which prevents split ends). Simply comb the mask through your hair and leave for 20 minutes, before rinsing it out.
It’s important to make time for yourself; a home spa day is the perfect way to relax and unwind, whether you’ve had a busy week and need to rejuvenate, or are feeling a little stressed and just need to pause for a moment.
To look after your wellbeing, introduce elements of self-care – like home spa treatments – into your weekly routine. These can easily be worked into other activities too, so you won’t necessarily need to free up any more time. You could read a book while taking a bath, or put a face mask on before cosying up on the sofa to watch TV, for example.
We’ve got plenty of health and beauty products available in store and online to help you create a home spa. So sit back and relax; you’ve earned it!