Tips to create a home spa experience

Visiting a spa is the ultimate in indulging relaxation, but if you don’t have the time or money to whisk yourself away for a spot of pampering, why not bring the spa experience to your home instead? At a fraction of the cost, you’ll still get to reap the many mind and body benefits that visiting a spa can bring.

spa

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Create the right atmosphere

Have you ever visited a spa to find it’s noisy, chaotic and full of distractions? Probably not! If you want to emulate the spa experience at home, find a time and space that’s calming, quiet and free from interruptions. Take a day off work, or wait until the kids are in bed, for example, to ensure you can focus on some me-time.

 

Set the tone

Create the right vibe to kick-start your home spa experience. Dotting scented candles around a room (the bathroom is a good option) not only creates a relaxing atmosphere but studies have found that scented candles can stimulate the part of the brain associated with mood, helping to lower levels of stress and anxiety.

Add soothing music to the background, too. Researchers claim that listening to mellow tunes can increase the feel-good hormone, serotonin, in the brain, while also reducing blood pressure.

Dim the lights in the room and turn your phone off. Make sure you’ve got some fluffy towels, slippers and a robe to hand.

 

Essential oils

Essential oils are paramount to any spa experience, so stock up on your favourites. Different oils can induce different emotions and effects, so decide what you want to get out of your spa session. Lavender essential oil, for example, is perfect if you want a calm and relaxing experience, geranium oil is good for rejuvenating the mind and body, while lemongrass oil is thought to relieve feelings of anxiety and tension.

You can use the essential oils in different ways, but don’t apply them directly onto your skin. Add them to an oil burner to breathe in the aroma, or mix a few drops with a carrier oil to gently massage your skin. Place several drops of oil in a bowl of hot water, covering your head with a towel to steam your face, or dunk a facecloth in the water and wring it out, to make a soothing compress for your face and neck. For full-body benefits, take a long soak in the bath with oil-infused water.

If you’ve been on your feet all day long, add peppermint essential oil to hot water and soak your feet. Peppermint is renowned for relieving pain in the feet and can aid circulation. While you’re at it, slough away the dead skin cells on your feet with a pumice stone, finishing off by slathering them with a rich, moisturising lotion to keep dryness at bay.

 

Raid the larder

Many of the ingredients used in expensive spa lotions and potions derive from items that we can readily find in the fridge or store cupboard at home. So, when creating your at-home spa experience, raid your larder to give your skin some pampering on-the-cheap. Oatmeal, for instance, contains amino acids that can have a positive effect on dry skin. Mix a couple of teaspoons of oats with natural yoghurt and apply as a facemask. Yoghurt also comes loaded with skin benefits. The zinc and lactic acid in this dairy dessert can banish blemishes, improve skin tone and may even reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Bananas, honey, avocado, cucumber and olive oil are also beneficial and cost-effective ingredients for making DIY facemasks.

 

Relax

Make sure you have somewhere where you can lie back and relax as you unwind and let the oils and masks work their magic. Soaking in a bath is ideal, but a lounger or a bed serve well, too. Lying down means you’re less tempted to check your phone or be distracted by things around you, so just savour the moment before you need to step back to reality.

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