Brought to you by The Body Shop.
The last time I was on holidays at the Gold Coast with my brothers family, my sister-in-law and I had made a “plan” to take some time out together and do the “spa day” thing. It didn’t happen (insert sad emoticon here), because the facts are we had kids to take care of, and as much as my brother is a fantastic dad, the 5 kids we had with us were too much for him to wrangle on his own. You get it right? Instead, we ended up at the theme parks, and the show and everything else that was the total opposite to relaxation.
While a relaxing day away at a spa sounds so amazing, time constraints and other responsibilities are often the reason why I tend to put everything else before my own well-being, and if we’re being honest, you probably do the same. Even if you know you need some time-out, you put it off, for one reason or another. If you’re guilty of feeling guilty about spending some time and money on yourself, thankfully there are other ways to be pampered without spending a fortune – and you don’t even need to leave your house! Recreate your own spa experience with these simple head-to-toe treats that will leave you feeling invigorated and revitalised.
First, you’ll need to set the scene. Turn off your mobile phone and other devices so you’re not distracted by the outside world. Then, light a few candles that burn your favourite scent to create a peaceful atmosphere. To really create day spa awareness, play a CD with falling rain or crashing waves – studies have shown that listening to nature sounds can have a healing effect on our cognitive abilities. Now, it’s time to work on your body.
• For the hair: If your hair looks dry, damaged, or brittle, try some Argan oil. Like all lubricants, Argan oil is extremely moisturising and is a popular remedy in Hollywood. Simply massage the oil into your hair for a good 10 minutes, paying particular attention to your roots. Then, soak a towel in warm water and squeeze any excess water before wrapping the towel around your hair. Leave the towel for another 10 minutes as the heat will help the oil absorb, and then rinse it all off with shampoo. You don’t even need to worry about conditioner as the Argan oil will suffice.
• For the face: While placing cold cucumbers on closed eyelids is a tried-and-true technique, it’s time to get a bit more creative. Every facial should include exfoliation and products that hydrate and calm the skin, but if you don’t have these products in your bathroom, you can cheat with products in your refrigerator! First, grab a face towel and run it under extremely hot water. Squeeze out excess water and drape it over your face for a few minutes. This opens up the pores. Then, remove the towel and mash up a ripe banana into a smooth paste. Gently apply it to your face and neck and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Not a fan of banana? Try this treatment with mayonnaise, yoghurt, or even oatmeal! Your face will feel smoother instantly.
• For the feet: If you have dry or tired feet, treat them with the attention they deserve and indulge in a home spa ritual. Grab a plastic tub or bowl and fill with warm water. Add a few drops of lavender oil and soak your feet, while taking in the scents around you. Start with your toes and massage with your very own hands from your heels to your calves in long, sweeping motions. After 15 minutes, towel pat your feet dry and then lather on some honey and beeswax foot butter – this sensuous moisturiser will leave your tootsies feeling soft and smooth. This same technique can also be used for the hands if they are particularly dry or weathered.
It’s easy to imitate that flawless and refreshed look that you get from a day spa (and for half the price) at home. With the right setting and products, you’ll be able to have more me-time without feeling guilt-ridden. The best thing about a home spa is that you can do it as often as you like. Make it a social event and invite your closest girlfriends over for a gossip and pampering session – share these tips and tricks for an indulgent full-body experience (a glass of red vino on hand is optional!)