Featured Image, Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Taking care of the mind, body and soul can seem like a never ending job, however when you immerse yourself in the spa lifestyle, self-care becomes a lot more doable. The trick to cultivating an at-home spa is repeated rituals. Take the hard work out of self-care with regular routines that eventually become second nature. The obvious examples of this are: regular hot baths, skincare routines and daily meditation. Think of your body as your temple and your home as your house of worship. Devoting time to your wellbeing happens with a decision on the inside, from the moment you wake up to the moment you drift off to sleep.
Let us get you practicing more self love. It is time to learn that wellness is not a luxury. It should not be reserved for just the privileged, but be made widely accessible. Whoever you are, wherever you are, know that you are important and deserving of love, relaxation and self-care. First, learn to set up your home like a spa director, then infuse tranquility into your every day life with tips from Cultivating an At-Home Spa Part I & Part II.
RELAXING & EXFOLIATING BODY TREATMENTS
Dry Brushing 101
Dry Brushing has a long history of being practiced in many different cultures and spas. Today, it is easier than ever to bring this skincare practice to your very own bathroom. The most obvious benefits are radiance and smooth skin, but there is so much more to it than that. There are added benefits of increased circulation and lymphatic drainage.
- Choose a firm brush made with natural bristles and a long handle (so you can reach your back) If you have sensitive skin or have never done dry brushing, start with a softer brush and in time you can move onto a firmer brush.
- Start at your feet and legs, brushing upwards, towards the heart. Press gently, the process should not hurt. Slightly red skin is normal.
- If your skin is very dry, infuse a few drops of body oil into the bristles your brush.
- This treatment exfoliates your skin and requires that you shower afterwards. Follow up with a gentle or natural body lotion.
Epsom Salt and Spa Scrub Duo
One of the most enjoyable ways to get rid of flaky and dead skin is with a real spa mask or scrub. The secret is to walk into any spa and shop their retail selection. Many times spas will sell the same products that they use in their treatments. For fans of body masks who want the added bonus of exfoliation, combine your spa-bought mask with epsom salt. We already know Epsom Salt is excellent when added to your hot bath, but when added to your favorite body products, it creates a luscious and effective skincare treatment.
Extra Product Tip: Wrapping yourself in a robe made with breathable fabric will help your skin calm down after any exfoliating treatment. My current favorite is Felina’s Charlize Robe.
We already know bath soaks and hot baths are excellent for circulation, de-stressing and muscle aches, but sometimes all you really need is a foot soak. For times when a simple foot soak will do, take 10 minutes out of your day to prepare a simple or fancy spa for your feet. This is especially beneficial if you have dry skin or need to relax after a long day. You will be surprised how much a foot soak can do for your skin, muscles and your spirit. I like to dress up my foot soak with chamomile flowers and epsom salt. Afterwards, massage in a hydrating lotion in circular motions. For very dry skin, try Legendary Apothecary’s magical formula for smooth feet. It’s a must-have. They use an old world recipe and it really works.
Spas give us a lesson in unplugging and learning to how escape without distractions. Most day spas have a meditation or sleep room at your disposal. We learned how to make a meditation nook, now it is time to learn how to make your sleeping space as serene as possible. You want to be able to breathe easy and say ahhh! Living in New York City has taught me to make my home as peaceful as possible. There is no room for clutter or drama.
Beauty sleep rituals are very personal. My favorite bedtime routine is to diffuse a relaxing essential oil (Gurunanda Calming Sleep), use a leave-on skincare mask (Herbal Dynamics Hyaluronic Acid & Oat Overnight Recovery Mask) and spray a calming pillow mist (Bamford Botanic Pillow Mist) right onto my linens.
Silk Pillow Case
One of the best lessons living the spa life has taught me is to find joy in simplicity and small luxuries. After testing out a few options, I am a firm believer in the power of silk pillow cases and in keeping your pillow as clean as possible. This helps prevent breakouts and improves the condition of your skin and hair. Silk pillow cases are very well-known for their beauty benefits, but they also give your bedroom a sleek and modern look. Not all silk pillow cases are made alike. Find one that looks and feels luxurious. Look for quality, resembling a look you will find at an expensive spa resort. This way your pillow case lasts for a fair amount of time. The winning brand for me is Celestial Silk. My 100% Mulberry Silk Pillow Case makes falling asleep a pleasurable experience.
Extra Product Tip: As a collector of sleeping masks (each for a special purpose), certain brands have caught my eye for their innovation or scent. I love the cool feeling and padding of Louvelle’s Sleeping Masks and headache reducing Victorian Trading Co Lavender Sleep Mask.