The same stress in our daily lives that makes us yearn for a spa experience often keeps us from taking the time out from a busy schedule to book a day of relaxation. Even with time, a day at the spa can be a big hit to wallet. While I often can't find the time (or budget) to be pampered in a luxurious spa, I do my best to treat myself with a home spa experience. When I take a few hours out of my schedule to treat myself right, I am rejuvenated and energized to take on the daily grind!
I start with an extra-special bath experience by turning off the lights and using candles and incense to set the mood. While filling the tub with great smelling products, like chamomile and lavender for relaxation or rosemary and mint for rejuvenation, I set up the CD player with some groovy tunes and turn off the phone. High quality soaps and scrubs, along with a terry cloth face mitt, round out my routine. I always keep plenty of fresh-smelling, fluffy towels for the finish.
Now it's time out for my face. I like to start with a scrub to remove dead skin and prevent blackheads. In a small bowl, mix equal parts olive oil and granular brown sugar, and add a few drops of essential oil. I often use lavender and orange oil, but in a pinch, I've used a few drops each of orange and vanilla extract ? it's not surprising that I was dreaming of Dreamsicles while I scrubbed! Gently scrub your face and neck in small circles for a few minutes, avoiding the eye area.
My skin tends to be as mercurial as my moods, so I whip up a mask based on how it feels that day.
? To remove blackheads: I mix a little warm water with baking soda, work it gently into the T-zone, and leave it on for 3-5 minutes.
? To moisturize: I mash 2 parts avocado with 1 part honey, apply and leave on for about 15 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Hint: If the doorbell rings ignore it ? a bright green face scares small children and men!
? To reduce oil: Whip up a whole egg with a spoonful of honey and a few drops of lemon juice. The egg white pulls out the oil, the vitamin A in the yolk helps heal blemishes, and the lemon is an astringent. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse with cool water.
? To firm: Whisk together a spoonful each of honey and glycerin with an egg white and a few pinches of flour to create a paste. Rinse with cool water after 10-15 minutes.
After any of these treatments, gently pat your face dry with a towel and moisturize well.
To get my body smooth and add a glow to my skin, nothing beats a great salt scrub. Simply combine 1 cup of course sea salt or kosher salt with 1/2 cup of almond or olive oil and a spoonful of Vitamin E oil. Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance. Scrub all over, giving special attention to any rough patches, especially elbows and knees! To avoid irritation, be sure to either shave before scrubbing or wait a day to shave.
To finish off I give myself a manicure and pedicure. Summer feet are for showing off so be sure to take the time to remove all the rough spots!
A home spa day isn't as fabulous as getting the deluxe treatment at a "real" spa, but it's a great way to rejuvenate and feel better about yourself without putting a big strain on your wallet!
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