Yes, heading to your local nail salon, esthetician, or blowout spot is a treat. But for those who can't get to a spa right now, or are just looking to save some cash, an at-home spa day is always an option. While no, you won't be getting your laser treatments or your studio-strength chemical peels from home, these 7 at-home spa day essentials can make you feel just as pampered and well-cared for as a trip to your favorite spot.
Plus, imagine the possibilities: a fridge of never-ending mimosas, absolutely no need to put on real clothes to head outside, and the opportunity to make the spa day a group event via video chat.
But with an array of product options and DIY recipes bombarding your search bar, it may be difficult to find out what the best, easiest at-home treatments are. Bustle spoke with hair and skin experts to determine what exactly you need to make your home into your dream spa. Read on for their tips.
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DIY Hair Mask
For those looking to try DIY recipes, hair masks are where it's at, according to Krista Depeyrot, co-owner of Salon Bisoux in Washington DC. She tells Bustle that you can use a ton of foods for at-home treatments.
One recipe she recommends focuses on apple cider vinegar, an ingredient you've probably already heard about — the at-home remedy is oft-touted for improving irritated scalps. A 2014 study showed shampoos with an alkaline pH level can increase friction within the hair. Adding an acidic substance, like ACV, could mitigate breakage.
Depeyrot's DIY hair mask recipe takes ACV a step further. She recommends mixing 1 tablespoon of ACV with half an avocado, a teaspoon of argan oil (both work to hydrate the hair and scalp), and 10 drops of rosemary essential oil (for fragrance). After you combine the ingredients, apply to dry hair from root to ends, and let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing and shampooing.
CBD Body Lotion
New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King recommends a good CBD lotion for your at-home spa day. Dr. King says CBD may help ease anxiety, and there's also evidence that it's good for the skin. "CBD has potential for treating various skin diseases by activating the endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammatory responses within the skin," she says, citing conditions like psoriasis and acne that may be improved by using CBD products.
However, Dr. King notes that more work is needed in the form of randomized, controlled trials with sufficiently large sample sizes to establish the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids to treat skin conditions. "There are potential benefits but we need more data," she says.
Given its positive preliminary studies, though, CBD may be a good item to incorporate into your day.
Josie Holmes, esthetician at New York City-based SKINNEY Medspa, recommends a good facial steam for your at-home spa day. She says the steaming process can promote circulation, increase hydration, and help products absorb better. And while you can purchase a steamer, you can also DIY one at home.
"I love to take a large bowl and fill it with hot water," she says. "Sometimes I'll add in essential oils or crushed-up rose petals to make it feel even dreamier. You can take a towel and drape it over the back of your head to trap in the steam." Try a steam treatment once or twice a week for five to ten minutes.
DIY Face Masks
Whole Foods Market beauty expert Matthew Arthur recommends a DIY face mask made from strawberries and bentonite clay. Studies have found strawberries to act as a protective agent against sun damage and a source of antioxidants, while bentonite clay can help soothe skin.
To make Arthur's recipe:
- Combine ½ cup strawberries, ½ cup heavy cream, and 2 drops essential oil in a blender, and pulse 3 times to purée.
- Add ¼ cup bentonite clay, and pulse 3 more times or until the mixture thickens.
- Moisten a washcloth with warm water, and drape over your face for 30 seconds.
- Remove the washcloth and apply the mask, avoiding areas like your eyes, lips, and nostrils.
- Allow the mask to dry for 15 minutes before rinsing.
- Pat dry and follow with toner as needed. Store the mixture in the fridge for up to 3 days and use daily, or once per week for sensitive skin.
If, however, you don't want to DIY face mask, you do have the option of shopping pre-made clay masks that feature bentonite. Honest Beauty's 3-in-1 Detox Mask and Origins' Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores both feature bentonite clay and require zero effort.
DIY Manicure & Pedicure
For those who don't head to the nail salon often, an at-home manicure can be a great addition to your spa day. Amy Lin, founder of wellness nail care brand Sundays, recommends their manicure kit, but she also says you can use household items for anything you don't have. She recommends using lemons, for example, to help soften cuticles, and says avocado or coconut oil work great as moisturizers.
DIY Foot Soak
Whole Foods' Arthur also offers up an option for those looking for an at-home foot soak while relaxing with a mask in their hair and on their face. He recommends a combination of epsom salt, lemon, and warm water. While there have been no clinical trials to test the effectiveness of epsom salt, Naoki Umeda, MD of the Cleveland Clinic, writes that epsom salt may help ease muscles, reduce inflammation, and calm stress. Meanwhile, lemon is antimicrobial, and Arthur says you can add essential oils for aromatherapy. Here's what to do:
- Fill a large foot soaking pail or tub with warm water.
- Cut 2 large lemons, and squeeze their juice into the pail.
- Take a third lemon, cut into wheels, and set aside.
- Add 2 cups of epsom salt.
- Stir the water with a spoon, then add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Add the lemon wheels, and soak your feet in the mixture for 15 minutes.
- Rinse off your feet with cool water, pat dry, and apply your favorite foot cream.
DIY Body Scrub
Multiple brands like Frank's Body and SheaMoisture feature coffee scrubs among their product offerings, but SKINNEY MedSpa's Holmes says you can also make one at home. Holmes explains that caffeine can have a ton of benefits for the skin, such as increasing circulation and providing antioxidants. Studies have also shown it to be an effective agent in anti-aging efforts by inhibiting the breakdown of collagen.
To create her scrub, Holmes uses a few scoops of coffee grounds and adds them to a bowl. Next, she adds a few tablespoons of melted coconut oil to moisturize and act as a carrier for the grounds. Apply it to the skin, scrub, and rinse off.
Josie Holmes and Lindsay Malachowski, estheticians at SKINNEY Medspa
Matthew Arthur, Whole Foods Beauty Expert
Amy Lin, Founder of wellness nail care brand Sundays
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