If you're in need of some me-time, but the bank balance just won't allow for that blow-the-budget day of rest and relaxation at your favourite five-bubble spa, don't fret -- recreate a spa atmosphere and treat your skin to softening spa treatments, in the comfort of your own home.
Plan your spa day, and prepare for it
The most important thing you can do to make sure your home spa experience is a success is to plan ahead. Some treatments, like body wraps and mud baths are probably best left to the professionals. We've tried messy treatments at home, so we warn you, if you enjoy a good bathroom clean-up as part of your spa routine, go ahead. If not, go for the more simple option of treatments that won't have you calling in professional cleaners. Make sure you read all the instructions on your products so you know exactly what is involved, and can plan what you'll need.
Once you've planned your day, make sure you prepare for it; after all, you don't want to ruin your perfect day by realising you've run out of cotton wool. So, make a list of everything you think you'll need, and shop beforehand. If you're planning to make a day of it, treats like a fresh fruit platter or a glass of bubbly will make it feel much more spa-like.
Create a spa ambience
On the day, unplug your phone and turn off your mobile. Draw the curtains or blinds and light the candles. If it's the winter-time, turn up the heating. Your home-spa retreat should be a place of warmth and relaxation, calm and contemplation. Even if you can only have an hour to yourself without the mayhem of the modern life crowding in - make sure that hour is all about you!
Finally, don't forget that it's all the little extras that make a spa experience special. If you're having a facial, don't just slap on a mask, make sure you really prepare your skin by properly cleansing beforehand and giving yourself time to lie back and relax while the mask works its magic. Gently massage your face with a serum and moisturiser afterwards, and try pressure-point massage techniques to get that full spa effect.
Decide on a logical order for your treatments. If you've just spent half an hour giving yourself the perfect manicure, you don't want to ruin it by slathering on a salt scrub!
Prepare extras like robes and slippers, scented candles, and mellow music. They'll help create a serene spa ambience.
Treat yourself to a piece of cake or a glass of wine if you want to indulge yourself, but don't overdo it, especially if you're stressed, or in need of some rejuvenation. Too much alcohol and sugar won't help you achieve a healthy spa glow. Drink plenty of water -- dehydration only makes wrinkles look worse!
Try to allocate enough time to really relax, and keep away from your smartphone and laptop. You won't be able to wind down properly if your mind is kept busy.