Spa at home: How to create your own retreat and practice self-care
Usually when feeling stressed out, we’d head straight to our favourite spa for some R&R. With our spas sadly closed, we’ve been coming up with ways to create a blissful home spa retreat. Staying well is so important right now, and self-care is a big part of that, so make sure you carve some time in your day to spa.
In lockdown you can create your spa experiences with your fellow house guests, alone, or online with friends. Below we outline some of the ways to design your own spa space and perform spa treatment rituals at home, from facials to manicures, with gorgeous spa products that you can still order online, or some that you can make from your store cupboard and garden.
Keep tuning into our home page for more in-depth spa at home features, whether it’s how to give yourself the best express facial for a Zoom meeting, or how to treat screen-weary eyes and skin.
Visualise your favourite spa
Although our spas are closed right now, there’s nothing to stop you visualising yourself having a spa day. You can go anywhere in the UK... or the world. Read our online reviews: they’re so in-depth it will help you re-create every detail in your head, and you can vicariously experience some of their amazing treatments, too. You may find inspiration to create your own spa at home.
Create your spa space
Find your space – in your bathroom or bedroom, or your home office – wherever you can shut the door on the world and hang a “sshhh” sign. Next, do a Marie Kondo on the area – you want it to be as serene as possible.
Now… nest! Add cushions, lighting, crystals, Himalayan salt lamps – whatever floats your spa boat. Fire up the Spotify spa playlist, grab a blanket, pour yourself a spa libation – some guilt-free bubbly courtesy of Wild Life Botanicals or herbal tea. Add a bowl of healthy nibbles and fruit, and a pile of Wellness magazines or colouring books.
Put on your cosiest spa robe. We love this Spa at Home kit by Towelsoft (£39.95) with a bathrobe, two bath sheets and two hand towels. You can add a six pack of mitts for £3.95 and fleecy slippers for £1.95.
After years of trying various spa candles – there are so many wonderful ones out there from Natural Spa Factory to ESPA – we always come back to NEOM. Aromatherapy candles are their USP after all, and they do it so well – not too much, not too subtle, elegantly complex and long lasting. Since we are all being kept indoors, we think it’s worth investing in long term spa fragrances to keep the family in good spirits. And thankfully NEOM have come up with their own Aroma Pod Essential Oil Diffuser (£100) with scents specifically blended to inspire the mood you crave, from happiness to de-stress to sleep.
Think about what you want from your home facial: a super cleanse, a plumping massage or anti-ageing ingredients – or all of the above! For an at-home facial, get your towels ready: fill a bowl with hot water and a couple of drops of refreshing essential oils (do the same for an at home pedicure, below). Submerge your mitts and you are ready.
A deep double-cleanse
One thing we miss about spa facials is the serious cleansing. You need to commit to a double – if not triple – cleanse. Dermalogica’s Precleanse Balm (£42) is a fun and invigorating way to begin any facial, and to melt away make-up and dirt. Apply onto the face and use the rubber mitt with its tiny bobbles for an exfoliating massage – it feels gorgeous on the skin and gives you a healthy, plump glow. Afterwards, use the super-gentle Ultracalming Cleanser to calm and cool the redness and fortify the skin’s protective barrier.
A natural, hydrating face mask
Natural Spa Factory’s vegan friendly Organic Cocoa Face Drench mask is £22 for a set of three packets – simply add a sachet to a bowl of hot water for 1-2 minutes until melted. Leave on for 15 minutes and try not to eat! It smells that good… The mask contains nothing but raw, organic cocoa solids with lashing of vitamins A, D and E, making the skin feel firm and replenished.
Hayo’u is a skincare company that provides Gua Sha facial and body massage tools and oils. Gua Sha is based on ancient Chinese skincare and if you follow the incredibly simple instructions on how to use their cooling jade Hayo’u Beauty Restorer (£38) you can give yourself a quick lymphatic facial massage – the reason your skin looks glowing, plump and firm after a spa facial. Use with The Revive Beauty Oil (£33) infused with camellia and palmarosa oils, it’s lightweight and seeps into the skin beautifully.
VOYA is a skincare company based in Ireland that uses wild, hand-harvested organic seaweed as the basis for its products – seaweed contains active marine nutrients that are particularly potent and great for dry and tired skin. They are currently offering this soothing Eye Treatment Duo at £62.80 – normally £78.50. Use the Awakening Eye Mask at night and leave on, so you can greet the new dawn with sparkling eyes. Dab on the cooling Bright Eyes Regenerating Eye Crème morning and night.
Intersperse with Comfort Zone’s Sublime Skin Eyepatches (£50) – wonderfully cooling and instantly soothing and plumping, you can stick these clear silica eye contour masks on any time for an immediate boost. Your screen-weary eyes will thank you.
Our Eco Millennial Spa Spy tried a Margaret Dabbs at home pedicure, which really does help you recreate that spa pedicure at home. Begin with a footbath and foot scrub and end with a beautiful nail colour. In this era of hand washing, a good manicure will include a hand scrub and hand massage oil. Pinks Boutique have Try Me Manicure and Pedicure sets for just £20.
If you can, give your feet a massage too. Try a Reflexology Stick (£10) from the chic Parisian brand Themae – you get instructions with your order. Use with these balms, rich in the antioxidant properties of tea.
For aching necks and backs
Laptop necks are a real concern right now, which is why we were so pleased to invest in a Hayo’u Method Hayo’u Body Restorer (£38) and Hayo’u Revive Body Oil (£40). A few sweeps of the heart shaped stainless-steel tool is utter bliss, and will relax your tight muscles, soothe stress, release tension and improve circulation. Use it on your neck (eight down strokes), chest and any part of your back that hurts, either with the oil or through clothing.
The Hayo’u Method has been developed from ancient TCM rituals, made accessible to modern audiences in their simplicity and brevity – it only takes a few minutes and there are quick demos on their website. Couldn’t be simpler. The aim of the ritual is to clear your Qi (energy channels) of inflammation blockages, creating a healthier and more balanced system.
You can use essentials in your store cupboard and mix with herbs and flowers from your garden to make at-home spa products. Melted raw pressed coconut oil – or any nut oil – is a good base for a scrub (add mint, cucumber and half a cup of granulated sugar) or hand balm with added cocoa butter and herbs or essential oils. Mix honey with cider vinegar and olive oil to make a hair mask.
For a face mask, try mixing two tablespoons of honey, half a teaspoon of cider vinegar and half a mashed avocado, then applying to your face for ten to twenty minutes before removing with a hot mitt.
For a bath milk add blended oats and rose petals (or any petals, washed) to a bath or add essential oils if you have any. The oats make the bathwater creamy and milky, softening your skin.
Order an at-home spa retreat
Our Spa Spy blogged about the State of Liberty at-home spa retreat. Sign up for a seasonal retreat or order a home care box, and you’ll receive gorgeous selection of products including clay and salts, plus essential oils and a candle. You also get access to their online resource library with yoga and meditation videos, recipes and articles on self-care.
Spas are sadly closed but you can support your favourite spa with a voucher purchase to treat yourself or a loved one when normal life resumes. Visit your spa on Good Spa Guide and look for ‘Gift Vouchers’ on the right hand side. If the link is not there, try visiting your spa’s website.