Your At-Home Spa Guide

Being a pampered princess need not cost a king's ransom. Find out how to relax and rejuvenate your body for pennies — from the comfort of your own home.
Your At Home Spa Guide
Do you like getting facials? Manicures? Why not indulge yourself by creating your own private spa at home? Choose a time when you won't be disturbed, put on some relaxing music, pour yourself a refreshing glass of juice and get ready to do your "home work." You'll thank yourself.

Step 1: Beautify your body
Exfoliate with this "salt glow" treatment recipe from Noelle Spa for Beauty & Wellness in Stamford, CT: Mix vitamin E oil or grape seed oil (found in health-food stores) with kosher, sea or Epsom salts. Another recipe: Simply mix oatmeal with water (use the fine-grain kind — it's called colloidal — so it doesn't clog your drain). In the shower, rub it all over your body, and afterward, slick on some baby oil for moisture.

Step 2: It's a wrap
Pour warm chamomile tea over an old towel. Squeeze out the excess liquid and wrap it around your feet. Then, cover the towel with plastic wrap to hold in the heat. While your tootsies are warm, give yourself a facial (Step 3). After 20 minutes, remove the compress. By letting your feet know that you love them, they'll give you relief.

Step 3: Feel-good facial
Drape a warm, damp towel on your face. Leave it on for two minutes. Next, smooth on a gentle cleanser, using circular motions. Rinse with tepid water. Use a commercial cleanser or make your own using this recipe from Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions by Donna Maria (Storey Books, 2000). It's good for any skin type:

Easy Cleanser
Mix together:
  • 1 Tbsp kaolin clay (available in health-food stores)
  • 1 Tbsp powdered oats
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil

Massage cleanser into face and neck; rinse well.

To remove dead skin cells, rub a paste of baking soda and water onto the skin and rinse thoroughly.

Make-it-yourself mask
Next, rejuvenate your face with a mask treatment. Use a commercial mask or make one of your own. Choose from these recipes if you have a special skin type:

For Sensitive Skin
Eggsciting mix
Mix a tablespoon of honey with either one egg yolk or two tablespoons of milk. Apply to face, avoiding eye area. Leave on for 5 minutes; rinse.
For Dry Skin
Peach perfect purée
Purée one pitted peach (including the skin) and one egg yolk to form a paste. Apply to face, avoiding eye area. Leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse. Apply moisturizer.
For Oily/Acne-Prone Skin
Strawberry delights
Mash 20 strawberries with the back of a small spoon. Using your fingers, gently pat the pulp onto your clean skin. Wait until it dries and feels tight. Rinse. Apply moisturizer.
Step 4: Easy manicure
For a fine finale to a perfect at-home spa, follow these six steps to perfect nails:
  1. Remove all nail polish and wash your hands
  2. File your nails with an emery board
  3. Soak your hands for 5 minutes or so in a bowl of warm water softened with a few drops of rosewater
  4. Using an orangewood stick, clean under your nails, and push back your cuticles with a towel
  5. Apply moisturizer: Let it penetrate before applying nail polish
  6. To soften cuticles, take a Vitamin E capsule, poke it with a pin and massage droplets of the oil into your cuticle area
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