DIY Home Spa
Isn’t it weird that we spend our whole lives complaining about that isn’t enough time to do the things we’d like and now, when we have time to spare, we quite don’t know what to do with it.
During quarantine, I craft, I decorated, I baked, I cleaned, I took really good care of my house, but I kinda let myself go. No makeup, no nail polish, no plucking eyebrows… At first it fell good, somewhat liberating, but now it’s time to care care of myself, so I’ve decided to transform my bathroom into a spa.
I wanted to create my own home spa, an oasis, where I can relax without stress, where I can take care of myself without interruptions, a quiet place to be alone with my thoughts.
Step 1: Lighting
The first thing I did to create my own home spa was adding some mood lights. I got these color changing LED light strips and stuck it under the mirror. These things are great, they come in 5 meters or 10 meters length, but you can cut them to the perfect size and they already have a 3M adhesive ready to be placed.
I have those lights all over my apartment, they create a great hygge mood with soft warm colors and they are an awesome addition at parties on strobe mode.
Step 2: Aromatherapy
Scent is the best way to create a calm and stress free atmosphere in your home spa experience, wether you opt for scented candles, incense, an essential oil diffuser, infuse your bath water or simply a scented aerosol can.
According to scientists, aromatherapy is important because the sense of smell have a direct connection to the brain’s limbic system, which is the control center of emotions and where memories are stored. Smell is also influence blood pressure, heart activity and therefore, stress levels of the body.
Although lavender and vanilla are the staples scents of any spa, I prefer the ones with fruity smells. My favorites are the ones that smell like yummy desserts, like glade’s apple cinnamon candle or air wick’s mom’s apple pie.
>>> Always be careful when burning candle indoors. Never leave an open flame unattended. Also, beware when using an essential oil diffuser around pets, as some plants and its oils, such as tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint and others are extremely toxic to cats and dogs. <<<
Step 3: Soundtrack
Ever notice that most spas have a fountain or some source of water stream feature? That’s because the soft and repetitive sounds of the water is something you can really zone out to.
Creating a good playlist is crucial to help relax your mind and body. You can listen classical tunes or find some nature sounds. The key is to avoid anything too melodic or something with lyrics. You want to turn off your brain, so find music that doesn’t provoke thought, something instrumental that puts your mind at ease.
Of course, if you’re anything like me, you’ll think those plinky plonky nature sounds are very annoying and they stress more that relax you, plus they make you wanna pee really bad. Every one has their own taste, and maybe classical is just not your cup of tea. My favorite playlist is actually very melodic, and although they don’t have lyrics, they do have some bitchin’ guitar reefs.
I purchase one of those water resistant shower speakers that have a suction cup in the back. It connects directly to my phone via bluetooth, so I can listen to my music even when the shower is on. It has a mic too, so you can answer calls if you need to.
Step 4: Textures
White, warm, fluffy towels are a must in any home spa. Pair it with equally fluffy robes, slippers and a gorgeous bath mat and you’ll feel like you steeped into a cloud every time you walk in your bathroom.
I’ve always been reluctant to buy white towels, I thought they would require loads of bleach to keep the whites bright. Then I read somewhere that hotels only use really hot water to make sure everything is sanitized and spotless. So, I decided to believe them (well sort of). I bought some from Kmart. I figure I should put this theory to the test before I fully commit to it. Kmart towels are fairly good quality and really cheap, so if by any chance they are trying to fool me, at least I didn’t spend a fortune in new towels.
Bathrobes on the other hand are always quite expensive. At least, the good ones are. I’ve always wanted one of those, but never have the courage to spend that much money on it. But it turns out, I am lucky enough to have very good friends who are also very good in choosing wedding anniversary presents. A couple of years ago, our dear friends Bel and Jon gave us the softest, most gorgeous (read: ridiculously expensive) Sheridan bath robes. So, if you have a birthday, anniversary, graduation or whatever coming up, bath robe should be on top of your list (hey, at least it’s cheaper than jewelry).
The fluffy white slippers where a “courtesy” from whatever hotel I stayed last time I went on vacation. I absolutely love hotel slippers and always bring a few pairs home with me.
Step 5: Pampering
After your home spa oasis is complete, all you have to do now is haul ass to the kitchen and concoct a few simple, but very efficient DIY beauty treatments.
If you have a bathtub, sprinkle some epsom salt with your favorite essential oil for a relaxing bath. Epsom salt improves circulatory health, helps with stress reduction, and relieves muscle cramps. The essential oil of your choice also has its benefits, for example, use lavender for relaxation, cedarwood to reduce arthritis, and peppermint for decongestion.
For a quick and effective body scrub, all you need to do is mix one tablespoon of an oil (like coconut for its antibacterial properties, extra virgin olive as the most potent moisturizer, jojoba for its acne fighting powers, just to mention a few) and one tablespoon of a grainy agent (brown sugar removes toxins, salt helps with bloating and coffee improves circulation). Your skin will feel soft, glowing and oh, it will smell divine.
A hair mask is easily whipped by combining 2 basic ingredients in equal amounts. Honey and coconut oil for frizzy or damaged hair, avocado and aloe vera for dry scalp or dandruff, egg and olive oil for fine or thinning hair. As far as hair masks go, the whole process is really fool proof, as in you can’t really damaged it further. Making your own hair mask is pretty fun, so why not experiment with a few different recipes and ingredients until you find the one that’s best suited to your hair (just make sure you don’t have any allergies to the ingredients).
For face masks, what dictates the ingredients is your skin type. For dry skin, a concoction of 1/2 avocado, 1 tsp yoghurt and 1 tsp honey will do wonders for your skin, specially in the winter months. For those who suffer with oily skin, an egg white mixed with 1 tsp aloe vera and 1/2 tsp of turmeric is the perfect solution to keep the oils at bay.