Mother Earth Living

Create your own Spa at Home

Create your own spa at home, pamper yourself using these simple suggestions for herbal baths, facial treatments and facial masks.
By Melinda Minton
November/December 2001
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Create your own spa at home and pamper yourself using these beauty treatments.
By The Mother Earth Living staff

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Create your own spa at home using these helpful suggestions for homemade beauty treatments.

Create your own Spa at Home

Indulge in the luxury of a spa without ever leaving home.

Can’t break away from your hectic schedule to spend several days at a posh spa? Or maybe you’ve got the time to spare but your wallet can’t fund the experience? Because many of the most popular spa services can be re-created at home, try mimicking the same nourishing, blissful environment in the privacy of your home.

Take a Bath

Hydrotherapy (jets that massage soft muscle tissue and aid lymphatic drainage) and phytotherapy (plant extracts or essences added to warm water for therapeutic purposes) baths are traditionally offered at finer spas. Use these treatments in your home bath, or simply add a portable jet nozzle to increase circulation, enhance skin tone, and massage your body into a more advanced state of relaxation.

Shannon Merton, a body worker at Spa Amadeus in Pasadena, California, thinks that baths can be powerfully therapeutic. “Add rosemary to your bath to eliminate the symptoms of depression and PMS,” she says. “Try some lavender to relax and renew your psyche. Add rose petals to soften the water while delicately perfuming your body.” Simply place the fresh or dried plant inside a tea ball or muslin fabric pouch or track down some herbal extracts available at boutiques, health-food stores, and spas.

To revitalize your skin and allow it to soak up these hydrating products, begin with a complete full-body exfoliation. All you need is a loofah, boar-bristle brush, or ayate cloth. Andrea Hesse, an esthetician at Rocco Altobelli Salon in Edina, Minnesota, suggests that you start with clean, dry skin. “Take the exfoliating object and vigorously run the item all over your body. Next, utilize a salt scrub or a ground nut mixture and really rub it into every part of your skin,” she says. “You may want to use the salt glow for the more stubborn parts of your body like your elbows, knees, and feet, while using the less abrasive mixture for your legs, arms, and torso. After you feel sufficiently sloughed, rinse off with tepid water or plunge into a lukewarm bath. Follow with a luxurious hydrating lotion or dry oil spray.”

Treating Facial Wrinkles

Glycolic acid and enzyme peels, used to treat pesky lines, can get pricey at the spa. Reap the same benefits of this professional treatment without spending your entire paycheck. According to Gail Montgomery, an esthetician at Spa Atlantis in Pompano Beach, Florida, “glycolic acids are typically fruit extracts and lactic acid that can be found in milk products. These mild and absolutely natural products work by gently exfoliating the outer dead skin layers and encouraging renewed dermis production.”

The dead skin—which keeps out hydrators, looks crepe-like, and accentuates wrinkles—really needs to be stripped away in an aggressive fashion twice a month, according to Montgomery. At home, simply apply a treatment serum under your normal night cream. (See the list of homemade spa treatment recipes at the beginning of this article.) The only contraindication to using fruit and lactic acid products is that you will be more prone to sun damage and burning. Because of this increased vulnerability to the sun, Montgomery suggests only applying the products in the evening and wearing sunblock faithfully during the day.

Masking is also an effective method of decreasing those lines, because it nourishes the skin while hydrating its top few layers. Blood is naturally brought to the surface and acts as a healant. “Masks should be applied on a weekly basis and should be specific to your skin type and ultimate goals,” suggests Lisa Ryan, an esthetician at Ocean Place Salon and Spa in Long Beach, New Jersey. The easiest way to mask is to apply the mixture to a clean, dry face. You should also apply a protective hydrator to the delicate skin around your eyes. “Your mask should be applied to the entire face, avoiding the mouth, nostrils, and eye area. Leave the mask on for a good twenty minutes to capture the full benefits of the treatment,” Ryan advises. Apply your mask before a hot bath or while sipping herbal tea. (Steam increases the mask’s effectiveness by opening the pores and allowing the nutrients to enter the skin more easily.) Cleanse with tepid water. Then close and refine the pores after the treatment with a few splashes of cool water. Always finish with an oil-free lotion or heavier hydrating cream.

Read more about soybean foods and your health: Natural Healing Using Soybean Foods.

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