One thing we’ve really missed through lockdown is a gorgeous country house spa day. Spa days can make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated, but of late it’s been the last thing on our minds when we’ve been largely confined to our homes. Spas are beginning to open their doors now as social distancing measure ease, and that has opened the door to relaxing massages and treatments for many. But for others, it might be too soon to visit a spa in person. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still treat ourselves and enjoy the soothing effects of a spa day from the comfort of our own homes, especially as summer draws to a close and temperatures start to drop.
Annelies Harte, Leisure Club Manager at Audley Nightingale Place, shares their top tips to get started with an at-home spa treatment:
Make your own face mask
Recently, face masks have taken on a whole new meaning in our daily lives. But now that we’re consistently using face coverings when we go out in public, it’s all the more reason to pay some attention to our skin which may be suffering as a result. A honey-avocado face mask is simple to make and a great place to start. All you’ll need is a quarter cup of ripe avocado, two tablespoons of honey and half a teaspoon of cider vinegar, which you can mix in a bowl or a food processor until smooth. You then just apply a thin layer to clean, damp skin, and rinse off when it’s dried. The dreamy mix of hydrating avocado, skin-cleansing honey and toning apple-cider vinegar delivers perfect pH balance for all types of skin.
Scrub the day away
If you’re going for the full spa experience, then a body scrub can really make you feel pampered. Try making a cucumber-mint body scrub; the hydrating cucumber and cooling mint will bring soothing and inflammation-quelling properties to this exfoliator. The fine grains of sugar help shed dry skin, and skin-quenching coconut oil sweeps in to give a supple glow that lasts even after washing. To make, mash a third of a cup of cucumber and fresh mint into a pulp, then squeeze the liquid out into a second bowl and discard the pulp. Add sugar and melted coconut oil to the liquid and mix until fully incorporated. This scrub can also be refrigerated for up to a week, so perfect if you want to spread out your spa day.
Don’t forget your hands
Our hands have been put through a lot recently, given the emphasis on thorough washing and constantly using hand sanitiser gel. So, it’s a good time to give your hands some attention. If you’re after something particularly healing, you can do this yourself with a homemade hand repair salve, using rosemary and coconut oil which nourishes the hands and jump-starts skin repair. You’ll need to melt half a cup of both coconut oil and cocoa butter in a saucepan, before adding sage and rosemary, and letting it steep over a low heat for 10 minutes. Then you turn the heat off and leave it in the pan for another 1-2 hours, before pouring into a jar and refrigerating overnight. It’s a miracle worker for damaged and dry hands as well as for repairing chapped lips and cracked skin, and can be kept for up to 6 months once made.
Rejuvenate your mind
It’s not just the body that can be treated during your at-home spa day, but your mind too. Meditation isn’t for everyone and it can be tough to master, especially at first. But why not give it a try? It’s famously known to reduce stress and help to effortlessly live in the moment. It also doesn’t require a whole lot of energy, which is ideal for your revitalising spa day. Get comfortable, focus on your breathing, and allow your emotions to come and go. Apps like Headspace are a great place to get started with meditation. Whether it’s in the form of ten-minute mediation, a gentle yoga flow, relaxing in the bath at the end of the day, and even buying yourself some flowers, a little self-care everyday goes a long way.