Pamper yourself for pennies – at home

November 7th, 2019

Dry skin, ingrown toenails and aching muscles might not seem like major health problems, but a day at the spa can really improve your overall feeling of wellness. However, not everyone can afford hundreds of dollars for a day spa visit. So why not do your own at home spa day?

A group of Colorado Springs women have a home spa day several times a year – giving each other foot massages, manicures and pedicures, facials and scrubs.   They have lunch and a glass of wine, style each other’s hair and generally laugh a lot — good for their mental health, if nothing else.

However, if you don’t have a group that’s game to do it, there are many things you can do to treat yourself to a day of pampering. Here are some ideas:

Skin

Dry skin is a common problem in Colorado. But it can become a major irritant or even a health issue if not treated. Find a good lotion and apply it all over after a bath or shower. You also can exfoliate your dry skin cells with various methods, including a sugar scrub (mix 1 cup granulated sugar with ½ cup oil). For more sugar scrub recipes, visit wellness mama.com

Or give yourself a milk bath. If it was good enough for Cleopatra, it’s good enough for you. Here’s what you do: Fill a tub with warm water as normal, adding a small amount of lavender or other essential oil and bit of honey as you go (this helps the scent spread through the water). Mix in about 4 cups of milk. Use whole milk or buttermilk. Soak till water starts to cool. Rinse off in the shower afterward.

Facials

Most facials start with a warm damp towel on the face to open pores. One of the cheapest and easiest facials is the oatmeal facial. Pour one cup of hot water over 1/3 cup oatmeal. Let sit about 3 minutes, then mix in two tablespoons plain yogurt, two tablespoons honey and one egg white. Apply to face, then relax for 10-15 minutes to let it dry. Remove and rinse with warm water. For 20 different facial treatments you can do during your home spa day, using everything from beer to bananas, visit lifehack.org.

Hair

Don’t spend money on hot-oil treatments for your hair. You can do it yourself, and it’s so cheap and easy. Just wash your hair as you normally do, then apply about two tablespoons of olive oil to the hair and wrap in a towel. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Wash again and dry as usual. For more home spa day treatment ideas, visit hercampus.com.

Hands and feet

Many spas do paraffin treatments for clients. But you can do it for your home spa day, easily. You will need one block of paraffin wax (about four ounces), one ounce of oil (like coconut, almond or jojoba), plus additional oil to coat your hands before applying paraffin. Add a few drops of essential oil for scent, if you wish. Melt the paraffin, the ounce of oil, and the essential oil in a double boiler.  Carefully pour the wax into a greased glass casserole dish and wait until a skin has formed on the top of the wax.  The temperature should be just about right to submerge your hands. Double check it with your kitchen thermometer (no hotter than 125 F). Test the wax on your wrist to ensure the temperature is not too hot. Prepare your hands by washing and drying them thoroughly. Smooth a few drops of olive oil or coconut oil (smells better) on your hands.

Dip each hand into the wax repeatedly until you have several layers of wax built up. Aim for between five to seven layers of wax. Have someone help you put plastic sandwich bags (or plastic wrap) onto each hand, then sit back and relax for about 30 minutes. For added benefit, place a bath towel over your hands as you wait to keep the warmth inside. To remove the wax, simply peel it off by starting at the wrist and working your way to the fingertips. The wax should come off in large sections. Be sure to seal it up in plastic and save it for next time. Give yourself a gentle hand massage when you are finished. Repeat with your feet. For more ideas on paraffin waxing, visit liveaobut.com.

And finally

Take a nap.

More tips:

Here are some other websites that offer home spa day treatment ideas:

https://www.glamour.com/gallery/13-diy-at-home-spa-tricks-2008-11

https://www.thedatingdivas.com/25-relaxing-diy-spa-night-ideas/

https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/save-money/diy-spa-day-for-cheap/

https://www.babble.com/babble-voices/pamper-yourself-diy-tips-for-a-spa-day-at-home/

About the author

Linda DuVal is a freelance writer based in Colorado Springs and a regular contributor to UCHealth Today. She has written travel articles for major U.S. newspapers and national, regional and local magazines. She spent 32 years as an award-winning writer, reporter and editor for The Gazette in Colorado Springs.