Why spend money on pricey spa treatments when you can make your own natural skin care products at home? Cocoa, honey, fruit and yogurt -- these are just a few of the yummy ingredients you can use in home spa recipes to relax your mind while they pamper your body and soothe your soul.
To help you whip up a frenzy of fabulous home spa mini-makeovers, WebMD talked to some of the best known bath and skin care experts in the country. What follows are their million-dollar home spa secrets -- for just pennies per treatment!
Bon appetite. Uh . . . we mean -- happy spa!
All-Natural Chocolate Facial Mask
This decadent facial mask, ideal for normal skin, will leave your face smooth, soft, and silky. The cream and honey add moisture, and the oatmeal sloughs dead skills, perfect for smelling romantic and deliciously edible. Enjoy!
1/3 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons cottage cheese
1/4 cup honey
3 teaspoons oatmeal powder
Mix all ingredients together and smooth onto face. Relax for 10 minutes; then rinse with warm water.
* Courtesy of Bliss Spa, New York City
Apple Pie Spa Treatment Skin Polish
Apples are notorious for their nutritional benefits; they're 85% water and high in potassium and vitamins A and C. Perhaps even more beneficial is the malic acid, an exfoliating enzyme in apples that is useful for removing dead skin cells and surface dirt.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh apple puree or apple sauce
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all ingredients, stirring well. In the bath or shower, apply scrub to skin in a circular motion, using a washcloth, bath gloves, or a loofah sponge. Pay special attention to rough spots like elbows, heels, and knees. Rinse well, and follow with a rich body lotion.
Note: If using on the face, omit granulated sugar. Brown sugar, because it dissolves gently, is a more appropriate choice for the delicate skin of the face.
* Courtesy of The Bachelor Gulch Spa at The Ritz-Carlton
Papaya Rejuvenation Home Spa Skin Refresher
Exfoliate your skin gently with natural papaya enzymes, and leave the house with a gentle glow.
- Wash face thoroughly.
- Bring large pot of water to a boil.
- While water is heating, mash 1/2 of a papaya into a paste.
- Move pot to table and place face over steam, holding a bath towel over your head. Adjust to be sure skin is at a comfortable temperature.
- Steam face for 5-8 minutes.
- Apply papaya mixture, carefully avoiding the eye area.
- Lie down and relax for 5-10 minutes.
- When you feel fully rejuvenated, rinse your face and apply moisturizer for a radiant complexion.
* Courtesy of Nob Hill Spa, San Francisco.
Home Spa Recipe for Natural Hair Conditioner
Blend up this simple recipe for a deep hair conditioning treatment that will leave your hair soft and silky. The fats in the avocado and heavy cream are rich in emollients that quickly penetrate the hair, while the honey keeps your scalp's moisture level at an optimum balance -- not too dry or too oily -- and acts as a natural antibacterial agent.
1 avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
Mix ingredients in a blender. Comb mixture through freshly washed hair. Wrap head in plastic (a grocery bag will do), and cover with a towel. Let sit for 15 minutes, and rinse well.
* Excerpted from Chick Living: Frugal and Fabulous, by Kris Koederitz Melcher. Reprinted with permission of Conari Press. Copyright 2005.
Home Spa Sugar Scrub and Honey Hand Wrap
Soothe itchy, dry, winter-chapped hands with this richly emollient hand wrap.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
Mix olive oil and sugar to form a paste. Massage over hands to lightly exfoliate; then rinse with warm water. Warm honey in microwave and apply to hands (be careful -- don't let it get too hot!). Wrap hands with plastic wrap, and relax for 30 minutes.
* Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Ariz., Avon, Co.
Home Spa Coffee Body Scrub
If the smell of freshly brewed coffee perks you up in morning, try inhaling an entire shower full of Joe! Massage oil smoothes and moisturizes, while coarsely ground coffee and raw sugar or sea salt rids your body of dead, flaky skin cells.
2 cups of coarsely ground coffee
1/2 cup raw sugar or sea salt
2-3 tablespoons massage oil (such as sunflower, jojoba, or apricot kernel oil)
Mix all ingredients together. Take a hot shower to moisten your skin and open pores. Using wide, circular motions, rub the scrub onto your skin with strong, even pressure. Shower off, pat skin dry, and apply a thin layer of your favorite body lotion. Then get ready to start your morning!
* Courtesy of Spa Index.Com and Spa Senjakala, Malaysia
Spa Treatment Shower Therapy
A long hot bath can be a dreamy way to relax and unwind. But what if your self-pampering time is limited, or, horror of horrors, you live in a house without a tub? Enter the aromatherapy shower, a simple technique that comes to the rescue of harried women who bathe standing up.
To try it yourself, take an extra washcloth, wet it, and scent with four or five droplets of your favorite essential oil. Tuck the washcloth into a corner on your shower floor, and let the water run hot for minute or two to steam up the room and disperse the scent. Then step out of your clothes and into a cloud of scented steam. Breathe deeply, exhilarating in the blissful smell.
Some tips on choosing oils: Citrus scents -- lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine and orange -- are wonderful mood lifters, as are essential oils of bergamot, rosemary, and cardamom. If you're more in need of mellowing out than pepping up, pick soothing scents like lavender, clay sage, sandalwood, chamomile, pine, and vetiver.
* Excerpted from Mom Spa by Jennifer Sander. Copyright Â© Fair Winds Press 2006.
Natural Eye De-Puffing Treatment
If your eyes are red and puffy from a long day spent squinting at the screen, lie down with your feet up and use one of the following treats to soothe and de-puff your precious peepers.
- Lay thinly sliced cucumber on your eyes.
- Use damp, used tea bags, or cotton squares dampened with cool tea.
- On top of the cucumber or tea compresses, lay an unopened bag of frozen peas over your eyes. This is an old trick from plastic surgeons to reduce swelling after eye surgery.
- After a good night's sleep, your eyes will be good as new!
*Courtesy of International Skin & Body Care, Redlands, Calif.