I get that there are many reasons people go to day spas. For some, it’s the pleasure of treating yourself to a special experience, a day of pampering, an opportunity to do something for yourself and get away from your kids or your spouse or whoever else is part of your daily routine. And if those are at the top of your list, I say go for it. There are times those are my priorities and a few hours out of the house in a beautiful environment is exactly what I need.
But more often than not, what I really appreciate about a trip to a spa are the results that I see and feel on my face and body. I come home relaxed, renewed, and — if my husband is telling the truth — looking younger and better than ever. It used to be that the only way to get those results was with a professional aesthetician in a formal setting. But that’s no longer the case. Now there are many products you can buy to use at home that can have you feeling as refreshed and fabulous as if you just spent the day (and a chunk of cash) in a spa. So pick up one or several of these, or add them to your holiday wish list. And then retreat to your bathroom, turn off your phone, and lock the door!
1. The Scent
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of my favorite spa is the beautiful, noticeable-but-subtle scent. So a high-quality candle is a must-have to create a spa experience at home. So many candles on the market smell great when you put your nose up to them but they don’t put any scent into the room when lit. That’s not the case with this one from Lafco — even in my large, open bathroom the scent of lavender, chamomile, bergamot, and more was delightful and relaxing. It comes in a beautiful, heavy clear glass and has a burn time of 120 hours.
2. The Callus Remover
I have the world’s roughest feet, so one of the things I love most about a spa experience is getting an exfoliating foot treatment. I was skeptical that this battery-operated device from Silk’n could provide comparable relief, but it did! It’s much faster and easier than using a manual foot file, and the diamond-head callus remover never needs to be replaced. It also comes with two files for your fingernails — one to remove ridges and one that provides a high shine.
3. The Facial Cleanser and Exfoliator
If you’re looking for a deep facial cleansing and exfoliation, the Foreo Luna 2 is what you need. Just apply your favorite cleanser to your face, wet the Luna 2, turn it on and gently rub the vibrating silicone bristles over your face in circular motions (you can adjust the intensity of the vibration). Then, rinse the cleanser off and you’re done. I love that it’s waterproof so I could use it in the shower and also that the silicone makes it super sanitary. And the company says it can be used 450 times on a single charge! Choose from four types for normal, oil, sensitive, and combination skin.
4. The Microdermabrasian
I love the way microdermabrasion makes my skin feel — smoother, refreshed — but I never thought it would be possible to do it myself. The Personal Microderm Pro makes it easy and convenient. The device comes with a variety of discs embedded with aluminum oxide crystals, from ultra sensitive to very intense. Turn the unit on and quickly move the disc around on your face in an upward motion (one tip: definitely watch the instructional video first!). As the top layer of skin gets exfoliated, the unit’s gentle suction removes the dead cells from the surface of your face. It can also be used on your body.
5. The Facial Contouring
This NuFace Trinity is an FDA-approved device to improve facial contour, skin tone, and reduce the appearance of fines lines and wrinkles. It uses gentle microcurrents to provide an instant facelift. Rub the included gel primer over one section of your face at a time and then move the “facial trainer” — two large metal balls — over your skin. I don’t feel anything as I do it, but I have to say after using it several days in a row, my skin is looking more firm and toned. The unit sits on a charging cradle so it’s always ready to use.
6. The Chemical Peel
Some women consider chemical peels the holy grail of skin care and the most effective way to improve skin texture, reduce the effects of sun damage, and restore a natural glow. But professional peels can be harsh and require down time and multiple visits. This gentle DIY peel from Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare comes with pre-soaked pads packed in convenient individual packets. The Step 1 pad is soaked in five acids, including glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids to exfoliate and speed up cell renewal. Follow that with a swipe of the Step 2 pad which has retinol, green tea extract, CO-Q10 and more to keep skin balanced and smooth.
7. The Body Scrub
The only thing that might make this scrub from Palermo Body better is if it came with a personal masseuse to massage it into your skin. The lightly-scented scrub is made with sea clay to draw out toxins and Dead Sea salt and pumice to soften even the roughest patches. Tea tree oil and grapefruit oil purify and tone your skin, and moisturizers like shea butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil leave you feeling smooth and soft.
8. The Deep Moisturizer
Want to replicate that super soft, mega-moisturized feeling your skin has when you leave a spa? Kopari’s organic Coconut Melt will do the trick. Use it anywhere from head to toe and watch your body soak it up. My elbows and knees have never felt better! But the great thing is it’s not just a body moisturizer, you can also use the oil as a hair mask, makeup remover, dry shave oil, lip balm, and in a hot bath.
9. The Relaxing Bath
Take your bath up a notch by tossing in one of these satchels from Treets Traditions filled with rose petals, hibiscus, ricebran oil, and other wonderful smelling and moisturizing ingredients. I love that it’s packaged like a tea bag — no messy pouring or measuring — and it makes it so easy to throw one in a suitcase for a quick spa-like bath when you travel.
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