Treating yourself to a spa day can feel like a luxurious escape from reality—until it's time to pay the bill for your services. Why not whip up your own natural concoctions that deliver big results, without the hefty price tag? Here are seven clever recipes you can use to create a full-body DIY spa day from the comfort of your own home.
Soak away. Made primarily from magnesium and sulfate, Epsom salt delivers some major mind and body benefits when added to a hot bath and absorbed into the skin. It can easily be found in your local grocery store, convenient store or pharmacy, and a generously sized bag costs less than $10. Not only can Epsom salt help to naturally exfoliate skin, it can help you shed bloat and water weight—and ease sore muscles. Boost the spa quality of your Epsom salt soak by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil. Dim the lights, light some candles and play some relaxing tunes; you may just forget you haven't left the house!
Healthy hydration. Why does water taste so delicious at the spa? Because they take the extra time to add flavors that transform a boring glass of tap water into something that feels absolutely indulgent.
To create your own infused water, fill a pitcher with four to six cucumber or strawberry slices and pour cold filtered water on top. Add a handful of fresh mint or basil (gently scrunched to release flavor) and stir the mixture together. Let the pitcher chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours for maximum flavor.
Fruit-based face mask. Skip the chemical-laden spa facial and make your own fruit-based face mask with ingredients you can source from your refrigerator and pantry: Mash three ripe strawberries with a fork until smooth; mix with one tablespoon of plain yogurt and one teaspoon raw honey. Apply the mixture to your face (it will harden as it dries); wash off with water after about 20 minutes.
Naturally packed with vitamin C, salicylic, alpha hydroxy and lactic acids, along with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients (thanks to the raw honey), this mask is sure to leave your skin looking just as a fresh as it would from a day at the spa—but is wallet-friendly and gentle enough to use often.
Avocado and egg hair mask. Feel like your hair looks dull, dry or brittle? Skip a trip to the salon and refresh your locks at home with a mask made of two simple ingredients: one half of a ripe avocado, and one egg yolk. Once you blend these two basic ingredients together, you've got a powerhouse antioxidant hair mask full of A and B vitamins, protein, magnesium and zinc. Wrap your hair in a shower cap and wait about 15-20 minutes before rinsing. This easy hair mask can repair and moisturize damaged and frizzy hair.
If you're particularly prone to split ends, smooth a little mayo on the bottom of your hair before you shampoo to help beef up brittle tresses.
When friends ask if you just stepped out of the salon, tell them your miracle hair mask (literally) came right from the aisles of the grocery store!
Coffee and coconut body scrub. A spa-variety skin scrub can easily cost more than $75 for one treatment. Why not create a DIY version that makes several applications—for less than $10? Just mix ½ cup of ground coffee and sugar, ¼ cup of coconut oil (softened) and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
The caffeine in the coffee draws moisture from the skin, creating the appearance of firmer skin, while the granules in both the coffee and sugar help exfoliate dead cells for a smoother look and feel. Naturally packed with moisture, the coconut oil is extremely nourishing to skin, and that little dash of cinnamon will help fight off any bacteria.
Refresh tired eyes. Hoping to look as well-rested as you feel after a stress-free day at the spa? The secret may already be in your refrigerator. To reduce puffy eyes, mix two egg whites with a fork until they have a whipped texture. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and gently apply under the eyes for about 15 minutes; rinse with water. The vitamin B present in egg whites enhances the blood circulation, its astringent properties reduce inflammation, and the proteins nourish the skin around your eyes. As a result, your eyes will look brighter and more firm—and this clever beauty hack is gentle enough to use daily.
Create fuller lips. An increasing number of medical spas now offer “lip augmentation" and similar fillers on their menu of services—but there's no need to put your pout (or wallet) through the pain of injected treatments. Instead, plump lips by adding one or two drops of peppermint essential oil to a teaspoon of Vaseline. You'll feel a little tingle, and your lips will take a slightly fuller appearance (temporarily).