Ah, the spa day at home is such a classic, isn’t it?
When we think of self-care activities, we immediately imagine a woman stepping into a steaming scented bath of milk sprinkled with flowers. It’s always a woman, isn’t it? Why is it always a woman?
I find it strange because men could have a spa day at home too if they want.
In fact, I think every man should experience the relaxation a spa experience offers – either professional in a fancy 5-star spa or a simple DIY at home.
If you’ve never tried it before or you’re a man who thinks a spa is a place where women congregate, then you’re in for a surprise.
What is a spa?
A spa originally meant a place “centered around mineral springs where visitors could take a cure” (think places like Bath, England).
Nowadays, it’s really just a place of rest and relaxation that offers a variety of services including massages, facials, body scrubs. You can either stay for as short as 30 minutes or as long as a few days.
Since there’s no restriction to the word, just about anybody can use it.
In other words, if you have everything you need for a spa experience tucked away in your bathroom at home, you can call your bathroom a spa and no one can contradict you.
Actually, that’s what I tend to do.
At this point, I can’t justify the expense of getting a professional treatment so I just have simple spa days at home as part of my self-care routine.
Of course, I’m a full-time mom, homemaker and online entrepreneur so those spa days are few and far between but I guess that’s why I appreciate the experience so much more.
Nothing like anticipation to sweeten the experience.
Spa at home for self care
If you want to create a spa at home for self care, here is a list of spa essentials for home that you’ll need to get.
These are items that I personally adore and which transform my spa experience at home from something that’s too DIY-ish to absolutely perfect.
They’re also great because if you buy a few of the items in this at home spa day checklist and package them right, you could give them away as self care wellness gifts.
Perfect for the holidays (especially, the kind that celebrates love in all its glory…like Valentine’s Day) don’t you think?
So, this list is what you need if you want to give a self-care gift but are asking, “What can I put in a relaxing gift basket?”, “What should I put in a self care gift basket?” or “What goes into a pamper hamper?”.
For the perfect spa day at home, I highly recommend the following items in our list.
Side Note: Obviously, you can add all sorts of different items in your toolkit. For example, I’m a book lover and no spa day at home is complete for me without relevant reading material.
For the ultimate luxurious experience, I always go with a 100% Mulberry Silk Bath Robe.
As I mentioned in What Should I Get Myself For Christmas: Gifts To Buy Yourself On Amazon, silk is a pretty special fabric.
Hypoallergenic and antibacterial, silk contains natural protein and 18 essential amino acids including cellular albumen which helps speeds up cell metabolism, retains moisture and minimises wrinkles.
Aside from that, silk also provides anti-aging skin care treatment.
Finally, it keeps the temperature around your skin at an optimal level, making it suitable for all seasons.
I like this particular brand (ElleSilk) because it’s OEKO-TEX standard 100 certified to be free of chemicals and is naturally dyed. So, no color shading or fading.
Facial steaming or facial sauna as it’s sometimes called, is “the practice of exposing the skin to steam over a period of time say between 10 to 20 minutes as recommended by experts to cleanse the skin”.
Now, why should you include this in your self-care routine? Aside from the fact that looking after your face (or even, the skin on your face) is something you automatically start doing when you realise that you deserve to be looked after in the same way you look after your loved ones?
Facial steaming also has the following benefits:
✦ Unclogs facial skin pores effectively and efficiently
✦ Improves blood circulation
✦ Detoxifies the skin via sweating
✦ Stimulates the production of collagen
Also, if you’ve ever gone on a spa day at all, you’d realise that facial steaming is actually an important part of the experience (presumably for the benefits listed above).
So, a list of gifts to pamper a woman isn’t complete without facial steamer.
It’s not even that expensive too.
Get Pure Daily Care’s NanoSteamer (a large 3-in-1 Nano Ionic Facial Steamer with precise temperature control and which has over 2,000 positive reviews) for less than $30 from Amazon and have it delivered straight to your door.
This was a new discovery for me but came at a perfect time.
A face roller is a massage tool with sooting properties that you can use to replace the facial massage (and actually, even a body massage) that you’d usually get if you were in a professional spa. Of course, you can just use your fingers but I personally would rather not as I’m never sure how much pressure I should be exerting.
Anyway, the jade roller helps you relax. Like, really relax.
Most people forget that our muscles are interconnected. The muscles in the jaw tend to be particularly strong and when stressed, they tighten but very few people actually notice it.
It’s even worse if you have a tendency to grind your teeth (I do).
This is where a face roller really comes in handy and its relaxing benefits are quite potent.
It also is helpful if you often wake up with a puffy face and noticeable lines — common issues due to ageing, environmental stressors, lack of sleep etc.
So, how do you use it?
You simply hold the polished device like you would a tiny paint roller – and you vary which end you use depending on which areas of the face (or even body, actually) you’re targeting. The larger roller is best for your forehead, cheeks, and larger more muscular areas of your body like your back and legs.
The smaller one is designed to work around your eyes, lips, fingers, and toes.
Then, you just roll it over a swollen or wrinkly patch of skin to smooth it out by stimulating blood flow.
This one is my favourite and over 2,000 Amazon customers agree with me…and if you find it under $25, then don’t hesitate. It’s a steal!
After using a facial roller, which should really help your face absorb all the goodness of any products you’d wish to apply later on, your next step would be putting on a facial mask.
No sense in making your skin more absorbent if you don’t have anything to lather on it to absorb, right?
Again, if you go to any professional spa, you’ll always see facial masks in the service menu. That’s because face masks are essential for any skincare, self-care and relaxation routine.
Because, as Her Campus contributor Sara Goldman writes, “they add moisture, prevent breakouts, and boost radiance to the skin”.
On top of that, nothing feels as luxurious as you putting on a face mask – whether it’s a sheet or a cream.
There’s something about the act itself and the knowledge that you’ll have to wait a set amount of time before you can take it off (or rinse it off) that automatically makes you slow down. And slowing down is an integral part of all self care routines.
If you’ve never tried a face mask before, now is your chance.
Again, the good ones don’t have to cost a fortune – about $15 a jar on Amazon, if that.
Another bonus is that both of them will work on your body as well as they work on your face. And both men and women can use them.
Amazing stuff and I highly recommend them. No pamper hamper or self-care gift basket is complete without a jar of either of these products.
Grab them now, if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it. 🙂
Using Epsom salt for self care is one of the simplest ways to nourish yourself.
Epsom salt, a pure mineral compound that contains both magnesium and sulfates, can be quite effective at decreasing inflammation, soothing muscle pain and softening rough skin.
When dissolved in hot water, it can help open up pores which, in turn, improves the absorption of topical medical creams and gels – making them more effective.
Combined with an essential oil (such as lavender or chamomile), Epsom salts can help with rest and relaxation – particularly important when you’re stressed or anxious.
In other words, these would be a great addition to any pamper hamper you’d want to create.
Fortunately, they’re everywhere and they’re quite cheap too.
In fact, you can buy them by buly on Amazon.
If you prefer being in control of the essential oils you want to add, then you could buy the unscented Epsom salt version. Wait until it’s under $35 before you buy it though – it goes on sale quite often.
On the other hand, if you’re all for a truly relaxing spa experience at home, then grab one of Dr Teal’s Epsom salt. It contains lavender essential oils to soothe and smooth (as the name states). Let the Magnesium Sulfate do its job for 20 minutes and leave the bathroom fully restored.
An integral part of the whole spa experience – whether at home or in a more professional setting – is skincare.
And it’s not surprising.
After all, the skin functions as the barrier between what’s inside your body and the external environment.
It takes a lot of damage from the sun and other stressors (environmental or otherwise) and usually ends up dull due to the inevitable accumulation of dead skin cells.
You might not think that it’s a big deal but actually, body scrubs have quite a few benefits, the most important of which is that it removes dead skin cells and increases blood circulation in your body.
There are as many body scrubs available as there are people to use them.
Seriously, all you have to do is type in body scrub on Amazon’s search bar and you’ll get no less than 8,000 results (at least!).
How the heck do you choose?
Well, based on my rather extensive experience (I’m a body scrub addict), there are three main exfoliants to choose from: coffee, salt and sugar. There are a few other options (like oatmeal or walnut shells) but overall these three are easier to find and also quite effective.
If you’d rather not spend any money, you could totally DIY a coffee scrub. I used to just pop by my local Starbucks and get some used coffee grounds for free (you know the ones they leave out for people to pick up as fertiliser? yeah, those!) and mix them with a bit of raw honey and jojoba oil. I then put some in a smaller container and the leftovers in the fridge (I want them to last, don’t I?). That’s it.
On the other hand, it can be easier to just buy them ready to use. In which case, you can go for First Botany’s Arabica Coffee Scrub. With over 4,000 reviews (most of them positive) and relatively cheap at not even $16, it’s definitely a bargain. It’s also organic and all natural. And smells divine (though I admit, I’m a coffee fanatic). What more could you ask for?
Alternatively, you could go for my all-time favourite salt scrub – the Ahava Softening Butter Dead Sea Salt Scrub. I’m not entirely sure why it hasn’t gotten a higher rating on Amazon as it’s never failed to lift me up when I use it, but I suppose it’s a subjective experience. I know I love the scent and the fact that my skin’s like silk after I use it so, despite the less than 5-star reviews, I’d have to say I highly recommend it.
Finally, you could go for a sugar scrub like the Tree Hut Sugar Scrub. Available in 7 varieties and containing 100% PURE natural shea butter including a variety of skin-nurturing oils (evening primrose, safflower seed, avocado, swee almond, macadamia and orange), it’s unbelievably nourishing.
I have to say that spending a spa day at home in general and using a body scrub in particular is one of those things that seem simple on the surface but has the potential to really cement the fact that you’re looking after yourself, putting yourself first, loving yourself as you deserve to be loved.
In other words, this is another essential part of the spa day experience and one that I wholeheartedly recommend.
Deep conditioning hair treatment
For a proper head to toe spa experience, I highly recommend investing in a deep conditioning hair treatment that’s been proven to work.
Arvazallia’s Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair currently has over 5,000 reviews and sits squarely as Amazon’s Top Choice for a deep conditioning hair treatment product.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise because it’s a professional salon treatment and it does what it says on the tin – instantly transforming hair texture from dry and damaged to healthy, soft and silky.
Now, many might say that looking after your hair is more a vanity thing rather than a health thing but I firmly believe that self-love wells from deep within and necessarily requires that you take care of every part of your body.
And like it or not, your hair is an important part of your body.
For a spa day at home, regular lotion won’t be enough. You’ll want to lavish yourself with a proper melt-in-your-skin body butter with a totally mouthwatering (not to mention, uplifting) smell.
I personally love, love, love the scent of orange blossoms (as long as it’s subtle)!
That’s why I recommend the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter.
It contains 100% Pure Argan Oil and it really is “whipped to buttery perfection”.
Light and airy, you slather it on and it’s absorbed practically instantly, revitalising your skin, restoring its softness, and improving your skin texture.
I cannot recommend this enough. 🙂
One of my favourite ways to relax is by getting a message – the deeper, the better. I personally think that a massage is something that’s so important, it’s almost essential to health and wellbeing.
In fact, when I was in the Philippines, I’d get a full body massage around three times a week, practically every week.
Unfortunately, I can’t justify the cost now that I live in Scotland.
In the Philippines, a good massage cost me as little as £5 a pop (that’s a full body massage without any time limit). In Scotland, I’d be lucky to find a good place that offers a 55-minute full-body massage for £55.
So, I was very grateful when Kevin gave me a Shiatsu massager as a present.
I absolutely love it because my neck and shoulders are almost always tight (probably because I’m always on my laptop). And this massager has 8 Deep-Shiatsu Kneading Massage Nodes, which really hit the spot and alleviate muscle soreness and neck stiffness.
It’s also got a built-in infrared advanced soothing heat function, which helps as Scotland can be quite cold and it’s also supposed to help improve blood circulation. Although I’m not too sure how I can measure that, I do feel a lot better after using the massager.
For safety purposes, it’s got a 15-minute overheating auto-shut off protection but you can still turn it off manually (if you wanted to).
Side Note: If you just want (or have the time for) a foot spa, then you need to get this Foot Spa Bath Massager. It’s got the following functions: heat, massage, bubble jets, motorised Shiatsu massage ball, motorised maize roller, rotating pedicure stone, red light, adjustable time and temperature as well as LED. Whew, That’s really amazing!
And there you have it – the best self care wellness gifts for a spa day at home. Everything you need to pamper a woman (and a man too!).
What do you think? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section below! 🙂