Lockdown inevitably put an end to the spa day at Center Parcs that I’d been looking forward to for ages. However practicing a bit of self care most certainly helps to calm my nerves, so I’ve been creating my own relaxing spa treatments at home to get me through the rougher days.
A bit of pamper time is a relaxing way to treat yourself and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. I’ve included below some of my favourite vegan and cruelty free products that I use to create relaxing spa treatments at home. I’ve also suggested some DIY versions with items that you can pick up as part of your essential shop.
If you’ve got an assortment of scented candles scattered around your home that always seemed too pretty to use, now is the perfect time to make the most of their beautiful scents! They help to create a relaxing ambience in a room.
Alternatively, independent businesses really need our support right now. One of my favourites (discovered at a local vegan festival) is Paper Plane Designs. They have a lovely selection online including the ‘Soothing Swedish Spa’ (buy it here); a particularly good choice for a pamper session.
If you have a Spotify account you can recreate the sounds of the spa with one of their Spa playlists like these: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DXebxttQCq0zA?si=gRvILqPGRvmLmpBOF0JvYQ
Alternatively create your own chillout playlist from your favourite artists.
Personally I enjoy using spa time to unwind and escape from everyday thoughts, so I like to immerse myself in a good podcast.
This Is Love is a recent find of mine and I find it such a calming listen in these times. Narrator Pheobe Judge has such a soothing voice that I could listen to her read just about anything. However the stories she shares are particularly beautiful and often poignant.
Start with episode 2 (episode 1 is too sad!) and drift away…
A relaxing soak in the tub is the perfect way to start a pamper session, but alternatively just wash your hair in the shower instead, brushing it afterwards to remove any tangles. Then apply an intensive hair mask or oil treatment, cover your hair with a shower cap, a hot towel or some cling film and leave it to work some magic whilst you get on with your other treatments.
As I’ve got long hair I suffer from dry split ends. My ultimate hair mask to combat this is the Noughty To The Rescue Intense Moisture Hair Treatment. My hair feels healthier, smoother and is much easier to brush afterwards without feeling loaded down with product.
If you can’t get hold of a good hair mask, try a hot oil treatment. Olive, almond or coconut oil all work well as a deep treatment to penetrate the hair cuticles and leave you with a silky shine.
Wash your hair and cover your shoulders with an old towel. Heat 4-6 tablespoons of oil in the microwave for 10 seconds. (Obviously be very careful and test the oil to make sure that it isn’t too hot before you go any further.) When ready, apply the oil to the lengths of your hair and massage some into your scalp.
As with the hair mask, cover your hair and leave the treatment to soak in for about 20 minutes, before rinsing it out thoroughly.
I suffer from tired puffy eyes, especially in the morning. I’ve used gel eye pads in the past but found them to be quite pricey and high on packaging since they’re usually just one or two pairs in a pack.
The Pixi DetoxifEye gel eye pads initially seem pricey at £22, but a pot contains 30 pairs so they will last for quite a while if used once or twice a week.
The pot comes with a mini spatula so that you can separate out the individual gel eye pads. They are quite slippery to handle but once applied to the skin under the eye they feel bloody gorgeous!
They are wonderfully soothing and mould to the shape of my skin with a nice weighty presence which seems even more effective at fighting that puff. You can also refrigerate them before use.
Note: Vegan status is correct as at 25th February 2020, as per the Pixi Beauty Support team: “Our Detoxifeye hydrogel eye patches are a vegan product. While we do not distribute lists of products that are vegan as formulations can change from time to time, we are happy to confirm which products are vegan if you would like for us to check any of them.”
Slices of cucumber from the fridge are a cheaper but still highly effective alternative. Whilst you won’t get the same super hydration as from a gel pad, cucumber is great for depuffing eye bags and has a similar cooling feel. Follow up with an eye cream if you can!
If you can get over looking like Michael Myers (maybe warn your partner before applying it if you live together) then a sheet mask is fantastic for giving your skin an intensive boost.
First, give your face a cleanse. I’ve been using the Love Beauty Planet Coconut Water and Mimosa face cleansing gel for pretty much the whole of lockdown and I absolutely adore it.
At £7.99 and available online from FeelUnique, it’s so much more affordable than the high end brands I was using previously, yet it’s left my skin feeling light and refreshed even when I’ve returned from a really sweaty heatwave run.
To compliment this I then use the Love Beauty & Planet Sheet Masks which come pre soaked in a hydrating fluid. You need to be careful unfolding them but they’re really easy to apply and can be adjusted as necessary once on.
I’ve used both the Muru Muru Butter and Rose Radiance and the Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower Hydration Infusion versions. They have a pleasant, delicate smell that you’d expect from the descriptions which I find relaxing.
I was given a pro tip from fellow blogger Kelly Anne Rist https://www.kellyannerist.com/ to massage the excess product in whilst you’re wearing the sheet. This allows your skin to absorb as much of it as possible for maximum benefit.
When I remove these masks there’s always some residue left which I pat in. I definitely have a more radiant glow after using them, however my skin does feel a bit ‘sticky’ for a few hours. For this reason I’d recommend saving sheet masks for use in the evening or on a makeup free day.
These are a bit pricey at £5 for a single use, so I stick to one or two of these a month.
I did find some instructions online for creating actual sheet masks at home! If you’re up for the challenge, you can buy the cotton sheets on Amazon here: www.amazon.co.uk/Yousha-Compressed-Natural-Bowl-Good-Partner
…and here are some ingredient ideas! https://www.foreo.com/mysa/diy-sheet-masks/
Alternatively why not try a good old fashioned oatmeal face mask? These ideas suit all skin types: https://www.byrdie.com/oatmeal-facial-masks-2442870
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on ways to create your own relaxing spa treatments at home. Have you been giving yourself some ‘me time’ during lockdown? Let me know in the comments!