From the relaxing atmosphere to the unabashedly me-time-centric atmosphere, a spa visit is a wonderful indulgence. If we could visit a spa every day I'm sure we would, but unfortunately most of us cannot afford daily spa treatments.
That said, we can create a home atmosphere that will make you feel as if you are pampering yourself at the spa every day. Creating an in-home environment that encourages self-care and helps reinforce your skincare routine can make a huge difference in our self-care commitment, overall mental health, and beauty.
Just ten minutes of peace and self-focus can be enough to provide some much needed restorative calm. Spas incorporate the senses to make spaces feel special by engaging your sense of sight, sound, smell, hearing, and touch. You can do the same at home.
To Moms of small children: I can remember trying to apply a face mask while my son hung on my leg and my daughter played in the toilet - it's okay - you deserve some me time. Even if it's in your mind, try to find some way to tune out the extraneous and claim a few minutes of me-time to call your own and de-stress.
Ten tips to get you started...
1. Claim a space just for your products and self-care ritual. Make sure it is spotlessly clean and organized. I have never had a private bathroom (even now - I have to share it with my husband!) but I have always tried to have a corner to call my own. Choose the right rooms to match your treatments. The bathroom will obviously be used for daily treatments such as washing your face and applying moisturizer as it is easiest to clean. The bedroom is a great choice for relaxing after applying masks and for meditating.
2. Purge. This might be painful but it's in the best interest of your skin health - throw out any opened products that are more than 6 months old and unopened that are more than 1 year old. This includes skin care products and make-up and definitely includes samples!
Brown Barn and 7 Day Glow products are largely made fresh and have a two year shelf life from manufacturing however we still recommend the 1 year disposal because once a product leaves our lab we cannot control how the product is maintained.
Products should be stored in cool dark spaces and left unopened until you are ready to use them. Check your products for any signs of mold - anything with mold should be disposed of regardless of when you purchased your product. If you see signs of mold on products that are less than 6 months old contact the manufacturer or retailer and ask for a refund.
3. Find a pretty tray or special spot just for your skincare products or designate a shelf or drawer for them. Procure a cozy robe or soft pajamas. Make sure they are clean and ready for use.
4. Locate some nice washcloths and hand towels and designate them as just for use during your skin care regimen. Choose your favorite color or if you'd like a relaxing spa feel opt for sage green or french blue. Always use a fresh, clean washcloth when washing your face.
5. Order tools to help your daily routine feel more spa-like. Amazon is a great source for all things "spa" at good prices. Some of my favorites are dry brushes, stone facial rollers, Gua Sha, and stone eye orbits. One item I cannot go without is a terry cloth spa headband to hold my hair back when applying products.
6. Add scent. If you own an essential oil diffuser place it near your home spa area. Start it up about 15 minutes before you perform your skincare ritual to help you relax.
My favorite essential oils for the evening are lavender, rose, ylang ylang, and bergamot; in the morning I prefer citrus scents, lemon, neroli, peppermint, ginger, and cedarwood. I like to mix and match them for interesting combinations.
Another option is scented candles. Opt for lead free soy candles or better yet, neutralizing, essential oil scented beeswax candles with lead free wicks that help cleanse the air.
7. Play relaxing music when using your skincare products, it will help your mind focus away from cluttering thoughts. Whatever you choose for music, be sure it is calming and light. Don’t choose an overpowering playlist. Opt for instrumental music, rather than music with lyrics to avoid triggering subconscious memories that can up your stress level. If you own an Amazon Alexa device you can say “Alexa, play spa music,” to activate the Spa station on Amazon music.
8. Establish a routine. Consistency contributes largely to the success of any skin care routine.Try to conduct your skin care routine at the same time AM and PM. Designate specific evenings and times for weekly treatments. Begin your routine with a relaxing ritual. For example, have a cup of herbal tea before you begin your evening routine. This will help you to rewind and relax. Set aside your electronic devices and just enjoy the cup of tea while relaxing. Chamomile is a great choice. Not into tea? Choose cucumber water instead! Do you forget to apply your skincare products? Set a timer on your smartphone or a reminder using Amazon Alexa.
9. Choose fantastic products. This is the one area that you really want to be educated and clever. Choose products made with 100% natural ingredients. They do not need to be uber-expensive but their purpose and ingredients should match your unique skin care needs. For bath products, opt for scents that come from essential oils rather than fragrance oil. Aside from being healthier for your skin, essential oils provide some degree of aromatherapy relief as well.
10. Try DIY recipes. Not everything you apply to your skin has to be made in a lab. Facial masks, mists, bath treatments and more can be made in your own kitchen. Admittedly your cleanser, moisturizer, serums and anti-aging face oils should come from a knowledgeable professional to allow you to get the most potent ingredients and safest preservative for your unique skin needs. But single use masks, mists, bath soaks, etc. are something fun you can make yourself; leaving extra funds to invest in high quality skin care products. Note: If you are suffering from skin conditions consult a dermatologist before using DIY recipes or opt for professionally made products instead.
Even though we may be busy, and often feel like adding just one more thing to our to-do list will push us over the top, making time for you and designating spaces for your own use can provide a calming, positive daily boost. And the health and beauty benefits are undeniable. Be sure to visit www.brownbarnskincare.com to check out our small-batch, 100% natural skin-loving products!