The best surprises are the ones your loved ones would never take the time to do for themselves. Harness all the healing and invigoration of a trip to the spa by bringing it home for your giftee, customized with their favourite scents and sentiments (and of course, optimum TLC). If there’s someone in your life (or your home!) who needs an excuse to stop and smell the rose-petal bath salts, use these tips and tricks to ensure your giftee is pampered from head to toe.
Bath salts not only scream (or should we say, whisper) spa day, but come with significant and lasting physical benefits. Either purchase pre-scented Epsom salts at your local drugstore, or make your own custom bath salts by combining coarse sea salt, plain Epsom salts and essential oils. When submerged in warm water, Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulphate, which help relax the body, soothe stiff muscles, and reduce stress.
A homemade face mask is perfect way to de-stress and de-puff. A universal recipe that soothes and moisturizes most skin types is a simple oatmeal mask. In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of plain or colloidal oatmeal, and 1/4 cup of warm water until it creates a thick paste. Next, package your mask in a mason jar and instruct your loved one to leave on for 15 minutes (if they have itchy patches of skin or any areas that need a little extra love, they can also apply a layer of this mask to their body). Remove with a hot, moist washcloth.
Did you know that cucumber slices aren't merely a spa-day cliché, but actually have proven benefits for your undereyes? Cucumber is high in coagulant vitamin K, which improves circulation and reduces the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. For your at-home spa, skip the slices and blend a cucumber in a food processor with a small amount of water, until it forms a smooth, spreadable paste. Include some cotton pads, so that your giftee can soak them in the cucumber mixture, and instruct them to apply onto the eyes for 20-15 minutes. For extra cooling comfort, store your mask in the fridge until ready to use.
A glass of ice-cold water is always a refreshing touch, but why not up the at-home spa ante with homemade spa-inspired infusions? Using produce and herbs found at your local market (or even in your fridge or garden), create your own spa water for your loved one and gift them hydration and flavour. For a refreshing, classic spa-water infusion, cut up a cucumber and place into a pitcher of ice water, garnished with sprigs of fresh mint. Cucumber helps to increase hydration and flavor, while the mint, is proven to help reduce stress and overall digestion. If a fruity flavour is more your giftee's thing, then cut up some oranges and strawberries, and place in your pitcher of ice water. Oranges are high in vitamin C and help to promote a healthy immune system, while berries have high levels of antioxidants. Create a custom flavour for your at-home spa using combinations like grapefruit and rosemary, pineapple and basil, or blueberry citrus (and remember to let steep in a pitcher for at least four hours before serving).
Moisturizing your hair is easy and only requires one ingredient – coconut oil. Spoon some oil into a small mason jar or container, tying twine around the lid for a polished look. If you’d like, add a couple of drops of rosemary essential oil for a tingling sensation and scalp stimulation. Next, simply instruct your giftee to coat their hair in the oil and wait a minimum of 20 minutes (even better if it’s during a steamy bath to let all of that coconut goodness soak into their strands), then shampoo and rinse. Coconut oil stimulates hair growth and prevents hair breakage by getting deep into the follicle.
Decorate your at-home spa with a few crystals. Crystal healing claims that energetic vibrations from crystals can balance the natural vibrations in our body—but even if your loved one isn’t a believer, crystals are a beautiful, relaxing way to temporarily transform their bathroom from standard to sanctuary. If you’re unsure where to start, keep it simple with a clear quartz, otherwise known as the “master healer.” Clear quartz is said to aid memory and focus, while physically balancing out the body and heightening the immune system. Leave a little card beside your crystals instructing your loved one on how to try their hand at crystal healing, if they’re interested!
- Hot Towels - Store clean towels in your loved one’s dryer, and leave a note reminding them to turn it on for 30 seconds to a minute before toweling off.
- Aromatherapy - Spritz the air with a cocktail of water and essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus for instant calm with every inhale. Leave the spray bottle out in their bathroom with a little note that reads “Spritz Me!” hanging around the nozzle, so your loved one can keep up the spa scent for as long as they’d like.
- A Dry Brush – Dry brushing is the gift that keeps on giving. Committing to dry brushing as part of your routine comes with significant benefits, like exfoliation, reducing cellulite and even lymphatic support. Instruct your giftee to dry brush 2-3 times per week, always brushing upwards towards the heart for optimum results. Adding a new dry brush to their spa-day gift will encourage your loved one to take a little time for themselves each week.
- Their Favourite Movie or TV Show – Nothing says unplug and unwind like cozying up with your favourite movie or show. Download one of your giftee's most-loved shows or movies and send them a link to watch, so that they can get some much-needed R&R with a side of entertainment while they’re soaking in the tub.
A Final Word
Everyone needs time to themselves, but in today’s 24/7 work culture, it's difficult for many people to make time for themselves. So why not gift it? An at-home spa day is the perfect gift of time to help your loved one rejuvenate, both mentally and physically.
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