The best gifts offer experiences that 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 who needs an excuse to stop and smell the rose-scented 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 physical benefits. When submerged in warm water, Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulphate which are known to relax the body, soothe stiff muscles, and reduce stress. 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.
A homemade face mask can be a relaxing way to de-puff and de-stress. 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 relieving under-eye swelling? Cucumber is high in coagulant vitamin K, which is known to improve circulation and reduce 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 for your giftee to soak in the cucumber mixture, and a note instructing them to apply onto the eyes for 15-20 minutes. For extra cooling comfort, store your mask in the fridge until ready to use.
A glass of ice-cold water is always refreshing, but why not up the relaxation ante with homemade spa-inspired infusions? You can easily create your own spa water using produce and herbs found at your local market (or even in your fridge or garden). For a classic spa-water infusion: mix slices of cucumber in a pitcher of ice water and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint. Cucumber is a subtle flavor that will increase hydration, while mint is proven to help digestion and reduce stress. If your giftee prefers fruity flavours then swap the cucumber for oranges and strawberries. Both are high in antioxidants and vitamin C that help maintain a healthy immune system. You can also create a custom flavour using combinations like grapefruit and rosemary or pineapple and basil (just 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, which is known to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair breakage by getting deep into the follicle. Spoon some oil into a small mason jar or container and tie 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 moisture soak into their strands), then shampoo and rinse.
Decorate your at-home spa with a few crystals—it’s believed that they have the power to balance the natural vibrations in your body. Even if your loved one isn’t a believer, crystals are a pretty decoration that quickly transform the bathroom from standard to sanctuary. If you’re unsure of which type to choose, keep it simple with a clear quartz. Otherwise known as the “master healer”, clear quartz is said to aid memory and focus, and strengthen the immune system. For an added touch, include a little card beside your crystals listing its healing properties.
- 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 mixture 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 maintain the fresh scent long after their spa day.
- A Dry Brush – Known to offer several benefits including exfoliation, reducing cellulite, and even lymphatic support; dry brushing is the gift that keeps on giving. 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 a good movie or show. Download one of your giftee's beloved shows or movies and send them a link to watch so that they can add some entertainment to their R&R session in the tub.
A Final Word
Everyone needs time to themselves, but in today’s 24/7 work culture, it's increasingly difficult to do so. So why not gift it? An at-home spa day is the perfect gift of time to help your loved one find mental and physical rejuvenation.
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