As much as I love the Holiday season, I find that the time of year can often times be extra stressful between my job as well as everything else that is going on. Unfortunately I am someone who finds it challenging to step back and just relax so I can refuel and start each day fresh, so I kind of wait until the holidays are over to hit the reset button on myself. Over the years I have discovered the power of self-care and how important it is to do little things for myself here and there. I honestly believe that taking time for yourself can make a huge difference in the overall quality of life so I take mine anytime I am able to. Since I can’t just hop on a plane to anywhere or always have the funds to indulge in a little retail therapy, for those times the next best thing is a mini at-home spa session. Now that the season is well behind us, it is high time that I reshift focus to myself and to do so I am sharing some of my favorite at-home spa essentials to destress.
Only in last year have I become quite a bath person. Previously I did not have the patience to sit and just soak since I was always thinking about the 100 things that I could be doing instead with that time. Once I opened myself up to the idea of simply relaxing it was then that I started to appreciate taking a bath to utterly melt away any stress, anxiety, even body pains – so now of course I do it much more frequently. I usually use actual salts and pour 1 cup into running water. My favorites include:
- Westlab Epsom Salt – I’ve been using quite a bit since it is really good for recovery and muscle relaxation to help soothe tired and aching muscles. My back has been in knots since the Holiday season started and between being on my feet for 10 hours a day plus lifting, pushing, merchandising and building stations, there were times I was in so much pain I broke out in tears trying to get out of bed. Westlab’s Epsom Salt is a purifying bath soak that contains mineral compound of magnesium sulphate to help detoxify and relax the muscles. It eases tension, detoxes, moisturizes and smooths the skin along the way while working to loosening up restricted muscles and tissues in my main problem area. It’s perfect for relieving any aches and pains
- Westlab Himalayan Pink Bathing Salt – is an excellent natural detoxifier for the body and my go-to if I choose to go through a full spa detox
- As much as I love the convenience of storebought soaks, powders and bubbles, I have actually been concocting my own soak mixtures for a while. I have mentioned a few times before that I suffer from severe and chronic body aches due to my line of work. While some days the pains are more manageable, there are days where I, figuratively speaking, feel like I got ran over by a truck. On those days I call in the big guns, aka, my own custom blend of Epsom Salt and Himalayan Salt soak mixture. As many of you probably already know, Epsom Salt is the wunderkind for helping soothe sore muscles and muscle relaxation – not to mention that it calms the nervous system. While Himalayan Salt is absolutely amazing to naturally detoxify the body. See the full tutorial right here
Up next are masks for both the face and body. I am a total mask addict. I love trying new concept, brands and formulas, but when I find something that I really like I tend to stick with it.
- Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask – is great for a glow while focusing on the anti-aging aspect and texture improvement. I have heard a lot about this mask for what seems ages now, but it took me a long time to try due to the $66 pricetag for just 2 oz. That was until I found this mask for $24.99 at my local Marshalls and almost did a cartwheel in joy. Although I can see why the mask retails for $66 since it such a luxurious treatment. It visibly firms and hydrates the skin for a radiant complexion. Skin feels brand new after using it
- SK-II Facial Treatment Mask – is hands down my all-time favorite sheet mask. This one is formulated to revitalize, comfort, and provide intense hydration and I think it works wonders to plump the skin. After using it skin feels smooth and almost lifted. The skin is radiant, glows and looks noticeably brighter. With prolonged use I noticed that redness around certain areas was reduced drastically and it appears to shrink pores around the nose area as well as in between my eyebrows. I would most definitely call this one life changing. For 1 sheet mask it is kind of a luxurious splurge but worth every single penny. I don’t think I’ve ever been so in love with a mask in all my life
- Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask – is one of the bigger splurges I’ve made on a classic apply-and-rinse mask this year. As most of you know, I don’t struggle with obvious acne but I do struggle with a bout of cystic acne every once in a while. This is the holy grail for both cystic as well as hormonal acne. It is a fast-acting, medicated 10% sulfur treatment mask that penetrates pores to dry and clear up existing acne while preventing new blemishes from forming. It treats multiple forms of acne, including blocked, congested pores, inflammatory acne, hormonal acne, and acne rosacea. This has literally worked wonders on keeping my skin completely clear. It balances the skin nicely and leaves it feeling soft, smooth and radiant. I am super pleased with the results I continue to experience and if you want to know if it’s worth the $55 for 2 oz, I will go ahead and say 100% yes
- Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores – is still my favorite detox mask after all these years. This is like a traditional clay/mud mask that draws out impurities, controls oil, and tightens pores. Bamboo charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, white China clay absorbs environmental toxins, and lecithin dissolves impurities. This comes in a gray clay color that will dry and tighten once it begins to set. It’s non-irritating and leaves the skin feeling smooth and clean
I really do try to sit back and relax when I’m in the tub, but sometimes I like to do a little bit of beauty prep in advance. This is a great deterrent to keep me off my phone and usually involves exfoliating. Two favorites I rotate between are the Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish, which is a highly moisturizing and gentle exfoliating blend of virgin coconut oil and delicately floral Moroccan rose. So luxurious. Second is the Fresh Seaberry Exfoliating Soap. This is a triple-milled soap that gently buffs away dry, dull skin while cleansing the body to reveal a smooth complexion. This feels really lovely on the skin and leaves it smooth and supple.
Last but not least are candles. I find candles perfect vessels for aromatic properties which can have a significant effect on your mood. When practicing the basic principles of aromatherapy, you can create the ideal setting within your home by simply enhancing one’s overall well-being using the sense of scent. Basically, there’s a note for every mood in life. I don’t have a set favorites and never have the same candle in-house twice. I like to experiment very freely with scents so from week to week there is a whole new rotation of candles being burned. Here I have a small roundup of what candles I currently have around the house. For spa sessions, historically I gravitate towards more relaxing or invigorating scents. I personally love Diptyque’s Baies, Voluspa’s Macaron and anything smoky or woody from DW Home.
For those who are in the same boat as I am and find it challenging to step back and take a breather, I hope you find this post helpful to start taking care of yourself. There will be times you basically have to force yourself to sit down and close your eyes for a few, but it are those little things that can help keep your sanity in check during super busy or stressful times. Now that the Holiday season is behind us, you may have more freedom to treat yourself although I know that for most this is easier said than done. I definitely have experienced my fair share of stress the last two months and even had a meltdown or two in the process. Even though I am about as pokerfaced as they come and manage my stress really well, even I needed a little extra help every now and then.
Many thanks to Westlab for providing items for this post. As always, opinions are my own