There is nothing more relaxing than having a spa experience in the comfort of your own home! Creating your own products, tailored to you, your preferences and the needs of your skin is easy, cheap, and means you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin. You can invest in high quality ingredients that you know are good for your skin, like argan oil and shea butter, which are normally only found in tiny quantities in products that advertise that they contain them.
Some online DIY body care recipes have lots of ingredients and can make it seem more difficult than it is to create your own products. But actually, although there are lots of ingredients you might choose to add, like essential oils for their fragrance and effects, many products will work well with only two or three ingredients. So why not have a go at making some of the most simple recipes like the ones below, and then experiment with adding in new ingredients?
An effective two ingredient version is simply kaolin clay + water! This will draw impurities out of your skin and leave your face squeaky clean. You can store kaolin in a jar in the bathroom and just mix with a little water to get the consistency you want right before you use it. A simple addition is oats, ground in a blender (above), which help to exfoliate the skin. You might also want to add a couple of drops of essential oil, such as lavender, which smells amazing and is used by many people to treat acne.
Exfoliating body scrub
Again, two ingredients are all that’s needed to exfoliate your skin. Either salt + oil, or sugar + oil if you want something more gentle. Just mix into a jar, which you can reuse again and again. Rub into your skin in circular motions to leave your skin feeling smooth. You can easily add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to this recipe too. Adding peppermint essential oil to salt scrub, and even a little ground pumice, makes a fantastic treatment for dry, tired feet.
Body butters can also be made with only two ingredients – a plant butter and an oil, which are melted and mixed together in an approximately 2:1 ratio (no need to measure!) then allowed to solidify. You can choose whatever butter and oil you use, depending on your own preferences, what you have available, or what properties you want your body butter to have.
Good butters to use include cocoa, shea, apricot, mango and aloe. Cocoa butter is much harder than the others, so it can help to whisk the finished product as it starts to solidify to make it a little easier to apply to skin.
My favourite oils to use are sweet almond, peach kernel, and coconut. To these carrier oils, you can add in smaller quantities of additional oils like vitamin E and argan oil for their nourishing properties, and any essential oils you want to use.
To make a body butter bar, go for a harder butter like cocoa, and add in a small amount of beeswax. All of these are excellent at moisturising the skin, but as they can contain no preservatives they are best made not too far in advance (although I’ve never had any go off even after 6 months!). Also don’t expect them to absorb into your skin as quickly as artificial products.
Bath melts and oils
If you can make body butter, you can make bath melts and oils. Bath melts are made from exactly the same ingredients as body butters, but you’re best to include cocoa butter so your finished product holds its shape. Mix in your favourite essential oil (lavender is a great choice for a relaxing spa experience), then pour the mixture into a mould while molten. Drop the solid bath melt into hot bath water and it will melt, releasing the fragrance of the essential oil and turning your bath into a relaxing, moisturising experience.
Bath oils are even simpler, just dilute essential oils in one of the carrier oils listed above. There are lots of different blends to try if you feel like experimenting!
These couldn’t be simpler – the most basic involves just one ingredient – Epsom salts, which are reported to be fantastic for relaxing sore muscles. You can add in other salts like Dead Sea salt if you want to, plus essential oils and herbs or flowers, it’s up to you.
As well as creating your own products, you can complete your home spa experience and set the mood by creating a simple floating candle bowl. Collect a few flowers from your garden (I’ve used hellebore, rhododendron and daffodil) and add some floating candles.
An easy way to make your own floating candles is by removing the metal case from tea lights and sealing the base with some molten wax so the water can’t get to the wick, as shown above.
For the finishing touch, light an oil burner to diffuse your chosen essential oil blend throughout the room, and complete the atmosphere with one of the many apps now available to help you tailor your own relaxing spa soundtrack! I love Nature Sounds and Relax Melodies.
So relax, enjoy, pretend it isn’t still snowing and get your skin ready for summer! 🙂