Whether quarantined at home, working an essential job, or preparing to return to work, this is just the time to embrace self-care, form new healthy habits and nurture your body and spirit.
To up your relaxation game, create a DIY spa session from the safety of your home. You can make everything you need for a refreshing and revitalizing facial with ingredients you already have or can order at your next grocery pick-up.
Incorporate a DIY facial into your weekly routine, and try different recipes to find what suits your skin best. While creating your own facial is totally customizable, consider the following steps to get you started:
To set ambiance:
Light candles and turn on music in both your lounge area and bathroom. Set out your fluffiest, nicest towels, and put on your robe or comfy clothing.
Start with a blank slate by cleansing your face first thing. Coconut oil removes makeup and impurities, as can raw honey (alone or mixed with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice). Mix aloe vera gel and a gentle liquid Castile soap if you prefer a liquid cleanser, or simply use a very gentle soap.
To steam your face, boil water on the stovetop, pour it into a bowl or pot with a medium to large surface area. Get comfortable, and lean over the hot water with a towel over your head and the bowl. Be careful not to burn yourself. Steam at least five or ten minutes.
Take steaming up a notch by adding dried herbs to the water after it’s heated. A small amount of dried lavender, chamomile or rosemary can benefit the skin and provide pleasant aromas.
DIY facial exfoliators abound, and many carry a variety of benefits for your skin. Your kitchen holds a plethora of possibilities for creating a gentle or deep exfoliating scrub.
Face Salt Scrub Recipe
1 part coconut oil
2 parts salt
2 drops of thyme essential oil
If coconut oil is already soft, simply mix salt and essential oil in — if oil is cold and hard, melt it enough to mix salt in, but do not heat so much that salt will dissolve. Rub gently into skin, and rinse salt off. Coconut oil does not need to be thoroughly rinsed off; leaving it on will help moisturize your skin.
This recipe is great for every day use, as well as during a spa treatment. The hydration of the coconut oil balances the exfoliation of the salt. Thyme essential oil is antimicrobial and can help control breakouts and other skin problems.
1 part ground coffee
1 part white sugar
1 part coconut oil
Combine ingredients, and scrub gently to brighten skin and stimulate blood circulation. If you prefer to try a different oil, mix coffee grounds (with or without sugar) with almond oil.
Honey, aloe and olive oil also make great carriers for ingredients such as brown sugar, white sugar, ground oats, ground almond, ground coffee or salt to thoroughly clean skin.
Kitchen cupboards and refrigerators hold lots of ingredients to pull impurities and rejuvenate skin as well, if not better than, commercial facial masks.
Simply applying lightly beaten egg whites to your clean skin and leaving it until it’s dry and tight will pull dirt from deep pores. To give your skin a glow, mix two teaspoons lemon juice with two tablespoons plain yogurt and apply as a mask. Mix two tablespoons aloe with half a teaspoon turmeric powder for a mask which will help fight acne and oily skin. Leave masks on 15-20 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.
To go the extra mile, add cucumber slices or warm (not hot) teabags over your eyes while your mask works it’s magic, to reduce puffiness and dark circles under your eyes.
To tone your skin, and add beneficial nutrients, you can apply witch hazel or rose water. If you’re out of those, consider simply applying strongly brewed green tea, or apple cider vinegar diluted in water (one part vinegar with two parts water, or for sensitive skin one part vinegar to four parts water).
Rice water also works as a toner; simply soak half a cup of rice in filtered water for 30-45 minutes.
To complete your DIY home spa experience, hydrate your skin. Oils such as coconut, almond, olive or cosmetic options including vitamin E oil, shea butter and jojoba oil work well alone or combined. For a lighter option, try aloe vera alone or mixed with an oil of your choice.
Before using any of these recipes on your face, test a patch of skin to make sure you aren’t sensitive to any of the ingredients.
Make your spa treatment as simple or elaborate as you feel like. Use a DIY facial to relax on your own or as a bonding activity with your children.
By Aldona Bird