Everybody needs a bit of pampering now and then. But when you lack the time or funds for spa treatments, you’ve got to take matters into your own hands. Sure, a DIY facial, waxing, body scrub or massage may sound daunting—even downright stressful—but it doesn’t have to be. Simply follow our step-by-step instructions, check out our most luxurious product picks, and discover that home actually is where the spa is.
These two treatments will leave you looking (and feeling) refreshed.
CLEAR THINGS UP
1. Steam your face for 10 to 15 minutes using boiling water infused with fresh herbs (think: mint or rosemary).
2. Wash with a cleanser containing active botanicals such as roots, leaves, bark or berries. For sensitive skin, seek out more soothing ingredients (e.g., comfrey or chamomile).
3. “Whatever you do, don’t skip the toner!” says spa guru June Jacobs, founder of June Jacobs Spa Collection. It removes acidic toxins that cause puffiness and breakouts, helping to restore skin to a more balanced state.
Product picks: (a) Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser ($50; tataharper.com) uses pomegranate and white willow bark extracts to deeply cleanse the pores. (b) June Jacobs Spa Collection Green Tea and Cucumber Toner ($40; qvc.com) combines naturally astringent cucumber with soothing valerian.
GET A YOUTHFUL GLOW
1. Exfoliate the face and neck with a product containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)—natural fruit acids that help rid your skin of old cells. “Skin will look younger and fresher,” says Jacobs.
2. Re-hydrate with a mask containing seawater. Apply in a steamy shower and leave on for 5 to 10 minutes.
Product picks: (c) Nu Skin 180 AHA Facial Peel and Neutralizer ($60; nuskin.com) reverses sun damage, evens skin texture and reduces fine lines. (d) Rx Skin Therapy Hydrating Facial Masque ($44; rxskintherapy .com) soothes skin with cupuacu butter and caviar extract, and moisturizes with seawater.
Here’s how to get totally touchable skin, sans the pain.
1. Prep skin the day before you wax by lightly exfoliating the area.
2. “Apply the smallest amount of wax possible in the direction of hair growth, never against it,” says Kate Weinberg, spa manager at Equinox in New York City.
3. After waxing, rub on a soothing lotion and nourishing oil.
Product picks: (e) Bliss Poetic Waxing At-Home Hair Removal Kit ($45; blissworld .com) includes 5.3 ounces of wax, a pre-wax skin cleanser and a post-wax oil. (f) Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion ($16; kiehls .com) is a cult favorite for keeping skin irritation-free after waxing or shaving.