In need of relaxation but short on funds or time? Creating a sanctuary at home could be the answer – here’s how…
There’s nothing better than throwing on that fluffy white robe and comfy slippers ready for a relaxing spa day, but it’s not always feasible as they can often be expensive, involve travel and be difficult to fit into our busy schedules. So, when heading to a sanctuary isn’t practical, why not make one for yourself at home? And, with new research revealing that us women get three times less me-time a week than men (we know, we were shocked too), it’s vital that we make the most of the time we do have. With that in mind, we’ve pulled together top advice from the experts to show you how to have an indulgent relaxing spa day (or even just an hour!) at home.
Set the scene
First things first, it’s time to make your chosen room (bathroom or bedroom, it’s up to you) feel like a spa. Light your favourite scented candles to help you body begin to calm down – try lavender, ylang ylang or citrus aromas – and pick some soothing music to listen to while you relax, the kind they play in a spa. Have a look on YouTube or Spotify for inspiration. Keep the volume low though to keep it from distracting you! Once you’re ready, pick and choose from the following treatments and be prepared to de-stress…
DIY.. face mask
The Mixed Berries Ultimate Face Mask from Love Fresh Berries (lovefreshberries.co.uk) has a great blend of ingredients to brighten the skin, thanks to the strawberry’s alpha hydroxy acids, which have a brightening and exfoliating effect. The berries offer antioxidants, as well as vitamins A and C, and you’ll also get a dose of vitamin K to support blood vessels. The oats are soothing and healing, while the coconut oil acts as a skin hydrator.
1 large or 2 small strawberries • 4 blackberries • 8 blueberries • 7 raspberries • 2 heaped tbsp oats • 1 tsp honey • 1 large tbsp yoghurt • 1 tbsp coconut oil • 1 tsp ground almonds (optional)
Place all ingredients into a smoothie maker and blend for 20 to 30 seconds until everything is thoroughly mixed. Apply with your hands (it can be a little messy). The natural fruit acids in this mix may cause a mild tingling sensation. Massage the mask over your face and neck and work it into your skin to activate the exfoliating properties, avoiding the eye area. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes, then remove with a warm damp flannel or cloth.
Achieve a professional pedicure from the comfort of your own home with these tips from podiatrist Emma Supple (flexitol.co.uk).
1. Firstly, remove all traces of nail polish with an acetone-free nail polish remover. Next, fill a bowl with cool water and add a handful of sea salt, a foot soak or even some slices of lemon. Sit back and relax for 15 minutes while you soak your feet to soften and clean the skin. After soaking, scrub both of your feet with a stiff bristled brush on the soles and around the heels.
2. Towel-dry your feet, particularly between the toes. Then, gently rub the soles and edges of your feet with a buffer or foot file. Concentrate on the rough areas that accumulate on your heels, the balls of your feet and the sides of your big toes.
3. Next, apply a urea-based cream, such as Flexitol Cuticle and Nail Revitaliser Gel (£8.99, flexitol.co.uk) around the base and sides of your toenails and leave for five minutes. This gently softens the area ready for nail painting preparation. Cut each nail straight across with nail clippers and file any rough edges smooth. With the aid of a nail buffer, rub over each nail plate from side to side to smooth out any ridges. Using a hoof stick, gently push back each cuticle on all sides with circular motions.
4. Give your feet a good rub using a moisturising foot cream – look out for ingredients such as urea or shea butter, as these will help to nourish the skin. Work the cream into the soles, kneading with your fists and applying pressure in between your toes with your thumbs. Massage up the legs too, as they contain the muscles that work the feet. Continue massaging until the cream has been completely absorbed.
5. Wipe away any remaining lotion from the toenails and remember to insert toe dividers. Apply a base coat to each nail to prevent the polish staining. Then paint each nail with your chosen colour, starting with one stroke up the middle of the nail. Repeat on both sides to achieve a perfect curve at the base, without touching the cuticle. Apply a high shine top coat and leave your nails to dry for at least 20 minutes. If you do run onto the surrounding skin, dip a cotton bud in nail polish remover and carefully wipe away the extra polish.
Time for a spa-cation
Has this got you in the mood for a spa break? We’ve rounded up three of our favourite UK spas for you to try.
Solent hotel & spa
Head down to the action-packed English south coast for some much-needed relaxation at the stunning Solent Hotel & Spa. This retreat is located in Hampshire between Portsmouth and Southampton and has a range of spacious rooms, including signature and family rooms and premier suites, which are all designed with comfort and convenience in mind. Meanwhile, the AA Rosette dining room serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine, with the option of al fresco dining on the covered terrace. The spa itself offers packages from a serene day spa to a revitalising two-day spa break, with each one including treatments using Caudalie products. Visit solenthotel.co.uk for more information and to book.
Wyck hill house hotel & spa
Set in the heart of Gloucestershire, with views of the beautiful Windrush Valley and rolling hills of the Cotswolds, Wyck Hill House & Spa is an excellent base to explore the surrounding countryside. Plus, we’re able to offer you a 30 percent saving on a luxury break there! You’ll pay just £80* per person per night for a three-course table d’hote dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, overnight accommodation in a Garden Room, full English breakfast and 20 percent off pre-booked spa treatments. You’ll also have full use of the spa facilities, with six treatment rooms, including a steam room and sauna. For more details or to book, call 01451831936 and quote Health & Wellbeing. For further hotel information, visit wyckhillhousehotel.co.uk
* Offer (based on two sharing a double/twin Garden room) valid until March 1, 2020, excluding Christmas and New Year and subject to availability of allocated rooms. Spa treatment charges and a single supplement of £40 apply.
Recently opened, this three-storey private members’ spa at Sopwell House in Hertfordshire brings together innovative treatments and experiences by British spa brands, diverse relaxation spaces, modern dining and a new spa garden. Cottonmill is the first UK spa to introduce treatments on an amber and quartz crystal bed, which delivers thermal therapy by immersing the body in hot sand to ease tension. The spa also offers dining at the Sitting Room, where you can grab a superfood pot or a glass of Cottonmill’s own Prosecco, or head to the Pantry for lunch and enjoy the daily chef’s specials, without even having to change out of your robes. Bliss! Head to sopwellhouse.co.uk for more details.