Once again, thank you all for your comments on my last post. It helps me know what to do more and less of, and how much this blog really matters. Thank you!
So, on to our second part of the home spa series. First, we talked about 3 facial treatments. This post focuses on 3 body treatments.
Before we get started: For all of these treatments in this series, the costs are calculated for a one-time treatment. The general guidelines for all posts in this series: use what you have, buy or get free samples of ingredients to try, and if you buy something to use for any of these treatments, try and buy something that you can use in a multitude of ways in cooking, baking, personal care, and more, such as baking soda, coconut oil, rosemary…you get the picture. This way you’ll stretch your dollar the furthest.
1) The Luxurious Bath. Time: 35-40 minutes (including prep, and longer for more lux and relaxation!). Cost: 50¢ to $3.
I’ve mentioned a few times how much I love baths, but I always feel like I don’t have enough time to take one. I like to take my time getting my bath water together and I want to feel truly relaxed when I soak. So I take baths when I know I can relax, and sometimes I make myself do it.
Baths need not be enjoyed with expensive ingredients. If you’ve had some leftover dried or fresh herbs from your facial steam, you can use those in your bath. I love using Himalayan Pink Salt, but Epsom Salt works well, too. I buy mine at my local DollarTree store, 2 lbs. for $1. Here are some ingredients and tips to keep ingredients to $3 or less:
1/2 – 1 cup of sea salt or epsom salt. Mineralizes the water and helps your skin release toxins and dirt.
1/8 – 1/4 cup of flowers or herbs. Sensitive/dry skin: focus on chamomile, calendula, lavender, plantain, rose, chickweed, comfrey. One, some, or all! Normal/oily skin: rosemary, witch hazel, sage, burdock, nettle, lavender, rose, neem. (Put in an organza or muslin bag, or use cheesecloth to prevent herbs from clogging the drain.)
In a pinch: Use a couple of tea bags (organic or all natural) from your kitchen. Just steep them in the tub of hot water. I always add hot water first and then cool down. This helps herbs/flowers infuse in the water more fully, and also assists with melting and dispersing the oils and butters, which brings me to my next ingredient category.
2 tbl. to 1/4 cup of oils and/or butters. You could always use a premade bath melt, but this is more basic. It depends on how moisturizing you like your baths and how dry your skin is. Start with a little and add more if necessary. Recommended butters (organic and raw if possible, fair-trade is even better): shea, cocoa, kokum, raw cacao, mango, tucuma, cupuacu, murumuru, babassu (use sparingly, even more so than oils). Some recommended oils in order of density/thickness: coconut, castor, olive, avocado, hemp, sweet almond, sesame, sunflower, safflower, jojoba.
In a pinch: Use whatever oil you have in your kitchen. Have a hand or body salve or balm? How about a lotion bar? Cut or scoop out a tablespoon of that to add to your water.
Extras: You can also add in many things you have in your kitchen, such as oatmeal (great for irritated, itchy skin – boiled in hot water and strained if desired); baking soda (one of my loves, softens skin and so much more!); yogurt or milk (great lactic acid action, mask scent with herbs or EOs if you’re not into it). Clay is also great in baths, but I tend to reserve mine for mixing up masques while in the bath, and I also love Dead Sea Mud. Essential oils should be added sparingly. I’d go for no more than 10-20 drops.
Experiment with these ingredients, but most of all, have fun putting it together and then relax once you’re in the tub.
2) The Body Scrub. Time: 15-20 mins. (including prep.). Cost: 75¢ to $1.
This is one of my favorite recipes for a body scrub. I experimented and got it down to where I like it. Talk about silky smooth skin, and the scent is divine. I added Rooibos tea one time and took it over the top. Here’s the basic recipe without my variations. It makes about 1/2 cup, enough for one, generous full-body treatment that leaves just the right amount of oils on your skin:
1/4 cup organic raw sugar (medium or avg. size granules) and 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar. I like the different levels of scrubbiness these different sized granules provide. You can also use salts.
2-3 tbl. organic virgin coconut oil (depends on whether you like your scrub with more or less oil).
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (organic is better in my experience — you can also use vanilla-infused oil)
Melt the coconut oil on low heat. Mix all ingredients, scrub up, and rinse off. Experiment with adding coffee grounds, some tea leaves, etc. Use a different oil (olive, sunflower, etc.) if you don’t like the smell of coconut (though it does go away quickly, 30 mins. tops). Make it to your liking, and use after showering. I’d recommend this treatment no more than twice a week.
3) The Body Mask. Time: 30-35 mins. (including prep). Cost: $3 to $7
This is the most expensive and the messiest of them all, but your skin will love it. I’ve only done it twice but the results were amazing.
Ingredients consist of finely ground herbs, clays, foods (avocado, banana, etc.), basically anything that your skin will love. I’ll leave the ingredients up to you with general guidelines:
- Do this after you have showered (turn the water off).
- Make enough product (3/4 to 1 cup) so that you have enough to cover your body.
- Stay in the tub/shower for 20-30 minutes while the mask does its magic.
- Find a way to occupy your time (Maybe read a book standing up after you’ve rinsed your hands? I may try that next time…).
- Do a search for detox recipes, moisturizing recipes, etc. to find out what ingredients are best. There are so many different options and again, you want to go with what you have on hand as much as possible.
- Make sure ingredients are finely ground or mashed well so that you don’t clog your drain.
- You can do a body wrap instead, which is pictured above.
So there you have it: 3 (really 4!) spa-tastic body treatments. What body treatments do you give yourself and/or others? What recipes have you found particularly amazing?