Friday, September 23, 2005

home spa self-care survival

Greetings from the blue skies of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I've just arrived for the wedding celebration of a dear teacher and friend. Wow, what an amazing indulgence of the senses - the rich blue water, white sand, clear skies, sounds of crashing waves, and poolside bars serving sushi. I decided to indulge this evening in a much needed and long overdue facial at the hotel spa. I feel rejuvenated (which isn't easy after spending so much time on the dehydrating plane), so I wanted to share some great ideas I came across online by J. A. Eason. These will help you create a tranquil space at home while indulging in some luxurious (and much needed) self-care.

1. Set the atmosphere Choose just one room in your house where you can be alone and quiet. The bathroom is the usual choice, but it can be anywhere. Prepare your space ahead of time so you can relax during your spa time. Clean, declutter and dust the space. It doesn't have to be perfect; but your mind needs to be at peace, not looking at the pile of clothes to be folded. There should be no reminders of "stuff I should be doing instead of relaxing."

Now that the space is cleared, start adding things that will help you relax. Soft music, scented candles or incense, fresh flowers, photos of loved ones or special mementos can all be beneficial. Just be sure you don't reclutter the space you just cleared.

2. Facial Steam Cleanse your face normally. Then pour almost-boiling water into a bowl. Don't over fill it. Next add herbs or essential oils according to the benefits you want. If you want to deep clean, you could add juniper, sage, thyme or peppermint. If you want to relax, add a few drops of lavender, sweet marjoram or lemon balm. You can mix and match or just use one at a time. If you are using herbs, be sure to let them steep for about five minutes for maximum effect.

Put your face over the steaming bowl and place a towel over your head to make a tent. The steam opens your pores, and the herbs help deep clean and refresh. Stay under your tent for 10 to 15 minutes. Steaming is also a great way to relieve sinus headaches and allergy congestion.

3. Avocado Facial For Dry Skin: use 1 egg yolk and 1 avocado
For Oily Skin: use 1 egg white, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 1/2 an avocado
Mash the inside of the avocado and blend with the other ingredients. Apply to your face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with plain water.

The great news is that you don't have to go to a specialist in Cabo or anywhere else for that matter. There are TONS of books and online articles out there giving great ideas on how you can nurture yourself in the comfort of your own home on a small budget. What are you waiting for? Start small. A luxurious candlelit bath, accompanied by a refreshing pitcher of water with fresh mint or cucumber and lemon slices, is calling your name.

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