The ultimate pampering routine for spa at home vibes

A pampering routine can come in many forms and can aim to achieve many beauty goals, but above all else, it should make you feel great. There is something wholly pleasurable about using an excellent beauty product at leisure, or the unwavering happiness (or is that relief?) you feel when the bathroom door closes and you finally have some time alone. 

So much of what we call a skincare routine is actually about making you feel great, rather than simply look it—although if you can do both, that’s even better. But what do the best pampering routines have in common? The answer is simple: three easy-to-customize stages. All you need is a bath, your favorite beauty products and time to perform indulgent rituals, like at-home facials or at-home pedicures. 

Maybe it’s a luxurious facial oil that upgrades your evening routine to something more heavenly, or one of the best self tans that makes you feel more confident. Perhaps it’s about an amazing body exfoliator for strokably soft limbs, the best cleansers to soothe a tired complexion, or an uplifting floral perfume that you know will put a smile on your face. Every element of this spa at home guide will introduce positive energy to your beauty routine and feel relaxed, rejuvenated and optimistic.

It’s these little personal beauty highlights that can make the biggest difference to our well-being—so follow these suggestions to turn your pampering routine into a full-blown spa experience.

The ultimate pampering routine in 3 steps

1. Begin with a bath

Having a bath is the first beauty trick many of us turn to when we want to boost our mood, relax, unwind or even re-energize ourselves—so how do you want to feel? 

I want… a relaxing bath

There’s nothing quite like a long soak to reset the senses and melt away tension—it’s the perfect ritual before bed, helping you have a good night’s sleep (a hot bath followed by being in a cool bedroom is known to help the body prepare for sleep and tricks you into feeling drowsy). 

Aid those relaxing sensations with an essential oil-based bath oil, which nourishes skin and helps you switch off. Or if you’re feeling tense, don’t underestimate the benefits of a salt bath. They can help with muscle aches and pains, leaving you feeling soothed and relaxed.

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I want… a nerve-calming bath

Feeling restless and anxious? Run a bath and choose products packed with soothing and calming ingredients like lavender. As you soak in the scented spa at home bath, practice breathing deeply into your abdomen to relax and calm your mind. 

If you struggle to stay focused, it can help to imagine you are gently inflating your tummy like a balloon as you breathe in, then slowly deflating it as you breathe out. The warm water will aid those feelings of relaxation. 

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I want… an upbeat bath

If you need a reboot, try adding a few drops of an uplifting essential oil—juniper is particularly effective in stimulating a positive mood energy, and focus and light a candle to enliven and uplift your senses.

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2. Make your skincare indulgent

I want to… cleanse and comfort

Try a facial massage. As well as treating skin with the best skincare products, extend your evening regimen into your pampering routine and use it as a chance to unwind. “Turn your evening cleanse into a moment of mindfulness,” says acupuncturist and healing facialist Annee de Mamiel. “Face massage helps you unwind but it’s also a reminder to begin to switch off from the day. Plus it doesn’t cost a thing!” 

Start by warming your cleansing oil in your hands and inhale the essential oils. Choose something with a soothing scent. As you massage, you will increase circulation, boost oxygen, and detoxify your skin. “You’ll be surprised how the texture, volume, and radiance of your skin will improve in such a short time,” adds Annee.

Not sure how to massage? Follow expert Beata Aleksandrowicz’s soothing technique: 

  • Start with mindful circles: “Gently press the flat part of the fingers of each hand into your temples and start to make mindful circles breathing regularly. Go slowly and intentionally—you will feel the tension release with every movement.” 
  • Stroke lightly:  Any soothing strokes that use the fingers of both hands in long brushing motions across the face will bring a sense of calm. Make sure that your hands are light and you stroke gently.
  • Touch and breathe: Place the middle fingers of both hands under the cheek bones close to the base of the nose. Breath in, and on the out breath, press gently and hold. Move to the next point along the check bone and repeat. Continue until you have worked underneath a whole cheekbone.
  • Tap, tap, tap: Using your fingertips, tap five to seven times on the top of the head or both sides of the collarbone. Focus on the feelings and accepting them. Just remember to keep your hands light, sit straight, and breathe regularly.” 

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I want to… relax and repair my skin

There’s nothing like a face mask to treat the skin but also, soothe the soul. Aside from tackling any number of skin concerns depending on which one you pick, applying a face mask and letting it do its thing forces you to sit down and take a minimum of 15 minutes for that most overused term but necessary ritual, self-care. 

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I want to… get steamy

Steaming your skin is nothing new—women have been hanging their towel-draped heads over basins for decades. What is new is that serious tech brands have now taken facial steaming and made it sexy. 

The best facial steamers don’t just feel utterly relaxing, they offer so many benefits for your skin too, as the owner of Louise Thomas Skin Therapy and Panasonic Beauty Ambassador, Louise Thomas Minns, explains. “Something that I see a lot when treating my clients is trans-epidermal water loss, which is when the skin loses water because the lipid barrier has been impaired.”

“The heating goes on, we’re going from hot to cold, and this can dry out the skin. One of the at-home solutions that I would recommend is using the Panasonic Facial Steamer as a humidifier. You can use it to steam your clean skin, open your pores, help decongest, and to achieve a deeper cleanse; but also if you put the steamer on in your bedroom, for example, it will help humidify the atmosphere.”

Louise also recommends using the steamer along with your favorite face mask to supercharge its benefits. “The nano-technology helps the steam to penetrate deep into the skin, whilst opening the pores, softening the skin, and helping those hydrating products to seep into the skin more efficiently.” 

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3. Indulge your body

I want to… soothe tired limbs

There’s nothing that makes self-esteem skyrocket more than when you feel comfortable in your own skin. If you have tired, heavy limbs, try Kate Shapland, founder of cult leg care line Legology’s clever technique.

“Give heavy legs the Scandi spa treatment by using the showerhead to alternate warm (not hot) and cold water over feet, ankles, legs, and buttocks,” she advises. “Do 20 seconds on each, repeating three times—the skin-firming effects are pretty astounding.”

To make your legs feel glorious, buff them before the shower and follow-up with a balm after.

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I want to… get a pro glow

Going out and want a body confidence boost? The best way to achieve this is pretty simple, invest in a good self tanner and learn how to fake tan so that you achieve a natural (streak-free) glow.

  • Create a smooth canvas by removing any dry, dead skin as well as shifting any residual fake stuff, by exfoliating at least 24 hours before application.
  • Use a mitt (no one likes stained palms!) and work in sections, starting from the feet first, working up the body, buff a small amount carefully into your face, blending well into the hairline to avoid any harsh lines.
  • Gradual tan gives you far more control over the end shade, and is nice and easy to maintain too. Apply every day until you’ve reached your desired glow, then top up every few.
  • DHA, the key ingredient in most self-tans, is often drying, so double down on moisturizer to keep skin happy and healthy. 

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I want to… smell amazing

Don’t limit your pampering routine to the bathroom and don’t limit fragrance wearing to your wrists. Treat scent as a total body experience and mist onto your hair, décolletage, and clothes. It takes just moments to inhale a mist of perfume but it can transform your mood for the rest of the day. 

It’s been discovered that smelling citrus for 10 minutes can enhance your mood for up to half an hour. Mandarin is one of the most evocative scents, while rose encourages calm, vetiver minimizes stress, and lavender oil helps with sleep.

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womanandhome thanks Annee de Mamiel and Louise Thomas Minns for their time and expertise