Everyone is either being encouraged to or mandated to stay home during this period where COVID-19 is running rampant. This means having to be socially responsible and reducing the number of visits to the spas and beauty centres. However, this does not mean you cannot take care of yourself right in the comforts of your own home. What better time to pamper yourself to a few easy at-home spa treatments!
For Your Hair:
Let’s be real, us working ladies have probably had little to no time to take care of our hair. Often, we let the once luscious mane fall from grace into a limp, dull mess. Who has time to deal with frizz and damage when you’re working a 9-6 with deadlines to meet? Well, now you do!
Hot Oil Treatment
For those of us with dry, damaged hair, this might just do the trick. Lightly heat a few spoonfuls of your preferred hair oil and massage it into the hair in small doses taking care to avoid the roots.
A few recommendations are Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil Nourishing treatment (~$18) and L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Gold (~$21). These are my personal favourites as they are very light and easily absorbed by the hair. This prevents the wet and greasy after look as the hair would not be weighed down.
We are all guilty of this. Forgetting the skin on our scalp is still skin. It needs the same care we give to the skin on the rest of our body. Enter scalp scrubs that are made especially for the tougher skin on the head to remove the build-up of dead skin and oils.
If you’re feeling extra generous, I would recommend Christophe Robin’s Purifying Scalp Scrub with Sea Salt for $53 at Sephora. It is made to break down residual styling products and is suitable for almost all hair types. It can be replaced as a shampoo as it also cleanses the hair. A cheaper alternative is L’Oreal Everfresh Micro-Exfoliating scrub that costs about $10. It is a sulfate-free and surprisingly effective addition to one’s haircare routine.
After getting a squeaky clean scalp, it might not be a bad idea to take it a step further and introduce a hair mask. The skin would be more receptive to the moisturizing effects of it since it is now free of oils, dirt and dead skin that has been clogging it. Apply a generous amount through the hair and taking care to avoid the roots. Tie your hair up and put on a shower cap allowing it to sit in the hair for a longer period before washing it out thoroughly.
I am a fan of Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep conditioning mask. It ran me about $55 at Sephora and did miracles for my tired and damaged hair restoring quite a bit of shine and volume. However, in the spirit of staying home, you can try some DIY mask recipes that are widely available online. I’ve tried the avocado, egg and olive oil recipe and had a lot of fun making it.
For Your Face:
Now that we are no longer able to visit our beauty spas, our face may feel the drawbacks from the sudden withdrawal of the bi-weekly or monthly care sessions to for our clogged pores and irritated skin. Fret not, though we miss the soft, tender hands of our aestheticians, we can still take care of our face.
I had always thought that the thin flimsy masks that you could get from the likes of etude house and Innisfree had never done anything for my skin. Neither did I want to spend $20 on tiny containers of gel masks that would probably only last me 2 sessions. So, I turn to homemade mask that can be both cheap and potent.
Matcha Face mask: I mix 3 tablespoons of matcha powder with 1 tablespoon of colloidal oatmeal before adding a tablespoon of milk and a drop of my favourite lavender carrier oil. Then just apply to the skin and leave on for 15 minutes before washing it off.
Cucumber face mask: This one is simple. Just puree the cucumber and slather all over your face. The high water content and anti-inflammatory properties had helped to moisturize and calm my skin.
Granted we are no experienced aesthetician but nothing is stopping ask from giving ourselves a relaxing facial massage. I do not like to complicate the procedure with gua sha or rollers. Fingers are all I need. I start by massaging my neck, shoulders and jaw at the areas where I feel the most tension. I gently knead away to get comfortable before increasing the pressure. Moving on to my face. I start at my temples with a circular motion and work down the T zone. Make sure to give extra care to the inner brow bones, before the ears and beneath the jaw.
Kombucha is the new star in facial care. It has wondrous anti-inflammatory properties that can soother irritated skin and help reduce redness for acne. It also boosts collagen production which generates new, unpigmented skin cells helping to lighten pigmentation.
Apply kombucha onto a cotton pad and lightly tap into the face as a toner.
For your Body:
For those of us who are lucky enough to have a bathtub at home, enjoying some home baths is also another way to pass the time. Light a few scented candles, throw in a bath bomb or bath salts and just soak it all up. If you are feeling extra fancy, maybe enjoy a glass of champagne while listening to your favourite podcast.
Another way to enjoy a bath would be to do an Apple Cider Vinegar Bath. It has been adored for its ability to get alleviate issues such as fungal infections, body acne, eczema and even body odour. Just place 1 to 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and 10-20 drops of essential oils of your choice into warm bathwater. Soak for about 20 minutes before rinsing off and moisturizing.