Top 10 Do-It-Yourself Spa Treatments
1. Boost A Dull Complexion
Spa Treatment Chances are, your skin looks less than radiant thanks to overexposure to harsh environmental conditions (wind, cold air and sun) paired with a lack of exfoliation. The best way to revitalize a dull complexion is with skin-polishing fruit extracts. At New York Citys earth-water spa, Ohm, grapefruit is the key ingredient in their Asian-inspired 60-Minute Skin Makeover ($109; ohmspa.com). Grapefruit extract is applied to boost skins radiance. The vitamin C in it helps activate the pigmentation cells in the skin, which brings about a healthy glow.
At Home Spa Treatment Exfoliate twice a week (after cleansing) with Grassroots Sweeping Success ($15; kohls.com), which packs skin-sloughing coconut-shell powder; or Aquatanica Spa Sea Moisture Facial with polishing pearl protein ($18; bbw.com).
2. Smooth Fine Lines And Wrinkles
Spa Treatment As you age, your skins texture and tone change, a result of the breakdown of tissue-rming collagen and elastin, as well as overall muscle tone and the general quality of the skin. Exhale Mind Body Spa in New York City offers an Acu-lift facial ($210; exhalespa.com), which is derived from holistic traditions in Chinese and other Asian cultures. In this facial, small needles are inserted into the skin to irritate the outer layer; the skin then responds by attempting to produce more collagen and elastin, says Robert MacDonald, M.S., L.Ac., director of healing at Exhale.
At Home Spa Treatment Help firm skin with Christian Bretons Face Lift ($60; 800-848-6835), a serum that contains caffeine; or LOreal Paris Revitalift Double Lifting Pump ($16.59; at drugstores), a duo with a mineral-derived skin-tightening ingredient, and a Pro-Retinol A wrinkle-fighting cream.
Keep reading for more spa treatments and quick at-home fixes to calm rough, dry skin and to end under-eye puffiness and dark circles.
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3. Calm Rough, Dry Skin
Spa Treatment Ohm Spa owner Jonathan Ho raves about honeys hydrating benefits. Our most nourishing, moisturizing facial features manuka honey [$129 for 60 minutes; ohmspa.com], Ho says. This form of honey, which has been used in New Zealand for centuries, helps attack bacteria without drying out the skin. Ho cleanses, tones, exfoliates, massages and steams the skin before spreading the honey over the face and neck. This sweet ingredient is not only nourishing, it helps lock in moisture.
At Home Spa Treatment Apply a honey-infused treat like Nuxe Reve de Miel Facial Cleansing Gel ($22; beautyexclusive.com) with lime blossom and peach; or LOccitane Honey Comfort Mask ($30; usa.loccitane.com) with skin-nourishing royal jelly (a blend of proteins and bee-derived amino acids).
4. End Undereye Concerns
Spa Treatment An effective way to reduce dark circles and puffiness is with a combo of chilled gel-based eye serum and vitamin-K cream; at Golden Door Spa at the Boulders in Arizona, a Japanese and Native American fusion spa, the Eye Care Treatment ($60 for 25 minutes; goldendoorspa.com) takes care of all eye-related problems. The treatment includes massage, to help increase circulation, and an eye wrap of orange and red seaweed, to help reduce puffiness; a superstrength vitamin-K cream helps control blood clotting (one cause of dark undereye circles).
At Home Spa Treatment Gently massage your face in an upward, circular motion, then apply chilled cucumber slices, wet chamomile tea bags or ready-made cooling eye pads for 10 minutes. Try Earth Therapeutics Recover-E Cucumber Eye Pads ($6; earththerapeutics.com), infused with soothing cucumber, green tea and vitamin E; or Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue ($110; peterthomasroth.com) with vitamin K and brightening vitamin C.
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5. Smooth Scaly Body Skin
Spa Treatment The Maui Sugar Cane Exfoliation ($25 for 10 minutes; grandwailea.com) is popular at Maui, Hawaiis Grand Wailea Hotel Spa Grande; it packs sugar, macadamia-nut and coconut oils to exfoliate and moisturize the skin. Sugar polishes skin almost as effectively as professional-grade glycolic acid, but it offers the added benefit of helping soften rough spots, explains Maui-based Dana Roberts, founder of Malie Kauai skin-care products.
At Home Spa Treatment Massage in Tahitian Noni Moa Sugar Scrub ($33; tahitiannoni.com), containing sesame-seed and macadamia-nut oils; or Malie Kauais Pikake Body Cream ($28; maliekauai.com), a blend of macadamia-nut oil and aloe.
6. Soften Dry Hands And Feet
Spa Treatment Rice water is a favorite moisturizing remedy for dry hands and feet in Malaysia, says Jok Keng, a practitioner of Chinese traditional medicine at the Spa Village in Pangkor Laut, Malaysia. Here, rice is soaked overnight to extract the starch and soften the granules. Keng then blends the water and rice into a paste, adding a pinch of turmeric (known for its anti-inammatory properties); the mixture, he says, improves blood circulation too.
At Home Spa Treatment Massage feet with Fresh Rice Dry Oil ($45; fresh.com), which has anti-inflammatory arnica; on hands, use Origins Spice Odyssey Foaming Body Rub ($27.50; origins.com) with anti-inflammatory turmeric and coriander.
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7. Control Frizzy, Unruly Strands
Spa Treatment Take a cue from the Balinese. Coconut oil, a nourishing, hydrating ingredient, works wonders, says Kim Collier, founder of Bali-inspired JAMU Asian Spa Rituals in Whitefish, Mont. We massage a concoction of coconut, grapeseed and jojoba oils into the scalp and strands for about five minutes, Collier says. Next, steam is applied for 10 minutes before she rinses twice with water and shampoo to remove the oil.
At Home Spa Treatment Opt for a shampoo and conditioner duo with equally hydrating grapeseed oil, such as Alberto VO5 Blushin Apple Gentle Cleansing Shampoo and Gentle Moisture Conditioner ($1.29 each; at drugstores).
8. Boost Limp, Oily Tresses
Spa Treatment Your hair and scalp need natural oils to thrive, but too much can leave your whole head feeling like an oil slick. To remove grease, use a vinegar-based rinse, says Ann Moloney Brown, spa director at Spa Shiki, part of the Asian-based Lodge of Four Seasons Resort in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. The spas blend: Mix 14 cup of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of water, then add the juice of half a lemon (to reduce the vinegar odor). Massage into your hair and scalp, allowing it to penetrate for about 10 minutes; rinse with cool water.
At Home Spa Treatment Clarify hair with Hamadi Lemon Mint Hair Wash ($18 for 4ounces; sephora.com) with lemongrass and grapefruit-seed extract; or Graham Webb Ice Cap Revitalizing Shampoo with menthol ($13; grahamwebb.com).
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9. Soothe Dandruff
Spa Treatment You can usually blame embarrassing aky-scalp syndrome on fungus, says Jamie Ahn, owner of New York Citys Acqua Beauty Bar, specializing in Eastern-inspired treatments. Her spa trick: tea tree oil, a natural anti-fungal to ease the flaking. Ahn applies a few drops to the scalp and gently massages it in for two minutes, then follows with a cool-water rinse. Tea tree oil also soothes the itch associated with dandruff.
At Home Spa Treatment Wash with tea-tree-oil products like Philip B Thai Tea Body Wash ($40.50; philipb.com) or Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment ($13; 800-321-JPMS).
10. Revamp Lack-Luster Locks
Spa Treatment Hair can look less than lush due to product buildup, overprocessing and other environmental factors. To the rescue: the Oriental Head Massage, compliments of New York Citys Mandarin Oriental holistic spa ($95 for 20 minutes; mandarinoriental.com). According to Nicole Caban, a spa supervisor, the treatment rejuvenates hair from scalp to ends using mineral-rich red clay and a circulation-stimulating massage; it ends with a cool-water, shine-enhancing rinse. The result is touchable, radiant strands.
At Home Spa Treatment Revive hair using Oscar Blandi Fango Marine Mud Treatment ($24; sephora.com) with nourishing sage and yarrow; or Paul Labrecques Curly Finish High Gloss Spray Shine ($20; paullabrecque.com) with camellia oil to instantly add shine to dry or damaged dull hair.