Whether you crave a spa treatment or you’ve looked in the mirror and realized that you just don’t look as refreshed as you’d like to be, there’s an easy solution: spa treatments cooked up right at home. Forget having to book an appointment, wait for a half hour, and then get right back into traffic after a day of relaxation. Home spas are simple and completely customizable for any guy, and they don’t need to involve a lot of fussy steps either. Want to extract blackheads and get your skin clean? Here’s the man’s guide to home spas.
• Prepare your environment. If you’re not crazy about candles and incense, don’t worry. You do want a clear, clean bathroom, though, for the sake of getting relaxed.
• Cleanse and moisturize your face as usual.
• Prepare a facial “steam” by filling a bowl with boiling water and a few drops of essential oils. Try lavender for all skin types. Cover your face with a towel and hold it over the bowl for 5 to 10 minutes. Just be careful not to burn your face by holding it too close.
• Rinse your face off with cool water.
• Apply a mask product to a clean, dry face. Try a clay mask to draw out impurities or a peel-off mask to clear off dead skin cells.
• Prepare a bath with warm water and preferred bath ingredients. If you have dry skin, add two cups of low-fat milk to the bath or simple prepared bath salts for all skin types.
• Soak in the bath while your mask sets, or for about twenty minutes or so.
• Empty the bath and rinse yourself with cool water. Exfoliate with a brush or grainy exfoliating scrub. Don’t scrub hard—your aim is to gently remove dead skin, not peel off a layer or two.
• Dry yourself and apply a thick layer of moisturizer. It will seal moisture in and keep you from looking scaly. Afterwards, put on a bathrobe for comfort.
• Shave and trim your beard and sideburns as usual. You may want to invest in some new shaving supplies, such as Every Man Jack products, for a low-cost spa experience.
• Get out a foot file and exfoliate the rough parts of your feet. If you normally hate doing this, then this is definitely the time to start. Clip your toenails while you’re at it.
• Leave an eye pack on your eyes for about two minutes. It will cool and refresh your eye area.
• Admire yourself. I’m not joking—you’ll look and feel good enough that you’ll want to have another home spa in a month or so.
If you’re not into mashing up fruits and veg, invest in spa-quality products. Top brands include Davi, Blue Lagoon, which is from Iceland and includes geothermal ingredients, Babor, Borghese, and Anthony. Consider what you’d like to get accomplished during your spa session—skin purifying? Relaxation?—and plan your products accordingly.
Finish off your spa experience with a healthy meal. Prepare something hearty like pita and hummus, salsa and chips, or a simple steak sandwich.
One of the most important things to remember is no home spa is complete without relaxation. While avoiding waking up to a buzzing alarm is best, you can take a few minutes out of your schedule to relax and simply breathe before you start your spa routine. Trust me: it makes a difference.
Bath Products for Men
Bath gels are one basic product that some people prefer over soap. It can work double-duty as a bubble bath and as a regular soap alternative, so you’ll save a few bucks, too. Use a loofah or washcloth to get your suds to last longer.
– Walgreens sells plenty of body washes for men, including sporty, invigorating ones from Adidas and Axe or refreshing blends from Suave for Men. If natural is more your thing, head to the health food or natural foods store to stock up on brands like Vermont Soapworks.
Depend on grainy exfoliating scrubs to make shaving easier. If you always shave after a bath or shower, give your skin a scrub to slough off dead cells and prime your skin. You’ll have the added benefit of having more luminous, clear skin, so use a tablespoon of exfoliating scrub on your face and chest to treat acne and clear muddy patches.
– Try grainy scrubs like the 7-Day Scrub Cream from Clinique.
Are bubble baths juvenile? It’s up to you to decide, but you’ll probably appreciate the softening effects of rough skin. Calluses, be gone! Use a pumice stone or file on your heels to maximize the effects.
– Try unisex Deep Steep products or retro Mr. Bubble.
Salts can be therapeutic for tired gym muscles and for post-beach sunburns. Even if your skin is all right, bath salts are perfect for those of us who need to relax after a particularly stressful day. Or date.
Find the best bath salts for you by checking out the ingredients. You’ll be surprised at the different stuff in each one. Get salts with oatmeal or sodium bicarbonate to calm down itchy skin, or milk to moisturize. Simply sprinkle a few tablespoons in warm bath water and wait until they dissolve.
– Look for bath salts by The Body Shop and Natty Products.
As tried-and-true as they may be, soaps can’t go out of style. They’re versatile and affordable, and you can buy one in just about any variety. They’re also easy to carry with you to the gym or when traveling because they are far lighter than a large bottle of shower gel.
– Find quality soaps at a nearby farmer’s market to take advantage of essential oils and botanical ingredients.