Strawberries, sugar and peppermint oil mixed up and—applied to your feet? Believe it, says Erika Katz, the at-home beauty remedy mixologist who created the Strawberry Peppermint Foot Scrub. “I’m always asked to recommend products and it was bothering me that so many great products were either extremely costly, contained synthetic fragrance, or were rough on my sensitive skin,” explains Katz, who is also the author of Bonding Over Beauty. “My grandmother is from Hungary and I grew up with her putting sour cream on my face, vinegar in my hair, and cucumber on my eyes. Making my own products seemed like a natural thing to do.”
Katz shared her expert tips for bringing self-pampering spa treatments into your home. Consider it your step-by-step guide to relaxation.
At-home spa experience: Turn a bath into an event.
Why you should: “When women enter a spa, they put on robes and slippers and bond over the idea of being pampered. Women love to feel beautiful and experiencing all the treatments together is such a special experience.”
DIY: “To make the bath feel like a spa experience, light some candles, and add your favorite bubble bath or essential oils. My favorite is peppermint because it invigorates tired muscles. When I want to sleep, I add lavender oil to the bath. You can also make your own body scrub using Epsom salts— they’re wonderful in the tub. To deep clean your skin, take a shower and let the steam open up your pores before cleaning your face.”
At-home spa experience: Warm hands, warm heart.
Why you should: “If you don’t take care of yourself, it will show. Treat your body as you would your teeth—you wouldn’t go a week without brushing. Likewise, you shouldn’t go a week without basic cleansing, weekly exfoliating, and daily moisturizing. Make it into a habit by starting with something easy.“
DIY: “Take two pairs of socks and warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds before bed. Keep a bottle of moisturizer next to your bed and apply to hands and feet. Cover your moisturized hands and feet with the warm socks for a few minutes while you are watching TV. When you remove the socks, you will feel so lovely.”
Click here for tips on how to get an at-home spa pedicure.
For more tips on how to recreate the perfect at-home spa experience with these delicious DIY spa treatments, read on…
At-home spa experience: Stock your kitchen cupboards (seriously).
Why you should: “ I love vitamin E oil. It’s an essential ingredient in virtually every
good moisturizer, but I find it is so healing— I use it in almost all of my recipes. Originally, I bought it to help my daughter heal her cuts and scrapes. One night, I ran out of my night cream and used the vitamin E oil instead. I woke up the next morning without a line! After that, vitamin E oil is my beauty essential.”
DIY: “Sugar, Epsom salt, almond oil or olive oil, heavy cream, and a few essential oils. My favorites are peppermint, lavender, rose, tangerine, and jasmine. I usually just mix things by hand but lately I have been whipping my masks that contain heavy cream and it makes them feel like a mousse, which I love.”
At-home spa experience: Ambiance setter.
Why you should: “I do love all sorts of wonderful teas. My favorite is White Pear Tea by Revolution. I am definitely on a white tea kick. I always add lemon to the tea. Tea just makes it a spa experience. I love scented candles but natural fragrances not heavy synthetic smells. Some light music is always nice and definitely nice towels and robes.”
DIY: “The perfect spa day would be a
rose water steam, a whipped mask, a hair treatment, and some vitamin E oil and moisturizer. A bubble bath and salt glow would top it off!”
At-home spa experience: Reward thyself.
Why you should: “There is something special about making it all yourself. I know when I develop a recipe for a magazine and I try it out and it’s really great, I still get so excited. It’s like a hidden treasure right in my kitchen. When I made my green tea toner from green tea, witch hazel, and grapefruit juice, and it was amazing I was thrilled and made it for all my friends.”
DIY: “In the morning, wet your washcloth with warm water, pour a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the wash cloth and breathe in the aroma for a minute for some aromatherapy. It’s all about making these things into a part of your routine.”