A Spa Day on Spare Change

By Julie Ann
$10 Day Spa – At Home!
Could you use a day at the spa? Just one problem, right – who’s paying? Your’re on your own now, and you know what that means: If you’re going to the spa, you’re paying. Well, so much for the spa. But wait! You can have the same relaxing and fun day at home, pampering yourself or sharing the pampering among friends, on less than $10 for a full body treatment.
It was a tough assignment, but I made the sacrifice and became the guinea pig to test at-home spa treatments, so I can fully endorse these practice to you. They are easy, low-cost recipes to cover you from head to toe, while costing mere pennies. And they’re made with natural products you probably already have in your kitchen.
Hair Hot Oil Treatment:
On average, a store bought hot oil treatment costs $1 to $3.50 and you could expect to pay from $5 to $20 at a salon. Instead, head to your cupboard and grab your canola oil and you’ll only be spending about 17 to 50 cents per treatment.
Instructions: Pour two to four tablespoons (depending on length and thickness of hair) of canola oil into a coffee mug and microwave until warm – about 15 seconds. Then use a large paint brush to apply to hair. Leave on for five to 15 minutes and then rinse. This can get messy, so make sure you wear old clothes.
I expected it to be hard to rinse out, but it came out nicely and I followed up with my regular conditioner. Afterwards I noticed my hair was much softer and felt “lighter” than normal. If you have damaged hair, you might want to do this once or twice a week until you see improvement.
Honey Yogurt Oatmeal Facial:
Paying $50 to $250 for a salon facial would probably do more harm than good to my face, considering the distress I would suffer when they hand me the bill! Even store brought products for home use are a shock with price tags of $15 to $25. However, once you see the glow on your face after a Honey Yogurt Oatmeal Facial – with a cool price tag of about a dollar per treatment – salon facials won’t even tempt you anymore!
Instructions: Mix two tablespoons plain yogurt, one tablespoon honey and two tablespoons of cooked oatmeal, cooled, into a paste and apply to a clean face. Leave on 10 to 15 minutes and then wash off with a warm wash cloth.
The yogurt contains lactic acid which is great for refining pours, aids in exfoliation and stimulates collagen production. The honey will help keep skin soft and moisturized.
I’m not a big fan of having gooey gunk on my face, so I was a little nervous about this treatment. However, I was pleased with the experience. Although the oatmeal chunks sticking to my face made me look a little like Nanny McPhee, once I washed it off, my face felt cool and refreshed.
Even purchased in the smallest increments, you should have enough ingredients for several treatments and even a few breakfasts!
Hands and Feet:
The manicure and pedicure is the personal treat of choice for a lot of women. But again, why spend your time and money at a salon when you can achieve similar results at home?
Instructions: For an at-home mani-pedi you will need nail polish remover, basic manicure tools (nail trimmer and file), a basin for water, Epson salt and/or bubble bath, a pumice stone or foot file, a moisturizer and your favorite color of nail polish.
First, remove any old polish and then trim and file the nails. Next, soak feet/hands in a basin of warm water (Epson salt for feet, bubble bath for hands.) For feet, use a pumice stone or foot file to soften rough spots. Once hands/feet are dry, moisturize, run over nails on hands and feet with a quick swab of nail polish remover once more to remove any lotion on the nails. Apply polish to nails and relax while they dry.
I’m always doing at home mani-pedis, so this wasn’t a new experience for me. I do a hand and foot treatment about once a week. About twice a week I change my fingernail color.
If you have problems painting your own nails, throw a mani-pedi party and get your friends to help. Also, check YouTube and search at-home manicure or pedicure to find videos or more in-depth text tutorials.
Body Scrub:
Don’t put that oatmeal away just yet because you will need it for our final treatment: a total body sugar oatmeal scrub. Store bought sugar-based body scrubs cost from $16 to $30 and at a day spa the price will start around $50. However, this treatment will be just as sweet with a price tag of less than $5 per treatment.
Instructions: Mix ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup raw oatmeal and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. While standing in the shower, apply on dry skin with your hands and rub in a circular motion. Turn on shower and rinse off. If you want a more aggressive exfoliation, apply wearing a loopha mit.
I was glad that I was standing in the shower, because this turned out to be really messy upon application. It was a little irritating while I was rubbing it in, but once I showered it felt amazing. It left my skin fabulously soft and glowing for several days.
My skin was a little oily for about 30 minutes after application, so be sure to avoid good clothes right after the shower. Because olive oil is a bit more expensive (that is what makes the price on this treatment a little higher) you can experiment with canola or other types of oil. Coconut oil is also great, but costs even more than olive oil.
These treatments are just a spring board to all kinds of fun, at-home treatments you can concoct with natural ingredients. Find hundreds of options on the Internet by searching: at home _____ (facial, body scrub, etc.). Have fun experimenting and don’t forget to count up the money you are saving!

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