A Spa Sanctuary of One’s Own

By Robin Tolkan-Doyle, Beauty Editor


Dreaming about the days when you could escape to your favorite spa for some rest and relaxation? You’re not alone. While many places around the country still don’t deem spa services as essential businesses yet, it IS essential to take some therapeutic timeouts every so often.


Spa-ing boosts our well-being, helps us de-stress, sleep better, relieves aches and pains, improves blood flow, decreases anxiety and increases happiness. After all, why do you think the Romans built all those gorgeous bath houses during ancient times? 


Don’t let spa closures stop you from taking care of yourself - the following expert tips below will guide you into transforming a space under your roof into a Zen-like spa sanctuary of your own.


Set the Scene

So many of us are working and living at home these days, it’s not easy to separate the two. Kundalini breathwork expert and manifestation coach Erika Polsinelli suggests clearing negative energies associated with a space allows you to manifest what you want in life. Make your space feel light and “good” before settling into your self-service spa. 


Smudge your space by burning sage, an ancient spiritual ritual stemming from many Native American tribes. Known for its antibacterial properties, sage burning is thought to release negative ions and help neutralize the positive ones. Make sure to keep a window or door open so the smoke can escape and take any negative energy with it.


Light a candle to fill your space with a calm and cleansing scent. Heretic Dirty Fig Candle burns a delicious cocktail of grapefruit, bergamot and geranium mixed with damask rose and raspberries. Finally, set the mood with some ambient music. 


Water Therapy

Whether you have a tub or simply a shower, submerge yourself in steaming water scented with essential oils or eucalyptus branches. According to Dr. Reinhard Bergel, introducing the body to moist heat can stimulate the subcutaneous blood flow beneath the skin, opening pores, and removing toxins and impurities. Bathing and steam showers also help ease muscle and joint pain and can alleviate mental stress and anxiety. 

To emulate the physical benefits of an in-person massage, reach for Esker’s Body Plane, a modern day strigil (a bathing instrument the Romans and Greeks used to exfoliate away debris and dead skin). Douse body oil along arms and legs, then gently glide the plane across your skin with the blade down. Use slow, upward strokes towards your heart and trunk to help with lymphatic drainage. 


Face Forward

Just because you haven’t been showing your face as much, doesn’t mean you should ignore your complexion. Lorena Balensi, clinical esthetician and owner of Balensi Spa, recommends the following steps to re-create a spa-quality facial on your own. 


Cleanse with a mild wash to rid skin of makeup, excess oils, dirt, and sweat. 


Exfoliate with clean microdermabrasion crystals to renew your natural glow and promote skin cell growth. Try NeedCrystals, which are made from 99.5% pure white aluminum oxide.





Mask up with a nourishing and regenerating face mask formulated specially for your skin type. Dry skin types should opt for moisture-infused formulas with ingredients like aloe, calendula and hyaluronic acid. Normal to oily skin types can search out oil-absorbing masks containing clay, charcoal and squalane. 


Moisturize with a luxurious face cream or oil that will seal in the benefits of your facial. Cuerpa Terra Bleue Balancing Facial Oil soothes as it regenerates skin cells and improves elasticity without a greasy residue. 





Salon-Worthy Mani Pedi

No matter how house-bound you are these days, freshly polished nails can zhuzh up your look and mood in a matter of minutes. Silva Nahabedian, Director of Education for Dazzle Dry, offers up this fail-proof guide to DIY mani pedi perfection:


• Remove any current polish then trim and file. Never file nails when they’re wet since it leads to splitting and peeling. 


• Apply a cuticle softener around the nail base and soak in warm soapy water for three minutes. Wipe off and gently push back cuticles from side to center using an orangewood stick. 


• Buff the nails to smooth out any imperfections and allow for a flawless polish application.  


• Slough off dead callused skin on your feet with a foot file and massage moisturizer to hands and feet. 


• Ensure your polish will adhere by using a nail brush with soap and water to remove lotion from the nails. 


• Prep nails with a cleansing swipe of nail prep. Apply base coat, two coats of lacquer, allowing each layer to dry. Apply topcoat to seal everything in and wait five minutes to dry. Finally, give yourself a generous tip. You deserve it!

Photo Credit: Heretic Parfum, Esker Beauty, Need Crystals, Cuerpa, Dazzle Dry

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