Thursday, 24 January 2013

Home Spa-un fun in January

January is here, there's rain, snow, ice and wind all taking its toll on me and my skin and I'm battered and bruised from chucking snowballs and sledging with the kids - what I REALLY would love to do is escape to a spa for a day (minimum!) but with all the bills from Christmas hitting the doormat this month, the likelihood of that is zero!

So when Tots100 suggested having a bit of relaxation at my own Home Spa, I couldn't resist trying it out!  I had a look on the internet and found loads of ideas for homemade spa treatments with things that I have in my store cupboards so wouldn't cost anything.  I was lucky enough to be given some lovely Cowshed products and one of their delicious scented candles for Christmas, so I set the scene by having a relaxing bubble bath and lighting the candles (having first persuaded Grandma to have the kids for the afternoon!).

I'd already got all the ingredients out of the cupboards ready for my treatments so I was ready to give them a go when I got out of the bath.

First, I wanted to give my feet some pampering - those freezing temperatures were beginning to take their toll, so I mixed some coarse sea salt with olive oil (no need to bother using extra virgin!) - about two tablespoons of each, and rubbed that over my feet for about five minutes - paying particular attention to the rough skin on my heels.  My feet felt wonderfully soft afterwards when I rinsed off the mix in a bowl of warm water with scented bubble bath.

Next, I wanted to concentrate on helping out the skin on my face which was really taking the brunt of this cold weather so I made a gentle oatmeal mask from four tablespoons of fine oatmeal (if you only have porridge oats in, you can give them a quick whizz in a food processor), an egg yolk and one tablespoon of runny honey.  Mix them all together into a soft paste and apply to face and neck and leave for 15 minutes, then wash off with warm water and pat dry.  The very gentle abrasive effect of the oatmeal sloughed off those dull dead layers of skin and the egg and honey really seemed to replenish my skin - wonderful!

My hands are looking really dry, and, dare I say it, a bit wrinkly, so I searched for a moisturising solution and found that pumpkin does the trick!  Now there aren't many pumpkins in the shops in January, but you can still easily get butternut squash which is the same thing (and usually really cheap in Aldi too!).  I had some that I had roasted on Sunday when I was making the roast dinner, so I mixed three tablespoons with half a teaspoon of honey and a drop of milk.  Slather this over your hands, paying particular attention to the backs where the skin is thin and leave on for 15 minutes.  I suggest you lie back at this stage and put a couple of chilled used camomile tea bags over your eyes and enjoy some quiet music, something like Nora Jones, or, if classical music is your thing, Faure's Requiem.

Wash the pumpkin mask off in warm water - the effect was amazing.

After all that pampering, I jumped in the shower to wash off any residue of my preparations, put on my fleecy jim-jams and cosy dressing gown and sat infront of the open fire with a cup of camomile tea to finish off my Home Spa day perfectly!

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