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Home spa night: How to achieve peak relaxation without leaving the house

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Sometimes you want a little luxury without having to leave your house — that’s when the DIY home spa comes into play.

Picture the scene: it’s a Friday night and that friend you’ve stayed in touch with since college, despite no longer having anything in common with them, has just cancelled on you last minute. Suddenly, the night is yours — it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a home spa evening.

The key this is to not half-arse the occasion. In my humble opinion as a former extrovert in her thirties, being cancelled on is a rare gift, and it must be treated with respect. This isn’t the time to lie on the sofa half watching the US version of The Office while doomscrolling until you notice it’s 11pm and you haven’t had anything to eat except a few cheese slices straight out of the packet (no, I have never ever done this, why do you ask?)

When bringing the spa experience into your bathroom at home, I feel it’s important to activate all the senses — sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Here’s how to get started.

Bathtub surrounded by houseplants


Relaxing visuals for a luxe aesthetic

Grab as many houseplants as possible from the rest of your home to bring some greenery into the space. Maybe even treat yourself to a fresh bouquet? Our brains are soothed by nature — research has found that having houseplants can positively impact objective function, namely in terms of relaxed physiology and improved cognition. Ideal for a home spa night.

Turn off the big light in the bathroom. Obviously. Then, light some candles. They don’t have to be fancy — tea lights and odd ends stuck into empty bottles work just fine. So do the flickering, battery-operated ones, if you have them to hand and open flames aren’t an option. There’s a reason most spas feature low, warm lighting!

I love the beautiful Hand Gesture Candles from CandleHand — if you can bring yourself to light the wicks. If they’re a little too realistic for your liking, Hay’s patterned candles are utterly gorgeous and available from Selfridges.

Read more: Self-care Sunday tips to to feel refreshed for the week ahead
Candles in the shape of hand gestures 'peace' and 'rock on'
Soothing noises to create the perfect spa soundscape

The aural experience is huge when it comes to relaxation and if you’re living in a noisy city, you’ll want to track down some nature sounds to give your home spa the perfect ambiance — this study found that, when compared with city sounds, exposure to forest sounds induced physiological and psychological relaxation in participants. I love this forest sounds podcast and this eight-hour birdsong recording, but opt for whatever nature sounds suit you — you may prefer ocean waves, rain falling on a roof or even soothing planet frequencies. Of course, you could always watch Netflix – this is your spa night after all – but I’d recommend taking this opportunity to give your brain a break from the daily onslaught of digital information.

While your phone speakers will do the job in a pinch, for the ultimate home spa experience, opt for a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. I’m a fan of the JBL Clip 4 Eco because it’s small, transportable, waterproof, dustproof and made using eco-friendly recycled materials. It has 10 hours of battery life, so your DIY spa session isn’t interrupted by the stress of a dying speaker.

Read more: What is sound therapy and why are celebrities obsessed?
Made by Zen Oceana aroma diffuser shaped like a domed shell
Made By Zen
Uplifting scents to transport you elsewhere

Certain scents can enhance stress, while others, such as lavender, neroli and grapefruit, may also suppress it, as suggested by this study. So, make sure you’ve taken the bins out and selected your favourite scents to enhance the DIY spa experience — if you’re unsure, geranium, neroli and eucalyptus are often used in luxury spas. Electric diffusers are a great way to turn your spa night into an aromatic event — I love the Oceania aroma diffuser from Made by Zen because of its artistic, natural and unintrusive design. Pair with your favourite essential oil and feel instantly relaxed.

I’m also obsessed with this gorgeous bath soak from Inlight Beauty, which smells absolutely incredible. Each scoop (which you can either scatter into your bath or tip into the reusable cotton ‘tea bags’) is loaded with rose buds, calendula petals, lavender and Himalayan salt to make your bath an aromatic sensation. Even just leaving the jar open in your bathroom for the evening will transform the vibe. For an extra hit of lavender, add in the ‘Deep Sleep’ bath bomb for an all-encompassing purple haze of relaxation.

Read more: Sleep meditation techniques for a good night’s rest
Cotton pouch of Inlight bath soak with petals and salt crystals
Inlight Beauty
Treats to tantalise your tastebuds

Traditional spas will generally offer cucumber water and/or mint tea, so make sure you’re stocked up with your favourite fresh greens ahead of your home spa night. However, I’m partial to a bit of indulgence — my go-to is fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries on my prettiest pink dish alongside a bowl of melted dark chocolate for dipping. It’s a treat while also filling my body with antioxidants. While sticking with herbal tea might be the favoured option for some, I love to crack open a pre-mixed cocktail. You simply can’t go wrong with the zingy Passion Fruit Martini from Edmunds Cocktails.

Read more: What are wellness shots? Everything you need to know
Hands crumble Lush Sleepy bubble bar into bath water, turning it purple
Lush UK
Relaxing spa sensations to immerse yourself in

You may not think sensation is relevant, but it’ll actually tie the whole home spa event together.

If you have a bath, bubbles are obviously key. Lush bubble bars are iconic for good reason — light, bouncy and long-lasting, they make for a truly mesmerising experience. Opt for ‘Sleepy’, which, when crumbled under running water, will produce lavender and ylang ylang-scented bubbles, turning your bath water purple. Peak vibes.

If you haven’t got a bath, fear not — treat yourself to a thermal experience. Fill one large bowl with hot, steaming water and another with cold water and ice cubes. Start by steaming your face, which helps to unclog pores and release any build-up of impurities. Then, dunk your face into the ice water, which can help to tone and lift the face. To really amplify your skincare moment, indulge in the Lixirskin Peel Express resurfacing and hydrating mask, which both soothes and exfoliates, leaving skin feeling smooth and hydrated. After, treat your skin to some antioxidant-rich Jurlique Jojoba oil, renowned for its rejuvenating effects. Its make-up is similar to the sebum your body produces naturally, so it’s great for regulating production and moisturising dry skin.

Swaddling yourself in soft materials will also amplify a sense of indulgence — think carefully about whether you’re a cotton-lover, or if you prefer to feel silk or towelling against your skin. I’ve completely fallen for this luxurious waffle robe from HAY, a colourful and design-centric brand hailing from Copenhagen. The relaxed fit and cotton blend texture will ensure you’re neither too hot nor too chilly while going about your home spa activities.

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