Have you ever treated your sweetheart to a spa day? How about one at home? If not, consider doing something extra special and a little different this Valentine’s Day by turning your own home into a luxurious spa — or, at least, making some of these treatments to give as gifts (they’re stunning when packaged in pretty containers and put in a gift bag or box). That someone special in your life is sure to feel the love!
Set the Mood
To me the best spas are an oasis of calm and all about relaxation and rejuvenation. The whole focus really does seem to be on you and your happiness.
So, why not bring that same kind of experience home? Here are some tips:
- Give your sweetheart a hand-written spa treatment menu of what they can expect. (This is where you can get creative!)
- Pre-organize your spa treatments on a pretty tray. (They in and of themselves can be quite beautiful to look at.)
- Set out neatly folded, just-warmed fluffy towels (put them in the dryer), a clean bathrobe, and slippers.
- Diffuse essential oils or light some aromatherapy candles. (Personalize the scent to suit your sweetheart. For example, if a floral scent like rose is out of the question, maybe something woodsy, minty, or citrusy would be more suitable?)
- Display a bowl of rose petals. But if your sweetheart isn’t into flowers, try something like lavender buds or even citrus peels. (Then use them later in a luxurious bath.)
- Offer healthy snacks and drinks, such as spa water.
- Provide your loved one’s favorite books and/or magazines if reading relaxes him or her.
- Play some spa music.
- Put out a new bar of luxurious soap in the shower or tub on a fresh wash cloth.
- Clean up the “spa space” (uncluttered space = uncluttered mind).
Check out a few of these great recipes below.
A few hours or even a day in advance of your “spa day,” make a nice healthy spa beverage. I like making Pomegranate Berry Spa Water for Valentine’s Day because of it’s pretty pink color, but a lemon or cucumber water would be nice as well.
Homemade spa treatments can be as simple as adding some rose petals to a drawn bath or as elaborate as adding essential oils to some salt and oil to make an exfoliating body scrub. The whole idea is to show you care!
Starting out with a warm bath is a great way to relax and soothe sore muscles. You can easily make your own bath, which can be as simple as an aromatherapy bath or as complicated as a bath containing multiple ingredients. Or, of course, use a nice bath product from your local store.
Aromatherapy baths are so easy. All you need to do is just add a few drops of essential oil (e.g., rose, rose geranium, lavender) to about a tablespoon of oil (e.g., olive, almond, avocado oil) and then add it to the bath water. You can then use the same essential oil in a massage oil or a homemade body scrub. Plus, you can diffuse it into the air. Smart and easy, huh?
If you want to get more creative, how about trying your hand at making this Himalayan Pink Salt Rose Bath? It uses just three ingredients and looks perfect for Valentine’s Day, don’t you think? Or, check out this Remineralizing Aromatic Spa Bath made with Dead Sea salts. If your Valentine is feeling a little under the weather, a ginger bath may just be what the doctor ordered. All of them are all natural and require just a few ingredients available at any natural products store.
Exfoliating scrubs not only get the circulation going and remove dead skin cells, but they are also relaxing. You can make a basic one that’s as simple as mixing some sea salt or turbinado sugar and oil together, or make something more complex.
Here are a few recipes:
- Pink Grapefruit Aromatherapeutic Body Scrub
- Lavender Body Scrub
- Pumpkin Walnut Body Scrub
- Peppermint Body Scrub
Who doesn’t love ending a spa day with a great massage? Massage induces deep relaxation and of course helps your body in multiple other ways, such as easing muscle tension and stimulating the lymphatic system to excrete toxins. And, most importantly, it leaves your sweetheart plain loving you more!
Obviously the stores are stocked with great massage oils, but if you wish to make your own, it’s super easy. All you need to start with is a carrier oil — that’s massage therapist speak for a natural oil that glides well, such as almond oil, cold-pressed avocado oil, etc. You can find these oils in the cooking and personal care sections of most stores. But, buy them in the cooking section. They’re cheaper! (Note: I wouldn’t buy corn oil or soy oil. Almost anything else works. Buy organic if it’s an option.)
Next, if you want a scented massage oil, you can add in some essential oil. As I mentioned above, rose and rose geranium are two floral scents that are great for Valentine’s Day, but other scents, such as sandalwood work well too. Often, the stores will sell a premixed blend, so it you want something more complex, that’s often a nice way to go.
A 1% to 3% dilution of essential oil is typical in most massage oils. Use less for the elderly and those who are sensitive. And if one’s pregnant, then use a .5% to 1% dilution. Also, keep in mind that 20 drops of essential oil is about 1 ml (.20 tsp), but this really does depend on the dropper. I’ve found it to vary quite a bit.
Here’s a general guide based on suggestions by Salvatore Battaglia in the The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (I added in the metric to English conversions):
1% Massage Oil Dilution
To 50 ml (1.69 ounces) of carrier oil, add 0.5 ml (.10 tsp) of essential oil or 10 drops
To 100 ml (3.38 ounces) of carrier oil, add 1 ml (.20 tsp) or essential oil or 20 drops
3% Massage Oil Dilution
To 50 ml of carrier oil, add 1.5 ml (.30 tsp) of essential oil or 30 drops
To 100 ml of carrier oil, add 3 ml (.60 tsp) of essential oil, or 60 drops
Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2012-2015. All rights reserved.
Photos © Karen Peltier.