If you don’t happen to have an extra hundred bucks to enjoy a day at the spa, don’t sweat it. There are lots of easy DIY spa treatments you can do for yourself, at home for less. A lot less!
You can pay a small fortune for a jar of salt scrub body exfoliant, or make your own for about a buck.
Find a nice container (a small glass jar or with a tight-fitting lid works well) and fill it about 3/4 full with Epsom salt. Now slowly mix in either almond oil (better) or baby oil (cheaper) and stir until the mixture looks like wet snow.
It’s optional, but you can add your choice of aromatherapy-grade essential oil to add a lovely scent. Lavender is a great choice! And you can substitute sugar for Epsom Salt.
TO USE: Massage over wet skin in a hot shower with hand or washcloth. Rinse. Scratchy, scaly skin is suddenly gorgeous. Do not use on broken or freshly shaven skin.
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If you’ve ever had a pricey clay masque facial treatment you know that natural clay has the ability to gently draw out impurities and excess oil that can dull skin and clog pores. Clay is known to improve healthy circulation, tighten pores and tone your complexion.
You can spend a lot of money for a commercial clay facial product or make your own with (don’t panic) a generic brand of 100% clay, non-clumping cat litter. Just mix two tablespoons of the product with enough warm water to create a paste, and presto—a clay mud masque is ready to use.
Apply masque to face and neck, avoiding contact with eyes; let it dry and gently remove with a wet washcloth. Your face will glow.
Treatment for troubled skin
Reader Karen J. received a Gift Certificate to visit an exotic day spa for a massage and facial. During the procedure, the technician taught her how to care for her troubled blemish-prone skin at home, for less: Buy a bottle of milk-of-magnesia.
Smooth this product over blemishes before bed. Smooth a bit more over your face in the morning, then remove the residue in the shower. It helps to keep your skin clear, smooth and soft.
Karen swears by this home treatment. However, no one should attempt self-treatment of a medical condition without first checking with one’s doctor or healthcare provider.
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ACV facial toner
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) has amazing natural healing and soothing properties. And none better than for aging skin (tell me, whose skin is not aging?!)
Mix raw apple cider vinegar and filtered, distilled, or bottled water in these ratios:
- For sensitive skin: Mix 1 part ACV with 4 parts water
- For normal/dry skin: Mix 1 part ACV with 2 parts water
- For oily skin: Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part water
Mix the ingredients together and store in a glass or plastic container. A spray bottle is convenient, but not necessary. No need to refrigerate as vinegar makes it shelf-stable.
TO USE: Using your normal routine, cleanse your face fully then rinse. Next, saturate a cotton square with this toner then lightly rub on your face and neck. Or spray a light mist directly on your skin to freshen your skin throughout the day. Do not rinse it off after use. The smell of vinegar will quickly dissipate.
Elbows get lots of wear and tear and they really show it. Here’s the perfect way to give them the attention they deserve.
Cut a lemon in half and rest an elbow in each section for at least 10 minutes. Sure, you’ll look ridiculous and that’s why you’re not going to do this in the middle of an important meeting or while sitting in church. The lemon juice actually removes the stains that make elbows look dirty.
Jump in the shower, do the regular stuff and then use those lemon halves to do a final body scrub. Towel dry, follow with lotion and you’ll think you’ve just visited an expensive spa.
This homemade treatment for your dry, callused, cracked heels and feet is quite amazing. And so much more convenient than a trip to the salon for a pedicure plus callus treatment. Cheaper, too!
Combine these ingredients in a foot basin, foot bath or any container large enough to comfortably soak your feet (multiplies well):
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup original Listerine or generic antiseptic mouthwash*
Soak feet for at least 15 minutes in this DIY foot bath. Rinse, then dry with a firm terry towel or microfiber cloth. Follow with a pumice stone, foot rasp file, or loofah sponge to slough off the dead softened skin. Rinse again.
*any antiseptic mouthwash will work well, but those that are green or blue may stain your feet. To avoid that, stick with one that is yellow or amber.
First published: 6-18-18; Revised and updated 10-11-20