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 ways you can be nice to yourself for less. A lot less!
You can pay $32 for a 6.7-ounce tube of Salt Scrub™ by Origins, 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 scent.
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.
PUFFY EYE TREATMENT
Here’s an off-beat but highly effective way to deal with morning eye “puffiness” that does not cost a small fortune. In fact, it’s more effective than all of those high-priced department store eye cream products.
Preparation H cream (not ointment) applied both to the eyelids and underneath eyes first thing in the morning, being careful to not get it in your eyes, works wonders. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and rinse. Reapply if you did not achieve the results you want. Rinse thoroughly.
Preparation H is an over-the-counter medication that relieves discomfort associated with swollen, itchy or inflamed hemorrhoidal tissue.
Because Preparation H contains Phenylephrine HCl 0.25 percent, a vasoconstrictor drug that causes blood vessels to constrict, it is also a popular remedy for swollen eyes and puffy skin, according to the Preparation H website. However, there are no clinical studies to prove alternative uses for Preparation H.
When applied to affected areas, Preparation H forces excess water out of the skin, creating a smooth and lean appearance.
Before trying this for the first time, apply a small amount to an inconspicuous part of your skin such as the inside of your elbow or behind your knee and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wait at least 24 hours to see if an allergic reaction, swelling, or rash appears.
CHEAP FACIAL MASQUE
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
Karen J., Texas 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.
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.