How to Bring the Best of the Spa Experience Home
Just because spas are closed doesn't mean you can't enjoy the benefits at home
Spas in Hong Kong - and most of the world for that matter - have been shuttered temporarily. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up on the experience of visiting a spa, something we could all use more of right now. Read on for a few key products and simple steps that can provide the soothing benefits of your favourite spa, only much, much closer to home.
Set the mood
When most of us think of a spa, no matter where it is in the world, we typically think of three things: dim lighting, a soothing scent and soft, instrumental music that lulls us into a deep calm. Luckily, those are all things we can easily re-create at home.
First, dim or turn off the lights. If you enjoy the warm glow of a scented candle, the choices are endless. We recommend seeking out a clean-burning soy or beeswax variety made with 100% natural fragrances, such as those from NEOM Organics. Or if you’re missing your favourite spa, you may be able to purchase its scent for home (a la Mandarin Spa).
If you prefer to customise your home fragrance or are looking for a safer alternative to candles, consider an electric diffuser. There are a variety on the market, from a portable plastic version from Muji to sleek stone styles from Vitruvi. Most diffuser makers also sell essential oils and blends so you can mix and match depending on your mood.
Finally, the music. Sound and music therapy is a hot topic in the wellness industry these days, with more and more studies proving its ability to reduce anxiety and even relax our muscles. Myndstream is a great source of “music for mindfulness” and its Relaxation playlist will instantly transport you to a spa treatment room.
Dress the part
If you really want to feel like you’re at the spa, any old pyjamas or robe won’t do. No, you need a high-quality, plush and, preferably, pure white robe. A popular choice among high-end spas is Frette, the Italian linens brand that supplies more than 1,500 hotels and spas around the world.
Our pick? The Frette velour robe with shawl collar and cuffs, available at The Luxury Collection Store. And don’t forget the matching slippers, because it’s certainly not a proper spa experience without slippers.
Create a bath ritual
You’ve set the mood and dressed the part. Now the pampering can begin. To enjoy a spa-level soak at home, begin by dry brushing your entire body to boost circulation, eliminate toxins and exfoliate the skin. We prefer to brush on dry skin without any oils or cream, using a stiff-bristled version like the Revive Body Brush by Aromatherapy Associates.
Once you’ve worked your way from the soles of the feet all the way to the upper chest, you can apply a bath or body oil. Aromatherapy Associates recommends massaging the oil onto your torso before cupping your hands and inhaling the scent deeply three times. You can then step into a bath that’s been scented by the same oil or, as we prefer, filled with mineral-rich and restorative sea salts such as those from Ahava.
After soaking for at least 20 minutes, you’ll want to seal in all that moisture and continue the olfactory journey with an all-natural body oil made for dry skin. We love Liha’s Idan Oil, made with cold-pressed coconut oil and scented by a whole tuberose flower that’s immersed inside the bottle. The tropical scent will have you dreaming of your next spa vacation by the beach.
Take time for face time
Whether before, during or after your soak, facials are an important part of the spa experience. We recommend a combination of tools and products to get the most out this precious pampering time. Favourite tools include rose-quartz rollers like the one above, cleansing and toning devices like the BeGlow's Tia and, if budget allows, an LED mask such as MZ Skin's Light Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device.
When it comes to products, there's a style and formula to suit any skin concern. Sheet masks work particularly well when paired with a rose-quartz roller, while a calming, restorative cream mask would work well after an LED treatment. Or, if you want to continue your spa journey overnight, consider a sleeping mask for gentle exfoliation or more intense moisturising.
*W Hong Kong's flash sale also includes discounts of up to 50% off on a range of spa treatments, dining offers and staycation packages for redemption on or before July 31. The sale ends April 27.
(Update: The W Hong Kong flash sale currently has ended.)
See also: This Just In: April's Best New Skincare
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
That water pitcher you see at every spa, the one with slices of fruit, cucumber and even fresh herbs, is there for a reason. Anytime you stimulate the lymphatic system, such as with dry brushing or massage, you need plenty of water to keep things flowing and remove toxins from the body. Not to mention the fact that sitting in a hot bath leads to sweating and dehydration.
To make the water more palatable, and truly spa-worthy, experiment with any number of fruits, vegetables and herbs. We like citrus fruits for their detoxifying benefits, as well as antioxidant-rich strawberries and blueberries. For added flavour, gently crush up herbs such as thyme, mint and rosemary. Add ice, stir and sip all day long.
See also: Spring Cleaning for the Skin