Nine Spa-Grade Treatments You Can Do at Home
Don't limit self-care during the coronavirus pandemic.
Times like these—when our stress levels are at an all-time high due to the coronavirus pandemic—undoubtedly call for a spa treatment. But since all non-essential businesses are shuttered in the hopes of flattening the curve of COVID-19, our typical go-tos are limited. So, we've taken it upon ourselves to deliver several at-home options—they're the next-best thing when it comes to professional-grade self-care. Whichever one you choose to recreate, one thing is certain: Post-treatment, your mood (and your skin) will feel uplifted.
Ice Roller Face Massage
Stress can cause sleep disruption, which, unfortunately, leads to general fatigue. Why? When you're tired, your skin may look puffier and more inflamed than usual. Fortunately, you can remedy this situation with an ice roller facial massage. These chilly devices—we're partial to Stacked Skincare's option ($30, neimanmarcus.com)—help calm inflammation; their rolling motions aid with lymphatic drainage, which takes down puffiness.
Glycolic acid is a popular ingredient found in many luxurious spa treatments thanks to its gentle exfoliating properties. It's part of the alpha hydroxy acid family and acts as a water-soluble substance to break through dead skin buildup to reveal smooth, supple skin underneath. Best of all, it's absolutely safe to incorporate into your routine while you're confined indoors. To do so, consider scooping up Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Treatment ($90, sephora.com); the cult favorite is effective, but non-irritating (no red, peeling skin here!).
If your pores are congested and your skin is showing signs of your COVID-19-related stress, it's time to break out a facial steam. Steam opens your pores and your sinuses, too—combined, that makes for an all-encompassing head boost. While there are plenty of great steamers on the market, such as the Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer ($149, dermstore.com), you can experience the benefits of this spa-quality treatment by simply leaning your face over a pot of hot water and draping a towel over the back of your head to trap the steam.
Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas is a long-time fan of dry brushing. "Dry brushing increases blood flow, which is healthy, but its main purpose is to stimulate collagen production. This helps to thicken the skin and lessen the appearance of fat cells," she says. "It also dramatically increases elasticity, so it's great for lifting and toning a problem area." To effectively brush, you'll need the right tool—Vargas' Ritual Brush ($30, joannavargas.com) gets the job done. Start at the top of the feet and brush upwards towards the heart.
Infrared Face and Body Treatments
Sweating it out in an infrared sauna can feel so invigorating when you're stressed. And while many of us don't have the space (or cash) to install an at-home sauna, there are new infrared blankets and wraps, like HigherDose's Infrared Sauna Blanket V3 ($500, higherdose.com), that make achieving those benefits at home possible. Speaking of benefits, it's important to note that infrared body treatments are helpful because they increase circulation, detoxify the body, reduce cortisol and inflammation, and boost the mind (they trigger a release of happy hormones).
According to facialist Renee Rouleau, microcurrent is a popular add-on during a professional facial. Thanks to brands like NuFace (from $199, sephora.com), you can score the perks of these high-tech current-based beauty tools from the comfort of your own home. Curious as to why you would want to in the first place? The tools use safe, low-level current (that mimics the body's own) to stimulate collagen and elastin production and help firm up the skin. Just keep in mind that the process is cumulative, so you'll have to do it regularly to achieve lasting results.
Hand and Feet Masks
Just because we can't go to our favorite salons for manicures and pedicures doesn't mean we can't care for our hands and feet. Considering how much we're washing our hands in light of COVID-19, it's important to take just as much time to make sure they're adequately hydrated. One way to do so? Incorporate hand and feet masks into your skin regimen. Like sheet masks, they're packed with all the nourishing ingredients you need to transform and moisturize these areas—and, luckily, Patchology makes options for both fingers ($10, patchology.com) and toes ($10, patchology.com).
Some facials go a step further and involve dermaplaning. This is the process of gently exfoliating and de-fuzzing the face to reveal the baby-soft skin underneath. Fortunately, you don't need to be a professional to dermaplane your face. Thanks to brands like Dermaflash ($199, sephora.com), you can safely and effectively dermaplane your face wherever, whenever. Just be sure to follow all the instructions when doing so.
Last but not least, we have acupressure, which draws its roots from acupuncture. Since you can't give yourself acupuncture (unless, of course, you're certified), acupressure is your best bet for an at-home treatment. Rather than inserting needles into your body or heating cups to create pressure, you can position your body on a series of shallowly spiky mats and pillows—try the Pranamat Eco Set ($238, pranamat.com)—to safely trigger similar feel-good hormones sans your regular acupuncture appointment. Since the government views acupuncture studios as non-essential, this will help tide you over in the interim.