There is a reason your mum always puts ‘spa day’ at the top of her Christmas/birthday/Mother’s Day list. Yes, you cleanse. Yes you moisturise. Yes, you shave. But occasionally, it’s worth taking the time to slough off your scaly outer layers, to indulge in indulgence. Unfortunately, there’s also a reason you swerve her request and opt for a basket of bath bombs.
Relaxing as a spa day is, the sense of calm evaporates when you discover how much it costs. But you can cut out the soft-fingered middlewomen and fashion the same new you at home. Lock the bathroom door and dedicate Sunday morning to number one.
Before you start, put a gel eye mask in the freezer. This version from The Body Shop is best served cold, to soothe the skin around your eyes and reduce puffiness. You’ll especially appreciate it if hayfever (or the night before) mean the man in the mirror needs some red eye reduction.
Cooling Gel Eye Mask, available at The Body Shop, priced £6.
Let your shower run hot for 10 minutes to steam up the bathroom and open your pores. Then, apply a brightening face mask to exfoliate and revive skin. “The right face mask is the fastest way to improve the state of your complexion,” says Steven O’Neill from The Grooming Clinic.
This version from Kiehl’s hones in on the benefits of turmeric as an antioxidant, while exfoliating cranberry seeds scrub off your skin’s tired outer layer to reveal the fresh stuff below.
Turmeric And Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque, available at Kiehl’s, priced £28.
Switch off the shower and run a bath as your face mask gets to work. Add bath salts to the water to soothe the muscles you’ve blasted, whether in the gym or on the dancefloor.
This fragrant muscle soak from Molton Brown contains silverbirch, which boasts saponins that cleanse your skin, flavonoids for soothing irritation, and anti-inflammatory vitamin C to dull any aches.
Molton Brown Bracing Silverbirch Muscle Soak, available at Niven & Joshua, priced £19.
Bath run, nip to the freezer and grab your eye mask. Climb in then slot it over your face. Try to think about anything but work. Sip your cup of tea (or G&T).
Rinse off in the shower and buff your skin with a body scrub. “Not only do they lift dead skin from the surface, they also help to stimulate circulation beneath the skin,” says O’Neill.
Boosted blood flow aids cellular regeneration and kills that five-days-under-flouro-lights look. “But don’t be too rough. Light, gentle strokes will suffice.”
Decleor’s 1000 Grain body exfoliator polishes your skin with pearl sugar, which melts into an oil when buffing to leave your skin like the proverbial baby’s.
1000 Grain Body Exfoliator, available at Decleor, priced £26.
All that heat means a thick moisturiser will run straight off. “You want to moisturise when skin is still damp to lock in the moisture,” says Dr Martin Wade, dermatologist at London Real Skin.
Jack Black’s hydrator is lightweight but heavy duty, with a dose of green tea that keeps your epidermis sated until next week’s feed.
Jack Black Epic Moisture Extra Rich Body Hydrator, available at Mankind, priced £20.63.
Body sorted, it’s time to head upstairs. Before moisturising, prep the ground with a serum, says O’Neill. “It gives your skin an antioxidant treatment that will improve radiance and support the skin’s natural ability to deal with free-radicals and pollutants.”
Anthony High Performance Vitamin C Facial Serum, available at The Grooming Clinic, priced £45.
Your eyes are the first place to show your age, so undo a week that felt like a month with a heavy duty eye cream.
After applying your moisturiser, gently dab some of this Dr Dennis eye serum under your eyes. Retinol fights signs of ageing, ferulic acid banishes dark circles, and caffeine tackles any puffiness the face mask didn’t.
Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum, available at The Grooming Clinic, priced £56.
Once the serum is dry, it’s time for heavy irrigation. “Glycerin is the best option as it locks in moisture and is less likely to irritate the skin,” says Wade.
This Triumph & Disaster moisturiser combines vitamin E, jojoba and glycerin to condition and moisturise your skin and stop a heavy week imprinting itself permanently. Just make sure you book another appointment for next Sunday.
Triumph & Disaster Gameface Facial Moisturiser, available at Mankind, priced £36.