While we’d never pass up the chance to indulge in a self-care session of any sort, there are a few experiences that give a whole new meaning to the term “at-home pamper day.”
From Japanese bathing rituals to Moroccan beauty staples, we’re looking to traditional spa experiences from around the world to up the ante on DIY spa treatments.
You might not be able to escape to a hammam or onsen right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t slip into a blissful and serene state of mind at home.
Your at-home spa day checklist
Armed with a few key amenities and wellness hacks, you can transform your space into a makeshift spa of dreams.
Be sure to set the mood, grab your finest linens, and add little touches of luxury to kick off your international-inspired at-home pamper day.
- Set the scene. Spas are designed to help you instantly get into your zen zone, so follow suit with your space. Dim the lights, turn on your essential oil diffuser, throw on a calming playlist, and light a few candles.
- Dress the part. Serenity is the name of the game here, so break out your comfiest robe, slippers, and loungewear.
- Don’t forget the extra touches. Turn up the spa vibes by laying out your fluffiest towels, whipping up a pitcher of water infused with cucumber, mint, and lemon, and preparing some fresh ginger tea to enjoy throughout your at-home pamper day.
- Clear your mind. Before you think about attempting an at-home spa treatment, set some time aside to settle your mind. Pour yourself a cup of tea (or maybe even a glass of bubbly) and sit with a book, a magazine, or whatever will help you begin to unwind. Turn your phone on airplane mode, or better yet, leave it another room.
3 global spa experiences you can recreate at home
Take a Japanese-style bath
Japan has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to wellness, so it’s no surprise that bathing is an integral part of Japanese culture. Even when people aren’t soaking at an onsen, they carve out time for regular baths at home to unwind and decompress. While showering is all about cleaning yourself in Japan, bathing is a self-care ritual that centres around pleasure and relaxation.
The whole point of an onsen is to simply be present, and bathing is seen as a means to generate a more calm and happy life. Ultimately, the ritual of bathing helps to create a state where you feel mindful and serene — and that’s where the magic happens.
Lucky for all you bath enthusiasts, it’s relatively easy to bring that onsen magic to your home.
What you’ll need:
- Robe and slippers
- Exfoliating mitt
- Japanese bath salts
Step 1: Set the mood
Japanese design is all about minimalism, so do a quick tidy of your bathroom and declutter your space. Then, head to Spotify and put an onsen-inspired playlist on to ensure you’re in full-on relaxation mode.
Step 2: Cleanse
Just like at a traditional onsen, the first step in your Japanese bath experience is to hop in the shower and wash your body before soaking in the tub. Grab an exfoliating cloth or mitt for a deep cleanse.
Step 3: Soak
Once you’re squeaky clean, it’s time to fill up the tub and get your soak on. The two most important factors in the onsen experience are heat and minerals, so make sure your bath water temperature is nice and hot. Add some Japanese bath salts to the mix (this sampler set adds fragrance and leaves the water nice and opaque), and voilà: you’ve got your very own onsen experience.
Channel the essence of a Moroccan hammam
One of the oldest bath traditions in the world, the hammam experience is as much about cleansing as it is about relaxing. Each step of this ancient ritual is designed to encourage tranquility, from the use of steam to the full-body scrub-down. It’s the ultimate form of head-to-toe self-care.
Moroccan Beldi soap — a gel-like soap made with saponified olive oil and scents like rose and eucalyptus — is the star of this at-home hammam experience. It’s naturally rich in Vitamin E and will leave your skin feeling exceptionally soft and hydrated.
What you’ll need:
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Beldi soap
- Exfoliating mitt
- Argan oil
- Mint tea
Step 1: Get steamy
Start by running a hot shower to fill your bathroom with steam. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the shower and breathe deeply to help clear your airways and your mind. Then, hop in the shower for five to ten minutes, allowing the steam to soften your skin and open your pores.
Step 2: Lather up
Turn the water off and cover your body with Beldi soap. Take a generous amount and work it into a lather using gentle circular motions. Leave it on for three to ten minutes and let your skin soak up all the soap’s therapeutic properties.
Step 3: Exfoliate and rinse
Don an exfoliating mitt and vigorously scrub your skin until you start to see dead skin cells rolling off. Then, rinse off in the shower until all the soap and dead skin has been removed.
Step 4: Dry off and hydrate
Wrap yourself in a plush towel and, after drying, slather on a generous amount of argan oil to hydrate your skin and lock in moisture. Top off your at-home hammam experience with a cup of fresh mint tea to prolong the feeling of relaxation.
Try a Balinese-inspired foot soak
Drawing inspiration from those dreamy Balinese flower baths you’ve likely seen on your Instagram feed, this aromatherapy foot soak is the ideal way to unwind, recharge, and give your feet some much-needed TLC.
Magnesium-rich Epsom salt, therapeutic essential oils, and gorgeous dried flowers all combine to create an invigorating experience that’ll have you feeling like you’re back at the spa.
Add rose petals for a hint of luxury or chamomile and lavender to reduce stress — the options are endless.
What you’ll need:
- Shallow washbasin
- Two tbsp of carrier oil (like coconut, olive, or jojoba)
- 5-20 drops of essential oils
- 2 cups of Epsom salt
- ¼ cup of dried flowers
Step 1: Combine your carrier oil and essential oils in a bowl. Stir until well combined.
Step 2: Add in the Epsom salt and dried flowers and mix all ingredients together.
Step 3: Slowly dissolve the mixture into hot water in your washbasin (or bathtub).
Step 4: Allow your feet to soak for roughly 30 minutes. Read a book or meditate while the mixture works its magic.