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5 Recipes to Create a Luxurious Home Spa Experience that Nurtures More than Your Skin

by | Jan 31, 2021 | Creative Outlets for Relaxation, Creative Relaxation, Music for Relaxation | 0 comments

Last Updated May 31, 2023

Do you think about your skin when you consider your physical or emotional health? Whether you make skin care part of your daily routine or consider it frivolous, your skin matters. Your body’s largest organ protects you from the sun, viruses and bacteria, moisture loss, and harsh chemicals. You wouldn’t survive without it. Although prone to neglect on busy days, it deserves a place in your self-care repertoire.

​In addition to maintaining dermal health, skin care routines improve mood, increase relaxation, and build positive associations with specific areas in your home. The latter helps you de-stress more quickly and easily in those spaces. Planning a skin-pampering session builds a sense of anticipation leading up to it, which increases your general sense of well-being. Effective recipes also provide an immediate noticeable improvement in your skin’s appearance, thus boosting self-confidence. Preparing the recipes yourself serves as a purpose-driven distraction as well. It turns your focus toward instructions, accurate measurements, and continuous quality checks.

The home spa day ideas that follow further raise the value of this self-care activity by increasing water intake, strengthening your immune system, and releasing muscle tension. The multi-sensory experience lends itself well to practicing mindfulness, a powerful stress reducer. Devote a minute or two to awareness of each of your five senses over the course of your home spa session to claim this benefit.

These skin care recipes come from 15 years of experiments with my own finicky skin. Meticulously researching each ingredient and then testing repeatedly revealed the benefits of specific combinations. I wanted the final creations to match (or beat) the ease of use, appearance, skin feel, and effectiveness of readily available commercial products – without synthetic ingredients whenever possible. Feedback from friends, family, and patrons that bought my products at local farmers markets helped refine them.

Unless specifically indicated, use all home spa recipes topically, or externally, only. Before applying any recipe to large or delicate areas, test a small spot on the inside of your wrist for a skin reaction 24 hours beforehand. If unsure of the safety of a recipe or ingredient for use in your specific circumstance, please consult an appropriate health care professional.

Do-it-yourself skin care affords room for experimentation, creativity, and excitement. A new beauty secret lies in wait for you to discover! Have fun customizing the recipes, particularly the liquid vegetable and essential oil choices.

Create a Serene Environment for a Spa Day at Home

Take a couple of minutes, as you make the recipes or before using them, to choose and prepare the space you’ll occupy. Your immediate environment influences your level of stress versus calm, after all. Which setting do you imagine as more soothing: (1) sitting in your car while stuck in traffic with horns sounding around you or (2) listening to the ebb and flow of waves from a lounge chair under the warmth of bright sunshine? Of the two situations, the beach likely sounds more inviting.

Replicate your favorite getaway paradise to create a complete sensory experience. Without a memory in mind, certain types of sensory cues still trigger relaxation.  A warm room, for example, provides a buffer against stress and puts your mind and body at ease. Soft shades of blue, green, and violet foster calmness as well.

Immerse your ears in tranquility, too. Listening to music induces relaxation and protects you against stress afterward. The spa day music playlist below features instrumental music for relaxing ambience. Make a point to explore other relaxation music genres as well.

Natural scents also soothe the mind. Research most often favors lavender essential oil to ease anxious or depressed moods. In combination with neroli, lavender oil shows promise in decreasing stress as well. You may also find food scents such as vanilla and spices comforting if linked with fond memories.

Diffusing essential oils disperses scent throughout an entire room. If you don’t own a diffuser, assemble a makeshift one using crumpled paper towels placed inside a glass jar. Place drops of essential oils on the paper towels in roughly the same spot. Avoid touching the paper towels with bare hands after adding essential oils, and retire the jar from food use.

Bottle of lavender essential oil next to fresh lavender flowers

Calming Essential Oil Blend


  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop neroli essential oil
  • 5 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin (for shower diffuser only)

​Other Materials:

  • Diffuser
  • Rubbing alcohol in spray bottle
  • Kitchen sponge (for shower diffuser only)

Spray inside of diffuser with rubbing alcohol or sanitize according to device manual.

Add all essential oils to diffuser and run for no more than 2 hours at a time.

To make shower diffuser, mix essential oils together with glycerin and apply to damp sponge. Place with you in shower where you won’t step on it. Press gently to release scent. Wash sponge with soap and water afterward.

​​Check with your doctor to ensure safety before using this recipe if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications.

Brew Yourself a Cup of Tea for Bonus Hydration Benefits

Not only does the next recipe contain a hint of sweetness, known to boost your mood, but it also hydrates from the inside out. Don’t underestimate the importance of hydration! Nearly every body function depends on an adequate supply of water, from digestion to hormone production. At a mere 2% water loss, you start to feel sluggish and find it difficult to concentrate. Proper hydration enables quicker recovery after stressful situations and improves sleep.

The following consumable recipe contains three powerful immune system boosters: ginger, turmeric, and orange juice. The vitamin C in orange juice also enables the repair of damaged skin. Turmeric improves mood and diminishes the negative effects of stress.

Teapot filled with orange ginger with half an orange and fresh ginger beside it

Ginger & Orange Spiced Tea


  • ​1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon loose leaf black tea
  • 4 dehydrated navel orange slices, crumbled
  • 4 pieces dried turmeric
  • 2 pinches dried ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon bark, crushed
  • 8 ounces boiling water

Other Materials:

  • ​Tea infuser spoon or ball
  • Large coffee mug or tea cup

Add dried tea ingredients to the infuser and place in your cup. Pour boiling water over infuser in cup and steep for 8 to 10 minutes.

​Serve hot or pour over ice, and enjoy!

Dehydrating oranges yourself ensures a naturally sweet, citrus flavor and smell that makes this tea a multi-sensory treat. Drying oranges using a dehydrator or your oven is an easy process and only takes a few hours.

Take a Soak, Cleopatra Style

Turkish and Japanese cultures, among others, hold steadfast to their bathing traditions for good reason. Hot baths deliver a host of benefits including relief from muscle and joint pain, reduced swelling, decreased stress, and improved mood. They also stimulate deeper breathing.

In the next recipe, I will skip sour donkey’s milk in favor of the mineral salts and honey that Cleopatra also favored in her baths. Honey lives up to its ancient reputation, confirmed by modern science, as a skin moisturizer, healer, and protectant. Feel free to substitute agave nectar for a vegan alternative with similar properties. Castor oil plays a role in soothing inflamed, dry skin. Epsom salt absorption through skin appears to vary from one person to the next. Though ideal results include reduced dryness and inflammation in addition to muscle and joint pain.

Bath salts spilling out of wooden bowl

Muscle Melt Bath Salts


  • 312 grams Epsom salt
  • 9 grams castor oil
  • 9 grams preferred vegetable oil
  • 10 drops essential oil
  • 12 grams honey powder (or agave powder)
  • 5 grams Cromollient (optional to help oils disperse in bath water)

Other Materials:

  • 12-ounce container for ingredients
  • Mixing container and utensil
  • Scale to measure grams
  • Rubbing alcohol in spray bottle

Spray all work surfaces, utensils, and containers with rubbing alcohol. Allow to dry.

Mix Epsom salt and honey together in storage container, breaking apart clumps as needed. Mix oils and Cromollient together in separate container. Pour oil mixture over salt and honey. Mix well.​

When running water for a bath, slowly add half of the bath salts into faucet stream to dissolve into bath water. Appropriate for weekly use.

Customize the oil you choose to combine with castor to meet your skin needs. For sensitive skin, opt for apricot seed oil. For oily skin, you’ll benefit from jojoba oil. Dry skin? Try avocado or olive oil. Mature skin will love rice bran oil.

Shed the Dead (Cells)

Your skin cycles through a new layer of cells about once every month, and sheds the dead ones. As you age, the cycle slows. Your skin loses its suppleness and elasticity. The fine lines and wrinkles that form trap dead skin cells.

Exfoliation, removing the dead skin cells left behind, reveals healthy, living skin. You see smoother, brighter skin instead of the old, dull and flaky film. This new skin also absorbs moisturizers and other applied beauty treatments better.

The scrub below uses brown sugar as an exfoliant to whisk away dead skin cells and leave you invigorated. It dissolves in water, eliminating the risk of clogging drains or septic systems. It also prevents over-scrubbing, as it disappears before it gets a chance to cause any damage. Still, I recommend using this scrub on hands, feet, elbows, and other body parts with tougher skin.

The cocoa powder in the recipe smells divine. It leaves skin silky smooth when combined with at least 2% plain yogurt. While Greek-style yogurt will do the job well, coconut yogurt works well, too. The rise in chocolate-based skin care stems from its ability to resolve skin irritation and environmental damage. Yogurt restores a youthful glow to skin by moisturizing, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, decreasing inflammation, and increasing circulation.

Chocolate facial mask next to a candle and bowl of brown sugar

2-in-1 Cocoa Scrub & Mask


  • 1 part cocoa powder
  • 1 part plain 2% yogurt (or coconut yogurt for vegan recipe)
  • 2 parts brown sugar

Other Materials:

  • Container for ingredients
  • Mixing and application utensil
  • Rubbing alcohol in spray bottle

Spray all work surfaces, utensils, and containers with rubbing alcohol. Allow to dry.

Mix all ingredients together, and use immediately so that sugar doesn’t get a chance to dissolve. Rub mixture gently on dry, rough skin such as elbows, hands, feet, and lips. Then, allow to sit on skin for up to 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with warm water. Moisturize when finished.

Discard any leftovers or store in fridge. Use remaining refrigerated mask within a few days. Scrub is appropriate for weekly use.

Set aside a couple tablespoons of this scrub/mask to eat with bananas, apples, or oranges. When you smell this mask as you apply it, you’ll be glad you did.

Moisturize and Massage with Perfect Timing

After exfoliating, hydrating and protecting completes the skin care process. Incorporate self-massage in this step, and you introduce another opportunity to further decrease stress and improve your mood. Since you already warmed up and relaxed your muscles in the bath, any remaining tension will dissipate quickly.

The final recipe leverages ingredients that mimic the moisturizing protectant your skin produces. Oil! Technically, your skin produces sebum, which is similar in composition to oil. It seals the surface of your skin to prevent moisture loss through evaporation. The resulting barrier minimizes scratches and the chance of infection.

The ingredient list includes shea butter. It champions redness, swelling, dryness, irritation, fine lines, and scars. Virgin coconut oil also shows promise in moisturizing and healing skin, reducing inflammation, and minimizing signs of aging. World-renowned rice bran oil also hydrates skin while repairing sun damage.

The specific preparation instructions in this recipe yield a deeply-moisturizing body butter. Yet its delightful, fluffy texture spreads easily on the skin and feels as light as it looks. Don’t let that fool you, though. A little goes a long way!

Whipped coconut shea butter in glass jar surrounded by broken coconuts

Whipped Body Butter


  • 119 grams raw Nilotica shea butter
  • 34 grams virgin coconut oil
  • 8 grams cold-pressed rice bran oil
  • 8 grams arrowroot powder

Other Materials:

  • Scale to measure grams
  • Mixing bowl and scraping utensil
  • Electric mixer with whisk attachment
  • Rubbing alcohol in spray bottle
  • 6-oz container for final product

Spray all work surfaces, utensils, and containers with rubbing alcohol. Allow to dry.

Add oils and butter to bowl and mix ingredients using electric mixer with whisk attachment until light and foamy. Periodically scrape sides of bowl.

It may take up to 10 minutes for whip to form. Mixture will “puff” up to nearly twice its original volume and lose its sheen.

Gently stir in arrowroot until powder no longer sits on surface of the mixture. Then, use mixer to combine thoroughly.

Spoon body butter into storage container. Do not cap until room temperature. Smooth a small amount on dry skin as needed.

Don’t substitute Nilotica shea butter for another type. Its soft texture allows you to blend the ingredients without the additional melting and ice-bath-quick-cooling steps you’ll find in other recipes.

Other Benefits of a Home Spa Day that Make it Worth Your Time

Ramping up your normal skin-care regimen with a home spa session rewards you with far more than healthy, comfortable skin. You also treat yourself to

  • Enhanced mood
  • Relaxed muscles
  • Replenished hydration
  • Diminished stress
  • Reinforced immune function
  • Increased confidence
  • Stimulated senses

​Short on time? Don’t let this limitation prevent you from nurturing your mind and body. Plan mini spa sessions instead of a whole day (or night). For example, pair a cup of tea with relaxing music and an essential oil diffuser when you get ready for bed. Swap out the tea for one of the skin treatments as your schedule permits.

Get additional naturally nourishing recipes for your skin by downloading my free ebook when you subscribe to The Balanced Introvert weekly email. Put together your shopping list with recommended places to buy all of the ingredients, too. Use the button below to sign up!

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Meet Brenna

I’m a music therapist, dog mom, nature enthusiast, business owner, introvert, sleep and stress management coach, and research lover. My mission is to help you remove stress as a barrier to better health, greater happiness, and more meaningful connections with the people and passions that make life exciting.

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