While the holidays are fun, they can also be stressful. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, it’s important to practice self-care.
Treat yourself to the spa experience at home and keep your skin, hair, and lips hydrated throughout the winter season by making these simple DIY items. Or, support local businesses by purchasing products from one of the area’s spas to use at home.
These DIY spa items and professional products also make great gifts, so you can relax while taking the stress out of holiday shopping.
For the skin
Lack of moisture in the air during winter can make the skin dry and itchy. The best way to replenish moisture is to exfoliate and hydrate, according to Kristy Stockton, esthetician and owner of The Spa Downtown in Las Cruces.
“Our bodies make a new layer of skin every 28 days and without exfoliating — either at home or with a [professional] facial — you can’t properly absorb hydrating products,” Kristy said.
Making your own exfoliant at home is easy, said Kristy, who regularly shares this information with her customers. All you need is granulated brown or white sugar or Epsom salt and an oil, such as olive, coconut, or avocado oil. You can customize the recipe with different essential oils, like lavender or lemon, and using scents like peppermint or cinnamon can help give the exfoliant a holiday twist. The Spa Downtown offers dōTERRA essential oils, available in wintergreen, special holiday blends, and more.
Mix these ingredients together in a bowl and add more sugar/Epsom salt or oil until you get the desired consistency. Use the scrub on your hands, feet, and body, then follow up with a moisturizer. Store the scrub in a fancy jar to keep for yourself or give as a gift.
Dry brushing is another simple way to exfoliate at home, said Rachel Floyd, esthetician and owner of Spa•ology Body Bar, an organic wellness spa in Las Cruces. It stimulates the nervous system, leaving you feeling invigorated. Dry brushes can be found at most stores.
Products can also be bought at Spa•ology to use at home.
“Our favorite skincare products during wintertime, to keep your skin looking good, are our award-winning skincare products from Eminence Organic Skin Care,” Rachel said.
She recommends trying the Stone Crop Revitalizing Body Scrub to remove excess dead skin cells and help with product absorption to ease dry skin.
For the hair
When it’s cold outside, the elements can dry out your hair, causing static and making it prone to breakage. Hair masks are a great way to add moisture to dry, damaged hair, and can be made at home with a few simple ingredients.
One of the most basic hair masks can be made by mixing a half cup honey with a quarter cup olive oil in a bowl. Microwave the mix for 20 to 30 seconds, then stir again. Once warm, massage into the hair, starting at the roots and working your way down. Use a shower cap or plastic wrap on your head to seal in the moisture. Leave on for 30 minutes before washing.
According to a review published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, honey has time-tested cosmetic properties and is a common ingredient in many moisturizers and conditioners. Support a local business by using Gordan and Laura Solberg’s Sun Mountain Honey, available in Las Cruces at Mountain View Market Co+op, Toucan Market, Natural Grocers, and the Farmers & Crafts Market of Las Cruces.
Like the exfoliant, hair mask recipes can be stored in jars and make great gifts.
For those who prefer to buy a hair mask, the Spa Downtown offers four different hair masks by Kevin Murphy that can help hydrate and replenish the hair.
For the lips
Dry, chapped lips are a common issue during the winter season. Applying a non-irritating lip balm several times a day and before bed can help, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
To make lip balm at home, all you need is 2 teaspoons each of beeswax pellets, coconut oil, and shea butter. You can also add vitamin E oil, which can help heal wounds and moisturize the skin, and an essential oil to give it scent.
Shea butter is a great moisturizer that has many uses. You can purchase shea butter at many local stores and through New Mexico Soap. The company offers jars of virgin shea butter in scented or non-scented options at NewMexicoSoap.com.
To make the lip balm, combine the beeswax pellets, coconut oil, and shea butter in a double boiler and heat while stirring. Once all ingredients are melted, turn off the heat and add four drops of vitamin E oil and 10 or more drops of the essential oil of your choice. Stir again, then transfer the liquid into empty lip balm containers and let cool until the liquid is solidified.
Lip balm makes a great stocking stuffer. Decorate the containers with holiday stickers or glitter to spice up the look.
Posted by LasCruces.com