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Chill! Create your own spa.

So you don't have a pocketful of cash to blow on a week on a fancy spa? Why not create a mini spa in your bathroom? We show you how.

There is a reason the word spa rhymes with "aah." Spas are places people go to totally relax, focus on themselves and get gorgeous in the process. Sounds oh-so good, huh? More and more girls sure think so.

Many spas now offer teen spa days where girls can go and get everything from basics, like massages and manicures, to more exotic treatments, like volcanic mud baths and salt glow body polishes. Before you go and shell out the big bucks, why not have a spa experience at home? We went to spa experts and scrubbed them down for their spa secrets.

Set the mood

Before you start your spa day, think about how you want it to end. Are you trying to chill out or rev up? Set the mood accordingly.

SOUND. Many spas play New Age music or nature tracks to soothe their clients. Select your own special sounds to calm or energize your body. And feel free to sing out loud!

COLOR. Believe it or not, many spas offer something called color therapy. It's been said that color can be used to create or enhance a mood. Red is for power, orange for independence, yellow for soothing your nerves, green for harmony, blue for serenity and violet for creativity. So depending on the mood you want to evoke, go ahead and tint your bath water, use colored towels, or wrap up in your favorite purple robe.

TEMPERATURE. The temperature of your bath or shower can affect your energy level. A cool shower is very energizing, a warm bath (set at body temperature) relaxes, and a hot bath will help you snooze at night.

CLEAR YOUR MIND. Reading in the bath or while you relax with a mask on can be very calming and a great way to redirect your energy. Choose a favorite poem, quotation or book to focus on. You might also want to lower the lights in the bathroom or just shut them off completely and use candles. We like State of Mind's yummy Embrace candle. Don't forget to blow it out!

RESTORE YOUR BODY. Sip a cool glass of mineral water or a warm cup of herbal tea as you care for your body. Remember to use plastic cups in the bathroom.

Now that you have set the mood, it's time to pick your treatments. You can do several things in combination, or just pick and chose what you like. That's the great thing about spending time at your spa. It's all about doing whatever you want to feel good about yourself! To help you along, we've included great homemade recipes as well as store-bought stuff.


Body scrubs using sugar (yep, good ol' Domino's) have become popular features at many exclusive spas. They've replaced salt rubs because sugar is gentler to the skin and less dehydrating. Use this all-over body scrub before bathing to deep-cleanse and loosen surface impurities.


1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons light oil, such as almond, canola, or sunflower

2 tablespoons milk


Mix together all the ingredients into a smooth cream. To use: Before bathing, gently massage the mixture all over your body to increase circulation and remove dry, flaky skin. Make sure you are standing on a towel or inside the shower. Rinse your skin with warm water and moisturize well. Makes 4 ounces, enough for one treatment

Store-bought Stuff

Bath & Body Works Sheer Vitality Body Buffer * Clairol Herbal Essences Daily Body Smoother * Bare Escentuals Body Polish * Origins Swept Away * Cush Turning Tide Fresh Face Exfoliator * Skinmarket Yummy Face Scrub * The Body Shop Africa Spa Body Salt Scrub * St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub * Jonathan Baker's Pineapple Corn Meal Scrub


This recipe is rich in natural moisturizers, such as eggs, honey, and oil, that help keep hair radiant, soft and flexible. (Sorry if we sound like a hair product commercial.) Be sure to use a bath mat, or you'll be slip-sliding away.


1 teaspoon light oil, such as almond, canola or sunflower

1 egg

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Mix together all the ingredients, and stir thoroughly. To use: Massage the mixture into just-shampooed, damp hair. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap or use a plastic shower cap, and leave the conditioner on your hair for 15 minutes. Shampoo your hair again, and rinse well. Makes 2 ounces, enough for one treatment

Store-bought Stuff

Aussie Hair Insurance Conditioner


It's not just for breakfast anymore. Oatmeal is perfect for all skin types because it's so gentle. And if some drips down into your mouth, hey, it's edible!


1/4 cup cooked oatmeal, cooled

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

1 egg white


Mix together all ingredients until you have a smooth cream. To use: Spread the mixture evenly onto your face with clean fingertips or a small brush. Leave on for 15 minutes, and then rinse well with warm water. Pat your skin dry. Makes 3 ounces, enough for one facial treatment

St. Ives Peel-Off Hydroxy Masque * Bare Escentuals Below Sea Level Detox Mask * Jules & Jane Mix it Yourself Mask * Origins Out of Trouble Mask * Awake Smooth Clear Mask


Make your own scented shower gels to turn your bathroom into a fragrant hydrotherapy retreat! With liquid soap from the supermarket soap aisle as a base, let your imagination soar. This recipe also makes a great quick gift. Pour the finished product into small plastic water bottles with the sports-style spouts, and tie up with waterproof bows.


1/2 cup mild, unscented liquid soap

1 teaspoon almond or light sesame oil (oily skin may want to leave out)

4 drops essential oil or scented oil (see list below)


Mix together all ingredients, and stir well. Pour into a clean plastic container (please, no glass in the shower). To use: Squeeze a small amount onto a cotton washcloth or loofah sponge, and massage all over your body. Makes 4 ounces

Suggested Shower Gel Scents

Relaxing--chamomile, sweet orange, rose, lavender, vanilla

Energizing--juniper, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, peppermint

Store-bought Stuff

Bath & Body Works Sheer Vitality Shower Gel * Get Fresh Skinny Dip Bubbling Bath Soak * Sea Enzyme Moisturizing Orange-Lime Stimulating Bath & Shower Gel * Clean & Clear Body Wash * State of Mind Embrace Shower Gel * Zest Invigorating Body Wash


These effervescent bath bombs are fun to make and use. They explode in your bath water and contain skin-softening oils and soothing salts. Citric acid crystals (found at the grocery store) are used to process fruit for canning. You can also use powdered vitamin C from the pharmacy.


2 tablespoons citric acid or vitamin C powder

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup baking soda

3 tablespoons light oil, such as almond, canola or sesame

food coloring (optional)

scented oil (optional)


In a dry glass bowl, mix together the vitamin C powder, cornstarch and baking soda. Stir well. Slowly add the oil, and stir until you have a soft dough-like substance. If you would like to color or scent your mixture, you can do so now. Take small scoops of dough and roll to form small balls 2 inches in diameter. Let the balls sit on a sheet of waxed paper for 24 hours to harden and dry. Store inside a clean, dry, airtight container. To use: Drop one to two balls into your tub, and enjoy! Makes 4 ounces, enough for four to five bath bombs

Store-bought Stuff

Get Fresh Mini-Fizzies * Get Fresh Salt Fizz in Sleepytime * Get Fresh Star Ginger and Grapefruit Bath Fizz * Lush Choco-mint Ball Fizz * Tommy Cranberry Ball Fizz * Skin-market Tantrum Tamer Jim Purple Square Fizz * Nature's Accents Sizzlin' Strawberry Bath Fizzies


Bath salts are a staple at almost any spa. Salts help soothe tired muscles and boost circulation. They also keep your bath water warm. Including a favorite scent is a fun way to add a bit of aromatherapy to your bath. Try relaxing blue-lavender scented salts or energizing green-peppermint salts. Need a great gift idea? Make a few batches and then layer different colored salts in a large glass jar like a rainbow. Just like sand art!


1 cup epsom salts (available at most drug stores)

1/2 cup kosher salt or sea salt coarsely ground (available at many grocery stores)

food coloring (for more exotic colors check out cake decorating shops)

essential oil or scented oil (available at natural food stores and bath shops)


Place your salts in a large glass bowl or resealable plastic bag. Add a few drops of color and stir well, or seal the bag and massage well until the color is blended throughout the salt mixture. If you desire a darker shade add more color. If your color is too dark, add more salt. Be careful when making very dark salts; until they are diluted in your bathwater they may stain light-colored towels and clothing. When you are happy with your color, scent your salts with a few drops of scented oil and stir well to mix. To use: Add 1/2 cup of bath salts to your tub under the running water. Store your salts in a dry, airtight container. Makes 12 ounces, enough for three baths

Store-bought Stuff

The Body Shop Africa Spa Natural Salt Bath * Burt's Bees Therapeutic Bath Crystals


For a totally indulgent treat, it is hard to beat a good old-fashioned bubble bath. An instant mood enhancer, nothing else can make you feel as good as being surrounded by rich, creamy white bubbles.


1/2 cup mild liquid soap

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon glycerin

1/2 teaspoon flavored extract for scent, such as vanilla, cherry or coconut (optional)


Mix together all of the ingredients. To use: Pour the entire mixture under running water as you draw your bath. Makes 6 ounces, enough for one bubble bath

Store-bought Stuff

Stuf Celebrity Soak Bath Milk Shimmer * Kneipp Herbal Bath * The Body Shop Africa Spa Baobab Bath Oil


Mint leaves are refreshing to your skin and help tighten post-shower pores. The scent of fresh oranges is very energizing, and the vitamin C helps tone your skin. You can use this recipe after your bath or shower or as a toner any time your skin could use a pick-me-up! Witch hazel is an old-fashioned astringent found at your local pharmacy or grocery store.


1 tablespoon dried mint leaves or 3 tablespoons fresh

1 cup boiling water

Peel from one orange (orange part only; use a zester or small knife to remove)

1/2 cup witch hazel


Place the mint leaves and orange peel in a glass howl, and pour the boiling water over them. Let sit until completely cool. Strain if you would like, and add the witch hazel. Pour into a clean bottle or spray bottle. To use: Splash or spray on clean skin. Makes 12 ounces

Store-bought Stuff

Sea Enzyme Moisturizing Mist * Freeman Beautiful Bath in Raspberry & Kiwi Fruit Body Lotion Mist * State of Mind Gatherings Body Dew * Bath & Body Works Body Splash in Cucumber Melon
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Article Details
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Author:Bokram, Karen
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2000
Previous Article:SERIOUSLY SAD.
Next Article:DOWN ON THE FARM.

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