The festive season is over and you are perhaps settling down to read Vilda with your leftover Christmas chocolates. As you pop that decadent dark chocolate truffle into your mouth you sigh as you think how Christmas has left your bank account a little lighter and your waistband a little tighter. Too much rich food and drink consumed over the festive season, combined with the stress of Christmas shopping and lack of regular exercise can lead to a build up of toxins. Accumulation of toxins can leave you feeling bloated, sluggish and lethargic, and can often cause digestive problems, headaches, aches and pains, blemishes, flaky skin and dull hair. Spa treatments can help to speed up the elimination of toxins, leaving you with brighter skin, healthier digestion, improved sleep and higher energy levels. Too skint to visit a spa? Fear not for we show you how to have your very own detoxing pamper day at home using a combination of natural products and homemade treats.
To get the most out of your home pamper day, make sure you have a supply of scented soy candles, fluffy towels and bath robes and relaxing music. Keep meals simple and light to help cleanse your body from the inside: think homemade soups, salads, smoothies, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and be sure to drink plenty of plain water to help flush out toxins. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol whilst detoxing; instead opt for homemade juices and herbal teas like Pukka Detox Tea (1). After your detox you may experience headaches, nausea and cold-like symptoms as your body eliminates toxins, but these should pass quickly. If you are pregnant or have a medical condition you should speak to your doctor before doing a detox.
Morning – Body Brush, Salt Scrub, Hair Mask & Body Wrap
- Start your treatment by dry body brushing (check that your brush is made of plant materials rather than animal hair). Body brushing is an excellent way to aid lymphatic drainage, help break down fatty deposits and reduce cellulite, remove dead skin cells, soften hard skin and stimulate circulation. Starting at your feet, work up the legs in long, sweeping movements. Use firm, anti-clockwise movements over your thighs and bum, and use light, circular, clock-wise movements over your abdomen. Sweep up your back using long upward strokes, then use short downward strokes over your shoulders. Finish by using long upward sweeps from your hands to your elbows, then from elbows to shoulders. If you have any hard skin on your heels or elbows, use circular movements over these areas with the body brush to soften.
- Next make a body scrub by mixing one part sea salt with two parts coconut oil. Sea salt is known for its detoxifying and rejuvenating properties. Add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil for an extra purifying boost. Step into the shower and use the scrub in circular movements over wet skin. Exfoliate your whole body, avoiding your face, neck and decolletage areas. Rinse well then pat yourself dry with a towel.
- Make a nourishing hair mask to detox your hair by mixing one mashed banana with two teaspoons of grapeseed oil. Massage the mask into your scalp and hair then cover your head with a plastic shower cap or clingfilm and a warm towel. Apply a face and body mask such as SpaRitual Instinctual Clay Masque (2) to help draw out toxins and impurities from the skin. Wrap yourself in clingfilm and warm towels to encourage sweating which will help to eliminate toxins. Lie down and relax for thirty minutes, making sure you are warm and comfortable.
- Get back in the shower and rinse off the hair and body masks. Use Aubrey Organics Green Tea Shampoo and Finishing Rinse (3) to deep cleanse and condition your hair. Wash your body with a purifying product such as Faith in Nature Seaweed & Citrus Shower Gel (4).
Afternoon – Foot Spa & Mini Facial
- Thoroughly cleanse your face with your favourite cleanser, then use a warm muslin cloth to remove the product and gently buff away dead skin cells.
- Fill a bowl with boiling water and add a few drops of balancing geranium essential oil. Place your face over the bowl (at least twelve inches away from the water) and trap the steam by draping a towel over your head and the bowl. The steam will open your pores, helping to deep cleanse the skin and draw out impurities. After five minutes rinse your face with warm water and gently pat dry.
- Fill a large bowl with warm water and add a handful of epsom salts and a couple of drops of grapefruit essential oil. Place your feet into the bowl to soothe and draw out toxins.
- While your feet are soaking, use some coconut or sweet almond oil to massage your face and neck. Use slow, upward, circular movements to massage all the muscles and smooth out tension. Use light, draining movements from your chin to behind your ears, and from your forehead to behind your ears to help drain away lymph and toxins. Finish by circling around your eyes with your ring fingers in light, inward movements towards your nose.
- Dry your feet then massage them using the coconut or sweet almond oil.
Evening – Herbal Bath & Aromatherapy Massage
- Run a warm bath and add some herbal salts such as PHB Ethical Beauty Restoring Bath Salts with Rosemary & Cornflower Petals (5). Relax and unwind in the bath for around thirty minutes.
- Get out of the bath, pat yourself dry then use Neal’s Yard Remedies Detox Toning Oil (6) to massage your legs, arms, abdomen and back. Pay particular attention to any problem areas such as your thighs and bum – use kneading and pinching movements to help break down fatty deposits. Leave the oil on your skin to absorb fully overnight, then get into bed and have an early night to ensure you feel refreshed and energised in the morning.
Header photo by Jessica Sjoholm