Relax. Easier said than done, right? Wrong. While quarantine and chill may seem more like a prison sentence with toilet paper wars being the only sport worth betting on, this unprecedented time in our history can be made stress-free, enjoyable — even beneficial for your hair, skin and mind — with a few spahhh-ctacular tips to take from local beauty and relaxation experts in the biz.
Solaya Spa & Salon by The Houstonian
Experts at Solaya Spa & Salon, the chic new Highland Village day spa and sister concept to The Houstonian’s Trellis Spa, suggest turning your daily skincare routine into a self-care ritual. Recommending luxury skincare line Natura Bissé, they advise taking steps at the end of the day to unwind, letting go of the day’s worries and taking a moment to focus on yourself, as in with the Inhibit Tensolift Neck Cream which assists with finer muscles and the fragile skin of the neck.
Pro tip: When moisturizing your face and neck, don’t forget about the back of your neck and ears too.
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel
Spa director, Tina Hay, of the Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel downtown, says if there has ever been a time to bring the spa culture home, it is now. In partnership with Sparitual, she encourages folks to continue the practice of “spa traditions” — the true source of self-care — in the comfort of their own homes, now while they have the time to do so.
A self-exfoliation treatment can help increase circulation, slough away dead skin buildup and leave you looking glowy — and is simple enough to do in the shower. First, a quarter-sized amount of Sparitual body polish releases a heavenly scent. Once you massage it in a circular motion and work your way through the feet, legs, arms, shoulders and torso, Hay suggests reflecting on what brings meaning to your life as you rinse off any residual polish. Reflect, and then replenish. Sparitual.com is offering 20 percent off your entire order with code SPACULTURE20, so it may be a good idea to be prepared for your next quarantined spa day.
Mokara Spa at Omni
The Mokara Spa at Uptown’s Omni Riverway is an oasis within the city and has often been a place for Houstonians to retreat and seek solitude. Spa director, Hubert Bazan, believes there are ways to create such an oasis within the home and offers his recommendations:
Let the light in
Bazan says if you have decided to self-quarantine and can’t get out in the sun, pull back the curtains or raise the blinds. Whatever methods you choose to pass the time — reading, meditating, working out — do it by a window. Benefit from the light coming in, and remember, where there is light, darkness cannot linger.
Shut off all of the electronics you use for one day. If you have kids, engage with them; show them how you had fun when you were their age.
Engage in 10 minutes of breathing in a calm place, using long deep breaths to bring back your focus on letting go of anxiety and stress. Incorporate an essential oil diffuser with your favorite scent. (Lavender calms nerves, while ginger is known for grounding the mind and frankincense eases anxiety.)
Call or engage in a group chat with friends or family who will lighten the mood of this stressful time. Laughter truly is great medicine for almost any situation.
Remember those essential oils? Bazan recommends blending them with a nice carrier oil and taking the time to treat yourself to a hand or foot massage. Using your palm to warm up your forearm with massage strokes, apply pressure to the forearm, then squeeze in upward motions beginning at the wrist, stopping at the elbow and easing back down. Find the areas of soreness and work on them with moderate pressure. Work the sides of the hands, between the fingers and that area between your thumb and forefinger. Relax. Repeat.
Grocery store go-to
Take a break in buying toilet paper — and buy a face mask! Through all of this quarantine hoopla, the ordering of groceries and supplies will no doubt continue for you and your loved ones. In the process of purchasing produce and pantry staples, pick up a sheet mask.
Twenty minutes of cooling gels and hydrating moisture molecules will rejuvenate you. And the frightening way the mask looks while it’s on may even score you some well-deserved alone time from family members and pets. Social distancing, right?