Quality time in a top-notch spa may be pretty high on any 2015 wish list, but some of the world’s best spa therapists have a secret: many of their absolutely favourite ingredients are already stocked in your kitchen cupboard. They share how nature’s simplest homespun goodies can give you five-star sparkle for next to nothing.

Formulate, Exfoliate, Luxuriate
Pansy Chong, Head of Therapists at Urban Retreat Spa, Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai
“Without fail, no matter how busy my schedules are, twice a week I exfoliate my body and face with a concoction of grape seed and sweet almond oil, unprocessed brown sugar, coarse salts and egg white. It’s my grandmother’s secret recipe to nourish and energise skin and tone up the body’s muscles. And nothing detoxifies and aids blood circulation like a 15-minute foot soak in hot water with a tablespoon of coarse salt.”

The Most Essential Oils
Ainslie Colless, Spa Supervisor at Southern Spa, Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island
“Having an oil burner at home is an easy, passive way of having essential oils in your life when a therapist is not around. My favourite blend is neroli, geranium, jasmine and sandalwood, which is also magic on skin. Neroli brightens, geranium balances the sebaceous glands on oily, congested skin and jasmine scent is the ultimate uplifting confidence booster. Mix and match different blends for each mood: study, a busy day or winding down after work.”

The Perfect Pre-Shave Prep
Sara Corwin, Spa Supervisor Mr. C Spa and Beauty, Beverly Hills
“This lavender and lemon pre-shave scrub delivers the closest shave of your life. Mix a cup of coarse raw sugar (a great dead skin remover) with 3 tablespoons of raw honey, whose enzymes and antibacterial properties soften skin. Add 25 drops of lavender essential oil to heal razor bumps, and 15 drops of lemon essential oil to brighten skin tone. Blend with ¼ cup of raw coconut oil, the zest of 1 lemon and lavender flowers and use on areas to be shaved.”

Put The Lime With The Coconut
Pebbles Alburo, Senior Spa Therapist at Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, Dubai
“Freshly squeezed lime juice has a fresh scent that totally revitalises your mood, has a brightening effect on dark areas like elbows and knees, and is a natural exfoliant. Apply to your face and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse afterwards, then moisturise with freshly squeezed coconut milk from an old coconut. The milk delivers intense moisture; it’s like food for the skin and hair –‎ and can be used for the bath instead of bubble bath.”

New Ways With Rice
Sae Tsuji, Senior Spa therapist at QT Spa Sydney.
“Sake (rice wine) brewers have the most beautiful hands! Their hands are covered and soaked in nutrient-rich rice water during malting process, which has soothing and hydrating properties. Use rice powder as a body scrub by mixing with sugar, honey and coconut oil. Or mix 2 tablespoons with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch powder as a translucent face powder. You can even use the rice water made after cooking rice for your meal as a brightening toner.”

Sweet Use For Sour Cream
Becky Mueller, Spa Aesthetician at The Edgewater, Wisconsin
“Apply sour cream to severe sunburns – it contains a high concentration of lactic acid that softens, heals and soothes the skin. Apply it like a paste 2-3 times a day to eliminate the burn. Fellow aesthetician Sarah Sandsnes also uses baking soda as a gentle exfoliant. This deceptively brilliant ingredient increases alkaline levels and reduces mineral-depleting acidity levels in your skin. To enhance the effects, add oat flour to the baking soda for an even deeper cleanse.”

A Smoothie For Your Skin
Paula Glancy, Head Therapist at Lizard Island Spa, Great Barrier Reef
“Naturally growing ingredients are packed full of youth-boosting antioxidants, vitamins and acids that can be used right away. For a great mask, mash 10 blueberries (packed with vitamins C and E) into 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt. The lactic acid helps exfoliate the UV-damaged layers of the epidermis. Chia seeds, honey and a ½ cup of chopped raw green apple makes a scrub packed with apple’s polyphenols and flavonoids to soothe and plump skin.”

Article by Guest Editor Cleo Glyde

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