No time to pamper yourself with a full-body spa at the salon? Here’s a way to get similar results at home. From exfoliating body scrubs and moisturising body lotions to hair masks and treatments, these home spa products will help you get that salon treatment feel!
BSKIN ELVi Pro & Vita Advanced Intense PAF Concentrate, $621 together
I’d been toying with the idea of getting a gua sha tool to reduce puffiness in my cheeks and contour my jawline. However, I like my skincare routine to be fast and efficient. So the thought of doing this for 15 minutes daily wasn’t appealing.
With the ELVi Pro, all it takes is six minutes! Shaped like a gua sha tool, this electronic device provides gentle heating, LED light therapy and vibration in three different modes. The Facial, Lift and Restore modes, each two minutes, help to improve the absorption of skincare products, stimulate tissue repair to reduce the signs of ageing, reduce puffiness and speed up the skin’s regenerative process. The ELVi Pro is very easy to use – simply turn it on and it automatically begins in Facial mode, followed by the other two in succession. They can be used independently or alone. I opted for all three as I wanted the most benefits.
As a serum is needed for it to glide smoothly over the skin, I used the Vita Advanced Intense PAF Concentrate. It stimulates cell repair for a youthful glow. Since I love looking younger than I am, I applied the serum twice a day, pairing it with the ELVi Pro at night. The serum is odourless and was absorbed easily by my skin, leaving it feeling smooth yet plump.
After using both on the first night, I noticed that my skin felt more hydrated – a result of more effective absorption of the serum. The next morning, I applied the serum before putting on makeup and my skin felt nourished for a long time. After a week of use, the puffiness of my cheeks and under my eyes became less obvious, as did the lines on my forehead. My face also started to look more radiant.
I love the ELVi Pro so much that on a recent 16-day trip overseas, I brought it along with the Vita Advanced Intense PAF Concentrate so that I didn’t miss a day of skin pampering!
– Patricea Chow
MTM Labo Custom Blended Hydrating Mask, $188
“This premium Japanese label has been offering custom-blended skincare products for 30 years. One bestseller is the Hydrating Mask, which contains powerful plant extracts and essences like chamomile, cucumber and calendula to soothe, soften and deeply nourish all skin types.
I have combination skin – oily T-zone, dehydrated cheeks – and this rinse off mask has worked well for me so far. It comes in a cute, minimalist box with my name printed on it (I love the attention to detail!), and the glass jar feels luxe. After leaving it on for 10 minutes, all I need to do is wash it off and I’m left with smoother, calmer skin. I’ve found that it has also helped with oil balance, while hydrating my overall complexion. The only downside is the price tag, but if you can splurge, go for it – it really works!”
– Anthia Chng
Ole Henriksen’s Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment, $78
“Being Danish, I grew up with the famous Ole Henriksen and love his products. It’s rare to actually experience products that work for you, and these babies definitely do – they work overtime for your skin!
I tested these two products together to get the ultimate result. After washing my face twice (I actually also used Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser), I religiously followed up with the Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner.
This toner is lovely and really cleans up your skin, it takes away the remaining dirt and oil and leaves you feeling skin cool, smooth and fresh. It’s not for sensitive types, however, as it’s a potent brightening toner supercharged with a high concentration of AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids) and witch hazel water to reduce the look of dark spots in as little as seven days. If you look at my skin closely when you next see me, you’ll know what I am talking about! I have freckles on my cheeks and they have slowly calmed down and faded while I’ve been using the toner.
After toning, I was very excited to be using the Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment. This nightly retexturizing serum, packed with a powerful 20% acid blend (10% AHAs and 10% PHAs), overhauls the skin texture making it feel super soft, and look bright and younger. Again, this is not one for the sensitive types. This baby works hard on your investment from day one! When you apply it, you’ll experience some tingling – that’s the acid working right there. Also, it’s quite thick, which is why you apply it at night; the consistency is rather sticky, too, so remember to put your hair up.
I got too excited and put this on every night, which was a mistake. My advice is to start slow and perhaps use it every other night to get your skin used to the acid blend. Overall, I really like the result and I think you’ll get the best outcomes if you do a combo product!”
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
Bath & Bodyworks – Eucalyptus Spearmint Sugar Body Scrub, $30
I had stopped using exfoliating body scrubs as so many of them had microplastics, but this one is sulphate, paraben and chemical colour-free, it is scented with essential oils and other natural fragrances, and the scrub is sugar granules.
The texture may not be for everyone, it is quite coarse, and the oil sits on the top so it feels like you are digging your hand into really wet sand, but it really does feel like the exfoliating body scrub you get at a spa. The oils (jojoba, safflower, sunflower, mineral and almond) leave your skin with that post-massage smoothness without the concern the oil might stain your clothes.
The scent is not overwhelming and is nice and refreshing in the morning. Just be careful when getting out of the shower as I used it very liberally and it made the shower floor quite slippery (not normally a problem you would have at a real spa!).
– Danielle Rossetti
Dr.Belter Seasalt & Sugar Body Scrub, $78
The first thing you’ll notice about this exfoliating body scrub is its bright orange tint and heavenly scent. The thick, creamy formula is infused with lemon and mango aromas and smells like a fruity sorbet. The granules are rather large compared to other exfoliating body scrubs that I’ve used in the past, but they don’t feel abrasive.
This exfoliating body scrub is so moisturising that I was able to skip body lotion. I loved that it left my whole body baby smooth – even my usually dry and flaky elbows. The one thing I wasn’t a fan of was that the product leaves a film on your skin, with the orange tint frequently transferring onto my white towels when drying off.
– Karin Galley
Fenty Skin Buff Ryder Exfoliating Body Scrub, $48
“Smelling like a teenage girl’s Caribbean dream – coconut, pineapple and suntan lotion – this new product from Rihanna’s Fenty Skin range promises to “buff the rough and bring the smooth (sic).” It’s made with sugar, salt and sand granules to mimic that afternoon on the beach – they are not fine grains, so I wouldn’t put this on sunburnt skin or near your face.
To exfoliate the whole body, you’ll need multiple dollops of the product but it’s worth it. Fruit enzymes and oils from sunflowers, soyabeans, avocados and shea butter leave your skin wonderfully soft and smooth. It works amazingly on dry areas like the knees and elbows. I had to wash my hands afterwards as they felt a bit greasy, but the oils on the rest of my body did not transfer to my clothing. It felt so much like I had just enjoyed a massage on the beach, I could almost hear the waves!”
– Danielle Rossetti
Lilaroze Organic Rose Body Scrub, $48
“I normally don’t use body scrubs as I’m more of a wash-and-go kind of girl, but this body exfoliate is the bomb! You can see results with just one use. First of all, it smells divine. The combination of almond oil and rose makes you think you are applying flowers to your skin because the scent is amazing.
Apply the product on your entire body, massaging it thoroughly everywhere for five to ten minutes. Don’t forget your heels and elbows as those tend to be dry (at least for me). I’ve tried the scrub for a month, three times a week, and my skin looks more radiant – almost like I have that “J Lo” glow!
One tub should last you one month, but it all depends on how much and how often you use it.”
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
FES Dandelion Dynamo – FloraFusions Bath & Body Oil, $64
I‘m very fond of oil-based products, especially when they are natural herbal flower oil like this one. Used to combat tiredness and sluggish body muscles, its blend of soothing ingredients hits the spot. It’s great for massaging into the body after showering as it energises muscles and helps with water retention and general tense areas of the body. The calming properties of dandelion mixed with oils do help with the body metabolism, and with daily ailments and congestion too.
– Jacqui Young
Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash, $44
This rich, creamy exfoliating wash with jojoba grains is great for everyday use – I’m glad I came across it! I’ve been using it to exfoliate regularly in the past few weeks and my skin doesn’t feel dry or tight. A small amount is enough to massage on the face and neck before rinsing it well. The exfoliating wash is very gentle on the skin and leaves a soft velvety feel without needing to apply moisturiser after.
Codex formulated this product for dry and sensitive skin using vegan ingredients, but it works for normal or combination skin types just as well.
– Judit Gál
Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Body Lotion & Body Wash, $28.90 & $21.90
I’m a big fan of Aveeno’s Daily Moisturising after-shower mist but find that my skin dries out quite quickly and I need to reapply it throughout the day. I was therefore interested to try the brand’s Skin Relief Moisturizing Body Lotion with oat oil and shea butter, which claims to moisturise and soothe extra-dry skin for 24 hours.
I started by applying it in the morning after a shower but found it left my skin a bit sticky, so I switched to applying it at night before bed and love that my skin still feels soft in the morning. It’s fragrance-free, perfect if you have sensitive skin, and it glides on easily and absorbs quickly so you don’t have to spend ages applying it! I’m also using the Skin Relief Body Wash for showering and I’ve noticed that I’m not getting so many annoying dry and itchy patches anymore. It’s a winning combination for me.
– Juliet Keys
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream, $43
“I’m in love with this body cream! I’m a huge fan of Glow Recipe and love the watermelon scent in this range, so I was pretty sure I’d like this product. The pump dispenser makes it easy to use. As the cream has a thick texture, a little goes a very long way. It glides onto the skin perfectly, making it feel soft, nourished and hydrated. Plus, it soaks in quite quickly. It doesn’t leave a sticky residue like some creams do, which makes it perfect for this climate. I put more on my elbows and heels overnight and it really does soften the skin nicely. It’s a real winner for me.”
– Jacqui Young
Nuggela & Sulé South Beach Hair Mask, $59.90
I really like this hair mask. It smells nice, and you can see your hair transform after only one use (with my hair, at least) so that it feels softer and silkier! The best part is that you don’t have to sleep with the product on to get the ultimate result. You can leave it in your hair for five to ten minutes and it does its job! I have frizzy, coloured hair and I think it did wonders to my locks. My girls, aged nine and 12, have tried it out and it was a lovely treatment on their hair too.
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
Phyto Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment, from $55
“While we remember to scrub and polish our body, we often forget about our scalp. Suitable for all hair types, this scalp treatment helps with itch and congestion, and can be used to boost hair growth. You apply it on dry scalp, one to two times a week. Use the dropper to separate the hair and make sure the scalp is fully covered with the product. Then, lightly massage and leave on for 20 minutes before you shampoo it out. The product is paraben-free, but it has a strong scent. Made in France, the base consists of essential oils like rosemary, sage and lemon to help balance the scalp and soothe irritation. Regular use improves scalp health, which can help reduce thinning or hair loss.
I have used this treatment a few times and there’s still a lot left, so I think it should last a couple of months. My scalp does feel nice and stimulated after each use. It’s a bit early to see any increase in hair growth, but I love the fact that it contains essential oils of natural origins.”
– Rebecca Bisset
Phyto Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment, from $418
While we remember to scrub and polish our body, we often forget about our scalp. Suitable for all hair types, this scalp treatment helps with itch and congestion, and can be used to boost hair growth. You apply it on dry scalp, one to two times a week. Use the dropper to separate the hair and make sure the scalp is fully covered with the product. Then, lightly massage and leave on for 20 minutes before you shampoo it out.
The product is paraben-free, but it has a strong scent. Made in France, the base consists of essential oils like rosemary, sage and lemon to help balance the scalp and soothe irritation. Regular use improves scalp health, which can help reduce thinning or hair loss. I have used this treatment a few times and there’s still a lot left, so I think it should last a couple of months. My scalp does feel nice and stimulated after each use. It’s a bit early to see any increase in hair growth, but I love the fact that it contains ingredients of natural origins.
– Rebecca Bisset
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This article first appeared in Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!