There are some killer bargains to be found in the world of spas these days, bellas. Trust me – look in the ads at the back of your local paper, or take a gander online. Spas are hurting bad (just like so many other service industries are), and the consumer reaps the rewards. There are spa specials galore, if you get to looking. But if you’re in my unemployed condition, sometimes even a spa special isn’t enough to make the experience affordable. Times like these call for at-home spa treatments! Investing a little in a new product can pay off alot. A trip to the spa may leave you glowing and overjoyed, but being able to recreate that effect at home? Priceless.

Here’s a tip I got at the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach. The treatment I enjoyed at the Eau Spa was among the most fantastic spa treatments I have EVER had (and I’ve had some good ones!) It’s called the Elemis Exotic Frangipani Body Nourish Wrap, and involves being anointed with a heavenly scented oil blended from coconut and frangipani flowers and then basically wrapped up in what feels like a giant waterbed that’s inflated while you’re in it. It is the closest thing I can imagine to being in the womb. OK, so that part would be impossible to do at home. But the treatment begins with a dry body scrub using a cactus body brush and let me tell you — this will change your life. Never before could I have imagined skin this soft.

A little research reveals that dry body brushing has a ton of great health benefits — from helping to reduce cellulite to improving immunity. It’s extremely popular in the world of detox, and rumor has it (according to the lady who scrubbed me down), this has been done since the era of the Greeks and Romans.

There are some insanely pricey dry body brushes on the market, but I skipped past all of them and got the $15 cactus body brush from The Body Shop. It’s made from all natural materials and yes – cactus bristles are spiky! Ouch! But brush gently, and it isn’t so bad. Really it isn’t. And the softness of your skin afterwards is sooooooo worth it!


Massage your skin with something decadent, like Kiehls’ Argan Dry Oil, Oyin AfterBath or Carol’s Daughter Body and Bath Oil, and your skin will thank you afterwards.

Body scrubs are popular treatments at spas, but here’s the rub (literally) — your money’s simply being spent on the pleasure of having someone else’s hands on your body. Which can be totally worth it, of course… but bellas on a budget should know that at most spas, they aren’t using anything you can’t whip up at home yourself with a minumum of effort. It’s easy enough — all you need is a whole lotta brown sugar, and some organic coconut, jojoba, sweet almond or olive oil, and a drop or two of your essential oil of choice, et voila! A body scrub as decadent as anything you’ll find at ESPA or the Red Door.

I personally prefer a sugar scrub — my skin’s too soft and easily stung for salt! But salt scrubs are great if you have coarser, less sensitive skin and really want to soften it up. From Nature With Love sells pre-packaged kits to get your DIY on, in Sugar Cookie Scrub and Black Raspberry Salt. Delicious!


Another great at-home or easy on-location spa treatment (and island remede) — beach sand. Ever since I was a wee one, mama bella would sit where the water lapped gently on the sand, and use the wet grains to scrub her feet, hands, elbows and knees. Spa Index features a recipe — all it requires is a little beach sand, some canola oil (I prefer coconut) and drops of rosemary oil. So simple, and that’s the kind of thing a less savvy bella might pay big bucks for at a pricey vacation spa. Keep that cash and collect a little sand whenever you’re at the beach next time! That way you can spa at home for free!

Do you DIY spa treatments at home? Do tell! How do you pamper yourself (and save your money)?

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Nichole says:
June 8, 2009, 11:37 am
Thanks for this post. I forgot about dry body brushing/scrub. It truly invigorates the skin and helps with circulation. I will plan one for today.
b. says:
June 8, 2009, 11:48 am
One splurge I haven't let go of is Kiss My Face's Olive Oil body bar. My husband *still* raves about my skin...and it's been well over a year since I started using it. And trust...it cleans well. It's too much for my face, but my skin is left so soft and clean. And don't forget about the epsom salt soak. With a little olive oil...whew! Thanks for the other tips, Afrobella!
Tiffany says:
June 8, 2009, 4:23 pm
Great post! I recently started reading your blog and you always have such great topics. I will definitely try the dry body scrub; it sounds great, especially now that warm weather is here and its time to bare one's skin = )
hiphopmuse says:
June 8, 2009, 5:58 pm
I've never tried dry brushing my skin, but I like the idea of it removing dead skin cells and smoothing my skin. I love DIY beauty treatments esp masques, manis, and pedis.
dettygirl says:
June 9, 2009, 11:10 am
i have been dry brushing 2x/week for the last year or so...it truly makes a difference! my skin is SOFT. remember to always brush towards your heart to reap the health benefits!
Semi Permanent Make Up says:
June 11, 2009, 4:30 am
Yeah, It works wonder, I have been brushing with dry skin and get superb result for me as I seeking. Thanks for sharing once again.
Brandi says:
June 12, 2009, 7:02 pm
I will have to give dry brushing a try. Another blogger does it every Sunday. I could definitely do it once a week but daily? I'm not so sure about that. I am a huge fan of at home manis, pedis and body scrubs. If I went to the spa every time I had that urge, I'd be in the poor house. My other little cheat experience is to put a tennis ball in a sock, for leverage, and apply it to any part of my body that's tense. It works great in a pinch if I can't make it to the spa for a massage. Sit with your back to the couch or wall and let it work out the kinks.
Leiney says:
June 23, 2009, 8:13 am
Thaks for the entry, I only recently discovered the beauty of DIY and everyone I know is having to sufer from my pampering them! lol I do the coconut, brown sugar and orange essential oil bodyscrubs, and I add a bit of oatmeal in it, it smells DELICIOUS!
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September 23, 2010, 8:50 pm
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Hal Collon says:
November 5, 2010, 4:02 pm
How about smoothies? I have seen jamba juice at high school events and they were selling like crazy.