Monday, 27 January 2014

Pampering Pledge: Self-Care Sundays

Eating more raw food and drinking less tequila might be an obvious New Years Resolution inspired by the "live clean, feel good, be awesome" MindBodyGreen camp (a great wellness blog!); but rather than give anything up each new year, I have decided to introduce a new habit that makes me healthy and happy. And so for 2014, I made a Pampering Pledge: to make space for 2 hours each week of bubbly, scrubbing, soothing, soaking, beautifying down-time.

This might seem like an easy or obvious habit to have, but it's one that has always eluded me. Constantly ruffled curls means I'll never be a perfectly pristine lady, and that's cool with me. But when one night in a yoga class I reached forward to grab my feet into a long stretch, I noticed that my toes looked a little neglected. And my heels were a little rough. And when my teacher came to help adjust me, as they do, all my centred and balanced "non-thoughts" of yogi stillness left me for a sudden vanity-induced moment of embarrassment at my poor teacher having to handle my less-than-pretty feet. 

My Pampering Pledge involves a few things: to treat myself to one salon beauty treatment a month (watch this space for salon reviews!); and to make a habit of Self-Care Sunday. This means that every Sunday I will make space and time to run a hot bath, soak with some salts, scrub at my elbows and heels, apply a face mask, and ensure that by the end of it I'm squeaky clean, silky soft and blissed out beyond words.

I've stuck to it, and even began it a little early in December. So after about six Self-Care Sunday sessions of just me, my bath tub and some candles, and Katey and Jane telling me they'd be curious to know what products I use, I thought I'd share my wee routine and favourite oh-so-good smellies.

First things first, some great bath salts. I prefer to go for 100% pure salts and then add my own oils after, rather than go for scented or pre-mixed salts. I get my Dead Sea Salts from Boots, and compliment it with the Dead Sea Sulphur Soap. They aren't the snazziest but they're pure and effective!

As I'm running the hot bath I throw a few handfuls of the salt in, and then either add some pure essential oils (rose, patchouli, chamomile) or for silky soft skin I pour in some Sanctuary Bath Relaxer. Sanctuary are my go-to decadent yet affordable pampering products, that are easy to find and available in Boots. High street prices with with both delicious scents and genuine results.

After a good 15 minute soak and relax, there's nothing like a good scrub. On my Boots haul, I also got a bamboo cloth for my face and mitt for scrubbing my body. I was recently in a Turkish Spa in Germany where there was a very traditional (nude!) steam spa, that involved 15 minutes in 3 seperate rooms: one of which was a good 7 minutes worth of scrubbing with a cloth on every inch. By the end of it, I felt like a newborn my skin was so soft! So I'm now a devout scrub and buffer!

Now, my face is something I often ignore partly because I'm worried I'll have some awful allergic reaction. But given my trust and love of Sanctuary, I have experimented and found two wonderful products: the Sanctuary 5-Minute Thermal Detox Mask and the Sanctuary Moisture Boosting Mask. The Detox Mask is grey and very thick, and really feels like it has the mud and minerals you'd find on an Icelandic thermal spring. It also heats up when you apply it, oh my. It's a strange sensation but quite comforting. After leaving it for 5 minutes I'll remove it, and then apply the Moisture Boosting Mask. Also quite thick but pure white and beautifully scented, it tingles a little and really does leave my skin incredibly soft. I don't need to use it too often, as I don't have very dry skin and if I use it every week it can make my skin more oily, but it's great for a monthly boost. I've never used a face mask that genuinely leaves my skin noticeably softer to touch. I love it!

After the bath, it's best to apply some oils to still-wet skin. Again, I use a Sanctuary oil-blend, like the 4-in-1 Body Elixir with delicious coconut and patchouli. It really does smell lush. It's great after shaving and leaves skin so soft and smelling amazing.

And yes, I do find it hard to fit a bath in every time; especially if I'm washing those unruly curls of mine. In which case I won't take a bath but instead extend my shower to be equally pampering. I can still apply both face masks, but for all-over body I'll scrub then indugle in my Lush Flying Fox body wash (a pure Jasmine rush), and then my Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, that leaves me smelling like roses. I adore Lush, and may find myself exploring their face masks too, to extend my Self-Care Sunday repertoire.
It's not rocket science, but making a commitment to a Self-Care Sunday every single week (or Monday if Sunday ends being too chocca-block) has really made an improvement to my skin (still so soft! always so soft!) and I can now roll out my yoga matt, line my toes up to the top before my first Salute to the Sun safe in the knowledge that these tootsies are pretty alright! What products do you enjoy using for some scrubbing, softening and moisturising? Any favourite Lush face masks?


  1. I have a sunday routine too! I'm currently holding a giveaway on my blog, it's not much but it'd be great if you could enter :) x

  2. I heart Lush so hard! I used to use their Scrub Scrub Scrub which smelt gorgeous. Haven't used their fresh face masks for a while but am definitely thinking of a visit to their gorgeous spa.