As the saying goes, beauty is skin deep. But the sheen of your hair or the glow of your skin is not just superficial; it’s also an indicator of overall wellness. “Radiance emanates from inner health,” says Melinda Pizzano of Bodhi Holistic Spa, Salon & Boutique in Hudson. “People don’t always notice if you look pretty, but they do notice if you’re radiant.” When money is tight and stress and anxiety are elevated, it’s even more important to take time to relax and recharge, and luckily, there are a number of at-home fixes inspired by spa and salon services that can help. Chronogram spoke to Pizzano and her industry peers to discuss some do-it-yourself treatments that you can try at home to reap the same beauty benefits as you would in expert hands.
Within Your Skin
As the largest organ of the body, the skin helps protect us from the sun, exposure to chemicals, temperature change, and more. A variety of factors, from contact with the elements to the natural aging process, can lead to skin issues like wrinkling, dullness, and dryness, and get us further from the luminous, soft, and blemish-free appearance that defines healthy skin.
To help moisturize and achieve smoothness, Pizzano suggests an ayurvedic approach. Using a generous amount of pure sesame oil, which is rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids and the antioxidant sesamin, massage the whole body from head to toe, including the face, scalp, and hair. Slip into a hot bath and relax as the water’s warmth opens your pores and the sesame oil soaks in. “Sesame oil is grounding and nurturing,” says Pizzano. “It’s an amazing treatment to emotionally balance, and at the same time you’re getting the benefits for your skin.”
If you simply don’t have time to linger in a bath, you can treat your skin to some of the same benefits with a quick post-shower spritz, says Babs Moley of River Rock Health Spa in Woodstock. While the skin is still wet, apply the oil and then pat dry with a towel. She recommends avoiding petroleum-based products and opting for wholesome yet inexpensive oils like almond, jojoba, and olive oils.
During the summer months, almond oil is a particularly great option for body care. Dr. Simone Harari of Body of Truth and The Spa at Stone Ridge says that almond oil helps block the absorption of chlorine for those who apply it before swimming, thereby helping to keep skin hydrated and healthier looking.
When it comes to facial skin, which is often more sensitive and delicate than other areas of the body, Moley says the best-kept beauty secret is amazingly easy—regularly cleanse and exfoliate. Opt for natural skincare products that are without SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), which provides many commercial products with their foaming action but can strip the skin of moisture. Investing in spa-grade products can be a good option, given their price-per-use, she says. Both River Rock and Body of Truth offer guests the Eminence Organics product line, which uses all organic herbs, flowers, and fruits of the highest quality in its goods. Moley says the Sweet Red Rose and Lemon Cleansers are the most popular among her clientele.
After cleansing, follow up with light exfoliation. Moley suggests using a sea sponge or brush on the face to exfoliate, but remember that the key word is gentle. Harsh scrubbing that’s too abrasive can damage fragile areas.
Other low-cost, highly effective, at-home treatments can be made with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. For Harari, cold-pressed organic olive oil is the trick to soothingly cleanse and moisturize. “I met a woman that was over 80 and she barely had any wrinkles,” she says. “ I asked her what she had done for skincare and she told me her whole life she had never used soap, just water and olive oil to wash and moisturize her face.”
To cleanse and nourish, Harari also suggests making this simple, summery recipe: Mix four to five mashed strawberries, one tablespoon of organic honey, and one tablespoon of heavy cream and apply to the face for 20 minutes. Using this mask once a week will help tighten skin and provide a host of other advantages. “The salicylic acid in the strawberries helps to remove impurities and dead cells and acts as an exfoliant,” Harari says. “The honey is a natural humectant that prevents wrinkles, nourishes the skin, and keeps it supple and moist.”