From the ambiance to the DIY treatments, create a luxury spa at-home, minus the luxury price tag

When life gets tough, self-care becomes more important than ever. So, with the cost of living crisis making a spa day out of reach for many of us, it’s time to create a spa-like experience at home.

But creating a home spa is not simply a case of hopping in the shower and hoping for the best – selecting the right beauty products, lighting, scents and music can take your spa at home from chaos to calm. Here’s our at-home spa day checklist. Take note, then relax.

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1. Light a candle

The first step to creating your at-home spa? Focus on the lighting. Few things are more effective than the flicker of a flame to help you shift from stress to spa mode. Make sure the flame of your candle* is within your eye line, so it appeals to all the senses. "A candle will give your bathroom a warm glow," says Alice Lightfoot, spa manager at Champneys, Tring. Perfect for feeling cosy on cold nights.

To help you wind-down

Try: Champneys Slumber Candle

• Size: 200g

Be transported to your favourite spa and prepare for sleep with Champneys patented Dreamscentz technology. Soothing notes of lavender, eucalyptus, patchouli and sage will fill your room to help set the scene for a blissful slumber.

To help you wake up

Try: Sanctuary Spa Pink Grapefruit Candle

• 260g

Relaxing, yet reviving, this candle’s zesty citrus fusion of grapefruit, twisted with sweet, ripe orange blossom and blended with hints of floral gardenia and anise is bliss.

The diffuser

Try: Made by Zen Novo Aroma Diffuser in White

• Colour changing light band

• USB operated – cable included

• Night mode

• Mist duration 4+ hours

What’s sure to be the future of home fragrance, the Aroma Diffuser allows you to instantly fill your room with your favourite scent to suit the wellbeing moment you’re most in need of. Just add water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil, and turn your space into a sanctuary of dreams. Its soft green glow is a welcome bonus.

2. Set the mood with music

Talking of rituals that appeal to a range of senses, set the scene for relaxation further by indulging in some sound therapy. If music is usually your go-to (does anyone else have a playlist labelled  ‘Relaxation’ on their phones?) you might want to try adding Weightless by Marconi Union to it – a track that was created in collaboration with founder of The British Academy of Sound Therapy, Lyz Cooper, with the aim of helping reduce stress levels by its use of carefully crafted harmonies, rhythms and bass lines.

In a study conducted by Mindlab International, neuroscientists found that it evoked an 11% increase in relaxation over all other relaxing music tracks tested (featuring the likes of Icelandic band Sigur Rôs, Mozart and Irish singer Enya) and was able to induce greater relaxation levels in participants than a massage.

The speaker

Try: Veho M3 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with twin pair mode

• Speaker size: 1.5in

• Power 3W

• Frequency 100Hz-16KHz

• Battery 320mAh/3.7V

• Playback time up to 12 hours

• Operating range up to 10m

Fill your bathroom oasis with soothing sound with this ultra-compact, portable Bluetooth wireless speaker, featuring a powerful rechargeable battery that provides up to 12 hours of music playback and wireless stereo.

3. Clear your mind

Another option is to try some calming, mindfulness meditation. According to the NHS, paying more attention to the present moment – being mindful of your own thoughts and feelings – may help with stress and anxiety.

Fortunately, a mindfulness meditation practice needn’t be complicated. It can just involve sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, your breath or parts of the body, and bringing your attention back to these things whenever your mind begins to wander.

For guided meditation

Try: Headspace Mind Giftcard

• Six months pre-paid membership

Whether you’re a beginner or someone who’s looking for a way to upgrade your current practice, Headspace has something for you. Guided sessions and exercises, as well as expert videos will take you through every part of your day – from waking up, to focusing, to sleeping.

The bath salts

Try: Westlab Mindful Epsom Bath Salts with CBD Oil

• Size: 1kg

• 100% natural

• Cruelty-free

Throw a few handfuls of these fragrant salts into warm water and step into a moment of peace and tranquillity in your tub. This fragrant, magnesium-rich blend of Epsom and Himalayan salts, infused with frankincense and bergamot essential oils, provide serious TLC vibes.

4. Step up your skincare routine

Give your skincare routine a relaxing upgrade by choosing multisensorial textures, ranging from glossy gels to luscious creams and silky balms. Take your time to massage in, savouring the chance to reconnect with your breath and body to help you feel more grounded.

The key is to do each part with intention – after you’ve tried it a few times, you’ll never do it on autopilot again.

The cleanser

Try: Revolution Skincare X Sali Hughes Butterclean Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

• Size: 80g

• Cruelty-free

• Made with recycled packaging, including PCR (the formula’s packaging is 50% PCR)

This rich balm-to-milk formula helps rid the complexion of dirt, make-up and impurities, thanks to squalane, skin-softening safflower seed, jojoba oil and quenching hyaluronic acid. Skin is left cleansed, soft and primed for the next steps in your skincare regime.

The mask

Try: : Boots Face Mask with Added Collagen & Aloe Vera

• Contains one plastic-free mask

The perfect antidote to stressed skin, this nourishing sheet mask cocoons skin in a blend of conditioning herbal extracts, aloe vera, glycerin and collagen to help soothe and brighten in just 15 minutes.

The moisturiser

Try: No7 Essential Moisture Day Cream

• Size: 50ml

• Hypoallergenic

• Fragrance free

This luxurious cream is built for layering, thanks to its lightweight texture and nourishing ingredients. Enriched with goodies, such as vitamins E and F, it provides long-lasting hydration, but without the heaviness.

5. Upgrade your bath

"A bubble bath is a real panacea," enthuses Champneys Alice. "It can elevate your mood, help you sleep better, relieve muscle pain, soothe irritated skin, make you feel more awake and help reduce everyday stress."

But if you tend to suffer from night sweats, "cool down before bed with a lukewarm rinse in the shower," recommends Alice. "This can help regulate your body temperature and keep you cool." Meaning you can drift off, no problem.

For a body scrub

Try: Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub

• Size: 100g

• Suitable for vegans

• Cruelty-free

As well as helping slough away dead skin cells, this hard-working scrub’s blend of vitamin E and replenishing oils leaves limbs feeling noticeably softer. Its key ingredient, ground coffee beans, is great for buffing away roughness – think of it as a pick-me-up for dull skin.

For a nourishing body cream

Try: Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter

• Size: 300ml

A little bored of your daily body cream? Try this. The formula, containing shea butter, aloe vera, vitamin E and rosehip seed oil, in a creamy, thick texture, screams luxury (without the luxury price tag) and helps keep skin feeling smooth all day.

For a foot mask

Try: Boots Coconut Oil Moisturising Foot Socks

• Size: 1 pair

Put your feet up and indulge in a little rest and relaxation for your hardworking tootsies. Enriched with vitamin E, this foot mask intensely nourishes for softer, smoother feet. And the luxuriously tropical fragrance will leave you feeling truly pampered!

6. Massage your face

There’s a whole host of benefits to introducing facial massage to your regime. It can help boost blood circulation (which can increase oxygen flow to the skin) for a brighter, more refreshed-looking complexion, and it can stimulate the lymphatic system, which is great if you’re prone to puffy eyes or fluid retention around your jawline.

Techniques can range from gua sha to jade rolling, ice rolling and a hands-on approach (check out our guide to the at-home massage for the lowdown on each). The one thing they have in common? They’re guaranteed to help you unwind and ease tension mentally, as well as physically.

For a face roller

Try: Botanics Twin Facial Massager

• Rotating twin balls

Pair with your favourite oil or serum and the rotating twin balls can help facial muscles relax, while increasing blood flow, making skin appear more rejuvenated.

For a sculpting tool

Try: Botanics Rose Quartz Gua Sha

This gua sha is perfect for creating a tailored face massage routine. Best paired with your favourite facial oil, this handcrafted tool carefully fits the contours of your face to allow for controlled pressure.

For an eye-area massager

Try: Fenty Skin Flash Nap Instant Revival Eye Gel-Cream and Massage Tool

• Size: 15ml

Massage the signs of fatigue away with this kit’s mini cooling massage tool. The lightweight gel eye cream is also a treat for tired eyes, thanks to its hydrating and fast-absorbing formula that helps skin appear smoother and softer. It’s a great primer for your under-eye concealer.