You know what would make this mandatory training better? EXFOLIATING.
May 19, 2016 12:29 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite at-home spa products?

I work from home full-time. I've discovered I get a big kick out of doing spa-type treatments while I am working. It feels like I am getting away with something, and helps me relax and feel as if I'm taking care of myself even though I'm sometimes doing boring or stressful tasks.

I can step away for 10 - 15 minutes for a quick treatment, but it's harder for me to lie down with my eyes closed for 30 minutes. My favorites are products I can use while actively on my laptop or listening to a conference call. It is OK if it makes me look goofy, I don't do video calls. I'm also interested in products that will make my morning shower more enjoyable.

I would prefer to avoid DIY products, because mixing up a treatment in my kitchen is an extra step that takes time away from work (and creates dishes to clean, which adds to my to-do list). I also am not particularly interested in purchasing new gadgets like a paraffin wax heater or a bubbly foot spa, but if you have something that changed your life, I'll hear you out.

Things I have tried and liked:

Korean sheet masks (face was best, the one brand of hand/feet masks I tried was meh, so I'm looking for others)
One Minute Manicure
I've also purchased a fizzy foot bath bomb from LUSH, so I can soak my feet in a bowl while working.

I am a pale Caucasian type with fine, thick hair, and (hormonal) acne-prone skin on my face. This is more of a fun thing and I'm not expecting skin miracles, but would like to avoid anything that would make my acne worse or my hair flat and greasy. I'm located in Minnesota and prefer items that can either be found at your typical mall (Sephora, LUSH, etc), or ordered online via Amazon, Etsy, etc.
posted by castlebravo to Shopping (16 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
This clay mask with a cheesy-sounding name is awesome (mix it with apple cider vinegar instead of water) for whenever and especially when I'm feeling zitty, and extremely super worth the purchase for its low price. I notice that it's currently out of stock at that link I shared, but I'm going to leave it because...

I can't say enough good things about iherb as a website. (Cue someone coming into the thread to crush my dreams.) They have a huge product range with about the best prices you can find on them, tons of little sample sized items you can try out (which sounds great for you), they offer lots of discounts for bulk and regular purchasing, and they've shipped out super fast and accurately all the times I've ordered stuff from them. Definitely poke around there a bit and see if there are some things you want to try.

Are you into painting your nails at all? Nail stampers are a lot of fun.
posted by phunniemee at 12:38 PM on May 19, 2016 [8 favorites]

Baby Foot. (Detestable name, actual results; read highly-rated comments for application tips.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:54 PM on May 19, 2016 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Collect your Lush containers, then turn them in for a FREE mask. I love their masks, which I keep in my fridge, and they have something for everyone's skin type.

Also, you have a pretty perfect set up for leave-in hair conditioners.
posted by bearwife at 12:55 PM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I love the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil, and I usually loathe shower oils. This one comes out of the bottle feeling like an oil, but when you wet it and lather it up, it turns into a silky-feeling soap. It's lovely. And smells nice, too.
posted by holborne at 1:24 PM on May 19, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Not a particular item recommendation, but Sephora Play! subscription boxes are made of sample sized make-up and skincare items--I think I've gotten 3-4 peels, lots of various creams/oils, 3 or so masks (both fiber and goop), a couple of hair treatments, 3-4 exfoliants. They always have a perfume. I'm not a big perfume person, but as someone who works from home often as well, it's fun to choose a scent for the day based on my mood and not worry about bothering any coworkers who might be scent sensitive.

(Bonus: I travel a lot for business and have found this a very fun way to have fancy travel sized items that are generally out of my price range in full size.)
posted by smirkette at 1:41 PM on May 19, 2016 [6 favorites]

I love this Boscia cooling mask. Sometimes Sephora sells kits of multiple masks from one line that are actually cheaper by volume than if you bought just one, so keep your eyes out for those :)
posted by Mouse Army at 2:04 PM on May 19, 2016

I like this hair conditioning treatment from Lush: Roots. It smells minty and does wonderful things for my hair.
posted by culfinglin at 2:42 PM on May 19, 2016

This is diy but no extra effort. Put a spoonfull of sugar in your palm, add cheap lotion. Use a hand washing motion to scrub your hands and wrists (sometimes l go all the way up to my elbows) rinse with warm water. Now dry your hands and put on good lotion. You will be surprised how effective it is. Bonus is you can do it while traveling with hotel lotion and sugar packets.
I keep one of those restaurant style sugar pourers in my bathroom and talk my guests through a quick hand treatment when they ask why there's sugar in the loo.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:58 PM on May 19, 2016 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I bought one of these eye masks in the checkout line at Sephora and I loved it. It felt really luxe and also like I could be a bit more mobile than with a full sheet mask. I think I bought Pearl, which I liked; I'm planning to get more next time I'm there.

Is your hair colored? I use a blond brightener that needs to sit on towel-dried hair for half an hour, so sometimes if I have a lot of time it's fun to apply, then put on my robe and shove my hair into one of these hair turbans and just putter around (you could keep working, obvs) until it's time to rinse it out. I use this one, which comes in a lot of shades for brunettes and blondes. It is suuuuper spendy for an optional hair add-on but even my partner can tell when I've used it, my hair looks so soft and shiny (but not flat).

I am really bad at biting my cuticles absentmindedly while I work so I keep a bottle of this cuticle oil on my desk and really work it in to my cuticles for a while if I'm listening in to a webinar or on a conference call where I don't have to type, followed by this miraculous hand cream, which is the best hand cream I've ever used. Not really a spa thing but it counts as self-care, I guess.

I'll also second getting a subscription box like Birchbox or the Sephora box mentioned upthread; you can usually customize them to what you like so I end up getting a lot of masks for sensitive skin, anti-aging creams, and perfumes from Birchbox. I've had a few things I liked so much I ended up buying.
posted by stellaluna at 4:53 PM on May 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

Honey masque. It helps against acne and other blemishes. I also use it after shaving to soften the hair so I don't get ingrown hairs. Works really well but you have to use raw honey and leave it on for ten minutes before rinsing with cool water. That and witch hazel are about all I bother doing besides oil cleansing.
posted by Smibbo at 7:58 PM on May 19, 2016

Korean sheet masks (face was best, the one brand of hand/feet masks I tried was meh, so I'm looking for others)

I like innisfree (they have buy 10, get 10 sales on their website every few months), Etude House (they have a US-only sale on sheet masks now on their website), and My Beauty Diary. Innisfree's bija is great for acne.

Sephora may have some of these, but their mark-up is bad (or so I've heard), compared to amazon or the websites themselves.

Reddit's Asian Beauty has many more recommendations.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 12:58 AM on May 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Here are two recent best of threads for sheet masks from the Asian Beauty subreddit:
[Megathread] May 2016 Best & Worst of Sheet Masks
The Ten Best Sheet Masks

Generally most of these can be purchased from:

And Sephora carries some AB masks and the Laneige brand masks can be found at Target.
posted by maykasahara at 6:16 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You probably can't use these while on a conference call, but these Salux towels (accept no substitute) absolutely rock in the shower, in place of a washcloth.
posted by DrGail at 8:12 AM on May 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Plain organic yogurt, all by itself, is wonderful as an exfoliating and hydrating facial. No mixing required, just pat it on your face. The lactic acid in it is an alpha hydroxy acid, commonly found in fancy cosmetics. The levels of acid in it make it fairly gentle.

Buttermilk has a higher lactic acid concentration if you're looking for more, but it's fairly runny. I suppose you could use a paper towel with it to make a sheet mask.
posted by lizbunny at 8:22 AM on May 20, 2016

I scoop out some coffee grains after making my morning cup of joe and mix it with coconut oil. Makes a really chill a body scrub.
posted by speakeasy at 11:35 AM on May 20, 2016

Response by poster: So many ways to beautify while I work! I wore a sheet mask today while helping with a phone interview and THEY HAD NO IDEA. Try it if you can.

I'm a habitual nail biter, but the time-killing potential of rubbing oil into my cuticles and painting/stamping my nails may be just enough motivation to get me to stop. I've never tried deep conditioning but my hair's been feeling kind of dull and dry, so I'm probably overdue.

I have so many new eye and face masks to try once my current batch runs out. And yes, SAMPLES. I love samples because I crave novelty. Gonna check out Sephora Play! and Birch Box.

Too many great suggestions to consider here, so no one Best Answer for now, but if I discover a product I love from this thread, I'll come back to pass those out. Thank you!
posted by castlebravo at 8:28 PM on May 20, 2016

« Older A well known author said something like: within...   |   Beads in pipes? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.