What regular wellness activities should I invest in?
December 14, 2016 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Now that I have a little disposable income, I'd like to start taking care of my skin better by getting monthly facials. I also do go to a gym about five days a week. I had never considered getting facials when I had less income, which got me thinking...what other (slightly indulgent) things do could I possibly do to stay healthy looking and feeling? Give me ideas on how I could splurge a little. Both conventional and wacky ideas appreciated.
posted by t-town to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
A good massage will reduce stress and may help you with some flexibility.
posted by Gotanda at 4:56 PM on December 14, 2016 [9 favorites]

Get yourself a nice electric toothbrush?
posted by sacchan at 5:09 PM on December 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

Maybe splurge on fresh foods that might otherwise be "too expensive" especially if out of season? Avocados, pomegranates, salmon, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, etc. I swear I look better when I eat foods high in the nutrients associated with healthy skin.
posted by beaning at 5:15 PM on December 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

I've recently been in a position to afford weekly home delivery - the meal kits with all the ingredients. I've found that I've been eating better and, thus, feeling better because the meals are, for the most part, "real food" versus the processed crap I'd been eating.

I tried a couple of services before deciding to stick with the one I like best (HomeChef.com - their recipes are easy and tasty).
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 5:19 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Get a bike. Bike everywhere. Wear sunscreen. You will look and feel years younger than anyone your age who doesn't do these things.
posted by asperity at 5:32 PM on December 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

Don't buy out of season, use your money to buy and eat more local and in season fruits and vegetables. When you eat out eat at nicer restaurants using local produce, I find fancier restaurants are more likely to use more produce, whole grains, and better meat. Seconding massages for sure.
posted by Blitz at 5:33 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Instead of facials, get a subscription to Curology instead.
posted by evoque at 5:40 PM on December 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

Instead of monthly facials, I would highly recommend this:

Get a glycolic peel at a salon/spa and see how well you tolerate it. Pay attention to how it's applied, follow the directions for the healing process (which is minimal--moisturizer and sunblock). If you tolerate the peel well and like the results, you can save buttloads of money by buying your own peel solution (I am a big fan of Makeupartistschoice.com).

I also find that copper peptide serum significantly boosts the benefits of a peel. A moisturizing oil will build on that even more--something like argan oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, etc. These are all carrier oils and will bring the benefits of a product further into the skin, so you don't have to use as much of it and/or you get more bang for your buck.

Peels are CHEAP. A 1oz bottle of 30% glycolic acid runs about $30, and you'll easily get a dozen peels out of it. Jojoba oil is $8 for 4oz at Trader Joe's and will last months. Copper peptide serum is available at various online sites (I buy a brand from Amazon that's about $18) and also lasts months, because you use only several drops for your whole face. So you're looking at 6+ months' worth of DIY Facials for about 50 bucks.

I've been doing my own peels for about 13 years and boy, it shows. My skin is awesome. In terms of difficulty and danger, it's about as risky as dyeing your own hair--meaning that it's easy to do and not dangerous as long as you're careful and don't get the solution in your eye or something. The site I mentioned above includes detailed instructions with all their peels, so you'd be covered there, but that's also why I recommended getting the first one done by a pro, so you can see how it all works and whether your skin will be happy with it, before committing to a purchase.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:44 PM on December 14, 2016 [48 favorites]

As far as other slightly indulgent things, if you have a location within a reasonably convenient distance, and don't already have a membership, I would highly recommend joining Costco. First, their Kirkland products are pretty great. Second, it's a great place to buy produce and meats/seafoods, so if you're of a mind to cook fresh more frequently, your dollar will go a lot farther. And third, they have a lot of tertiary benefits, like discounts on travel and car rentals, and they often have deals on gift cards to spas and restaurants near you. For example, two $50 gift cards for $79.99 or something like that. (And fourth, they're a great company that gives a shit about its employees, so that's an added bonus.)
posted by Autumnheart at 5:49 PM on December 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

Working with a personal trainer periodically can be a huge help in improving your fitness level. Also, I used to take private yoga lessons. It was awesome, and I only quit because my amazing teacher moved and I never found a replacement.
posted by FencingGal at 6:30 PM on December 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

One of my favorite splurges last year was a membership to a fancy yoga studio that offered heated restorative yoga classes by candlelight. It felt so indulgent and blissful and like I was still doing something beneficial for my body. I can't wait to be able to do it again sometime.
posted by joan_holloway at 6:56 PM on December 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

Regular massage.
posted by clone boulevard at 7:18 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Learn to make good drinks and enjoy them.

Luxury sleepwear/nighttime toiletries. A really good bathrobe.

High-quality, fresh, in-season produce and local meat. Make food an art.

Nights out! A fancy place with good food that's just a bit out of your normal price range. All those places you've heard are good, but whose $15+ appetizers turned you off. Not exactly a health thing, but it's always fun.

Take more little trips, especially to outdoor places. For instance, you could get some nice beach accessories, outdoor exercise gear, or even just barbecue/picnic stuff! If there's a place you go to get away, make that easier for yourself.

For your mind -- take an art/music class.
posted by miniraptor at 7:31 PM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Flossing. It's not exactly indulgent in the moment, but waking up the next morning and having super-smooth teeth feels decadent to me.

Eating more vegetables and less red meat.
posted by lazuli at 8:02 PM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

2nd restorative yoga and a great bathrobe. Also, regular manicure/pedicures.
posted by Miko at 8:11 PM on December 14, 2016

I recently started buying more expensive wine and it's amazing how much joy tastier wine brings me. I drink a glass each night so it was a minor budget increase but well worth it.
posted by gatorae at 8:14 PM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Membership somewhere that has a sauna and steam room, especially if you can find a good women's spa. It's good for the skin, for stress, and for generally feeling fantastic.
posted by SakuraK at 8:25 PM on December 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

Scrubs at Korean spas, like this one. It's fascinating and disgusting to see how much skin comes off, and then your skin feels soooo good for days afterwards.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:19 PM on December 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

Pilates on the old school reformer machine. The classes are pricey but it's an amazing feeling and experience.
posted by pintapicasso at 9:58 PM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding personal trainer. I got fitter and felt better after 10 sessions than I did after 10 years going to the gym alone. Also opened up intimidating areas of the gym to me.

A few subtle botox jabs to the forehead and teeth whitening may sound a bit tacky, but they do take years off.
posted by Coda Tronca at 1:27 AM on December 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

I don't know if you're as naturally cheap as I am, but I've recently started spending money on workout clothes rather than buying the absolute minimum number of things off the clearance rack. It's nice to have a good windbreaker for exercising outdoors and not always be running out of clean tanktops.
posted by BrashTech at 6:50 AM on December 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

I recently got into sheet masks which feel indulgent to me but also have done good things for my skin. There are a range of them out there in terms of prices so you could start on the cheap ones or you could splurge on the fancier ones- example here or here or go real fancy here.
posted by kmr at 8:45 AM on December 15, 2016

Meditation for mental health. If you google, I believe there are discounts right now for the Headspace app.
posted by Brittanie at 9:32 AM on December 16, 2016

Sonicare toothbrush is crazy good, to the point it's saved me money at the dentist.

Nicer facial location with sunblock in it.

A decent bicycle, if you're living somewhere that's half reasonable. Not a silly race-looking thing, but something comfy to ride distance that's just fun. I'm a fan of taking a bicycle the mile or so to my favorite bakery, getting a latte, chilling for awhile, and taking the long way back on Sunday afternoons.
posted by talldean at 6:57 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes to biking and restorative yoga and a great water bottle so you stay happily hydrated. Came to say getting a hamam scrub, equivalent to
the Korean scrub. All that dead skin!
posted by athirstforsalt at 6:42 AM on December 19, 2016

See a dermatologist and find out if you can get a prescription for Retin-A. It's the only proven drug to reduce wrinkles. This, in addition to doing the facials will make your skin look great. If you do get a script for Retin-A, just always disclose before getting a facial and if you choose to DIY peels, you'll need to figure out how to adjust the strength of the peel.
posted by vivzan at 11:06 AM on December 24, 2016

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