DIY spa and beauty treatments you can do at home
With a decent bikini wax setting you back anything between £20 and £50, and the best facialists charging well over £150 for an hour-long appointment, looking good does not come cheap.
These not-so-little luxuries really add up, and while it may seem that they require a beautician's expertise, with a bit of know-how, you can do your own treatments at home just as effectively, saving you a lot of money.
We spoke to a range of beauty experts to find out how to get salon results without paying professional prices.
1. Facial massage
You know that dewy, fresh-faced glow you have when you emerge at the end of an amazing facial? Well, it is possible to perk your own skin up like that, according to celebrity facialist and Nivea skin coach Abigail James, who recommends using the Q10 Plus Vit C Skin Sleep Cream when massaging each of these five areas of your face.
"A revitalising night facial massage will help your skin feel calm and rested, so you awake looking supercharged the next day," James says.
These are the five key movements you need for your nightly skin-soother...
Liver area (between the brows): The liver is responsible for removing toxins, processing hormones and keeping our bodies healthy. Support this by massaging the whole liver area. Use both middle fingers and massage in an upwards direction for five seconds.
Lungs area (on cheeks): The lungs are closely connected to the skin in traditional Chinese medicine. Using finger pads smooth cheeks outwards towards the ears.
Heavenly Glow Point (below the jaw): This is an important pressure point for skin vibrancy, located below the earlobe and jaw on the neck. Use your middle finger to circle and pump on this area 10 times.
Third Eye Point (between the eyebrows): One of the most common acupressure points for health treatment, this helps enhance your complexion and reduce skin problems. Use your middle finger to circle for 10 to 20 seconds.
Facial Beauty Point (cheekbones): Located below the middle of each eye just slightly below the cheekbone, working on these points helps to reduce blemishes and spots, improves blood circulation and skin tone. Use your middle finger to circle for 10 to 20 secs on each side.
Facial massage: Three products to try
- Nivea Q10 Plus Vit C Skin Sleep Cream, £12.99, Boots
- Botanics Organic Facial Oil, £8.62 (currently reduced from £11.49), Boots
- Marula Pure Beauty Oil, £37.50, Marula
2. Exfoliating facial
If your idea of the perfect facial is the kind that feels like it's blasting away years of dead skin cells, an exfoliating device like the Braun Face Spa, which offers multiple treatments in one, is what you're after.
"The cleansing attachments offer both a normal and sensitive cleanse option, which are significantly more effective than doing a manual cleanse. I like using the sensitive cleanse brush in the morning then intensifying my night time regime by using a BHA cleanser with the 'normal l' brush, for a more intensive cleanse," says Dr Anita Sturnham.
"Following your cleanse, you can move to the skin vitalizing pad. This helps to remove old, dead skin and improves circulation. The exfoliation brushes offer both a deep and superficial exfoliation, thanks to its differing bristle lengths - this works well as a once or twice a week home treatment."
If paying through the nose for a stranger to rip the hairs out of your follicles is like adding insult to injury for you, at-home waxing might be the answer.
"It's far more cost effective and time efficient to wax yourself at home, and you're also more in control of your treatment," says Nair's Skin Expert Nichola Joss. "Waxing strips are easy-to-use, effective and results driven, compared to shaving, epilating or laser - all of which can be aggressive and damaging to skin.
"The best way to minimise pain is to completely prep the skin - i.e. cleansing and exfoliating beforehand. Make sure you have all your tools to hand and allocate enough time for each treatment," Nichola advises.
"Read through the instructions completely and carry out a patch test 24 hours before." Done all that? Then you're good to go, and can expect "smooth, hair-free skin for up to six weeks".
If you can't face the thought of DIY waxing, epilation offers a gentler alternative as each hair is plucked out individually using a handheld device rather than tearing out one patch at a time.
"When it comes to hair removal, epilation is a great choice, as you're removing hair directly from the root, not from the skin surface, for the ultimate smooth finish," explains Dr Sturnham. "It's a fantastic alternative to shaving and waxing, and offers long-lasting results for up to four weeks. The micro tweezers of the Braun Silk-Epil 9 can capture hairs as small as a grain of sand, so there's no need for the awkward in-between hair regrowth days, as with waxing."
This treatment will require a more significant investment to begin with, but over time, you're still saving money compared to monthly salon appointments.