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From stress-relieving massages to uplifting facials, spa treatments are the ultimate in self-care. But as much as we’d all like to have spa days on regular rotation, we know that it’s hard to pencil them into a busy schedule. Still, that’s no excuse to avoid pampering yourself, especially when you can do it all with relative ease from the comfort of your home, a DIY spa day if you will. Whether you’re working remotely (and up for multi-tasking) or just don’t feel like getting off the couch (no judgment), turn to these at-home products that essentially bring the spa to you.
Below, discover the beauty products our editors turn to for DIY spa days at home.
Byrdie senior editor Hallie Gould is a big fan of Biologique Recherche, including this creamy, luscious face mask she says is worth every penny and then some, which is praise she doesn't shell out that often. "In fact, I save my pennies in a jar and bring them to the bank when I want to cash out," she says.
About the product itself: "So, here's the deal: Biologique Recherche's Masque VIP 02 is oxygenating and moisturizing treatment (you can add antipollution to the list too) to help stressed or 'asphyxiated' skin," Hallie says. "That means if you live in a polluted city (check), smoke (we won't tell), or notice a general sallow or dull look to your skin. It works to stimulate skin regeneration, soften, soothe (it's great for a sunburn), and brighten all the while feeling like a cool, comfy blanket of skincare goodness."
While the directions instruct leaving it on for 20-30 minutes, Hallie likes to apply it generously (especially around her eyes and lips) and leave it on for an hour. "It feels more luxurious that way," she says.
Another favorite of Hallie's, this balm is almost too pretty to use. And with a name that includes the word 'cocoon,' you just know this is a feel-good formula. "The Blue Cocoon is the decadent, anti-inflammatory formula that feels like melted butter but makes your skin sing," Hallie says. "Well, it would sing if it had, you know, vocal cords."
To use, scoop some of the balm onto your fingertips to warm it up. "The blue balm turns into an oil, letting organic offerings like blue tansy, shea butter, cocoa butter, marula, and baobab oils absorb into your skin," she says. "Instantly, you feel warm, soothed, and it even has properties to ease lingering anxiety and stress. Skincare-wise, it plumps, smooths, hydrates, and calms irritated skin (which is why it's so spa-like). A little goes a long way, so it'll last forever."
Byrdie VP/General Manager Leah Wyar loves to use this moisturizing body bar by Kate McLeod—and she's hardly the only one. "Slathering my post-shower skin with body oil is the closest thing to a professional treatment that I can typically get these days," she says. "I've next leveled my go-to with this solid bar, which melts into an oil on contact. I can't tell you how relaxing it feels to run this over tense areas like shoulders and shins. And I love how natural it is: I had the privilege of watching the owner, Kate, create a batch of these in her Brooklyn test kitchen...it's the real deal!"
Most of the time it's the formulas that we find most relaxing, but sometimes the product packaging can deliver a sense of calm as well—like this one, which ticks off both boxes for Leah.
"Love the cute little frog (which I find weirdly relaxing to look at)," she says. "Love the bright orange gel texture (a face oil, cleansing gel and scrub in one) even more. Love the slight warming sensation (that happens when you rub it all over your face) the most. The entire process makes face washing enjoyable—and leaves my skin super soft and glowy. Less than half the cost of a facial with similar results."
If you love facial steaming in your professional facials, you'll find similar joy from this at-home steamer—one that Byrdie associate editor Holly Rhue steals from her roommate all the time.
"It's the only thing that makes our outdated Brooklyn bathroom feel like a luxe spa in the middle of Palm Springs," she says. "It's a myth that steam can actually open up your pores, but steaming your face does loosen pore-clogging debris and offers protective hydration before doing a chemical peel or physical scrub. Use it as your first step in your facial routine to prime skin for treatments—it's a game-changer."
Scents and candles are a great way to set the mood for an at-home spa day. "To me, eucalyptus is the most soothing, relaxing scent," Holly says. "Lighting this candle signals my brain to unwind, loosen up, and release tension—I can't live without it. When I'm feeling particularly indulgent, I light it in my bathroom an hour before I plan to start my at-home spa day. It makes everything smell like a rainforest and sets the tone for the rest of my day."
Feeling fatigued? Use these cooling under-eye gels to perk you (and your eye contour) right up. "No spa day is complete without a set of cooling under-eye gels, and these are my absolute favorites," Holly says. "They're drenched in hyaluronic acid to plump fine lines, arnica to lighten the appearance of dark circles, and are naturally cool to the touch to help de-puff. I recommend enjoying them with your favorite cocktail and some good old fashioned reality television."
Showers and baths are quintessential spa day activities. To make that time more enjoyable, Byrdie senior editor Lindsey Metrus turns to these scented tablets.
"I was introduced to these evaporating shower tablets many moons ago by a friend who says she places them on her shower floor when she's congested to help open up her sinuses," she says. "Being that I'm borderline obsessed with the smell of eucalyptus (when I die, please bury me in a bed of eucalyptus leaves), I was so excited to create my own spa-like experience at home, especially on a day when I'm sick and can't breathe through my nose. So one day when I was feeling particularly under the weather, I popped one on the shower floor, cranked the handle as hot as I could stand it (I know it's not great for your skin, but a hot shower is heaven to me), and inhaled the delicious herbal scent. I can honestly say I felt better and more relaxed afterward. The only problem is they make you want to stay in the shower longer."
It doesn't take much effort to give your face a massage, especially when you have a handy tool like this within arm's reach. "While you may initially feel a bit silly running these maraca-shaped tools along your face, their innate "cool" feel and ability to massage the facial tissue while decreasing puffiness is well worth the odd looks you might get from your roommates," says Lindsey. "I pop them in the fridge for a few minutes to get them even chillier, then run them along my eyes, temples, and forehead in opposite circles. Not only do I feel like my face is less puffy afterward, but I feel more relaxed and calm—it's a great way to settle myself before taking on the day."
If you don't have much time to pamper yourself, reach for this face mask that works in just five minutes. "My favorite thing about this mask—besides its heavenly smell—is that it only takes five minutes to work, so it's ideal for when I don't have time to go all-in on a spa day," says Byrdie email editor Karli Bendlin. "It's made with kombu seaweed flakes, red algae particles, and lotus seeds that are left intact in the blend, so when I smooth a layer on, it feels like I'm applying a freshly blended smoothie—one that leaves my skin looking so bright and even, I can skip concealer."
If you're not popping in one or more of these bath oils while you soak, you're really missing out, according to our editors. "There was a time where I capped off every day with a hot bath, but as my schedule got busier, it was the first indulgence to go," Karli says. "I have these softening bath drops to thank for reintroducing me to my favorite self-care activity. After a few Byrdie editors declared their love for these nourishing beads, I was convinced to give them a try—and am so glad I did. Scattering a few of these seaweed-encased oil drops into a tub of hot water is a luxury I now make sure I leave time for a couple of times a week."