During the cold winter days, it’s tempting to hunker down at home rather than head outdoors. When the wind is howling and it's cold outside, there's nothing better than creating a cosy sanctuary in one of my favourite rooms in the house, replicating a spa experience at home.
Lighting a candle, playing music and applying my favourite beauty products during a soak in the bath is completely restorative. If you’re hoping to create your own relaxing ambience for a home spa experience, I’ve shared some tips below. I also chatted with Kerry Moore, co-founder of one of my favourite skincare brands, AMLY, who has shared her advice for perfecting a relaxing skincare routine. Kerry is a Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist.
How to create a spa-like ambience at home
An obvious suggestion, and I know I am biased, but high quality, plush towels are really worth their investment. Stepping out of the bath into a super soft, absorbent and fluffy towel is comforting in the best meaning of the word. A high pile bath mat is an added bonus! At the weekend, I make sure I have a plush face towel neatly folded in my drawer for each day of the following week, which is a more sustainable but still luxurious way to cleanse my face.
Your surroundings are equally important so consider your bathroom design and styling. I prefer a simple, elegant bathroom that is clutter-free. I like to add in as much warmth as I can - bathrooms are notoriously clinical which is not so relaxing! A great way to add warmth to a bathroom is with accessories and small pieces of furniture - wooden towel rails, hooks, woven accessories and side tables - possibly made of iron or vintage milk stools. Antique or vintage work particularly well in a bathroom. Add artwork to your walls like a "normal" room, and a chair if you have the space. Fabric blinds are better than wooden blinds, if practical, and they help to soften noise. You could also add a cotton rug or antique piece of furniture, and consider non-clinical style mirrors.
Lighting is vital for relaxing; if you can make your lights dimmable, this really helps. There is nothing worse than lying in the bath with glaring down lights shining in your face. For a warm glow and soothing scents, light candles – Kerry has shared her advice on which fragrances to look out for below.
Think about the timing of your relaxation. I find the evening just before bed best - I always fall asleep very quickly. If you have children, an obvious one, but waiting until they’re tucked up fast asleep in bed is important. There's nothing relaxing about having to jump in and out of the bath, or having it hijacked altogether!
I caught up with Kerry Moore, co-founder of British skincare brand, AMLY, who has shared her advice for selecting skincare products that are designed to aid relaxation. AMLY channels Kerry and fellow co-founder Lisa’s love of the natural world and their knowledge of holistic therapies into a skincare line which utilises the unique botanical makeup of the brand’s countryside home, Hawthbush Farm in Sussex.
What are your tips for creating a relaxing and indulgent spa-like ambiance in your own home?
AMLY was founded on wellbeing and connectivity - whether that’s connecting with yourself or the natural world around you. Just before the pandemic, we launched a new wellbeing collection which comprised of four luxury room diffusers. Each of these diffusers have different essential oils and crystals to promote positivity, calmness and inner wellbeing.
Scents are incredibly evocative and so I always recommend that when you’re looking to tap into that place of relaxation, start with a beautiful diffuser that has an aroma which connects with you and soothes the senses. For example, our Hearten diffuser comprises the essential oils of rose otto, jasmine and neroli so is very comforting, warming and stress relieving, whereas our Ground essential oil comprises rose geranium, cedarwood and juniper so is much more aligned with the earthing connection we have with mother nature.
Another of my must-haves is to always make sure that you have a quiet space. Ensure that there’s no noise pollution, so the mind isn’t distracted. If you do hear any noise, play some calming or classical music.
What ingredients would you recommend looking out for in skincare products to help you relax, feel calm and destress?
There are so many wonderful, calming ingredients and we’re so lucky that we have a whole organic farm providing pure goodness for our AMLY products.
Valerian root has a beautiful, calming effect on the nervous system and it’s one of my favourites. It works to gently ease the body into a state of rest, promoting sleep, and then when you wake you feel incredibly refreshed and much more alert.
Another great ingredient to look out for is Linden Blossom. You can find this in our Hearten essential oil and our two essences, Meadow Dew and Nocturnal Nectar. It has such a softening effect on both the mind and body, and when combined with Yarrow oil, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, its soothing powers become even stronger.
We adore our bioactive Echinacea extract as it prolongs the youth of our skin cells and heightens our skin’s resilience to environmental pollution, you can find it in our City Screen Serum.
What AMLY products would you recommend for a relaxing skincare routine?
This was something Lisa and I were very conscious of instilling in AMLY and so, as a result, I would say that all our products are suitable for any type of relaxing routine or ritual.
Deep Reveal is our beautiful cleansing balm which always starts a relaxing routine off perfectly. Made with a generous blend of oils, butters and botanicals including Apple Seed Oil, Moringa Seed Oil & Mandarin Peel oil it’s comforting and soothing as it melts into the skin. You can massage it in for as long as you like and then use the muslin cloth it comes with to gently remove the balm along with any impurities.
Nocturnal Nectar is our bio-fermented essence which has been designed for sleep. It contains healing honey and snow algae and is deeply nourishing and regenerating. Another beautiful one to use in the evening.
Sleep Tight is one of our most loved products. It’s a velvety balm that warms on your fingertips and melts into the skin. It includes Rosehip oil, Seabuckthorn oil, Calendula and Roman Chamomile that each have skin regenerating and rejuvenating properties. It’s the perfect skincare product to apply before going to sleep, so that when you wake the complexion is soft and supple.
And lastly, our Eye Care Floral Water Creme which Lisa and I spent three years creating. It’s packed with floral distillates and hyaluronic acid alongside a bioactive complex capable of significantly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It sounds quite scientific, and it is, but it’s also a beautifully scented skincare product that soothes and nourishes as it’s massaged into the eye contour.