Any spa-going man knows firsthand how the pre- and post-treatment rituals immensely complement the massage. In fact, the spa experience is hardly complete if you do not spend several calming minutes getting your breathing down in the sauna, and slowly plugging yourself back into the world with a cup of hot tea, admiring the oak-finished furniture and inhaling the calming smell of mint in the relaxation room.
If you’re like most guys, you do not have a bank account deep enough to visit the spa often enough to make it your second home. But don’t fret. We asked experts for easy-to-follow tips on how to re-create the experience in your own home, whether it’s a shoebox, a chateau, or somewhere in between.
Appeal to the olfactory senses
Melissa Solis, Director of Spa and Wellness at Viceroy Palm Springs, recommends the soothing yet still-manly aromas of eucalyptus and sandalwood. Before you leave for work, spritz Juniper Ridge’s Cascade Glacier Cabin Spray on your bed. You’ll come home to an uplifting abode that smells like a backcountry hike in the mountains. Juniper Ridge Cascade Glacier Cabin Spray, $65, www.juniperridge.com
Turn down the lights
Central lighting can make a room look harsh and clinical—and nobody appreciates feeling like they’re about to get their tooth pulled. Increase the sensuality of your home with floor or tabletop lamps that give off an amber glow. “In the bedroom, hanging pendants above the end tables on dimmers creates a romantic and spa-like atmosphere,” advices Holly Volpe, a designer and certified staging consultant in New Jersey. “Wall-mounted reading lights can do the trick.” HeronLED desk lamp, $195, www.lfplighting.com
Put on a mask
“Many men are familiar with scrubs, but face masks still remain quite a mystery,” says Jeannine Mallory, Spa & Guest Services Director, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa in New Mexico. At Ojo, the relaxing Men’s Fitness Facial Therapy treatment relies on warm, herb-infused towel compresses and a Sundari Neem and Green Tea Mask, to “provide a soft, smooth effect and cleanse and moisturize the face,” says Mallory. A mask once or twice a week removes oily patches and blackheads, exfoliates, calms a razor-ravaged beard, and gives your face the look that says I’ve had eight hours of sleep. Take a warm shower or wash your face, apply the mask to your face in a thin layer and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse, and admire your squeaky-clean mug.
Derma E Exfoliating Mask, $13.95, www.dermae.com
Go for rich details
When you visit a spa, what you see is an artful expression of color and texture—but you don’t feel overwhelmed. You end up seeing the details and how they come together. A great way to evoke the same sensory treat at home is by replacing bland, monochromatic rugs with rich over-dyed weaves, such as these handcrafted Kilim rugs from Gaiam. Reclaimed Kilim Rugs, $49- $249; www.gaiam.com
Soak your worries away
Foot baths are inexpensive, yet offer so much relief. At the end of a long day, throw in a couple tablespoons of Dead Sea or epsom bath salts, land you’ll come out of the bathroom feeling just like new. Aqua Jet Foot Spa, $99, www.brookstone.com; Lavender Bath Salts, $13.75, www.lusaorganics.com
Look for inspiration from the earth
“Natural elements [create a] connection between the external environment and internal spaces,” says Mike Bruggeman, CEO and founder of Organic Male OM4. Anything that reminds you of the outdoors— a trickling zen fountain, natural stones, a plant—will lift up the room’s ambience. “Earthy, natural colors in soft tones like white, camel and gray will give you a sense of relaxation and calm,” says Volpe. Fleur de Lis Illuminated Relaxation Fountain, $19.99, www.homedics.com
Clear out clutter
Even if you have a spacious enough dwelling place, always go by the mindset that you’re living in a studio apartment. In New York City, clutter is one thing that guys unknowingly do to make their pads unspa-like, says Bruggeman. “Clear all surface space, go for furniture with simple, clear lines and uncomplicated patterns, and favor harmonious décor,” adds Volpe. The best part? You cut down on weekends spent on maintenance.
Have scrubs handy
An exfoliating body treatment—like a sugar- or salt scrub—remains one very popular service for male spa patrons. You have to put in a little bit of elbow grease at home, but the payoff is worth it. “This will help prevent ingrown hairs, and dirt and debris settling in [your] pores,” says Solis. You only need to do this once or twice a week, so think of it like a nice treat to your skin. “Don’t be afraid of exfoliating and hydrating, you’ll look young forever,” Solis adds. Primavera Juniper Cypress Body Scrub, $28; www.primaveralife.com
It’s a good idea to splurge on a few luxuries in your bathroom, such as “plush towels, robes, and innovative bath fixtures,” says Bruggeman. You don’t have to get a second mortgage, though. Replace what you have with organic cotton towels, and you’re off to a good start. Organic Woodgrain Towel, from $6; www.westelm.com
Spot a cup of tea
Spas traditionally offer a cup at the end of a treatment because it is more relaxing–and healthier–than coffee or soda. Have a supply of herbal tea on-hand at home. “Tea is a more natural way to give your body what it needs at that moment,” says Solis. The Viceroy Palm Springs Spa features relaxing blends that promote healthy organ function and boost stamina. Organic Tamayokucha Green Tea, from $7.95; www.twoleavestea.com