How to Create Your Own Home Spa

By Jason Kessler / September 5, 2016

Restore your sanity - and soften your skin - with a spa experience at home.

Let’s admit a universal truth: If we could permanently live in a spa, we would. A life spent entirely in bathrobes would surely be better than one spent remembering wifi passwords, right? The sad reality is that the minutiae of daily life always wins out over the dream of permanent spa residence (unless you’ve created a billion-dollar app or something).

But until we all become fabulously wealthy, our trips to the spa may be limited to occasional treats, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to simulate the spa experience at home. That’s why I’ve created the Green Guy’s DIY Home Spa (GGDIYHS), an all-in-one answer to drowning out the emails and the kid-ferrying and the anxiety of finding real food to eat on a 30-minute lunch break. It’s not perfect, but 10 minutes of peace could be enough to restore your sanity.

The Location

First things first: this plan only works if you have a private bathroom with a bathtub or shower. If you’re reading a magazine called Organic Spa, I’m going to assume you have the required equipment. Your water fixture will be the centerpiece of your GGDIYHS, so make sure it is in good working order. A garden hose will not be an adequate substitute. The GGDIYHS takes place here, so you may want to do a quick clean-up before you really get into the home-spa spirit.

The Music

This is the easiest part of the spa experience to replicate. Even if you don’t want to turn your entire bathroom into a spa, you can still get into the mood with some spa music. Choose your streaming service (I’m partial to both Spotify and Pandora) and choose one of their spa playlists. If you’re only doing the music step, feel free to grab a set of headphones and just close your eyes. If you’re going full GGDIYHS, I’d recommend setting up a water-friendly Bluetooth speaker of some sort and going from there. Spas engage all of the senses. Start with your ears to really get yourself in the spa mood.

The Lighting

While your inner light will be nourished in the GGDIYHS, you’re going to want to extinguish the outer light. Time to break out the candles, pal. Turn off the lights, light a few lead-free soy wicks, and enjoy the calm of the semi-darkness.

Massage Chair

As hard as it is to admit it, you don’t own a massage table. That’s okay! Your bathroom probably doesn’t have room for one anyway. Grab your comfiest, most portable chair and set it up in the bathroom. If it reclines, great. If it’s a lounge chair, EVEN BETTER. There’s no shame in using your patio furniture here. Procure a beaded seat cover (the kind you see cab drivers using) and plop yourself down. Nothing beats an hour-long massage with a trained therapist, but just the act of sitting comfortably for 10 uninterrupted minutes can do wonders for your well-being.

The Sauna

This is where the real DIY aspect comes into play. To create your own sauna, you need heat. Don’t waste energy and money heating your entire house to oven temperatures! All you need is a space heater. Crank it up and heat your bathroom to the highest temp possible. Then sit there and sweat out those toxins. Keep a cold damp towel nearby to cool yourself down as needed. If the towel starts to heat up, don’t worry. Your home sauna has a faucet with cold water. Take that, professional sauna!

The Steam

Following the same lead as the sauna, for the steam-room effect, all you need is your shower turned on as hot as it will go. You don’t want to waste too much water, though, so blast it hot for a little while, get a nice head of steam going and turn it off to let the steam settle. If you need more, literally rinse and repeat. Planning on going for a sauna/steam combo? Definitely hit the sauna first as excess water + space heaters are not a good pair (and, of course, you should be extra careful with all electronics in wet situations).

Will the GGDIYHS replace your spa-going routine? Not a chance. Will it be a wonderful break from the monotony of everyday life? Absolutely. Any time you can devote to getting back to a calm and centered place is time well spent. So carve out as many minutes as you can and turn that normal, everyday bathroom into a DIY home spa. You can thank me later...

Jason Kessler

Jason Kessler

Jason Kessler is a lifestyle writer/columnist for Bon Appetit, Food Republic and a slew of other publications. Follow him on Twitter @FlyDine.
Jason Kessler

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