In theory, the spa is a relaxing place. But splurging on treatments that rival our rent can turn a weekend retreat into a source of stress. If you have neither the time nor the money to pamper yourself, why not recreate the experience at home? Using spa-quality products from the drugstore, you can just as easily clear out your pores, scrub off dead skin, and rejuvenate the senses. (And, mind you, this kind of pampering doesn’t have to be relegated to special occasions only.)
BeautyMNL staffwriters Dani and Kim got this idea into their heads after St. Ives sent over a cornucopia of treats to the office. St. Ives is one of those beloved, coming-of-age beauty brands that every girl used growing up (shoutout to the Apricot Scrub!). But what you probably didn’t realize is that its skin-sational assortment is so vast, you could craft an entire spa weekend out of it without breaking the bank! With this is mind, the girls broke out their bathrobes, turned up the ambient beach sounds on Spotify, and customized a DIY spa sesh for their respective needs. Here’s what happened.

DANI’S DIY SPA EXPERIENCE

STEP 1: BODY WASH “First things first: a shower! I used the Purifying Sea Salt Body Wash from top-to-toe. It resembles a thick lotion at first but lathers up easily once it’s mixed with water. The scent is clean and doesn’t overpower me at all—the perfect way to ease into the day.”

STEP 2: BODY SCRUB “I’ve been using the Blemish Control Apricot Scrub on my combination skin for as long as I can remember! It’s a very textured scrub, and I find that the level of graininess is useful for body exfoliation, too. I use it on the areas I neglect most often, like my back, which can break out hormonally. The effects are immediate! The natural ingredients buff away imperfections and reveal skin that glows.”

STEP 3: BODY LOTION “After a shower, I always moisturize. I use the Vitamin E Body Lotion EVERYWHERE to get back all the naturally moist goodness I lost. The lotion is creamy but translucent, and it doesn’t have the greasy aftermath that creeps up on you once humidity enters a room.”

STEP 4: FACE WASH “For my face, I used the Blemish Control Green Tea Gel. I love this stuff so much. The gel is super light and refreshing. It’s also nice ‘n’ sudsy, so I actually feel like it’s dissolving oil, dirt, and leftover makeup that’s stuck in my pores. My skin wasn’t red post-cleanse, which is uncommon for me—instead, it was bright, plush, and soft to the touch.”

STEP 5: FACE SCRUB “My face doesn’t respond very well to rough exfoliators, so I prefer gentle formulas with just enough grit to polish my skin. The Blackhead Green Tea Scrub is a green paste that resembles blended-up avocado. It has tiny granules in it that rub against the skin to remove all the dead, dulling cells. After towelling off, my face was noticeably brighter!”

KIM’S DIY SPA EXPERIENCE

STEP 1: BODY WASH “I’m usually a soap bar kind of girl, but the Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Wash is a pleasant change from my usual products. It just feels silky when applied—exactly what I need for my incredibly dry skin. The lather is just so rich and creamy; I even use it with a loofah for extra exfoliation.”

STEP 2: BODY SCRUB “My favorite thing about the Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub is how gigantic the tub is. This is actually for the face, but since you get so much product, I think the 10oz tub is perfect for buffing the body. The granules slough away dry patches and work wonders on my elbows, which are calloused from hours of leaning over a laptop.”
STEP 3: BODY LOTION “While my face is oily, the skin on my body is extremely,extremely dry. I am a total flaker! Loading up on lotion after a bath makes me feel better immediately (and I do prefer lotions to oils to keep hydrated). The Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion has a dense, rich consistency that absorbs lighting-fast, surprisingly! Also, anything packaged with a pump gets bonus points from me because it’s the most hygienic way to dispense product.”

STEP 4: FACE WASH “While I prefer chemical exfoliation, I do like to use scrubs once a week to get rid of all my rough patches. The Fresh Skin Apricot Cleanser is made for the job. It’s buttery, lathers up beautifully, and loaded with granules that are thorough but non-abrasive. My tip is to just keep the pressure light.

STEP 5: FACE MOISTURIZER “I’ve heard nothing but praise about the Collagen Elastin Moisturizer, so this was such an exciting thing to try over the weekend. First of all, it smells amazing—the fragrance falls somewhere between a freshly-bathed baby and a luxury cream. I love the formula, too: not too thick, with a lightweight post-application sensation, which works well for my oily face. Call it the power of suggestion, but I honestly felt like my skin got more supple and bouncy after one use!

THE VERDICT

Dani: “When creating your own at-home spa, use products that are not only good for your skin, but also heighten the senses. My St. Ives ‘treatment’ made me feel completely fancy because of how good the formulas smelled and how well they were made. This goddess-worthy ritual totally melted away the stress of the week before.” Kim: “I have two rules when comes to skincare: one, always use products that cater to your specific needs, and two, make sure these are easily replenishable. Since St. Ives provides so many different variants for different purposes, it’s easy to customize a routine. And despite the affordable price point and easy access to the products, their entire line feels like a luxury find!”

Photos by Cine Escalona