Can’t get to a Greek spa? Can’t even get to Greece? Don’t fret, you can easily create the ideal Greek spa experience in your own home.
If you are a Spa Lover and have even sometimes left a spa session thinking ‘Hmm…I could have done better myself!” you understand the importance of Self Pampering. Especially during stressful times, it is vital that we become (or act like, for the fun of it) like pros when caring for ourselves. And there’s no better way to do that than by using the best, purest, and most enjoyable Greek products, regardless of where you may be in the world. The Greek organic cosmetic industry is still made up mainly of small producers and is blossoming. With online shopping, anyone can access these products made with precious local herbs, flowers, and oils.
Start with a cleansing, relaxing shower. After all, the word SPA is an acronym for Salute Per Aqua, which means Health via Water. The mere contact of water with your skin is thought, since ancient times, to improve your mental state, clear and calm your mind, improve digestion, and relax muscles. Shower with Apivita’s Caring Lavenderor Pure Jasmine, or Dokimon Lavender & Honey Shower Gel. For men, Mastic Spa’s Mastic and Chamomile shower gel is both soothing and relaxing.
Out with the old and in with the new! A good scrub removes the surface layer of dead skin cells that clog skin and make it look lacklustre. Korres’ Peeling Soap with Coffee and Seaweed grains is carefully designed to massage and scrub your skin at the same time. Messinian Spa’s Face & Body Scrub with Prickly Pear and Dittanyhas double advantages as you can use it all over. As does Anaplasis’ Body & Facial Scrub with Missolonghi Salt, Brown Sugar and Cranberry seeds. Men can try the Intermed Luxurious Men’s Care Body Scrub with Mallow, Chamomile and Camelia.
The (Self) Massage
Slather your body with ample amounts of extra virgin Greek olive oil (warmed gently in the microwave or a saucepan if you want an even better spa-esquie experience). Just slathering yourself all over is good enough. It has been shown that caressing our skin creates feelings of comfort, alleviates stress, and reduces cortisol. Have fun with it. Rub your shoulders, draw your hands caressingly down the front and back of your neck. Knead your hands and feet, calves, and thighs. Make sweeping clockwise circles around your belly button. Make your hands into fists and repeatedly tap your kidneys, on the lower part of your spine. Go on YouTube and find a million tutorials! Your body will love you for it, whatever you do.
Alternately to olive oil great idea is to buy an organic almond oil and add your own essential oils, produced using wild Greek herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, or mint for respiratory blocks or invigoration. If you prefer sensual, soothing or relaxing aromas use lavender, jasmine, rose, chamomile, and Melissa. Good Greek brands to look up are I Sesoula, Greek Concept, Apivita (which has a special massage blend too), Bio-Lifesecrets, Essential oils-Organics and Gaia-Products. Experimenting with aromas to create your own blend is a lot of fun, but even sticking to one fragrance that makes you smile is always good enough. Olive Way natural cosmetics has a blend ideal for tired muscles.
The Face Mask
Here, I’m going to encourage you to create your own face mask instead of buying one. Pure Greek ingredients can make for the most amazing beauty treats. Some recipes below:
For Acne-prone Skin:
Combine 2 tbsp of Greek thyme, Riki, or pine honey with a pinch of cinnamon and ¼ tsp of Missolonghi salt or brown sugar. Slather over your face, massaging it into your skin. Leave for 15 mins and then rinse off with warm water.
For Dry Skin:
Combine 1 tsp Greek flower honey with 1 tbsp Greek yogurt and 1 tsp aloe (Greek housewives usually have a plant as aloe is excellent for treating everything from sun-parched skin to burns). Leave on for 20 mins and rinse off with warm water.
For Dull, Ageing skin:
Combine an egg yolk (as fresh as possible) with extra virgin Greek olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Whisk well with a fork, for at least a minute. Slather onto your face and neck (ignore the mild eggy smell, it’s worth it!) and when it’s dry, around 15-20 mins later, peel off making circular movements with your fingers, then rinse well. You’ll be left looking glowy and your skin will be tight and lifted.
A hug in a cup
At the end of a spa session in Greece, guests are usually brought to a calming room to sit and sip a cup of herbal tea. Greek mountain tea, lemon verbena (Louiza), mint and lemon, sage, and chamomile are all soothing. There are several great Greek organic herbal tea blend brands to buy, such as Aroma Farms, Daphnes & Chloe, Anassa, Organic Islands, Oreanthi, Moly and Krocus Kozanis. To your health!