As time-frazzled city slickers, many Singaporeans could do with a bit more relaxation in our lives. However, not all of us have the budget for regular spa treatments. And with Covid-19 in town, many spas remain closed – making it hard for us to retreat to those havens of calm when we need it the most.
Take deep breaths and don’t panic, though – you don’t have to head out. In fact, your bathroom right at home can easily transform into an uber-relaxing spa. With just a little imagination, here’s how you can turn your bathroom into a spa – without spending as much as an entire spa package.
1. Add a bathroom caddy tray
If you’ve always fancied having a nice, long soak in the bathtub, consider getting yourself a bathroom caddy tray. These function as a useful shelf propped over your tub, so you can place a glass of wine or cup of tea on it, and sip for a taste of #spalife. No more trying to balance your drinks precariously on the toiletries shelf, amirite?
If you don’t have a tub, consider getting a portable winecup holder – perhaps one with a suction pad so that it can be stuck on an adjourning wall. Besides drinks, you can also bring in books or magazines to read at leisure and while away the hours.
2. Add flower petals, essential oils to your bath water
For a spa ambience straight out of Bali or the Maldives, toss in some flower petals in your bathtub. P.S. We recommend rose petals for an extra romantic vibe. Coupled with rose essential oil, it will give your skin a boost of moisture and can even ward away acne and redness. You can also add an aromatic bath bomb to your water for a lovely fragrance!
Pro tip: Besides petals and bath bombs, consider adding bath salts, coconut oil or even oatmeal to the water to doubly cleanse and moisturize your skin.
3. Use white fluffy high-quality towels, heated if you may
You know how white fluffy towels in hotels instantly makes the whole experience feels x100 times more premium? Well, elevate your bathtime with large, high-quality towels with a decent weight to them.
These feel oh-so-luxurious in their own right, but to really pamper yourself, get a towel warmer or electric heated towel rails so that your towels are heated up. The result? Warm, toasty towels that will feel like a luxuriously comforting blanket to your cool, freshly showered skin.
Another pro tip: Bid your rough or rubbery bath mats goodbye, and upgrade these to fluffy ones – the kind that lets your feet sink into something soft and cushiony.
4. Use a bathroom tray organiser to declutter
Spas have a secret formula when it comes to helping you achieve complete relaxation: a decluttered, highly curated space. Yes, those strategically placed soaps, essential oils and towels were placed there for a reason.
Likewise, don’t let rows and rows of half-empty conditioner or old shampoo bottles break that zen. Declutter and clean up products you hardly use or have already expired (!) so that you have your bath and beauty essentials that you need. Pro tip: use a bathroom tray organiser to keep all your products to maintain an organised, beautiful aesthetics. If minimalism is not really your thing and you have much more products, placing your essentials on a larger marble tray will do the trick. Store away the rest in vanity cabinets behind closed doors. When it comes to bathrooms, less is usually more.
5. Pick your bath products wisely so they are aesthetically pleasing too
Try and get matchy-matchy shampoo and conditioner that are part of the same set so they look aesthetically pleasing. Level up your bath products with cult-favorite Aesop and watch the stress all but melt away in the shower. You’ll leave the bathroom feeling like a queen. For a more wallet-friendly alternative, you can opt to use apothecary bottles to help maintain a streamlined, chic look in your bathroom.
6. Light up essential oils or candles
Smell is one of the key senses by which we experience a spa – recall aromatic massage oils or the fragrant incense? So, get a whiff of that by installing a reed or electrical diffuser in your bathroom or by lighting up scented candles.
Whether you go for floral or tropical scents or even have a customised spa blend, there’s bound to be a scent that spells out relaxation for you. Many spas use eucalyptus, lavender and ylang-ylang scents, so you can take that into account when shopping for candles or oils, too!
7. Upgrade your showerhead to a rainshower
Instead of dealing with a single, weak stream of water in your showers, give yourself an upgrade and pamper yourself with a rainfall showerhead.
You’ll love the luxurious feel of water cascading all over your body, while the added pressure will deliver a massage-like experience. Bonus: it doesn’t take up much space, either – a boon for all of us with small bathrooms.
8. Pipe in relaxing music with a waterproof speaker
As many of us can attest to, relaxing spa music often lulls you into a sweet, sweet slumber. And to get a similarly soothing experience at home, pipe in a meditative or instrumental playlist during bathtimes with a waterproof Bluetooth speaker.
It can be anything from rain falling sounds, to soft piano to acoustic guitar strains – maybe not metal or hard rock music, here. We recommend creating your own Spotify playlist or choose readymade Spotify playlist for the ultimate in relaxation.
9. Add a dash of greenery with plants
Imagine you’re in a lush garden oasis with tons of verdant greenery all about. Now, take that vision and emulate it in your bathroom for a tranquil vibe. From potted plants to hanging planters or vines, indoor plants can add personality and colour to the space. Plus, it can even filter and purify the air.
Pro tip: Choose plants that flourish in humid and warmer conditions – it is a bathroom with plenty of moisture, after all. Aloe vera, bamboo, money plants, orchids or tree ferns are good bets.
10. Scrub down with a dry brush or loofah
To come out of the bath all glowin’ like you’ve just had an hours-long spa session, invest in a dry brush or loofah to get all that accumulated gunk and dead skin off your body. Before showering, just spend a few minutes to exfoliate your limbs, torso and back, and then wash it all off with water.
For a softer touch, you can also scrub in the shower, or with oils or lotions. And remember, be gentle and always try to scrub towards the direction of your heart for better circulation!
11. Put on a face mask
Another incredibly simple way to pamper yourself during bathtimes is to add on a face mask to your routine. From store-bought to DIY face masks, there are endless types that you can pick from to ensure your skin gets the boost it needs – choose from anti-ageing, to moisturising to pore-shrinking ones. Some of these even come with scents for an aromatherapy boost!
Pro tip: Here’s a lovely DIY face mask recipe. Mix avocado, honey and plain yoghurt and slather liberally on your face. Place cool cucumber slices or chilled tea bags on your eyes as a final touch, and you’ll feel instantly transported to your fave spa.
12. Dim the lights (read: warm light only)
There’s nothing like a bit of mood lighting to evoke that relaxing spa vibe and get yourself in the zen state. Lighting is an absolutely essential part of a bathroom that can really be a gamechanger to glam it up a few notches.
If you are the sort who likes bright lights, opt for dimmable downlights which you can switch the intensity of your lighting accordingly. Bright white light for applying makeup if you need to head out and dim it down to a soft mood lighting when you want to relax and wind down for the day. different use.
13. Wear a fluffy robe
Besides the actual showering aspect, how good a spa session feels also depends on the before-and-after. So, never underestimate the prep work needed – get yourself into the mood for a relaxing time by jumping into a fluffy bathrobe before a shower. After you’re all cleaned up, you can slip on that same robe to extend that sense of calm a little longer.
With these tips and tricks, you can almost feel the spa retreat vibes wafting out of your once humble bathroom, giving you a sanctuary of your own. If you need more ideas on how to escape the stresses of daily life, read more on tips for mental health as well as easy ways to practice self-care at home.
Jessica is one half of twins, and is a Gryffinpuff according to Harry Potter’s Sorting Hat. She will never say no to an adventure. While waiting for the next one, she takes MBTI quizzes (INFP), sings Disney songs and pole-dances.