A full hour of uninterrupted relaxation is ideal for the body and the mind. Try it — and discover how much calmer you feel — after just a touch of TLC. Beforehand, gather everything you'll need (we have a bevy of suggestions below) including your robe and slippers, any candles, spa CDs, clean towels, and even exercise clothes should you want to work out prior to your day full of relaxation.
Start with a bath. Run the water at a hot (but not boiling!) temperature, dim the lights, burn a few of your favorite candles (both lavender- and chamomile-scented versions promise relaxation) and toss in one of these delicious soaks for good measure. Various essential oils and natural salts promise a full-on sensory experience while simultaneously relaxing tense muscles. Plus, adding a drop of two of body oil in your tub will leave skin feeling super soft.
From L to R: Cures by Avance Stress Relief Sea Bath, $11; at curesbyavance.com. Bath Junkie Moisturizing Detox Rocks, $20; at bathjunkie.com. Crabtree & Evelyn Aromatherapy Distillations Body and Massage Oil, $30; at crabtree-evelyn.com.
Once you've been soaking for at least ten minutes, give your skin some serious love. Start by using a super-grainy (but not harsh!) exfoliating scrub. With either natural abrasives or synthetic microbeads, both scrubs leave skin glowing and clean (not to mention ready for a fresh application of self-tanner!). Once you towel dry--please pat, not scrub your skin--rub on a olfactory-pleasing body oil. Not only will it make skin extremely lustrous, but it will also banish flakiness or rough heels and elbows.
From L to R: Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish, $65; at fresh.com. Ole Henriksen Skin Inhalation Therapy, $22; at olehenriksen.com. Aveda Beautifying Composition, $21; at aveda.com. St. Ives Elements Olive Scrub, $6; at drugstore.com.
Don't forget about your face--your most beautiful asset! If you are under the care of a dermatologist or aesthetician regularly, follow their provided regiments. Otherwise, try a smoothing peel to reduce the size of pores for a smoother appearance and scrub off any dead skin on your pout for pucker-worthy lips come wedding day.
Photography by Luciana Pampalone