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I spend a lot of time talking about self care on my blog and how self care doesn’t have to mean anything expensive or elaborate. How the smallest acts of self love and kindness can be a form of self care if you let them; taking the time to make yourself the perfect cup of tea or taking 20 minutes out of your day to read your favourite magazine for example.
BUT. Because there’s always a but, right? Today I want to talk about the other side of the coin. Because while yes, self care doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, it can be if you want it to be. We all want to quit work for a week, switch off our phones, fly to Bali and do a 7 day self care retreat without a single care in the world.
I know I do.
And it’s absolutely okay to want those things. We all want a little luxury in our lives. But the truth is, realistically, that’s probably not possible for a lot of people for a variety of reasons. Children, money, freaking COVID. We can’t all just jet off to luxury self care retreats whenever we fancy it.
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So today, I’m kinda… combining the two scenarios I’ve mentioned above. We’re going to be looking at ways we can create an AT HOME self care retreat by adding a little bit of affordable luxury in the mix too. We can’t all drop everything at a minutes notice but we can carve out some time and space for ourselves at home!
And let’s face it, after the last year and a half, we’re now all experts at doing things from home!
How to create an at home self care retreat:
Carve out the time and place
I think it’s important to actively carve out time and space for yourself, for whatever you’re doing. And there’s no difference here. This one might be tricky, depending on your living situation, your household, pets, children – whatever. But make it work. Arrange with your partner to look after the kids in the living room for a few hours while you use the bedroom and bathroom for your retreat.
Invest in some high quality products
I try a lot of different beauty products for my skin, hair and face. A lot of them I used daily in my skincare routines as well. But when it comes to a real TREAT, I like to switch up the products I use, treat myself to some new high quality products and make use of them!
This is where today’s collaboration comes in and I have fallen head over heels for Arcaya, their brand, philosophy, customer service and products. High praise already but first, let me tell you a bit about them:
German based skincare company Arcaya aim to bring affordable and professional skincare to everyone. Arcaya UK keep things about only you and the skin – none of the nasties. Empowering the professionals to tailor a treatment like never before and using active ingredients really get to the source of the concern or target the areas we really want to see a visible difference in! They have 4 active pillars in their brand:
- Professional skincare for everyone
- Highly concentrated active ingredients
- Reduce waste and increase results
- 100% cruelty free
They sound great, right? Arcaya products come in “ampoule” (which are recyclable). But the product itself is a serum. So if you love your serums – this is a good one for you! The serums used in ampoules generally use minimalist formulas, focusing on very specific ingredients and ingredient combinations to provide your skin with highly targeted care.
And if you check out their website, you can see that you can purchase products for extremely targeted areas. They also have a great quiz to help you figure out what products would be best for you. I did the quiz myself and the team at Arcaya kindly sent over the products that I received in my results.
How do the ampuoles work?
So stated with the two products that I got in the results of my quiz on the Arcaya website, both of these contain 5 vials of 2ml product. It’s recommended that you use them every other day, within your skincare routine. A serum should be applied before moisturizing (but after cleansing).
Arcaya Cashmere Feeling – £19.95
I started with the Cashmere Feeing serum, which I think is probably my favourite so far. I’ve been applying this every couple of days and this particular serum has a pore-reducing effect, to help leave your skin feeing silky and smooth and just generally enhances your complexion. Which is something I very much needed!
The ampuoles contain 2ml of product each but I found each vial was lasting me at least two uses. I’m not sure if I just have a small face or what this was a pleasant surprise, which meant I could use more, more frequently. It’s completely scent-less and it just sinks BEAUTIUFLLY into your skin, almost immediately.
That’s the one downside I usually find with some serums is that I have to work on them to get them into my skin before I can apply my moisturizer but that’s not the case at all with this. My skin just drank this up and like it says on the tin, it really did leave it feeling silky and smooth afterwards.
Arcaya Beauty Express – £19.95
The other product I got in my quiz results was the Beauty Express serum. This one has an instant smoothing effect and natural pick-me-up for tired and pale looking skin. It also helps with fine links and sun wrinkles. Although I can’t attest for the lines and wrinkles, I can safely say this serum is a fantastic pick-me-up for the skin.
Something I’ve been needing a LOT recently as I’ve been so busy and tired so my skin has definitely been looking a little worse for wear! This one in particular leaves your skin feeling fresh and healthy with a natural glow, thanks to the Chamomile Extract in the ingredients list! So this serum is great for occasional use; perhaps a special occasion or on those proper treat days!
Nature Vibes Limited Edition & Aloha Limited Edition – £11.99 each
The team also kindly sent me 2 of their limited edition products; the Aloha Limited Edition Serum and the Nature Vibes Limited Edition Serum. These limited edition packs contain 3 ampuoles and are a quick hit of the best ingredients for amazing results. I’ll be honest, I haven’t used the Nature Vibes one yet as I need to ensure the ingredients are okay for me to take with a medication that I’m on.
But I adore the Aloha serum. I mean first of all, how CUTE is the packaging? Total Summer vibes! And this serum really is perfect for Summer. The ingredients in these aim to add moisture and freshness to the skin for an instant Summer lift and boost. Again, this would be another good one for those special Summer occasions!
Final thoughts on the brand…
Considering everything is so thoroughly researched and manufactured, with products being cruelty free, natural plant-based, paraben free, no mineral oils and no “filler” ingredients which are used in a lot of cosmetics – I’d say I’m SOLD. It’s so nice to find a genuinely incredible skincare brand which tells you exactly what’s in their products, has nothing to hide, yet is able to produce sustainable and cruelty free products that WORK and are amazing for your skin.
Create a schedule for yourself
I think creating a schedule is a great idea because it sort of sets it in stone as an “official” thing. Just like you’d get a schedule if you were to attend an actual retreat. Heck, you could really go all out and design a schedule on Canva and print it out so you don’t have to look at your phone throughout the evening too!
Don’t skimp on the good stuff
Whether it’s beauty products, candles, the food you’re going to eat – don’t skimp. I know this at home self care retreat idea is going to save you money as opposed to going to an actual retreat or a spa or something BUT I’m also accepting the fact that we DO like to treat ourselves here. So do that. If you can, do it. And don’t feel guilty!
Related read: 62 Things To Treat Yourself To
Do whatever you want to do
This is super important for your at home self care retreat because there’s absolutely no point doing a bunch of stuff you don’t find relaxing just because it’s a stereotypical “self care activity”. If bubble baths, fancy products and a Martini is your thing, cool. But perhaps your self care retreat looks more like dance mat, playing The Last of Us or blowing something up in the garden. You do you.
Don’t turn it into a chore
And finally, whatever you do, ensure you don’t just turn this into something else you need to tick off your to-do list. This is something I’ve struggled with in the past and it can lead you into a pretty miserable hole. An at home self care retreat is supposed to be fun, relaxing, rejuvenating and much more. So ensure you keep it like that.