Taking care of our bodies is one of the easiest things we can do to feel better and relieve stress, but ironically, we tend to get so caught up in other concerns that we put it aside. For many people, their skincare routine may include nothing more than a quick cleanse with bath soap. What they may not realize is that skincare is more than just keeping your skin healthy. It’s also an effective way to provide yourself with a few minutes of relaxation.
Traditional Skin Stimulation in a Finnish Spa
If you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy an authentic Finnish spa, there’s one aspect of the sauna treatment that probably stood out to you, and that would be the birch branches.
Traditionally, while you’re enjoying a session in the sauna, you and the other sauna participants are encouraged to lightly beat yourselves with a bundle of soft birch leaves. This is done to stimulate the skin, improving and increasing blood circulation, but they’re also effective at providing relaxation through the release of their natural oils. Combined with the steam of the sauna and the post-sauna cool-down, your skin is left clean, refreshed, and glowing.
DIY Skin Stimulation Techniques
Your skin is the single largest organ in your body, home to thousands of nerves and protecting your body’s network of blood vessels. When we treat and stimulate our skin, it has full-body effects for stress relief and overall wellness. We might not be able to visit our usual spa destinations as often as we’d like, so today, we’d like to show you three different ways you can pamper your skin in the comfort of your own home, as well as the health benefits you can expect to receive from each one.
Dry brushing is an easy way to mimic the effects of the birch branches we mentioned earlier. The practice is simple: with a stiff or firm-bristled brush, gently brush your dry skin. That’s it! This exfoliates your skin, removing dead skin cells to leave you with a bright, youthful glow. It also stimulates your nerves, leaving you feeling awake and invigorated, and promotes better blood circulation. Afterward (again following in the sauna tradition), you’ll want to take a quick shower to clean your body of the removed cells. Finish with an application of your favourite skin moisturizer.
If you have sensitive skin or an existing skin condition, you may want to skip this one. Brushing should never be done so firmly that it hurts or harms your skin, so if you’re going to give this a try, proceed gently. Brush no more than once a day, and only pass the brush over a patch of skin a few times. The idea is to stimulate and clean, not to scrub.
Oatmeal baths have been a popular remedy for itchy skin for decades, and there’s a good reason for that. Colloidal oatmeal (that is, finely ground, uncooked whole oats) reduces inflammation, helps your skin retain more moisture, and cleans your skin, all at the same time.
Preparing your own homemade colloidal oatmeal is very simple. Using a food processor or coffee grinder, grind your uncooked oatmeal into a very fine powder. Ideally, you want it to dissolve easily in water, which will change it into a milky colour. When your oats are ready, draw a warm bath. Dissolve ½ – 1 ½ cups of oatmeal in the bath, and sink in for a relaxing soak.
Limit your bathing to around 15 minutes (about the same time as a visit to a sauna), and when you’re done, gently towel off.
For miniature stimulation pampering, consider exfoliating scrubs. There are plenty that you can find for sale, but you can make your own at home easily, too, and if you’ve prepared oatmeal for a bath, you already have everything you need. The massaging quality of ground oats helps to clear skin pores, but they also help absorb any extra dirt or oils.
To make your own basic oatmeal scrub, gather around ¼ cup of powdered colloidal oatmeal. Slowly mix in drops of water until the oatmeal forms a paste. If you want to make your scrub extra decadent, use milk in place of the water. The lactic acid can help stimulate collagen production (which fights fine lines).
When you’re done with your miniature facial massage, simply rinse clean.
An Authentic Finnish Spa Experience
At Vettä Nordic Spa, you’ll be able to experience all the benefits of an authentic Finnish spa, including our signature saunas and massage treatments. Building on Finland’s rich tradition of wellness through a focus on the natural and healthy, we look forward to welcoming you to experience Vettä for yourself.
For more information on Vettä’s Finnish spa experience, be sure to sign up for our mailing list. You can also send us a message online if you have any questions.