Valentine's Day is around the corner and who wants to wait another 365 days to get pampered? This week I want to share tips for one of my favorite at-home spa treatments: the sugar scrub massage. While this can be a daily solo exfoliation treatment, a sugar scrub massage is a fun way to sweeten up a night-in with your partner.
WHY A SUGAR SCRUB MASSAGE?
Body scrubs are one of the most popularly offered treatments at professional spas but often overlooked by patrons. It's unfortunate because our skin requires regular exfoliation to retain softness and vibrancy. This is especially true as we age, says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, as the rate of skin cell turnover slows down and leaves us with a dull, lifeless complexion.
Sugar scrubs, like The Spoiled Mama's Indulge, is made with vitamin-packed oils rich in essential fatty acids. This invigorating peppermint scrub is currently ON SALE for $26.00.
A sugar scrub massage, which is less harsh than a salt scrub, will not only alleviate mental stress, but help give you that coveted dewy glow that all expecting moms want! Body scrubs are perfect before a regular massage because the scrub invigorates the senses and circulates blood flow, while a body massage helps calm the body and relax.
HOW TO DO A BODY SCRUB MASSAGE AT HOME:
There are two ways I like to do a couple's sugar scrub treatment at home. The first way allows you to lie down but involves more towels and clean-up. The second involves relaxing steam but may be trickier because both parties most likely have to stand.
1) A sugar scrub rubdown on the bed. To perform a sugar scrub massage on the bed, remove all heavy bedding and lay down a clean flat sheet. Since sugar scrubs are mixed with oils, I like to lay down a few thick towels to sop up any runoff. Have the receiving partner lie face down on the bed, though pregnant women will probably find it most comfortable on their sides. With warm hands, use long, gentle strokes to massage the sugar scrub onto the skin. To help dissolve the sugar, I like to keep a bowl of warm water and a small hand towel nearby to keep the skin moist.
As with all massages, communication is key. Check-in with your partner to make sure the pressure is adequate. For the rinse off, you can take a clean, damp towel to the skin and wipe off excess sugar and oil -- or simply have your partner rinse off in the shower. Be careful on your way to the bathroom, however, as the oils from a sugar scrub can cause her feet to be slippery.
2) A steamy body scrub for two. To perform a sultry sugar scrub, this method uses the steam from your shower to create a sauna-like atmosphere. The steam will help open your pores to receive the nutrients of the sugar scrub oils. The result will be extra smooth, soft and hydrated skin. To start, turn on the tub water to the highest hot setting. Make sure the shower curtain or door is open, but any doors or windows leading to the outside of the bathroom are closed. Keep in mind smaller spaces will fill with steam faster; however, you'll still need enough space to comfortably fit two adults in there.
Once the room is adequately filled with steam, turn off the water and begin your body scrub! Again, use long, gentle strokes to massage the sugar scrub onto your partner's skin. If extra lubrication is needed to dissolve the sugar, keep a small towel and bowl of cool or lukewarm water nearby to wet the skin. Be extra careful to avoid slipping on the wet and potentially oily bathroom floors or surfaces. Once one or both partners are scrubbed down, drain your tub and hop in for the final rinse off! Note: if you are pregnant, please consult with your health care provider before creating your at-home sauna. Overheating, or raising your body temperature over 101-degrees F can raise concerns during pregnancy, especially in your first trimester.