With its roots in Tuscon, Arizona and a focus on mindfulness, the spa was founded nearly three decades ago, and its recent expansions to Austin, Texas and Lenox, Massachusetts couldn’t be more timely for the mist of the season. pandemic that has taken hold of many of us.
At Miraval, experts help guests relax with simple self-care practices through movement, connecting with nature, and celebrating important cultural traditions (such as kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery and highlighting it with gold to reinforce that the breakage should be celebrated rather than camouflaged). On my journey, I found myself not so much in need of repair, but perhaps wanting an upgrade after two years of uncertainty and stress, a “Cntrl + Alt + Del” IRL button, so to speak.
Happily, I discovered that while there was beauty in being pampered at a bustling resort, many of the practices are easy enough to replicate without taking a trip to a fancy spa. Here my finds for those who are tired and need to rest or reboot – everything you can do from the comfort of your own home.
In the Bath: Enjoy Homemade Facials
One of the easiest ways to bring the spa of the Berkshires into your home is with an at-home facial. All it takes is purchasing the right products and layering them in the right format, which is particularly important during the winter months.
This time of year, many people need to focus on hydration in their skincare routines, but here’s the kicker: For hydrating ingredients to work, you need to make sure you remove all dead skin cells first. Think of your dead skin cells like you would the offensive line in football: If you want to get in there and address your issues (so to speak), you first have to break through the layer that clings to your skin.
At Miraval Renew & Restore Facial, estheticians use formulas from Dr. Dennis Gross’s line of the same name to do just that. First, they remove all dead skin cells through a chemical peel, and then replenish it with ultra-hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Here’s how to replicate the facial at home.
1. Wash your face
Start with a cleanser, any you have is fine, but if you’re looking for a recommendation, Miraval used Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Makeup Removing Meltaway Cleanser followed by the brand’s Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel, and be sure to remove all makeup. , sweat, dirt and debris.
When I wash my face at night, I’m lucky if the cleanser stays on for 30 seconds, but when you turn your attention to your skin for a facial, you’ll want to make sure you’re giving yourself a lather. facial massage for at least a minute. Then wash it off and pat your face dry with a towel.
Next, you’ll want to reach for one of the Dr. Dennis Gross exfoliating pads. At the spa, estheticians use more powerful acids than we can use at home, but using the daily exfoliating pads will give you the same effect. I like the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel, which combines alpha and beta hydroxy acids for a complete 360-degree peel.
“Beta hydroxy acids go deeper into the pores and are great for acne, oily skin, and shine. Alpha hydroxy acids are good for superficial exfoliation,” Shirley Chi, MD, a California-based dermatologist, previously told Well+Good. “So when used together, you get more exfoliation and shine than when used alone.”
You apply the first step and wait about two minutes; then, you neutralize it with the second wipe. Fear not: it won’t irritate your skin or leave it red at all, but if you have sensitive skin, opt for one of the brand’s milder options.
Now that you’ve removed dead skin cells, you’ll want to replenish your complexion with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid (it’s the best, don’t overthink it). Again, if you have an HA you like, grab it and use it, but if you want the one the esthetician used on my skin, it’s Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster.
Before you get out of the bathroom (unless it’s at night, of course), you’ll want to apply an SPF of 30 or higher. It is doubly necessary to protect your skin after exfoliation because it is more sensitive to the sun and sun damage. This is really the most essential step.
Outside: Meditate with nature
At the Miraval spa, one of my favorite activities was a quick equine meditation in the morning (which, yes, involves meditating with horses). After the meditation, we brushed and walked three dream horses, which served as a reminder of this great space we live in and all the creatures we share it with.
If you’re interested in meditation but feel intimidated by the vastness of clearing your mind, opt for a guided session. There are plenty of apps to follow, but free options (like the video below from Miraval Berkshires Resort) are a great reminder that these tools can be inexpensive and often within easy reach.
While I’ll always be sad that I can’t live my best horse girl life after every meditation, they can tune in to the needs of the animals around me. Maybe I’ll brush my Irish setter. Maybe try not to hate the pigeons that congregate outside my window. Maybe you will find a pizza rat and it will send you positive vibes. Who knows! The possibilities are endless.
At the gym: Try the familiar move with a different mindset
On the last day of my time in Miraval, I found myself really working to put all the pieces of the puzzle together in a walk outside. With the biting winter air all around me, I opted to tune in to what I was feeling and stir up some thoughts and feelings instead of blasting a Podcast to drown them out. Making this familiar move with a new perspective brought clarity and focus, and reminded me that even in the fog of the pandemic, having the right mindfulness and self-care tools can make things feel clear.
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