Create a spa in your own home

The clocks have gone back and there's a chill in the air. Ward off the winter blues by turning your home into your very own spa with a few beauty treats says EMMA LEE.

It's easy to feel a bit down in the dumps at this time of year. The nights are getting longer and the weather's getting chillier. Plus Christmas is looming, and just the thought of battling the shopping crowds is enough to give anyone a tension headache.

But don't go into hibernation.

With a few beauty treats, some scented candles and soothing sounds on the stereo you can transform your bathroom into your own mini spa and rejuvenate your skin, senses and spirit.

It's time to be selfish – so don't forget the do not disturb sign.

Soak away the stress

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Just taking a guilt-free soak in the bathtub can do you the power of good after a stressful day. Mandara Spa's Island Paradise range, left, is packed with yummy-smelling summery ingredients to help ward off the winter blues.

Try the Moisturising Bath Essence – a blend of zingy grapefruit, sweet orange, lemon and patchouli essential oils, which leaves the skin feeling soft and moisturised.

It costs �8 and is available from Sainsbury's.

Be prepared

Winter can really take its toll on your skin – so to minimise the impact of the harsh weather ahead, heed the Scout motto and 'be prepared'.

Your skin can suffer when it's wrapped up in layers of jumpers and thermals. Liven up dull-looking skin with Elemis Tranquil Touch Body Polish, left, (�20 from or selected department stores and salons). A smoothing body scrub, it contains a natural rice exfoliator to seep away impurities and soften the skin. It contains cupuacu butter to smooth and condition and uplifting ingredients including patchouli, mandarin and ginger.

And make sure you moisturise – it's one of your best defences against the elements. We love the Body Shop's ingenious Body Butter Duo tubs (�12.50), which contain both a regular moisturiser and a thicker cream which is perfect for problem areas.

Face the day

If you want to face the day the right way, then regular cleansing and moisturising is a must – and don't fall off the wagon just because it's cold and dark outside. To banish breakouts we call in the big guns. It might look a bit scary, but we love the squeaky clean feeling that we get when we use Lush's Dark Angels cleanser, above, (�5.95). Made from rhassoul mud, charcoal and black sugar, it's an amazing exfoliator that's perfect for oily skin.

Hair scare

'Hat hair' is another annoying winter beauty ailment. But using a deep conditioning mask once a week can work miracles. Try Ojon's Dry Recovery Intensive Hydrating 2-Minute Hair Mask.

It costs �28 and is available at John Lewis.

Treats for feet

The sandals might be packed away for another year, but just because socks and boots season is here it's no excuse for neglecting your poor, hard-working feet.

We love Crabtree and Evelyn's La Source pedicure range. First give your tired tootsies a treat – mix up a sachet of the Effervescent Sea Foam Foot Soak (�10 for five sachets) in some water – we find that a washing-up bowl in front of Lorraine Pascale's Baking Made Easy programme is perfect – then slather on some Warming Foot Smoother (�16) which exfoliates, moisturises and conditions in one. The La Source range is available from Jarrold.