Your mom is the first to jump at the chance to help others, but the last when it comes to treating herself. She’s the one who’s most deserving of an out-of-this-world Mother’s Day gift but will always tell you she doesn’t need anything at all. These selfless types deserve a little pampering (whether they like it or not), so what better way to spoil your do-gooder mom than by gifting her a luxurious spa treatment?
Below, we put together this handy guide to help you choose the right massage and spa gifts for mom, and we even threw in some tips to ensure she gets the most out of the experience.
A massage might be just the right gift if your mom is suffering from sore muscles or stress. (Carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders is hard work, after all.) But what kind of massage is the right gift for her? Here’s a quick guide to help you decide.
Swedish massages are gentle and relaxing. The long, gliding strokes also help to send blood to the heart, which your mom probably needs considering her heart is three times the normal size.
Deep-tissue massages are more suited to those with chronic tension since they target the deepest layers of muscle and fascia.
Sports massages are great for treating parts of the body that are stressed from repetitive movement. They can also help athletes maximize their performance, even if their sport of choice is running between fundraisers.
Still having a hard time deciding? Our massage decision tree can help you narrow it down.
If you're up all night worrying about the polar ice caps, you're bound to have eye bags in the morning. A facial can help Mom minimize under-eye puffiness, as well as with the smile lines that develop over a lifetime of serving at soup kitchens. Of course, if she’s never had one before, she might not know what to expect. Here, we’ve broken down the basic steps of the classic facial.
Cleansing: The aesthetician applies cleansing products to the face, which get rid of the superficial layer of dirt and oil. The skin is then better prepared to absorb the ingredients—including anti-aging or anti-acne agents—to come later on.
Exfoliation: Facials generally use mechanical exfoliation, in which the skin is manually scrubbed with an abrasive like sugar crystals, pumice, or micro-beads. The process removes dead skin cells, improving the complexion and helping reduce the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, and pigmentation issues.
Extractions: The previous facial elements help soften the hardened plug of sebum residing the pores. The aesthetician can then uses their fingers or a tool to remove those pesky blackheads and whiteheads.
Massage: A massage improves blood circulation in facial skin and muscles. Yes, the face can use a rubdown as much as the back, especially if its expressions jump from winning smile to serious concentration as much as your do-gooder's does.
Mask: The aesthetician paints on a thick mask that, depending on its ingredients, is meant to do everything from hydrate the skin to improve collagen production to further unclog pores.
Moisturizing: Moisture is one of the vital elements of skincare, so a facial is typically capped off with the application of a moisturizer—often with SPF—that hydrates and protects.
Mom is always there when you need someone to hold your hand or hold your place in line—and that can be murder on the hands and feet. Show her you’re there for her, too, by booking you both a relaxing nail service. To make sure it’s extra special, here’s a few things to think about before you go.
Nail colors. Glitter is great for special occasions, but our style forecasters are saying that grays and muted polishes are also big right now.
Shellac or gel polishes are also a popular alternative since they are specially formulated to resist chips and cracks longer than regular nail lacquer—a perfect match for your do-gooder mom’s resilient spirit.
Read about how our team put the no-chip manicure to the test.
Bath House or Day Spa
At a bath house or day spa, your mom will get the pampering she deserves—steam rooms! whirlpool baths! dry saunas!— while making lots of new friends who are sure to need her help in the future. Of course, there are all sorts of spa experiences your mom might enjoy. Here’s a few you might consider.
Salt cave: These exotic spas—actual above-ground caves fashioned out of Himalayan salt—don’t just look cool. The salt has antibacterial properties that may help with respiratory ailments, which is perfect for someone who lives and breathes to serve others.
Bath house: Common varieties include Korean spas and Russian baths, but all bath houses have certain things in common. Visitors relax in various hot and cold plunge pools and steam and dry saunas, and they often have the option to add à la carte services such as massages or facials. A warning if your mom is particularly modest: many of these baths require full nudity in certain facilities that are separated by gender.
Learn more about what to expect from a Korean spa.