We’ll teach you our top techniques for relaxation, stress relief, and DIY pampering to get you through the holiday season!
With holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to let basic self-care go out the window. Manic shopping after long work days, dozens of holiday parties, and last minute additions to your gift list... stress levels during the holidays are notoriously through the roof, so finding ways to keep it together is absolutely crucial.
High stress causes a chemical avalanche in your body that results in the overproduction of cortisol, the hormone responsible for oil production. What this means for you? Breakouts during holiday season, which frankly don’t look very cute with sparkly accessories. Stress can also disrupt digestion, lead to sleepless nights (hello under-eye bags), and generally contribute – as you all know – to flare ups in interpersonal relationships and family drama. The million dollar question is how to avoid these bumps in the road; we’ve put together a list of self-care tips to help us all survive this holiday season!
DIY Spa Day
First things first: make time for a DIY spa day. It might sound extravagant, but putting aside a Sunday afternoon to partake in some therapeutic you-time can seriously improve your mood and boost your productivity all week. An at home spa day doesn’t have to be super complicated or take the whole day – with the right products you’ll feel princess-pampered in no time. And since winter skin is notoriously dry and flakey, chances are you’re already overdue for some serious body exfoliation. With DIY spa time in mind, we’ve crafted an absolutely delicious selection of 100% PURE detoxifying and soothing bath products.
Start your spa sesh with some of our cult-fave bath salts, made with crystallized kelp from the Brittany Coast of France. Our Seaweed Detox Bath is made with ginger root, an antioxidant packed circulation booster, plus tea tree and rosemary to increase circulation and stimulate lymphatic drainage. You can also go for our Eucalyptus Sea Therapy Bath, which has a super rich formula featuring mineral-rich crystallized kelp and antiseptic, antimicrobial, and cooling peppermint oil.
Want to dial up the relaxation factor? Our salt baths pair perfectly with a moisturizing and exfoliating body scrub, to massage into skin as you soak away stress in a warm bath. Our Coconut Body Scrub is an ultra nourishing and softening spa treatment must-have for replenishing skin tone and texture while revealing a brighter, more even tone beneath. Our Pink Grapefruit Body Scrub and Vanilla Bean Body Scrub are also great choices for full body care, both featuring shea butter and cocoa butter for amped up moisture levels.
While we could easily pamper our bodies all day, nothing says DIY spa more than a face mask. Luckily, we’ve got a great group of natural sheet masks that scream “spa day”. Our Green Tea Water Bomb Mask will deeply replenish while you kick back, infusing your dermis with its carefully developed "hydrogel" formula, composed of 95% organic aloe water and 5% plant cellulose to intensely hydrate.
If your stress levels are at an all-time high, follow your DIY spa day with a relaxing meditation session. Meditation can be as simple as finishing off your bath regime with some relaxing aromatherapy, to give your senses a chance to catch their breath. For hundreds of years, certain scents have been used for their powerful soothing and sedative properties. Research shows that even certain scents found in nature can help to relax our nervous systems, regulate breathing, and lower blood pressure.
Our two fave scents to meditate with are lavender and eucalyptus, which we’ve incorporated into a few of our most tranquility-inducing products. Lavender is effective at lowering skin temperature, reducing anxiety and depression, and stimulating brain responses connected to memory. Our French Lavender Whipped Body Butter is a thick and creamy, amazingly nourishing natural body lotion that we like to apply for a holistic meditation session – think of it as chill-out time that doubles as natural body care. If you’re into all things lavender, our French Lavender Body Set has got you covered, combining some of our most relaxing lavender products for the ultimate aromatherapeutic experience.
Eucalyptus is also a powerful aromatherapeutic ingredient with a long list of wonderful benefits for skin and stress relief. Obtained from fresh leaves of the towering evergreen eucalyptus tree, it functions as a mild energizing stimulant which, when inhaled, can leave you feeling more energized, alert, and ready to tackle the day. It’s also antimicrobial and antibacterial, meaning that it’s a potent clarifier that can effectively bust acne or sluggish skin tone. It’s featured in our Eucalyptus Hand Buttercream, Eucalyptus Whipped Body Butter and Eucalyptus Nourishing Body Cream, all super luxurious and nutrient-packed formulas that will leave you with clarified and soft skin tone with a replenished moisture barrier, plus the physiological benefits linked to the essential oil.
PRO TIP: No time for a full-body moisturizing session? Try applying a dab of these products to your inner wrists and rubbing wrists together as you would apply a perfume; you can still reap their aromatherapeutic benefits to zen out and re-energize in a pinch.
We all know about the relaxing pre-bedtime benefits of chamomile, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it also works as an effective soother for skin. Chamomile is an analgesic, meaning that it can be effectively used to treat muscle pain; because of this, it’s particularly helpful to use for aromatherapy massage. Massage can be a powerful stress-squashing technique, and massage with chamomile essential oils can do wonders for alleviating back pain, muscle soreness, and general tightness from particularly stressful weeks.
Acupressure massage, a healing technique used for thousands of years in China, targets areas on the body believed to connect to certain organs and internal energy pathways. To give yourself an acupressure treatment, use your fingers, palms or elbows to apply lasting pressure on specific points. Easy ones to work on when you don’t have a massage buddy? The soft, fleshy web between your thumb and forefinger, or the spot three finger widths above your inner ankle bone. Using this specific technique with the help of essential oils is a fool-proof stress nixer that will leave you with stimulated blood flow and reduced muscle tension.
Endorphins and Exercise
Our last piece of advice? Get that body moving! Exercise is a scientifically proven tactic to reduce stress in your body, and results in a long list of psychological and physiological benefits. Seriously, your body will thank you. When you exert effort during a brisk walk, run, or yoga class, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which interact with receptors in your body that trigger sensations of pain (which is why certain exercises can reduce overall body soreness or achiness). Those same endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body that some exercise junkies equate to euphoria. In other words, exercise will bump up your mood and leave you with greater capacity to not sweat the small stuff.
In terms of stress busting, exercise essentially acts like meditation-in-motion: by allowing you to focus on a single physical task, it can help redirect negative thought patterns and allow you to distance yourself from cyclical thinking. This means that post sweat session, you might be able to approach a stressful problem or decision with an entirely new perspective. Finally, it’s also a key way to maintain self confidence and a positive body image, so that well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) relatives commenting on your appearance throughout the holiday season can go in one ear and out the other.
Individually, these are all stellar suggestions for beating stress this winter. Combined, they’re a super powerful formula that will get you back to zen throughout this hectic holiday season. It’s all about combining topical pampering with holistic body and mind self care – stress-busting happens on the inside and the outside, and with a smart combination of both, we promise you’ll be cool as a cucumber. Keep up with us on our blog for more winter lifestyle and organic beauty guides.