Editor’s Note – May, 2013
***If you or a loved one suffers from a serious and persistent mental illness, visit NAMI.org for information on how to help your loved one and yourself.***
Maintaining good mental health is as important as sustaining good physical health! Whether you are an individual living with a serious mental illness, or you experience many of life’s stressors, there are times in our lives when we have to step back and practice self care. In observance of Mental Health Awareness month, I will share some luxurious products I enjoy using (primarily beauty related, of course!) to give me that little “pick me up” or to help me unwind from a stressful day.
Keep reading for more information!
Soaking in a hot bath may be dehydrating, but it is so relaxing! Several times a week I indulge in a hot bath but, instead of using my usual body wash, I often reach for something I consider a little more special. Currently, I am loving Philosophy Field of Flowers Peony Blossom 3-in-1 shower gel ($18 for 16 oz./480 ml.). It is a creamy, pearly white shower gel with a sweet, floral scent reminiscent of peonies. The scent lingers slightly longer (typical of the brand’s creamy formulas) compared to the majority of their shower gels, but it does not last long enough to interfere with your other fragrances. My favorite 3-in-1 is Unconditional Love ($24 for 16 oz./473 ml.) which is a light, heavenly blend of Blackberries, water lilies, and vanilla. It smells and feels oh, so comforting! Philosophy 3-in-1 products are great to use for shower gels and bubble baths, but I do not like them as shampoos. They leave my fine-textured hair looking limp and lifeless.
A few times a week I like to give my body a good scrubbing to get rid of dead skin cells and enhance my skin’s softness. Recently, I picked up Bath & Body Works Smoothing Body Scrub in Lemon Zest ($13 for 11 oz./311 g). It is supposed to energize you with a mix of essential oils (mostly lemon and jojoba) and Ginseng. It contains ground walnut shells and sugar crystals to exfoliate skin (they are micro in size, so they are not harsh on the skin), as well as vitamin E to moisturize skin. It is a good moisturizing scrub and I personally enjoy citrusy scents, so this helps invigorate me in the morning.
Another product I use as a body scrub is Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser ($29 for 5 oz./150 ml). Unfortunately, I cannot use this on my face because it causes breakouts, and the micro jojoba beads are not good for rosacea. However, it makes an excellent moisturizing body scrub that utilizes plant and nut oils to nourish skin without leaving a film.
I love using scrubs, especially on my hands and feet, as they feel like a mini spa treatment. Our hands and feet take so much abuse throughout the day, and are often neglected. I always feel refreshed and relaxed after a mani and pedi. If I am pressed for time, a quick scrub and massage often do the trick!
Taking a few minutes out of the day to give yourself a relaxing hand massage can relieve tight feeling hands from daily work and activities. If you suffer from arthritis, this can be particularly helpful. I find lavender to be a wonderful, calming scent (when it’s natural, not synthetic) so I immediately fell in love with L’Occitane Lavande Hand Cream ($12 for 1 oz.). It is loaded with natural ingredients such as shea butter, grape seed oil, lavender oil, coconut oil, beeswax, sunflower seed oil, and rosemary leaf extract to scent and smooth skin. When my hands are feeling very dry, I like to use the brand’s 25% Shea Butter Hand Cream ($28 for 5.2 oz.), which is ultra moisturizing and perfect to use when your hands are dry from constant water exposure.
Fragrance and Aromatherapy
Spraying your favorite body mist, perfume, or blend of essential oils is a lovely use of aromatherapy. One of the perks of joining Aveda’s rewards program is choosing an Aveda Personal Blends Pure-Fume (FREE for 0.5 oz./15 ml.). This annual perk contains an assortment of essential oils that can calm, rejuvenate, or bring forth balance. In the middle of a busy day, I like to spray it on my wrists and take a few minutes to inhale the aroma, and notice the scent change as it blends with my skin’s chemistry.
I do not condition my hair every day because I find daily conditioning weighs it down and makes it look oily. Once a week, I use a masque to give my hair lasting moisture. One of the few products I like from Bumble & Bumble is their Quenching Masque ($32 for 5 oz./150 ml.). If you have fine hair that is not damaged, this is a nice option. If your hair is very dry or damaged, this will not provide enough moisture. This conditioner provides proper nourishment to get me through the week without leaving my hair limp or greasy. I must warn you, this does smell very similar to a Citronella candle, which some may find unappealing.
On the occasion I do condition my hair more than once a week, I love using Aveda Blue Malva Color Conditioner ($18 for 8.5 oz./250 ml.). This purple conditioner moisturizes my hair and very, very, (I repeat: very) slightly removes some of the brassyness from my natural hair color. As with any color-treating product, the longer you leave it in, and the more often you use it, the more effective it will be. This has a nice lavender scent.
Coffee and Tea
I am not afraid to admit I am not a morning person, so I really need a good cup of coffee to perk me up! Recently, I got a Keurig and I absolutely love it! Generally, I prefer a dark roast coffee, but occasionally I enjoy a cup of flavored java. I like to brew Green Mountain Coffee Pumpkin Spice K-Cups, which is a seasonal flavor released during the holidays. The spicy aroma reminds me of fall and winter; I like to sip this and contemplate plans for the holidays.
The Keurig is not only great to make a single cup of coffee, but is convenient to make a cup of hot tea. At the end of the day, I use hot tea helps me to relax before bedtime. A beloved tea of mine is Teavana’s Youthberry & Wild Orange Blossom Tea ($18.80 for 4 oz./113 g.). It is a fruity, pink, herbal and white tea blend containing orange, pineapple, acai, red currants, and mango. It smells absolutely divine and warms the soul. It is also the perfect iced tea during summer.
These are a few of the items I use to maintain my mental wellbeing. Remember, you do not need to spend money on material things to elevate your mood or relieve stress. I get so much joy and relief from my relationships, my dog, and blogging! It is important to allow time to take care of yourself. This month, I encourage you to observe your surroundings and find what brings you little bits of joy throughout your day.
Disclosure: The products featured in this post were purchased by TheLABofLuxury.
Posted on May 1, 2013, in AVEDA, BATH & BODY, BATH & BODY WORKS, BODY WASH, BRAND, BUMBLE & BUMBLE, CLEANSERS, EDITOR'S NOTE, EXFOLIANTS, FEATURES, HAIR CARE, L'OCCITANE, LAB EXTRAS, LOTION, PHILOSOPHY, REVIEWS, SCRUBS, TEA & COFFEE and tagged editor's note, green mountain coffee, keurig, nami, self care, teavana. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.