It is almost the end of the year already and what do you do to rejuvenate your mind and senses to keep you fresh and looking forward to a new start in 2010?
I've always loved products with aromatherapeutic properties... Though some school of thought would say that the smells from aromatic products only give benefit via psychological means, ie. only through our sense of smell and nothing else, I must say however that it is through the power of our minds that we could influence our entire body to feel what we want to feel.
And here I would like to share just one of the few aromatherapy scents that I like, which would help rejuvenate my senses especially after an entire week of house chores, the baby, work and putting everyone else before me.
Once a week I would spend that extra time in the shower layering products on my face and body a-la at the spa, the hot shower is turned full blast while I immerse myself in whatever scents I choose to use, the smell lingering in the bathroom with the steam from the shower help to intensify the degree of the lingering scent.
Image source: WellSphere
The main note from the aromatic mix contains Peppermint Oil, that delivers a cool sensation, coupled with some relaxing and moisturising combination from other types of essential oil to achieve the desired results.
Firstly, I'd start with cleansing my face, scrub and then I'd use a self-warming mask on my very oily face that's pretty much highly stressed and congested. Lancome's Pure Focus Deep Cleansing Mask is a self-heating mask that contains marine algae. It has a really light gel texture, to be spread thick on the face and massaged evenly for 30 seconds. I love how warm the skin feels upon contact with the minty green concoction, where it automatically opens up the pores for deeper cleansing action. Although you should just wash it off after the 30 seconds massage, I would usually leave it on my face while I step into the shower as a cool minty sensation is released from the mask - a good start to energising my tired senses and invoke such a clean feeling.
Then, comes my favourite part... A nice long shower where my entire body will be cleansed, feels minty cool and leaves my skin feeling soft.
In the shower, I would use a shower gel from Thann (formerly known Harnn & Thann). And this one's from an accidental find while I was shopping for miniature toiletries during my corporate heydays, for some Board of Directors who were visiting a massive oil and gas construction vessel still under construction. I just thought that aromatic scents available on board their individual berths after a tiring tour would be heavenly... and at that time, many luxury brands like L'occitane and Clarins didn't have travel sizes while mass brands like Body Shop and Crabtree do not contain pure aromatic oils in their toiletries. Thus, I was elated when I came across Harnn & Thann in 1Utama and remembered how much I loved their Sea Foam shower gel I bought on a holiday in Langkawi.
The shower gel may not instantly leave a cool effect unless you use a good body scrub like this before you start using the shower gel. The reason is probably because once you have gotten rid of accumulated dead skin cells through that gentle exfoliating step, the skin would be able to respond better to any energising properties upon contact.
Other than Peppermint Oil, The Sea Foam Aromatherapy Shower Gel contains ingredients like rosemary leaf oil, eucalyptus oil, thyme oil and rice bran oil to give you that effective combination.
The idea for a DIY aromatherapeutic session is for you to relax. So, don't rush it while in the shower because you should enjoy the lingering scent while the mind gets the message that the body is recovering from an entire week's tiredness allowing time for the cool peppermint effect to work its magic.
And if I am really tired, I would overdo it a little by also using something minty on my hair. I would either use the same range from Thann, which always make my hair soft and smooth or I would reach out for Aveda's Rosemary Mint shampoo which is meant for fine hair. As I have thick and oily chemically processed hair, I would treat the shampoo as a clarifying shampoo that I would use fortnightly to rid the hair of any build-up from those finishing and styling products I'd use on my hair. I bought the shampoo in a 1L bottle as they had a promotion about a year ago. And only using it once in awhile makes the large bottle last like forever! But, hair products are supposed to have a 5-year shelf life so I am not worried if it goes bad ;)
While shampooing, the body would tingle from the mint in the shower gel that hasn't been rinsed off. Before I wash all of it away, I'd start by rinsing off the mask on my face, then the hair and finally the body. Ironically, running hot water against the cool minty after-feel feels awesome. Probably, also due to the presence of relaxing rosemary.
After that relaxing session, suffice a simple body moisturiser slathered on your damp skin but if you would want to feel all minty all over, you could also top it up with Bobbi Brown's Lip Tint on your lips. A lot of people do not really like it but I absolutely love the gloss-in-a-tube as it contains SPF15 and leaves a tingling minty feel on my highly-sensitised dry lips.
All these are enough to make me feel reenergised, fresh and ready to face the world.
note: Harnn & Thann no longer have retail outlets in 1U and Bangsar Village. However, their products can be purchased through their Thann Sanctuary in One World Hotel near 1 Utama.