Set the Scene
With their soothing amber glow and pervading scent, aromatherapy candles and burners are the perfect scene-setters – and, with the right oils, the perfect pampering partners. “Aromatherapy products consistently perform,” says founder of This Works and Good Works and former Vogue Health & Beauty Director, Kathy Phillips. “Lavender, cedarwood and patchouli are fantastic for relaxing and relieving stress, as is howood oil which acts as a natural harmoniser, balancing emotions.” To begin your pampering ritual, dim the lights, add a few drops of essential oil to a hot stone or oil burner, or light a relaxing candle (try Balance Me Wind Down Candle with Ylang Ylang
We like: This Works Hot Stone Burner, This Works Deep Calm Hot Stone Essence (part of Hot Stone Essences trio). Origins Peace of Mind Stress Relief Diffusing Oil & Burner, Botanics Aromatherapy Essential Oils.
Melt Away Tension
Feeling uptight? “Tension is often stored in our neck and face, which can lead to headaches and can also make the skin look tired and drawn,” says Balance Me therapist Mandy Oxley Swan, who recommends this soothing ritual to melt away tension: “Do a simple session of 30 seconds of deep abdominal breaths, apply a few drops of Balance Me’s Super Oil
to hands and place over nose and inhale. Close eyes, press fingertips into temples and hold for a few minutes before moving fingers along the jaw line in soft pinching motions.” For instant relief, try Good Works’ new Good Sense Pulse Point Relief or Origins On The Spot Relief – both contain soothing peppermint, known for relieving tension and soothing headaches.
Get Some Water Therapy
Don’t underestimate the power of water therapy, says facialist Anastasia Achilleos, who is known for her holistic approach. “I’m a firm believer that water has healing powers. Not just for cleansing the surface of the body but for releasing emotional stress too,” she says. “Physical and emotional stress manifests as fatigue, heaviness and restlessness, but when you shower or bathe at night you release these feelings from the body.” Create a relaxing retreat by running a bath using essential oils. “Add essential oils like lavender to a warm bath and the aromas will fill the room and help you relax and unwind,” says Anastasia. Bath time is dedicated ‘you’ time, so use the time to indulge; treat hair and skin with pampering masks and luxurious bath oils.
Try these treats for a pampering bath: Good Works Good Night Sleep Bath Oil or Elle MacPherson Release The Day , Olay Total Effects 7 x Mask.
Indulge and Pamper Your Skin
Relax your mind and your skin will reap the benefits. “I’m a strong believer in our skin being a direct result of what we’re feeling. Many of my clients hold on to angry emotions and I see the result of this on their skin as angry spots,” says Anastasia who recommends taking the time to relax and pamper the skin. “Put on a face mask and really take the time to relax and unwind. When cleansing, put lavender essential oil in a bowl of warm water with a flannel and use it as a reviving compress on tired skin while the aroma helps you relax.”
Indulgence kit: Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energising Mask, Botanics Aromatherapy Pure Essential Oil Lavender, Urban Retreat The Cleanser.
Sleep on it
There’s no reason to stop your pampering when your head hits the pillow – in fact, the experts believe there’s no better time to nourish and indulge. “The modern world has thrown up ever increasing levels of pollution for us to deal with. But when we are at home in bed, we are less exposed to these ills and therefore they can’t interfere with what we are putting on our bodies – the ingredients can get to work as they were intended,” says Kathy. Choose from indulgent night creams and hair masks to nourishing body oils and feet treats, many of which contain sleep-friendly scents or essential oils, so you don’t just wake up looking better, but get a sounder sleep too.
The overnight wish list:
For face: Caudalie Night Fusion (only available in store). Skin Doctors Potent C Renewing Night Cream, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Recovery Complex.
For gorgeous hair: Lee Stafford Poker Straight Sleepover Treatment.
For pampered feet: Bliss Softening Socks.
Super-soft hands: The Sanctuary Moisture Infused Gloves.
To wake up sunkissed: Olay Complete Everynight Sunshine.