Thursday, 13 September 2018

Did you eco-beauties know that this month is #SelfCareSeptember??  Over the course of four weeks, we are all meant to practice self-care, or promote our individual physical and psychological wellbeing.  Sounds easy, right? 

Well, with the rise of health crises, it seems not!  It's hard to find the time to just sit back and relax, and many people struggle with the concept of taking time out for themselves.  Something always seems to get in the way of that much needed 'me' time -- work, studies, family emergency, kids, household duties, prior obligations... So how can we work self-care into a hectic schedule??

If you missed my guest post all about #SelfCareSeptember, you missed my six key tips for practicing self care.  Like I mention in the post, self care looks different for everyone, so there are many various ways you can take time out for yourself to regroup and revive your mind, body and spirit.  Some take five minutes, some an hour -- there is a practice that suits everyone on every timescale!  You can head over to get the 411 anytime you are starting to feel overwhelmed this month.   

The tasks that are most effective for me at the moment are aromatherapy, quiet time, and the quick little comforts in life like a cheeky chocolate treat.  But what does that actually look like?


Bath Time:

For me, there is nothing more calming than a soak in the tub.  You fill it with whatever you need to settle your mind and soothe your body -- salts, oils, bubble bath, bath milk, truffles, tonic, petals.. The possibilities are endless, as are the scents you can concoct.  No matter what you create, it is pure bliss.

I like to take at least ten minutes at the end of my bath where I just lie back with my eyes closed, letting my thoughts wander and the remaining warmth of the water do its magic.  By this time, any essential oils used in my potion have dissipated and are filling the whole room, making them even more effective.  Each breath is like a mini-therapy session.

If you do practice meditation, this is actually the perfect time to do so -- you are alone, in a quiet room, and (hopefully) have a total sense of calm. 

All of my favourite bath products right now have scents that aid relaxation and help instill a peaceful mindset.  Jasmine, lavender, geranium, vanilla, rose, bergamot, chamomile... Anything that promotes harmony!  My stress levels have been through the roof since getting back from holiday (thanks PhD) so I take any chance to try to level my nerves, since constant stress can lead to some pretty serious health issues like tension headaches or migraines, insomnia, panic attacks, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and more.


Kathleen Bubble Bath & Shower Gel in Tranquil Fields is one of the best foaming products I have tried, as it bubbles up really well, smells divine, and is free from any nasties like SLS.  This 100% natural and vegan-friendly bath treat is also surprisingly affordable for something so high in quality.

The scent truly is tranquil, with fragrant lavender, rich vanilla, and sweetly earthy frankincense.  Oddly enough, it reminds me of a spiced rum and coke on a chilly summer's night -- warming, a hint of sweet spice, and familiar.  It is the perfect addition to a bath, but can also be used in the shower to wash off the day.  Just remember to take a few deep breaths so your mind starts to slow down and prepare for a nice night in.

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Coco-sulfate*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Glycerin*, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside*, Cocamidopropyl Betaine*, Decyl Glucoside*, Lavandula Angustifolia Herb oil**, Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) Oil**, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract**, Citric Acid*, Levulinic acid*, Lauryl Glucoside*, Coco Glucoside*, Glyceryl Oleate*, Sodium Levulinate*, Sodium Phytate*, Sodium Benzoate, Linalool**, Limonene**, Coumarin**, Geraniol**. **from essential oils *natural plant origin


I have been a fan of the Kiss the Moon range for a long while now, but the GLOW bath salts are next level in my opinion.  With just a few little spoonfuls, your bathroom is transformed into a dreamy palace that will instantly set you at ease and sort your mood.  These are my go to if I had a bad day or am struggling with my mental health, as the orange scent helps lift your spirits and chase away any anxieties without energizing your mind too much.  Plus, they leave your skin feeling silky smooth and hydrated!

Ingredients: Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salt), Maris Sal (Dead Sea salt), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Orange Tree) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil, Camellia Oleifera (White Tea) Seed Oil, Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, Litsea Cubeba (Litsea)Fruit Oil, Citral*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool*   *naturally occurring in essential oils


The Rose Tree Calming Bath Oil has been a favourite of mine since I first tried it back in April.   The oil comes in a beautiful heart shaped glass bottle, and there is almost no plastic in sight in the packaging which is a huge plus to me.  The blend is not too greasy or slick, but works to moisturize your skin so you are left glowing both inside and out.  From the first splash into the water, the scent of the essential oils fill the room and bring to mind a walk on a warm day through a sunny garden of roses, but with just enough of a hint of ylang ylang for that added rich sweetness.  The Rose Tree bath oil helps keep that little bit of warmth and sunshine all year round, even on the darkest winter days, so this is a staple in my bathroom cupboard.

Ingredients: Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Cymbopogon Martinii Oil, ‎Pelargonium Graveolens Leaf Oil, Helianthis Annuus Seed Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Leaf Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower. Natural Constituents of Essential Oils: Also contains the following which occur naturally in essential oils: d-Limonene, Geraniol, Linalol, Farnesol, Citral, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Eugenol.



Skin Care Treats:

After a long soak I like to apply my favourite skin care goodies, as my pores are open and my skin much more absorbent due to the steam from the bath.  I always end with a stellar face mask, and then a leave on moisture treatment of some sort.  What I have learned over the years is that I don't need makeup to feel beautiful, but the moment my skin is looking dull or has break outs, I feel lower than low.  Little things like an ungainly spot or dry patches on your cheeks can really mess with your self-confidence, so I like to try to keep my skin glowing all year round so I can feel my best!


My all-time favourite mask is the Green Tea + Detox treatment from Awake Organics.  This formula is the definition of perfection, and even on my very first application I knew this was the mask for me.  It works in two ways - as a weekly deep detoxifying treatment or as a daily cleansing clay with detoxifying benefits.  Either one you choose leads to exceptionally soft skin and an almost immediate change in tone and texture.  Lately I have been pairing this up with the newly launched Sea Quartz Crystal & Algae Cleanser (review coming soon!) and the Citrus + Hemp Clear Skin Serum, and my skin has never looked more radiant. 

Ingredients: Unprocessed Pure Dead Sea Mineral Mud, ^British Raw Honey, ^UK Cannabis Sativa Oil (Chemical-free Farming), Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Natural Bentonite Clay, ^Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Matcha Green Tea), ^Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Essential Oils of *^Boswellia Neglecta (Frankincense) Oil, *^Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed, *^Pelargonium Graveolens Roseum (Rose Geranium), Non-GM Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, +Limonene, +Citronellol. (*Certified Organic, ^Certified Food Grade, +Naturally Occurring in Essential Oils).


I have tried a few of Alteya Organic's floral waters now, but I had not actually given their full skincare range a chance until recently when the lovely Lou from The Beauty Bank sent me a launch box for her new online shop, That Natural Hygge (review on its way!).  Along with try me sizes of Bodhi and Birch's incredible Super25 Botanical Serum, Isun's Lemon-Balsam Creamy Facial Cleanser, and 100 Acres' Rose & Lavender Bubble Bath, I received a full size Illuminating Perfecting Serum from Alteya Organics.

I was immediately sold on the formula as I am currently obsessed with anything jasmine scented.  Along with simply smelling gorgeous, the product is meant to repair skin damage done during the day,  promote the skin’s youthful glow and texture, deeply nourish and hydrate, calm and soothe, and improve overall radiance.  Plus, it is suitable for even sensitive skin, so I get to enjoy it without worrying my skin will react poorly!  This has been one of my favourite additions to my skincare routine lately, and I am so thankful to have been sent this fab green goodie! 

Ingredients: Distilled Thermal Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Polyglyceryl-6 Stearate (and) Polyglyceryl-6 Behenate, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil*, Glycerin*, Oenothera Biennis Oil*, Sodium carrageenan, Sea Salt, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sea Water, Glyceryl Caprylate, Rosa Canina Seed Oil*, Glyceryl Undecenylate, Salvia Hispanica Oil*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil*, Copernicia Cerifera Wax*, Lecithin*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Extract, Euphorbia Cerifera Wax, Theobroma Cacao Butter*, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil*, Punica Granatum Seed Oil*, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Pistacia Lentiscus Gum, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Linalool**, Citronellol**, Geraniol**, Eugenol** *Certified Organic Ingredients; **Naturally occurring in essential oils



Aromatherapy:

Unfortunately, I cannot take a bath every single day for both the sake of our water bill and the environment, but what I can do is bring the essence of those baths to my everyday life. 

Candles bring an instant face lift to any room, and are such a great way to establish a sense of calm in the house. On the other hand, aromatherapy roller balls are the perfect blend between a perfume and a therapy balm, and they can be used in any situation -- on the go, in bed, before an exam -- they are just so versatile and take up so little space that they are ideal for someone who does not have much time to spare during the week.  Whichever option you choose, you can be sure that a feeling of tranquility will begin to settle in after use!


One of my favourite roller balls recently is The Meadow by Bloomtown Botanicals -- it matches an old favourite bath oil of mine from Aromatherapy Associates PERFECTLY but in a much fresher and delicate way and without any of the nasties (and no palm oil!).  All you have to do is unscrew the cap, apply the oil to your pressure points (or get creative and pop some on the ends of your hair!), and move on with your day.  How easy is that!? 

The oil sinks in quickly, so you are not left with a slick residue sitting on your skin, and the scent lasts a decent amount of time.  Plus, since it is so tiny you can pop it in your pocket or handbag to reapply as needed throughout the day.  And being under a fiver, you can test and try all six scents so easily.

Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Meadowfoam Oil, Sesame Oil, Vitamin E, Fragrance & Essential Oils


Candles (and crystals, but that's another post!) are a growing love of mine, as you can set the whole tone of your home with just a few well selected scents and styles.  I tend to burn a 'focus' candle during the day if I am working from home, and a more soothing variety in the evenings while we watch a show or film before bed.  The fragrance works subtly in the background, and in terms of self care, this is probably the easiest way to incorporate a  boost of mental clarity.

When choosing a candle, just be sure to look out for a vegetable wax base such as soy or coconut (as these burn more cleanly and are best for anyone suffering allergies) and pure essential oils rather than synthetically fragranced products.  While cheap candles are tempting and synthetic scents are more potent and fill the room more fully, these are actually really bad for your health and cause headaches, sneezing fits, or long term breathing problems as many of the chemicals used to give the strong scent are highly toxic.


A new find of mine that I am head over heels for is from Nula Soy, a company that creates 100% pure soy wax candles using only certified organic essential oils.  Going off my newly found love of jasmine, I chose the Maui Beach scent on a whim with my last LLABP picks.  It turned out to be my favourite from the whole lot!  Filled with jasmine, lime, ginger, and ylang ylang, this medium sized candle creates pockets of joy while burning.  It doesn't overwhelm the senses, but comes and goes almost like wildflowers wafting in a warm breeze.  It is simply delightful, and I cannot wait to buy my next one (though that won't be for a while, as this should last 25+ hours!).

Ingredients: Jasminum Sambac Absolute* {Pikake Flower}, Cananga Odorata {Ylang Ylang}, Citrus Aurantifolia {Lime}, Zingiber Officinale {Ginger}, 100% North American Soy Wax and cotton wick. 100% pure certified organic essential oils. Our candles are registered with The Vegan Society.



Sweet Treat:

Okay, so this is one for the rare occasion rather than an everyday self-care solution, but still -- you can never underestimate the power of chocolate!  My most recent love is a recipe I concocted myself -- vegan cacao and carob brownies with a vanilla caramel drizzle!  YUM.


I grabbed this jar of organic carob powder from Kiki Health with my last LLABP picks, and it could not have come at a better time for me.  Caffeine free, high in dietary fibre, and super tasty, this is such a good substitute for those wanting something chocolaty without all the added sugars or dairy.  You can add it to smoothies, baking, or just sprinkle a bit on your morning porridge -- however you use it, you will be sure to get a little boost from this antioxidant rich powder.

I decided to get fancy for the GBBO the other day and whipped up some delicious vegan bite size brownies, and they ended up being the best indulgence I have had in a long while.  Pretty much guilt free, they just warm your heart and give you that little lift to get through a hard week. 

Want the recipe?? Let me know, as I am more than happy to share how I created these delicious organic baked goods!


While there are many other ways I practice self care, these are the methods that tend to be most effective for me on a weekly basis.  No matter how drained I am, or how low, or how 'over it' I am, I can take a bit of time out for a bath or a sweet treat and feel a little bit better and ready to keep on keeping on.  And with regular use of these green and organic goodies, I can keep myself as near 100% as possible. 

I would love to hear how you practice self care, or if you have any other green goodies you think are perfect for promoting physical or psychological health!  Sharing is caring, and during #SelfCareSeptember I think it is all the more important for us to all help each other and keep each other healthy and happy.  So let us exchange ideas, compliments, tips, tricks, and more, and build a positive community here on The ecoLogical.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below eco-lovelies, and talk soon!

17 comments:

  1. It's great to see how you practise self-care, I guess it will be different for everyone. Some gorgeous products here, I really want to try Green Tea + Detox mask from Awake Organics, sounds fantastic! I actually just wrote a post about what self-care means to me and if you are interested you can check it out here: https://www.behealthynow.co.uk/healthy-mind/what-self-care-means-to-me-and-how-i-am-improving-my-self-care-routine/ - I really want to improve my self-care routine and in this post I share some ideas on how I am going to do it.

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    1. I actually read that -- I saw your post on Twitter :) I'll have to head back and leave a comment if I haven't already! Yes, the Awake Organics mask is incredible, as are the rest of their products! self care is definitely different for everyone, and I really like seeing how others practice x

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  2. Such fantastic products, the green tea mask sounds so calming and relaxing, thats what we all need! I havent had a bath in soooooo long, I always jump in the shower as fast as I can, but I find winter is the best bath season ha ha!

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    1. baths are my favourite! I hope you get to enjoy one soon :) x

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  3. I love all of these products! Self care is something I am not very good at and I do need to try harder with! Its important to take care of ourselves!

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    1. You may find my guest post about self care useful if you are struggling with self-care :) there are tips for things that don't take up much time at all and that can really make a difference x

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  4. Self time is the best time to unwind and relax from the normal routine, especially for a mum as it helps in feeling refreshed!

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  5. Some great bits, I'm just like you and I love to unwind with a bath and it's the perfect time to pick some products and have a pamper x

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  6. The Kathleen Shower Gel sound lovely and it's vegan, I love that. Your brownies are fab too, I'd love to try them.

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    1. I definitely have to write up the recipe -- I was planning on doing that over the weekend, whoops! x

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  7. Theres so much I want to try now after reading your post. I am going to be giving the roller balls a go first, they'd be great for me I think. x

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  8. Self care is important. I like to treat myself to a nice face mask

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  9. I love baths. I can soak for hours. They are better for your skin than showers. Self care can be so simple :)

    Helen


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  10. I don't know much about essential oils so this was a really interesting read. A long soak in the bath and a pamper with my favourite skin care products are my go to self care method too.

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  11. Self care is something I don't often get time to do - do love a lush bath bomb every now and again though

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  12. Reading this has brought to my attention that I need to start taking more baths. They’re just those little hot tubs of gold to relax in!

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