Beauty treatments are about feeling good, not just looking good on the outside. Many beauty products have their origins in Spa and offer genuine therapeutic benefits. These easy home-spa beauty rituals can help in negotiating the cold and flu season as well as in looking great.
Hot Baths for Aching Joints and Muscles
A hot bath can ease achy muscles and also warm the whole system. Many people find baths therapeutic if they feel tired or a bit flu-like. Using a stimulating and warming bath additive can also help and breathing in steam often eases sinus congestion. Hot, therapeutic baths can be a perfect winter treat for those who find that the cold makes their whole system feel uncomfortably chilled.
Any nice smell coupled with heat from the water will probably feel good. However, truly therapeutic products have ingredients such as real herb extracts and essential oils. These are particularly useful for clearing congestion and soothing cold symptoms.
- Aveda make Singular Notes which are single essential oils already mixed in to a carrier base. This renders the oils safe to go straight on to the skin or be dropped in to a pre-run bath. Particularly good for soothing coughs and colds are eucalyptus, tangerine and patchouli.
- More advice with the medical use of essential oils is available from professional brands such as Tisserand. For this season they recommend Forest Pine, Mandarin and Black Pepper.
- Elemental Herbology make a range of bath oils including a warming and uplifting Detox formula which contains Rosemary, Juniper Berry and Grapefruit.
- For an intensely warming bath, Fresh Sake Bath ($80, 400ml) is the final word in hot bathing therapy. Containing over 50% real Sake, this non-oily soak is also infused with warming ginger root and pine. Fresh say that this induces a ‘purifying sweat to eliminate toxins’ as well as ‘promotes easy breathing’. Anyone who likes saunas or hot treatments will find that a Sake Bath is one of the most satisfying bathing experiences around. It has a noticeable effect on the system that would actually seem to justify its steep price tag.
- For an affordable soak, try using warming herbs such as fresh rosemary and sage straight from the kitchen. They smell uplifting, help to clear the head and herbs, rather than concentrated oils, are gentle enough for sensitive skins.
It is important to stay warm after a hot bath. If feeling really achy, then massage in a warming body oil or lotion.
A hot shower can feel surprisingly therapeutic and less sleep inducing than a hot bath. Turning a daily shower in to an invigorating morning treatment is good for keeping the immune system strong and the body energised.
- Dry body brushing helps to keep skin smooth but also feels invigorating first thing in the morning. Use a firm, natural brush and small strokes, on dry skin, which go towards the heart.
- Use a scrub such as Ren’s Guerande Sea Salt Body Exfoliating Balm. This contains Basil and Peppermint oil which both help to clear congestion.
- Aromatherapy shower gels such as Elemental Herbology’s Winter Body Wash contain essential oils, so have a mildly therapeutic affect as well as cleansing the skin.
- Aromatherapy Associates makes a range of oils suitable to use in the shower, which also contain essential oils to help clear the head and invigorate the body.
Washing Hands Thoroughly and Maintaining a Manicure
Keeping hands manicured is an easy way to always look polished. However, in winter, good grooming can also help to prevent the spread of colds and flu. Nothing is as good at harbouring bacteria as the inside of a long talon. The winter fashion for short, bright, painted nails helps to keep fingers clean as well as polished.
Flu can be spread from hand to hand, especially in places like public transport. It is advisable to wash hands as soon as getting home, before eating and as soon after coughing or sneezing as possible. Invest in a couple of gentle but beautiful smelling hand soaps for the kitchen and bathroom to encourage household hand washing .
- Jasons Liquid Satin soaps are so gentle that they will never dry out hands, come in lovely winter flavours like Cranberry and wash away surface dirt, along with the bacteria and viruses that this dirt is harbouring. The hand dispensers are also easy to keep clean.
Winter is a time when we need to do things that help us to feel cheered up, relaxed and nurtured. Touch is very important in this, so even small massage treatments can help promote a sense of well being.
- Shoulder or scalp massages with essential oils are great for gentle relaxation.
- A pedicure relaxes muscles in legs and feet.
- Facials which include pressure points massage can help keep sinuses clear.
- Try Aveda Blue Oil in a rollerball application for massaging in to the neck and temples. The blend of blue camomile, peppermint and menthol helps to ease tension and headaches, while being soothing, uplifting and decongesting.