In our hyper-connected world, the ‘self care’ movement continues to evolve. From wellness and mindfulness to nutrition, there are more ways than ever to carve out a little ‘me’ time. But it’s in beauty: those private moments and rituals, that the #selfcare concept really hits its strides.
Humans have been practicing beauty and self care for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks made wrinkle-fighting skincare concoctions out of seeds, leaves and flowers, while in Medieval women made cleansers out of rosemary and cucumber. We’ve always known there is power in botanicals, and the desire to spend time alone with our skin is an overarching theme throughout history.
In the modern day maelstrom of multitasking and connectivity, there’s no denying that a moment of stillness in the bathroom or at your dressing table can be truly soul-affirming. Here are just a few of my rest-enhancing rituals that aid in the decompression process.
Set The Scene With ScentYour sense of smell is closely tied with memory and emotion since it is processed in the same area of your brain. For this reason, we’re able to alter our moods by choosing scents that have happy or relaxed associations. Lavender and rose are obvious choices, but I also like setting the scene at my dressing table or in the bathroom by lighting candles, burning oils or applying body lotion that have Spring or Summer inspired scents to evoke holidays and lazy days in the sun. Coconut, jasmine, neroli, orange blossom and frangipani or tiare flowers are instant mood-lifters. Minenssey Body Lotion is fragranced with Jasmine, Honeysuckle and refreshing Pink Grapefruit.
Water Immersion Boosts Your MoodHaving a bath is one of the most instant ways to signal your brain into relaxation mode, and there have been scores of studies that prove it. A 2017 study found daily bathing significantly alleviates depression, while a Japanese study compared bathing to showering in relation to a variety of health factors. Both forms of water immersion were found to increase ‘vasodilation’, which in turn increases blood flow, supplying more health-giving oxygen and nutrients to the body. Bathing was found to be the more powerful of the two water immersions, so if you have a tub, use it. If you don’t, place a face washer on your drain with a few drops of essential oil on it, to create a fragranced steam room. In my bath, I like to add a cup of epsom salts and add a few drops of fragrance: lavender before bed or something floral or summery if it’s during the day.
Cleanse The Day Off CompletelyThe act of cleansing your face and body can be a moment of self care in itself. And while the physical shedding of the day’s dirt, oil, sebum and skin cells is necessary it can be made more enjoyable if you take your time with it. To balance your skin effectively, look for a botanical-powered cleanser that will cleanse gently while still maintaining the all important barrier of the skin. Minenssey Rejuvenating Cleanser contains vitamin C-charged antioxidant duo kakadu plum and pomegranate along with lemon aspen, apple willowbark and nettle. To increase the skin-sloughing power of the cleanser you can remove it with a muslin cloth with gentle circular motions.
Supercharge Your MasksNothing says ‘me’ time more than a mask application. Supercharge your masks by applying a few drops of serum, oil or absolute into them - or straight onto your skin - before applying. I love to add a few drops of Minenssey Flannel Flower Absolute into the Rejuvenating Clay Mask. I’ve also been known to apply the Rejuvenating Super Food Facial Elixir before the Nutritious Skin Treatment Mask to really amplify the hydrating and free-radical fighting benefits. Always finish your masking with a serum or oil and moisturiser to seal all the juiciness in.
Words by Sigourney Cantelo