UPDATED APRIL 2021
PROBLEM: Difficulty Sleeping
THE SOLUTION: If you’re struggling with insomnia, you may be tempted to reach for products containing lavender, but hold fire, says wellness and skin expert Marie Reynolds. “Lavender is the usual tonic for insomnia, but valerian root is even more powerful when it comes to helping you nod off. It works on your nerve pathways and switches on neurotransmitters to help you relax. If you add it to your bath as a stand-alone essential oil, you may also want to include a more floral oil with it as valerian has a very earthy smell. Don’t discount the power of essential oils – they are absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream, so they get to work to instantly relax you.” Aromatherapist Michelle Roques O’Neil also recommends identifying the root cause of your sleep problems and going from there. “If you’re not sleeping because you’re worried or overthinking, look to essential oils such as chamomile, bergamot or neroli. If you’re over-tired and feel depleted, use juniper and petitgrain. If you’re feeling emotional, look to rose and lavender – a blissful combination.”
TOP TIP: If you’re having trouble nodding off, the temperature and timing of your bath is key. Once you come out of the bath, your core body temperature drops immediately, accelerating a natural cooling process that takes place as you sleep, so keep your bath on the warmer side for the ultimate slumber, and don’t have it too early in the evening, otherwise you’ll miss out on the benefits.
PROBLEM: Cold & Flu Symptoms
THE SOLUTION: “If you aren’t feeling 100%, essential oils should be your go-to,” says massage therapist Sarah Jane Watson. “Ravensara is a wonderful choice to support the immune system and is particularly effective at the first signs of shivering and helpful in all cases of respiratory infection. Eucalyptus is great, it’s one of the best-known decongestants for cold and catarrh as well as having a powerful bactericidal and antiviral action. Sweet marjoram is also one to try – it’s highly beneficial for clearing the chest and easing respiratory difficulties. It can reduce shivers, aching and ensure a good night’s sleep, which will aid recovery.” Concoct your own bath by adding one to two drops of each essential oil in one tablespoon of jojoba oil; add to the bath once run and soak for 20 minutes.
TOP TIP: If you’re looking for a quick fix, consider a product that’s done the hard work for you. Verdant Alchemy’s Breathe In Bath Oil, brimming with eucalyptus, makes light work of decongesting, while Therapie’s Protect Oil is like a helping hand for the immune system thanks to fragonia, which offers antiviral support, and niaouli, which counteracts congestion.
PROBLEM: Low Energy Or Hungover
THE SOLUTION: Epsom and Himalayan salts will work wonders to absorb toxins when you’re feeling sluggish and overindulged, so make them your first port of call. “On top of this, consider adding a few drops of tangerine, peppermint, lemongrass or grapefruit essential oil,” Michelle recommends, “All of which improve sluggishness caused by an overworked liver.” SL rates Aromatherapy Associates’ cult Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil, packed with grapefruit, rosemary and juniper, while Elemental Herbology’s Detox Bath Oil is another good option, perking up mind and body. Also keep an eye out for products containing scotch pine, which Sarah Jane says has strong reviving properties.
TOP TIP: For those days you’re feeling particularly below par, Marie recommends soaking in Epsom salts with a few drops of juniper berry essential oil. “Juniper is great at detoxing. It works by aiding stagnant lymphatic flow and eliminates toxins from the body, leaving you feeling more energised and revived. Soak for at least 30 minutes and make sure you drink plenty of water while in the bath and afterwards to avoid dehydration.”
PROBLEM: Stress & Anxiety
THE SOLUTION: Few things melt away the stressors of daily life like a sudsy soak but if you’re feeling particularly burnt-out, it could be wise to level up your bath. “Settling into a calming bath is the ultimate pause button since you are forced to sit in one place and come to peace with your surroundings in that moment,” says Marie. Her version of the ultimate bath follows a specific recipe. “Inflammation is caused by emotional, physical and mental stress, so to create your own healing bath at home, add 500g of dead sea salt along with 250g of baking soda. Soak for 45 minutes and make sure you drink plenty of water. The direct link between your skin and organs will release toxins stored in your connective tissue to leave you feeling revived.”
TOP TIP: If there’s one stress-busting ingredient to look out for, it’s frankincense, says Sarah Jane. “Frankincense has the capacity to relax the diaphragm, enabling deeper breathing, therefore having a deeply calming effect on your body. It’s beautifully scented, extremely healing and is highly beneficial for countless stress-related conditions.”
PROBLEM: Eczema, Psoriasis & Sensitive Skin
THE SOLUTION: Soaking in a tub of the right ingredients will soothe stressed out skin. Oats have been used for centuries to calm sensitive skin and eczema, says Sarah Jane. “Colloidal oatmeal, which is made from whole oat kernels that have been finely ground and processed into a powder, can be added to the water to make a soothing bath. This can bring relief for conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, severe dryness, itchiness and rashes.” Sarah Jane recommends sprinkling a cup into warm water as the bath is filling up. “This will create a slightly milky consistency which then coats the skin. Soak for 15 minutes and pat the skin dry afterwards.” Marie also recommends Restore, one of her own products that’s ideal for sensitive skin. A powder formula, it’s packed with healing hemp, phytonutrients and pre- and probiotics. “Mix with water as a mask, with oil to create an exfoliator, or in the bath as a probiotic soak. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and balances the skin’s natural flora and fauna.”
TOP TIP: There’s no need to spend lots on products for sensitive skin. Sarah Jane says her top pick is Aveeno’s 100% Natural Colloidal Oatmeal Soothing Bath Treatment, which comes in individual sachets.
DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.