It is almost the end of January, which 2021 is almost a month in, and yet for some reason, it feels like the New Year was only yesterday. No. Actually, there are a lot of reasons why time feels like it’s standing still. For quite some time now, everyone has been under a lot of stress and it doesn’t seem like the straining feeling of being drained, tired, and worn out is going away any time soon.
That being said, nobody – and I dare someone tell me otherwise – can force us to forget about self-care. So, with that thought in mind, let us, for one evening, leave all the worries outside the door of our houses and make this evening an exclusive “me” zone created for the sole purpose of pampering ourselves and, for what feels like the first time in forever, taking care of and loving ourselves.
And while, yes, it might sound a little egoistic do keep in mind that nobody will take care of you for you and that selfish people live longer.
Now, with everything else set aside, let us start the ultimate self-care session. It so happens that all the beautifying rituals have a tendency to start in the bathroom, so let’s not commit blasphemy of breaking the primordial order of things and begin there as well.
Personally, I would start with the bath. But a regular bath would be too easy and boring and, let’s be honest, we all want to feel luxurious every once in a while. So, to up the stakes, add a bath bomb, some lavender essential oil for further relaxation and, to top it all off, some flower petals from flower bouquets sold at every supermarket on the corner of the street. There you can also buy some candles of different sizes and colors. It’s won’t be straining for your budget and the result of everything combined together will make you feel a million bucks worth of queen material. When lighting the candles, turn off the big lights – to get into the right mood quicker. Put on some relaxing music: classic piano or violin work quite nicely, but you can improvise to see what works best for you.
So, the water for the bathtub is running and we have some time before we get in. Let’s take care of that fabulous hair.
Hair, no matter the consistency, density and overall health still needs to be loved every once in a while – and making it a habit is the ultimate goal. So to start, let’s brush it out. Starting from the bottom and slowly going up, it is important to get rid of any and all tangles before showering or applying any kind of treatment. My personal pick will always be wooden brushes – made of natural materials, they help improve blood circulation and evenly distribute the oils your scalp produces.
Speaking of oils, that our next stop. My absolute favorite on this list is a fortifying organic scalp oil serum by Blue Beautifly – I apply it all over my head and then massage the oil into the scalp and also take a little bit of oil to apply to my ends, since they have a nasty habit of staying dry.
Dry hair becomes a much bigger problem in winter. Extreme cold is as harmful as extreme heat and cold winters can be really harsh on our hair, leaving it dry, frizzy, and full of static. And so, just like nature uses the cold season to nourish and revive itself, I like to think of winter as the time to care for my hair. I don’t expose it to natural elements, wear it in protective hairstyles, such as loose braids or buns, tuck underneath my clothes. I also try to extend my hair washings since hair’s natural oils help condition it in the dry season. Plus, the wintertime is the best time to do this, since you can just hide a bad-hair-day underneath a cap and, let’s be honest, it’s not like we even go out that much these days.
But going back to oils. Another option to use for the mask is the scalp treatment by The Innate Life – and they even have a treatment for problematic scalps, ones that struggle with extreme dryness and dandruff. As for the rest of the body of hair – you can hydrate it with the herbal hair mask, spreading it evenly from midsection to ends. Those aren’t the only options: you can use whatever oil you like best for hydrating your hair and finding organic Jojoba, Avocado, Argan or Olive oils on the market is not that hard. Once you’re done, leave the oils to nourish your hair for an hour or two, although if you want, leaving them overnight is not a problem either.
Now that that’s done, let’s get over to face. Since organic somehow became the foreword in our little spa-session, let’s not stray away from it. One of the natural cleansers, soothers and moisturizers out there that is perfect for cold, dry winters is raw honey. Any raw honey fits the criteria – you just apply it on your face and gently massage it into the skin. And since honey doubles as both a cleanser and a face mask, you can just leave it to soak together with your hair oils. A mud mask that is found at any skincare aisle, although not as thick as the counter-winter measures would want it, is also an option. One of the most popular homemade masks are avocado masks – what is more, they can work as both face masks and hair masks.
There’s one last thing not to forget before jumping into our bath that’s almost ready. A couple of minutes before you just go into the shower, dry-brush your skin. Using a regular wooden dry brush, brush your skin towards your heart. It’s an incredible and simple procedure that improves blood circulation, stimulates the lymphatic system, exfoliates the skin, and many more.
Now, it’s time to jump into our bath. You feel that? That must be how heaven feels. Like all the burdens have left your body and you feel warm and light as a feather. Don’t forget to stay hydrated though – drink at least one glass of water and add lemons or grapefruits or mint for detoxifying purposes. When it’s time to shower, first remove the honey mask off your face. There are many organic and natural brands for shampoos and conditioners, among them Prose, Ursa Major, Ethique, RahuaandCalia, all of them being of good quality and offering a range of products for different types of hair and scalp. The classic rules of washing your hair – shampoo for the scalp, conditioner for everything but the scalp – applies here as well.
It is now time to treat your body after the shower. Body oils, masks and moisturizers are offered in a wide variety in aforementioned Blue Beautifly as well as Living Libations and Apotterra, the latter having a great body scrub if you ever need one. If your skin is especially dry, body butter might be a very nice solution – and Sat Yuga Life’s body butter is a to-die-for product. As for face care, if none of the brands mentioned above don’t satisfy your wishes, here’s another one for you – since OIL + WATER specializes in facial care and already has complete sets prepared for your skin type. And while I understand that some of these brands are expensive than the others – first, there’s still a wide variety of products to choose from. And second, it is an investment in yourself.
If you washed the oils off your hair – let your hair air dry. The blow-dryer along with all the heating and curling devices really sucks the moisture out of your hair making it dry, fragile, and damaged. Don’t go out with your hair wet, especially if it’s winter and the temperature suggests that it’s cold – not only is it harmful to your hair, you can simply catch a cold and that would be incredibly unpleasant. Also, let your hair dry completely before going to bed – don’t go to sleep with your hair still wet as it, too, will damage it as hair is at its most fragile state when it’s wet.
If you find it hard to wait for your hair to dry – switch your attention to something else. Make a relaxing, soothing lavender or mint tea, read a book, clean up not to wake up to the mess first thing tomorrow morning. Try to stay away from electronic gadgets – countless studies have shown that the blue light emitted from our phones, TVs, and computers have countless side-effects, from worsening eyesight to making it harder to have a long, healthy sleep. After all, we’re trying to take care of ourselves here, right?
Although it might be a little late, I would like to congratulate us for making it through 2020 and arriving in 2021. I, too, don’t know what the future holds. I do know, however, that there will not be any happy future if we forget how to take care of ourselves. And since nobody – and I dare someone tell me otherwise – can force us to forget about self-care, what stops us from having a spa-session every week?