From dropping beetroot hummus on your favourite white t.shirt, to unexpected visitors when you’re out of biscuits - life can be pretty hectic, and little irritations can soon metamorphose into bigger stresses. Introducing lavender - the purple-flowering plant on a mission to make Monday meetings more manageable and sleepy Sundays even more satisfying.
Renowned for its dreamy effects, and used for centuries in beauty products and herbal remedies, lavender is top of the list when it comes to helping us chill out. There have been a plethora of studies into this widely used plant in a bid to unlock the shrub’s enchanting secrets and discover why it can have such a calming affect on our disposition.
Professor Tim Jacobs explains: “lavender essential oil is relaxing, has calming effects and has been used to aid sleep for generations. There is a scientific explanation for this as lavender essential oil contains a compound called linalool which is an anaesthetic. Effectively it anaesthetises your nerves, no doubt this occurs because it is a physiological effect.”
Many people report a relaxed state as a result of using lavender based products, and it’s often used in aromatherapy as a sleep aid or to calm busy thoughts. And let’s face it, most of us would welcome anything that can help us to switch off from our busy lifestyles for just a moment right?
So when the deep breathing techniques aren’t working, let go of the day’s stresses and call forth lavender lullabies with this bedtime routine instead.
Come in, the water’s fine
Whether you’re a bathing buff or a steamy shower enthusiast, immerse yourself in lavender waters and feel tranquility wash over you. Melt away the day with Dreamtime bath oil and take a dip in a sunset of glistening gold and deep mauve. As it hits the water, this solid Fair Trade organic cocoa butter bath oil lazily liquefies, leaving a trail of lavender and chamomile blue oil. Peppery ginger and dark sandalwood are divinely warming, conjuring up a comforting soak.
For baby bathers (over six months) who won’t settle try Ickle Baby Bot. Designed with irritable children and babies in mind, this soothing bath bomb will help your little ones calm down ready for lights out. A magical mix of lavender, chamomile blue oil and sandalwood oil will make bedtime a breeze.
Looking for a sophisticated soak? Create mountains of lilac bubbles with A French Kiss bubble bar. The herbal infusion of woody rosemary and verdant lavender untangles knotted thoughts and brings you back down to earth, while extra virgin coconut oil creates a blanket of soft, soothing suds.
If you’re stepping into a steamy shower then Twilight shower gel is fundamental to a relaxing routine. A strong lavender aroma hits at first, filling your shower with botanical steam, before a mellower undertone of vanilla-like tonka and caramelly benzoin resinoid fills your nose, finally a burst of sensual ylang ylang comes through as a floral finish. If you like the sound of this, then you can also find the same scent in the shimmering, lilac-coloured Twilight bath bomb.
Finish off by slathering yourself in skin-softening Sleepy body lotion, this pastel lilac cream will wrap you up in lavender water and a lavender flower infusion. Rich Fair Trade organic cocoa butter, illipe butter and oatmeal infusion enrich and condition the skin, while the addition of tonka to the mix gives this malty blend a slightly spicy cinnamon-like note. Heady ylang ylang and balsamic benzoin resinoid will bewitch your senses, sending you into sublime slumbers.
Let’s face it
The hot water from your soak or shower will have dilated your pores, so this is the ideal time to carry out a skincare regime as the nutrients, oils and butters from ingredients will be more readily absorbed into the skin.
Pinch a small piece of Angels On Bare Skin fresh cleanser from the pot and mix with a little warm water in your palm, once this has formed a paste, apply to your face in circular motions before rinsing or wiping away with a soft cloth. Inspired by an ancient medieval recipe, this restorative cleanser harnesses the power of lavender in order to balance your skin. Ground almonds add a small amount of gentle scrub, transforming to a soothing almond milk once water is added and resulting in a dazzlingly radiant complexion.
Once cleansed, close your eyes and spritz Eau Roma Water toner directly onto your face, before wiping away with a clean towel or cotton pads. A blend of lavender and rose will even out your skin tone and help to close your pores after a deep clean. Finally, smooth on delicately floral, lavender, geranium and rose Vanishing Cream. This light moisturiser sinks straight in, leaving behind only a light blossoming scent and gleaming skin.
Wake up on the right side of the bed
We know you’re eager to climb into bed and close those tired eyes after this sleep enhancing routine, but hold fire for just one moment! Before you slip under the covers and drift into dreamland, spray yourself or your bedding with a liberal amount of Twilight body spray. A musical blend of lavender and tonka will infuse your slumbers for a deep sleep and help you to wake up feeling fresh.
If you’re still struggling to hit snooze then there are plenty of other practical steps that you can take to make shut eye a little more attainable. You can also read more about the effects of lavender and frequently asked questions on the plant here. Now tuck up tight and enjoy a good... night’s... sleep...zzzZZZ