I have suffered from high-functioning anxiety for as long as I can remember. Anything from a chaotic work schedule to a last-minute cancellation of plans is enough to induce sleepless nights. It is therefore fair to say that over the last 20 or so years, I have dedicated a huge amount of time to finding small ways to help ease my anxiety, even just by a little.
And while by no means have I found a permanent solution, I have fine-tuned a number of rituals to help me deal and cope with everyday stresses. As a beauty editor, I’d go as far as to say that about 80% of my time is spent thinking about beauty products. There are lotions and potions virtually everywhere I look—each one needing to be tested and trialled. It makes sense, therefore, that beauty has a huge role to play when it comes to managing my anxieties.
It might seem a little surface-level at first, but it turns out that actually there is a huge amount of evidence that shows channelling some form of self-care through your beauty routine can have impressive emotional benefits, both through aroma and touch. Dr Tara Swart, neuroscientist and Aromatherapy Associates spokeswoman explains, “The connection between aroma and channelling the power of your brain is incredibly strong since the olfactory nerve connects the nose directly to the limbic system—the intuitive, emotional pathways of the brain. Triggering your olfactory system can alter your overall wellbeing in a positive manner both emotionally and physically.”
And it seems it’s not just scent that can help calm the mind. Kirsty Eaton, national trainer at Skin Regimen says, “The power of touch can reduce stress and anxiety even when massaging your own skin. Follow more of a mindful massage approach by slowing down and really experiencing the pleasing textures and sensations from applying your products.”
So without further ado, keep scrolling to discover some of the beauty products that I use for their soothing effects.
This new pillow mist from Jo Malone might just knock my go-to pillow spray off the nightstand. With calming lavender and comforting musk, this pretty spray is the perfect antidote for sleepless nights.
Blended with pink grapefruit, rosemary and juniper berry, for days when you struggle to get out of bed, this bath and shower oil proves to be the most mind-clearing of wake-up calls. Simply massage onto skin before your morning shower or add a splash to running bath water.
Nothing calms my mind quite like taking the time to carry out a luxurious skincare ritual. This sumptuous cleansing balm takes a two-pronged approach to stress and anxiety by allowing for the most calming of facial massages and smelling beautifully floral.
I don’t know a single person who’s tried this mind-soothing elixir and hasn’t fallen in love. I’m by no means a fan of facial oil, but the calming lavender and primrose oil in this particular product has been feeling totally zen.
While it’s not strictly a beauty product, no de-stressing beauty ritual is complete without a candle. This particular one from Rituals is subtly floral and unbelievably calming.
If you often find yourself experiencing pangs of anxiety while out and about, I find a scented hand cream can act as the perfect calmer. This particular formula smells like mood-boosting neroli and offers tired hands serious hydration when massaged in.
Injecting a bit of light-hearted fun into a calming bathing ritual, these jasmine and rose-scented bath bombs not only smell divine, but they also envelop limbs in comforting, nourishing oils.
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, this balm really does instil a sense of overwhelming calmness when applied to the temples and wrists.
A bottle of this sits permanently by my side. Whenever I feel a little overwhelmed, I reach for this, spritz it into the air and take a few deep breaths. Its power is really quite extraordinary.
What better way to give your limbs a soothing massage that with a luxe body scrub? Not only does this one leave skin silky smooth, but the calming botanical aroma fills the whole room.
The perfect addition to any handbag, this easy-to-use rollerball harnesses an aromatic blend of eucalyptus, frankincense and lavender to relieve emotional tension.
With one of the most beautifully calming scents out there, this richly nourishing body cream also physically soothes tired limbs and stressed-out skin.
This zingy hand and body wash is powerfully invigorating. I like to think of it as happiness in a bottle.
In stressful times, I swear by a quick spritz of a face mist for an instant pick-me-up. This particular bottle not only smells like a spa but it also hydrates and soothes skin as an added bonus.
After a particularly anxiety-filled day, nothing helps prepare me for a stress-free night’s sleep quite like this lavender-scented bubble bath. More so than any other formula I’ve tried, the aroma is without any hint of artificial scent, proving itself to be far more relaxing and efficacious.
This nourishing cleansing cream takes all of the stress out of skincare and leaves skin feeling soft and supple.
Like oranges, neroli and all of the happiest smells that summer has to offer, this beautiful perfume is one of my most reliably uplifting scents.