Every night of my life, I take a bath. But for the past two or so months, I have added several steps to this habit, because I have finally, at the tender age of 37, decided to try to actually put this whole “self-care” hoo-ha into practice.
And so every night, here is what I do:
- Dry brush my entire body. (If you have never heard of dry-brushing, allow Gwyneth to explain it to you. It’s great.)
- Microplane my feet. This sounds disgusting, and is disgusting, but is also the single best method I have found for dealing with my horrifying foot situation. The first time I did it, I removed a shot glass’s worth of dead skin from my feet, revealing all the baby softness that had apparently been there all along, and it was mayyyyybe the single most satisfying thing I have ever done in my life (ok, after this).
- Run a bath, into which I add a couple of drops of frankincense oil, and about 1/2 tsp rosewater.
- Exit the bath, and (while my skin is still damp), coat myself from neck to toes with coconut oil into which I have mixed another drop or two of frankincense oil. And if you think frankincense oil will make you smell like a cathedral, let me tell you: it’s this odd blend of musk and freshness, and it’s definitely unique, but I love how it smells on the skin.
- Apply yet another oil to my face (either Superfood or prickly pear oil).
- Add yet another coat of coconut oil to my feet, and then put on socks to a) lock in the moisture and b) enable myself to get from bathroom to bedroom without breaking my neck because oil on the body is one thing, and oil on the soles of the feet is another, far more treacherous, situation.
If you’re going to say that this all sounds like a whooooole lot of work…I mean, yeah. It is. But I also do it while catching up on The Bachelorette on my computer, and it’s my Me Time. Non-negotiable.
Anyway, the biggest revelation from all this has been the essential oils. Last time I visited Francesca she gave me a bottle of Valentia Frankincense Oil, and I immediately went through the entire bottle and had to order more. And because I know I was a little confused about which oils to use where, and just sort of experimented until I arrived at the system above, I thought I’d ask the lovely owner of Valentia to tell me some more ways to mix and match oils for various uses.
Here’s a quick list of ideas, and if you scroll to the bottom you’ll find Pinnable images detailing each of these combos, so you can save for later.
- Frankincense + Rosehip Oil: DIY morning serum to wake up the skin
- Frankincense + Rose Water: DIY hair mist (great for scalp and for adding shine) and/or body mist (add Jojoba Oil or Argan Oil for added conditioning benefits)
- Frankincense + Lavender: Diffused nightly to enhance relaxation/natural sleep aid
- Frankincense + Vitamin E Oil: Spot treatment to reduce the appearance of scars and discoloration
- Frankincense + Tamanu Oil: Spot treat breakouts
- Prickly Pear Oil + Foundation: Add to your daily makeup for a glowy, dewy look
- Prickly Pear Oil + Lavender: DIY nightly moisturizer/serum
- Prickly Pear Oil + Frankincense: Dabbed under eyes to reduce appearance of dark circles + puffiness
- Lavender + Rose Water (or just distilled water): Purifying toner for nighttime, used after cleansing
- Lavender + Rosehip Oil: Calming moisturizer, great at soothing irritation and rednessLavender + Rosehip Oil: Promote strong, healthy nails and cuticles
- Lavender + Favorite Carrier: For soothing very itchy, dry skin (Use with Vitamin E for intense moisturization, or a lighter oil like Jojoba for more mild dryness)
- Magnesium Oil + Lavender: DIY deodorant (Admittedly, this won’t work for everyone, but Valentia founder Jamie actually uses this daily in place of even “natural” deodorants because she found she was very sensitive to the baking soda contained in most brands.)
- Magnesium Oil + Lavender: Nightly massage (can add a carrier for smoother application)
If you’re going to pick up just a couple of oils, my recommendation would be Frankincense and Lavender. And Prickly Pear. And definitely Magnesium.
…Maybe just get them all?