Does bath and body works stress relief really work
A few months ago, I stopped drinking coffee. It’s not that I don’t love the morning ritual, it’s that my baseline anxiety is so high I can essentially run on pure adrenaline from the moment I wake up until around 1 a.m., when I will then drift in and out of consciousness mentally reviewing my to-do list for the next day. Stress is my modus operandi — I could fuel a train with the stuff.
Between the deadlines, the crowded subways, and a propensity to get lost in the throes of WebMD hypochondria, I’m willing to try just about anything to curb it. Acupuncture? Sign me up. Yoga? I’m there. A sugar scrub? Get me a bucket. So the Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint Sugar Scrub was first on my to-try list after a particularly stressful day (and a glass or two of wine, but that’s neither here nor there). I really, really wanted it to work, so I went all in. I dimmed the lights, lit candles — whatever I could do to help the process.
When you crack open the jar, the first thing that hits you is the fragrance, and here’s the thing: I love the smell of eucalyptus, and I love the smell of spearmint. Separately. Together, however, they’re a bit like that body-spray-slash-deodorant your high school boyfriend wore. But I’m a firm believer in the power of essential oils, so if the combo of the two scents is going to shave off even 10 percent of my anxiety I will inhale it until I pass out from the fumes or, God willing, drift into deep relaxation. In my defense, the instructions do say to “Breathe deeply for best results.”
The scrub felt great. Every rough patch on my body — knees, elbows — was smoothed by the coarse sugar. It left a bit of an oily film on my body (and all over my tub, so if you live alone and don’t have Life Alert make sure you have something to grab onto when you climb out of the shower), but the oil was absorbed within half an hour and left my skin feeling silky and hydrated — no different from applying body oil after bathing. The smell definitely lingered for a few hours after my shower, but it was actually kind of relaxing while I was drifting off to sleep. Was I able to totally de-stress and find nirvana? No. But I definitely had a much better sense of well-being. My muscles were relaxed and I was able to close my eyes and breathe, if only for a minute or two.
The Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Body Scrub is a 2020 Allure Readers’ Choice Award winner. See the complete list of this year’s winners here.
About Aromatherapy from Bath & Body Works
What if we told you that a drop of essential oil can change the ambiance in the air? It’s not magic, even though it feels like it – it’s aromatherapy. We totally love how many ways essential oils can fit into your routine (obsessed, actually), so we just had to include them in the Bath & Body Works aromatherapy collection.
What can aromatherapy products do for you? In the morning, charge up the vibe in the morning with the aromatherapy Energy line. Wake up with sweet orange and spicy ginger body lotion or scrub away the morning blahs with a soothing lavender body scrub. Energized and refreshed, you’re ready to take on your day.
Now: come home and kick your shoes off. That’s a great start to the evening, but how about we take it to the next level? Unwind with Stress Relief: a series of aromatherapy products from body creams to pillow mists, created with a calming blend of eucalyptus, spearmint and more. A breath of fresh air, really.
Maybe stress relief or an energy boost isn’t what you need right now – no problem. From romantic rose and vanilla Love to comfortable lavender-based Sleep, there’s a blend for every day, every ambiance and everyone. P.S. there are more blends of fragrances to fall in love with – plus, a ton of different products: body wash, body cream, scrubs, bubble bath and so many more. Switch up your routine and fall in love with these atmosphere-boosting, super soothing, skin softening faves.
April is Stress Awareness Month and while that sounds like a made-up holiday (because it is), it does remind us that it’s probably okay to call a timeout. Bath & Body Works’ new stress relief scents certainly help the cause and make it a little easier to practice some much-needed self-care. The brand just added two new essential oil blends to its popular Aromatherapy collection of body oil, lotion, hand cream, room spray and much more. As expected, each line is designed to help you unwind and relax in the comfort of your home.
You might have already tried Bath & Body Works’ Eucalyptus + Spearmint line. Eucalyptus oil acts as a mental stimulant to give you a boost of energy and spearmint is used in aromatherapy to decrease nervousness. There are a whopping 15+ products in this line so if you’re feeling a little exhausted in the AM, or can’t seem to calm your brain (that’s me!), this is the collection for you.
Sandalwood + Eucalyptus
This is one of the new essential oil blends and is created to give you a grounding effect. Sandalwood is used in aromatherapy to increase mental clarity so if you’re feeling a bit foggy, give this blend a shot. This collection includes Body Lotion, Body Wash & Foam Bath, Body Cream, Sand Body Scrub and All Over Mist.
Sage + Cedarwood
This is the final new blend, made for “inner peace” and a calm mind. Sage essential oil is sometimes used in aromatherapy as a natural mood-booster. If that sounds more your jam, try the Body Lotion, Body Wash & Foam Bath, Body Cream, Smoothing Body Scrub, Body Oil and Pillow Mist.
Okay so a body lotion can’t cure your anxiety, but every minute you take time for yourself does help—whether that’s a taking a bath, applying scented lotion or reading a book. The entire Aromatherapy collection is out now on Bath & Body Works’ website and in stores.
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Stress-relief lotions contain essential oils or other ingredients to create an aromatic lotion or cream. These products may help reduce a person’s stress levels when they massage it into their skin.
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This article examines how stress relief lotions work and reviews 10 of the best stress-relief creams.
Stress-relief lotions and aromatherapy
Manufacturers infuse stress-relief lotions with aromatherapy fragrances that they claim alleviate stress.
However, many people question the effectiveness of these creams, and researchers need to conduct more studies to understand the full effects of how these lotions work.
In a 2015 study, researchers investigated how people responded to aromatherapy. Researchers divided the participants into three groups. The researchers gave two groups essential oil aromas to smell, and a placebo group received water.
In addition, some individuals received a prompt about the stress-relieving properties of aromatherapy before they took the test.
The study found that aromatherapy on its own did not reduce stress during the test. However, the people who had received the information about aromatherapy’s stress-relieving properties reported feeling less stressed during the test.
Researchers concluded that it was the suggestion of aromatherapy’s benefits that caused the participants to feel calmer rather than the aromatherapy itself. The researchers believe that this might have important implications regarding stress management techniques.
Learn more about relaxation techniques for stress relief here.
Although research suggests that essential oils may have some health benefits, it is important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor or regulate the purity or quality of these. A person should talk with a healthcare professional before using essential oils, and they should be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. A person should always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.
Aromatherapy and the postpartum period
While research into the relationship between aromatherapy and stress relief is limited, there is some evidence that certain essential oils on their own may reduce postpartum stress and depression in some people.
One 2016 study identified lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression in females who inhaled lavender essential oil every 8 hours for 4 weeks after giving birth.
Learn more about lavender essential oil here.
Are stress-relief lotions regulated?
Lotions and other cosmetics do not require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before being marketed, except with regards to adding color.
However, the manufacturers have to abide by the laws and regulations the FDA has set before they can sell the product. For example, they must clearly list the ingredients on the label and make sure the packaging does not contain misleading information.
When to see a doctor
A person should talk to their doctor if they struggle to control their stress after trying home remedies or natural solutions, such as stress relieving lotions.
A doctor can help find a suitable treatment plan that might include a mixture of therapy or medication.
If a rash or reaction develops after using any stress-relieving lotion, stop using the product. A person should see their doctor if they develop a rash that does not go away or gets worse.
It is always best to test a new lotion on a small patch of skin to see if an allergic reaction occurs.
Manufacturers often infuse stress relief lotions with essential oils for their supposed relaxation and calming properties.
But, it is unclear exactly how effective they are at reducing stress. More research is needed to support the relationship between essential oils and their effect on stress, pain, and anxiety.
Stress relief lotions are generally safe to use, but some people may develop a topical rash or reaction if they have sensitive skin.