Grace Timothy on: Aromatherapy

Grace Timothy

Grace Timothy - Credit: Archant

Beauty writer Grace Timothy welcomes a new age of aromatherapy, and offers advice on harnessing this potent art at home.

Until fairly recently, aromatherapy was considered by many to be a slightly naff beauty treatment or a sticky bath oil you might treat your mum to at Christmas. The reserve of crystal-wielding masseuses, it was a bit wishy-washy and the benefits were vague. But in reality, the use of essential oils in therapeutic massage and skincare has been a respected art for centuries, and used in the correct way, many oils can be incredibly potent. Today, the field is being opened up for all of us to access beyond the four walls of a spa setting.

De Mamiel’s Winter Oil (£60) makes aromatherapists of us all – equipped with a winding-down breathing ritual to follow before application and a soothing massage technique, it gives you the power to perform your own spa treatment every single night at home. And your skin will thank you for it – yes it smells nice and feels great, but you’ll also see less redness, dryness and a far smoother finish. Add a drop to your day cream for added oomph. If spots are your problem, lavender and myrrh are far more effective than the high street’s astringent acne solutions, especially the safe dosage in Kate Logan Beauty SOS Blemish Remedy (£9.99).

Rose oil is a champion emollient for dry, sensitised skin, something the majority of us find a problem at this time of year. It forms the focus of Aromatherapy Associates’ latest offering, Rose Infinity, alongside some pretty impressive anti-ageing technology – a comfort if you like your skincare with a healthy dose of ‘science’. It is a pricey collection, so if you only buy one part make it the Moisturizer (£95), or try the Rose Infinity Facial (£110). For more extreme dryness – chafing, windburn, contact dermatitis – Balm Balm’s Rose Geranium Face Balm (£6.99) is simple, natural and hugely restorative. Apply to tackle and prevent cracked cuticles, too.

Rose is also a thing of beauty in your bath, and Dr Hauschka’s new Rose Nurturing Bath Essence (£16) makes excellent use of it – for those cold, dark mornings when you need a little coaxing into the world. If that morning dawns after a night on the sauce, there’s nothing like a wallow in Elemental Herbology Detox Bath Oil (£21), another natural, botanical-based tonic. Breathing in the scented steam blasts away cobwebs, and it’s almost as if you can feel the toxins seeping away as you soak. But my absolute favourite – especially when sleep eludes me – is Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil (£39), the antidote to jetlag, anxiety, even a cold or flu.

To take the power of aromatherapy out into your day, try Tsi-La’s oil-based scents. Kizes (£30), is a wise choice for wintry mornings – an invigorating blend of bergamot, citron, elderflower blossom and neroli, combined for their uplifting properties. Totally natural and free from chemi-heavy nasties, this oil-based scent comes in a mini roll-on vial, so you can apply to pulse points anytime of day.

Grace Timothy is a writer, beauty editor and founder of

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