Some people rely on baking when they’re feeling down. Others bury their nose in a good book. As for me, I turn to my beauty ritual.
Sure it might sound silly or shallow, but it really does work. “Don’t underestimate the transformative powers of fragrance,” agrees Karen Dubin, founder and CEO of Sniffapalooza and personal fragrance specialist at Beautyhabit. A good whiff not only helps jog your memory, but affects your spirits. Studies show that your sense of smell is known to play an important role in your mood and stress levels, with aromatherapy regarded as an age-old tool for mental healing.
And although aromatherapy is the most well-known mood-shifter out there, that doesn’t mean it stops there. From invigorating face washes (nothing says good morning like a textural scrub) to silky-smooth hand creams (hydration is like a skin hug when you need it most), read on for a list of hair and skin picks that will have you looking, smelling, and perhaps even feeling your best.
OleHenriksen Truth Juice Daily Cleanser
Have a late night or early meeting? Try kicking your morning into high gear with a zest of citrus–such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit–which Dubin points out has been linked to sharper concentration, heightened energy, and an improvement in overall mood (all things you want in the morning). This cleanser from OleHenriksen, which has over 43,000 likes from Sephora customers, is recommended for all skin types and helps combat dullness, dryness, and uneven texture.
masque BAR Pretty Animalz Facial Sheet Mask Set
Truth: It’s almost impossible to feel sad when you’re wearing an animal sheet mask on your face. This set from Amazon comes with nine Korean face masks that hydrate your complexion in minutes; plus, you get to choose from a variety of animals like a monkey, octopus, or flamingo.
Malin+Goetz Peppermint Shampoo
Speaking of energizing beauty, this clarifying shampoo has often served as a much-needed pick-me-up when the days feel especially draining. It synthesizes natural peppermint extract with amino acid-based cleansers to refresh and invigorate the scalp, and the cooling, tingly sensation just makes you feel more…alive. “The smell of peppermint is often used to heighten our concentration,” says Dubin. “Research has even suggested that exercisers run at faster speeds and do more pushups when exposed to the scent.”
Necessaire The Body Wash in Sandalwood
If you’re having a rough go of it, try washing your worries away with this beauty award-winning shower gel from Necessaire, which is formulated with niacinamide for nourishing as it cleanses. The soothing sandalwood scent is extremely helpful for managing those back-to-office jitters.
Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub
If scrubs are more your speed, have yours served with a shot of espresso. “The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that inhaling coffee may produce proteins that protect nerves from the effects of stress and notably boost their energy,” says Dubin. This invigorating pouch from Frank Body is filled with coffee grinds, along with sea salt, cold-pressed sweet almond oil, and vitamin E, for gently buffing away dead skin (the brand also recommends it for reducing the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks).
L’Occitane Lavande Hand Cream
Need a little stress-relief or pick-me-up to help power through the workday? Equip your office space with this beloved hand cream from L’Occitane. “As backed by studies performed by the National Library of Medicine, lavender has become a popular way to reduce stress levels due to its relaxing and uplifting scent,” says Dubin. She points out that it can also decrease your heart rate, making it especially great for unwinding at bedtime.
Herbivore Jasmine Glowing Hydration Body Oil
Happiness has a lot to do with feeling healthy and comfortable, so it makes sense that you feel your best when your skin isn’t acting up. This top-rated body oil from Herbivore, recommended for all skin types, packs a powerful punch against dryness and uneven skin tone, while aiding with firmness and elasticity. The jasmine scent also makes for a great bedside companion.
Eminence Cinnamon Kiss Lip Plumper
If you’re in a rut, you might also explore spicing things up with cinnamon. “Like peppermint and lemon, cinnamon is thought to help boost concentration, memory, and feelings of joy,” says Dubin. Keep the scent close with this organic lip wand from Eminence, which boasts a range of oils (such as jojoba and pumpkin seed) for added moisture and creates a natural plumping effect.
Rosa Greta Eau de Parfum Spray
Feeling overwhelmed? Take a moment to stop and smell the roses. Fun fact: This sophisticated blend was inspired by a secret love affair that actress Greta Garbo had in Ravello, Italy.
Heretic Dirty Grass Candle
There’s nothing like nature to bring you back to ground zero. If you don’t have the time to take a stroll outside, mirror the relaxing effects of the great outdoors with this grass-scented candle from Heretic. “Dr. Nick Lavidis, a neuroscientist at The University of Queensland, produced a freshly-cut grass perfume after studies showed that freshly-cut grass releases a chemical that can relieve stress and heighten the brain’s memory core,” says Dubin.