“Scent is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived,”

“Scent is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived,” mused Helen Keller, an American author, and the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. We’ve all experienced this deja vu-like  phenomenon, that moment when an aroma delivers us to instant recall, to sudden happiness and bliss. This reaction can heal and fortify us, affecting our wellbeing, harmonizing our mind, body and spirit. That’s the philosophy behind British-based Aromatherapy Associates, a heritage brand founded by Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey, both therapists. For more than 30 years, they studied the therapeutic powers of essential oils, founding their company in 1985 to share their curative largesse. Today, Aromatherapy Associates continues to celebrate and share the therapeutic benefits of essential oils with an ever-growing range of award-winning products and transformative treatments that can be found all over the world.

We caught a whiff with Christina Salcedas, Global Head of Education and Wellbeing at Aromatherapy Associates to find out more. 

An ancient healing system, Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. How does it work?

Aromatherapy has such a transforming effect because it taps into our limbic system. This part of the brain deals with emotions, memories and stimulation, and can even influence hormonal responses. Essential oils are able to bypass the blood-brain barrier through the olfactory system. Once inhaled, essential oils can alter our brain chemistry, stimulating memories, moods, and feelings. Our sense of smell is estimated to be 10,000 times more acute than other senses. Traveling faster to the brain than both sight and sound, it provokes a cascade of reactions, both physically and emotionally, before we even register the aroma in our conscious brain: from endorphins that uplift our mood to our central nervous system relaxing. The real power of aromatherapy is the fact that it has a holistic effect on our wellbeing, setting our mind, body and spirit back in balance.

How do your products differ from other essential oils?

All of Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oils are formulated with up to 30% essential oils. We work from a therapeutic palette, selecting each oil in the right percentage to truly deliver the specific benefit you want to achieve.We quality test the distilled pure essential oils – these distilled pure essential oils are sent through a rigorous quality testing procedure, evaluated from the nose of our highly trained master blender, who smells and vets each and every oil.Our secret formulas are then hand-blended, initially using a few of the most influential and complimentary essential oils together in small micro blends. The ratios of essential oil is imperative – too much, or not enough will upset the balance. Hence knowledge, practice and artistry is at the heart of each of our bottles.

How can these products enhance our health and wellbeing? How can they play a role during these stressful times?

Aromatherapy is a complimentary therapy that has been used for centuries to maintain wellbeing, whether it be to help sleep, help with bites and stings or uplifting the mood, the options are endless. During stressful times we always recommend bathing in an oil to create that sanctuary and moment of peace, and then re-using that scent during the day with a roller ball or mist to be able to recall those emotions. My favorite during these times has been Forest Therapy, with Cypress, HO Wood and Pink Pepper it grounds and restores you to balance. You can use it in the bath or over the body with the wellness mist. 

How can oils boot our inner strength and unlock our potential?

We have the ability to change how we are feeling just by smelling an oil… and Aromatherapy Associates’ Inner Strength Oil is a testament to that, created by one of our founders to pull her through some tough times. This is an oil that strengthens emotionally and physically with Frankincense, Cardamom and Clary Sage.

What do you recommend for focus? grief? a good night’s sleep?

Focus – Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Mind with Frankincense, Petitgrain and Chamomile, especially the roller ball as you can carry this around and apply as and when you need it most. Grief – Either Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength or Equilibrium with Rose and Geranium it is as we named it in the office the hug in a bottle.

Tell us about your summer products?

We have a selection of products perfect for the summer, including: Support Lavender and Peppermint Bath & Shower Oil for keeping you cool at night.Support Lavender to help with mosquitos bites or breakout  Rose Hydrating Body gel – Perfect after-sun for the body

Is Aromatherapy ethically sourced?Yes – we are currently in the final stages of B-Corp stages.

Are these ancient recipes that have been tweaked for modern times?

This is the magic of our brand, the blends were created in the 80’s and are still so relevant to today. The blends have not been tweaked and still work as well as they did then.

What is your favorite regimen with the products?

You cannot beat a long soak in the bath with any of our shower oils paired with our overnight repair mask… absolute heaven.

Where can we buy the products? 

You can purchase all Aromatherapy Associates products on AromatherapyAssociates.com 

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Lancôme Launches a Virtual Makeover During Covid Era

Imagine. I’m no fool. I can certainly tell the difference between light and dark, note the subtle hues of yellow, pink or blue in my skin, know every scar and imperfection on my face. Long a beauty aficionado, I’m acutely aware of exactly what colors look good on me. So, when I had to reorder my favorite Lancôme foundation, Teint Idole, smack in the middle of Covid quarantine, I had no concerns. I simply picked up the empty bottle to read my shade from the label. Much to my dismay, however, all that was left was an unreadable  smudge. Sudden freak out, followed by a sense of calm. No problem. I’d just guess the color. How hard could it be? Turns out, matching your skin tone against a color chart on the computer is tantamount to brain surgery. It’s not a task for amateurs. In my case, I carefully chose the shade I’d thought was perfect, then placed my order.  When, it arrived, I had to laugh. My new foundation was at least ten shades off. Good thing I was stuck sheltering at home! 

But here’s the good news. Thankfully, Lancôme’s ModiFace app launched in June to save the day. It uses augmented reality to superimpose colors, shapes and other characteristics in real time. In the case of makeup, Modiface shows how certain shades, and finishes look on your face, ensuring a perfect match. Plus, it’s the ideal activity for a long, sheltered-in afternoon. 

How to do it? Browse the website for items that have a “Virtual Makeup Try-On badge in the corner of the product photo. Press the badge, upload a photo (or do a live makeover with a selfie), and experiment with various shades and finishes. You’ll become your own make-up artist. 

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