When it comes to self-care, I often talk about emotional wellbeing. But your physical wellbeing is an instrumental part of self-care as well! This is something I address regularly in my Instagram stories, but rarely on my blog. So here it is, Just Peachy’s first post going through my daily (and not so daily) physical self-care routines.
My skin has always been a problem area for me. Since the age of maybe 11 I have struggled with acne. And I’ve tried a lot of different things to help improve it: pills (that didn’t even seem to do much), topical creams (that dried out my skin to the point of bleeding), specialty natural products (that didn’t make things worse but didn’t significantly help either), I even cut out dairy from my diet (with the odd exception for pizza and chocolate of course). Diet changes, proper supplements, and my favourite natural products have been the key to the success I’ve seen so far, but I am still working to improve my health—and my confidence—every day. It’s been almost 12 years and I can just now begin to say that I’m figuring out what works well for me and what my skin needs to stay glowing. I’m very excited to be sharing this list of products with you, especially if you have some of the same struggles that I do.
Body – I used to think that all soap was the same. Soap is soap right? Maybe not. I’m definitely no expert, but I’ve done enough trial-and-error to know what my skin likes and what it doesn’t. Enter: Sarah’s Soaps. I swear this girl is a magical soap genius. I’ve known about Sarah and her products for years but could never bring myself to spend more than a few dollars on my soap (even though I would visit her booth in awe at every vendor fair I attended). One day last summer, I decided that enough was enough and if I was going to finally take my skin care more seriously, that I would have to make some changes—starting with my soap. To date I’ve tried her Carrot + Oatmeal soap, Lavender + Calendula soap, and my new favourite, the Coffee + Coconut Milk soap. I’m a sucker for a good exfoliant (are you even clean if you don’t scrub off an entire layer of skin??) so the Coffee + Coconut Milk soap bar is amazing. For more sensitive areas or if I need more of a lather, I reach for the Carrot + Oatmeal soap. After a good wash, I moisturize with Andalou’s body lotion. They have a variety of amazing smells so I like to mix and match. My favourites right now are Lavender Thyme and Aloe Mint. Nice soothing and refreshing scents to make you feel extra pampered!
Face – This is where I’ve done the most product experimentation over the last three years. I never had a significant amount of acne on my face until university, but when it showed up, it came quick and it wasn’t leaving any time soon. Like I mentioned before, I was open to trying anything because I was desperate to look and feel like myself again. If you’ve ever had acne you know that it’s not only painful physically, but it takes a toll on how you feel about yourself as well. And that’s never fun. I tried a lot of things that seemed to work for about a week, but nothing was giving me those long lasting improvements I wanted so badly. My diet is by far what has improved my skin the most, but I also recently discovered Alba Botanica, and I have to say that their Acnedote line has been life changing! And I really don’t say that lightly. When you spend 11 years trying to find things, ANYTHING, to help your skin, when something finally works, you cry tears of joy—like a lot. There are a variety of products in this line, but the face & body scrub has been my miracle worker. I use it once every, or every two, days because it tends to dry out my skin if I use it more than that. I’ve also tried their invisible treatment gel, which seems to work well to decrease those monster zits—you know the ones, they sit under your skin all red and angry—and most recently I’ve begun using their deep clean astringent once or twice a day and so far so good! Since I don’t the face & body wash every time I wash my face, I tag-team it with Sarah‘s Facial Philter soap. Its activated charcoal properties gives me a nice deep clean, plus it’s a dream to use and makes my skin feel so lovely. Not to mention, one bar is only $6 and lasts me about five months! If my face needs some extra moisture, Thayers Rose Petal Facial Toner and Andalou’s Acai + Kombucha Oil-Free Moisturizer do the job nicely without making my skin feel heavy and oily.
It’s always nice to treat yourself. In fact, this is a very important part of self-care! Taking extra time to make sure you care of your physical body helps you to feel loved and taken care of by the one who matters most—yourself. For me, I try to do this a little every day, but some days you just need a little extra love. On those days I like to use my activated charcoal whitening toothpaste by Nelson Naturals and my Jasmine + Charcoal sugar scrub from Buck Naked Soap Company. It’s a soothing exfoliant (surprise surprise) that leaves my skin feeling refreshed and baby-butt smooth. Not to mention, it smells good enough to eat! Sometimes, on those especially hard days, I’ll also break out my Charcoal + Frankincense clay mask followed by my Castor + Tea Tree facial serum from Sarah’s Soaps (can you tell I’m very brand loyal?). Those three products are like the trifecta of self-care for my face. Occasionally, I’ll also treat myself and buy the Scrubee from Lush. I’m obsessed with the almondy scent and the way the (ya you guessed it) exfoliating ground almonds and coconut shells make my skin sing.
Bath – Like anyone, there are days that my body feels extra tired and sore. On these days we sometimes just want to sleep it off, but it’s important to take care of yourself in order to heal. One great way to do this is by having a nice relaxing bath. I don’t do this often but when I do, I do it well (see aromatherapy below for all the things I use to set the mood). I always start with a couple tablespoons of the Detox Dead Sea Salt Soak from Garden City Essentials. This product has such a relaxing (and strong!) eucalyptus scent, and the dead sea salts provide you with over 20 essential minerals to encourage healing. Next I like to add any new and exciting bath bomb from Lush (my go-tos are Twilight for sleep, Big Blue for muscle pain, and Avobath for moisture) or a luxury bath melt from Buck Naked Soap Company. My current favourite? The Eucalyptus and Himalayan Pink Salt Bath Melt. It pairs beautifully with my Detox soak and you can feel the extra moisture on your skin even after you dry off!
Pain Relief – Being in the line of work that I am, it requires me to be bent over a computer for most of the day. Not the ideal position for good posture. This results in a lot of increased neck pain, for which I turn to my miracle product: Sarah’s Soaps Arnica + Eucalyptus salve! Arnica has wonderful healing properties, and peppermint and eucalyptus work together to provide instant pain relief. I swear by this stuff folks. For extra healing, apply heat. I use an electronic heating pad on my neck every night which has helped my neck pain decrease significantly. Put the two together and you’ll be good as new in no time. One nasty symptom of muscle tension is headaches. And if you’re anything like me, these headaches can be debilitating and happen on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis. For this, I suggest the Headache Relief Kit by Saje. It comes with the Peppermint Halo Roller, Stress Release Mist (which can also be used as a sleepy-time pillow spray), and Peppermint Halo Wand. If you get just one thing from this kit, get the Peppermint Halo Roller. You can apply it directly where the headache is striking, but also along your neck and shoulders for tension release. It’s my all-time FAVOURITE.
Candles – You may not realize it, but scents play an important role in your overall happiness and wellbeing. There’s nothing like an unpleasant smell to ruin your whole day. This is where aromatherapy comes in. Even if you don’t believe that scents can provide you with alternative benefits, there’s nothing wrong with introducing some nice smells to your space. Candles are a simple and classic way to bring comforting smells into your home. Plus, you get the added bonus of the beautiful flickering flame. It’s important to avoid candles that are packed full of chemicals and synthetic fragrances. Unfortunately, these are usually the really nice smelling, really cheap, and really accessible ones. Good news is, there are so many alternative options! Coconut wax, soy wax, and bees wax candles made with natural scents and essential oils are things to look for when buying candles. Here are just a few companies to check out to get you started: Boy Smells, Wax + Fire Co., Céla, and Mother’s Touch Candles.
Incense – I get asked quite often what the difference between incense and candles are in terms of benefits and I honestly think it’s personal preference. Incense and sage, historically, have more spiritual properties (like cleansing and healing), but in terms of smell, I think it’s a toss-up. If you have good quality candles or good quality incense, it can provide you with essentially the same benefits. I find candles can smell a little more floral, whereas incense tends to have consistently earthy undertones, but sometimes I prefer that. I’m one of those people that adores the smell of campfire smoke, so incense gives me that nostalgic cozy, homey, outdoorsy feeling. Also, I don’t get as nervous letting it burn if I fall asleep or I’m not in the room! Probably not the safest fire safety habit to declare on the internet but I guess that’s one perk of not having an open flame. Again, quality is important here and it can be hard to tell with incense until you burn it. But once you do, it’ll smell really soapy and, if you’re like me, you’ll choke on the smell and have to open a window and leave the room. To avoid this, here are some of my quality assured recommendations: Song of India, Florè Canadian Incense, and Incense Republic (hand dipped and also Canadian!).
Diffuser – I’ve had a diffuser for over three years now and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My first one was just a cheap one I got off Amazon (it works like a charm and I still have it!), and my second I got from Saje (along with more essential oils than I care to admit). Essential Oils are fairly easy to access, but quality is something to keep in mind. There are some cheap oils out there, but the quality is definitely reflective of the price. This is especially important if you are ingesting any of these oils directly. I lean towards oils from doTERRA, Saje, Vitruvi, and NOW. The price ranges are a little higher, but the brands are trusted and quality is fantastic.
There are so many things you can do to take care of yourself. Whether you decide to go for a run, go to bed early, drink lots of water, have a bath, create a new skincare routine, or maybe even just light a few candles, taking additional time out of your day to carryout these tasks is a simple and affective ways to kick-start your physical self-care journey.
I hope my list of natural care products and self-care suggestions helps encourage you to start your own physical self-care routine.
**please note that I have not been sponsored by any of these brands nor was I offered any compensation to write about these products. I have simply written about real products that I actually use and love**