Remember when your spring break was a hedonistic ritual that focused on excesses of sun, wild parties and alcohol? Now that you've outgrown that, you don't have to give up the spring ritual of getting away from it all. Whether you are able to travel to a warm, sunny location for a vacation, or simply need a stay-at-home break to escape from work, school or daily stress, there's a physically and mentally healthy alternative. Some indulgent applications of aromatherapy provide a natural way to transport yourself healthfully and affordably to a well-earned place of springtime renewal.
According to Tom Havran, aromatherapy formulator at Aura Cacia, essential oils are the key elements that not only transport the senses, but act physically on the body's systems to enhance well-being. "Always make sure that aromatherapy products contain 100-percent pure and natural essential oils, which are distilled from plants," Havran advises. "The cheaper, synthetic fragrance chemicals in many so-called 'aromatherapy' products do not have the same effect on the body and mind that real essential oils provide."
Which essential oils are best for crafting your personal spring break getaway? The cheerful, fresh aromas of citrus oils, such as lemon, lime, sweet orange, tangerine, grapefruit, bergamot orange and mandarin orange, evoke sunshine and warm southern breezes. Two precious flower oils also associated with sunny subtropical climates are jasmine and neroli (orange blossom) essences. Jasmine is exotic and sensual while neroli has the power to ease anxiety.
Whether you are traveling to a sunny beach for your spring break vacation or just trying to create a little sunshine during a stay-at-home version, essential oils and aromatherapy will help you make the most of your escape. Here are some fun and easy spring break skin care aromatherapy treatments you can easily make at home for either an at-home escape or to take along on your spring trip to the beach. For more aromatherapy recipes, ideas and products, check out www.auracacia.com
Float-on-the-Ocean Aromatherapy Bath
This recipe is great for reproducing the therapeutic effect of bobbing in the waves, right in your own tub. If you are traveling to the beach, this is a wonderful treatment to nourish and soothe the skin after a day spent in sun and surf.
1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup jojoba or grapeseed oil
2-3 bags of green tea
20 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops grapefruit essential oil
10 drops sweet orange essential oil
Directions: In a glass or porcelain container, mix salt, baking soda, jojoba or grapeseed and essential oils, then pour in bath. Float tea bags in bath and soak away your worries.
Toes-in-the-Sand Foot Scrub
Beach sand and ocean water combine naturally to smooth and renew feet and toes. This scrub replicates the effect of wet sand. Use it to get your feet looking their best before you don the flip-flops for your spring break beach debut.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
15 drops tangerine essential oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil
Directions: In a glass or porcelain container, combine sugar, sweet almond and essential oils. Mix thoroughly and massage into feet, concentrating on toes, heels and soles. Rinse with warm water and massage feet until the oil is fully absorbed. Tip: Do the foot scrub after a long soak in the bath to enhance exfoliation.
Coconut and Jasmine Body Butter
Here's a great after-sun body treatment to give your skin a healthy, nourishing glow. Apply just before a night on the town to look and smell your best.
1 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
35 drops mandarin orange essential oil
5 drops jasmine absolute oil
Directions: In a glass or porcelain container, use a table fork to beat together all four oils until creamy in texture. Apply as a massage in gentle circular motions over entire body.
Citrus and Orange Blossom Breeze
Invoke the heady aroma of an evening breeze wafting through a flowering grove of citrus trees with this delightful diffusion.
4 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops bergamot orange essential oil
1 drop neroli essential oil
1/4 cup water
1 aromatherapy candle lamp
Directions: Place water in candle lamp bowl, add essential oils, light candle and allow diffusion for 15 to 20 minutes.