The Conscious Consumer's Guide to Pampering

We are very excited to have recently partnered with the talented Meli and Ishi from DART, 'The Voices of Three'. In this blog post, they explore the way in which self-care and sustainability come together, so that we can care for both ourselves and the planet during this time. 

For our next post in the Conscious Consumer Series, we decided to explore self-care through a sustainable, ethical lens. We’ve already stressed how beneficial pampering rituals can be for keeping you grounded, but we also believe that we have a responsibility to take care of our one (and only) planet. This post is about finding a way of incorporating both these factors. 

But, before I get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s pause and take a minute to think about a word that I hold in great regard, the queen of luxury words, ‘pamper’. 

Pampering

‘Pamper’: to indulge with every attention, comfort, and kindness.

Almost onomatopoeic with its ‘purring’ (if I could purr when lying in a steaming hot bubble bath I most certainly would), ‘pampering’ is something that we in our fast moving, highly strung society often dismiss and fail to do.  Somehow taking care of ourselves has become akin to self obsession, and spending a few hours a week luxuriating in the presence of no-one but you is viewed as, quite frankly, a waste of time. Well. I would argue that in fact, our self respect is on the wane if our day to day lives involve us putting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. ‘Applying your own oxygen mask before anyone else’s’ not only applies to aircraft manuals, it applies to life. If you take care of yourself and your own mental/ physical wellbeing, then those around you are likely to reap the benefits too. Dear reader, I invite you to join me as we venture into the bathroom, light some candles, put on some music, and embark upon our sustainable pampering routine. You, whoever you are and wherever you’re from, completely and utterly deserve to be pampered.

Why shop sustainable pamper products?

Most of the chemicals used in unsustainable creams/ oils/ face-masks/ shampoos end up being washed down our drains and out to our rivers and oceans. Many of these cause damage to aquatic species - UK scientists have even found that some of the fish in the rivers are quite literally changing gender due to the genetic manipulation caused by these chemicals. On land, livestock and other animals are suffering from cosmetic toxins ending up in the soil and as a result are afflicted with genetic, reproductive and developmental changes as well as many types of cancer. 

Something that we tend to forget about when purchasing our products is what they come in. Many companies claim to be sustainable and yet sell their contents in numerous plastic bottles (not to mention the amount of plastic packaging they arrive in). Every piece of plastic ever made still exists somewhere in the world today. Just think about that. The UN has stated that if we continue to produce plastic at this rate, by 2050 we will have more plastic in our oceans than fish. 

We owe it to our planet to find ways of pampering ourselves that doesn’t add to building a plastic sea. Buying as much as you can from sustainable companies that use less plastic and promote ‘waste-free’ systems is a brilliant place to start. Our sustainable collaborators this week are the brilliant ‘Bower Collective’, and they’re here to help us all do just that!

Bower Collective 

Bower Collective was set up by two old school friends: Nick and Marcus, in the summer of 2019. Both have long histories working with sustainable companies and decided to join forces to create a start-up helping people reduce their household plastic waste without compromising the quality of the products they use.

All of Bower’s pamper products come in sustainable packaging (glass, cardboard etc). Their ingredients are natural and they are vigilant in only stocking products from organic brands that meet the ‘Ethical Trade Initiative base code’ (read more over on the Bower website https://bowercollective.com/pages/the-bower-standard). Bower Collective’s products are either plastic-waste free or delivered in reusable and refillable packaging. With each order, you will receive a pre-paid envelope for you to return any packaging or plastic components to the Bower headquarters for sterilisation, reuse, or for recycling. They also have a brilliant ‘Plastic Waste Calculator’, designed to help people work out which area of their lives they can reduce the most plastic waste. Check it out at: https://bowercollective.com/pages/waste-calculator

Bower Collective pamper routine for mind and body

1. The ingredients for a perfect bath

Giving your tub the right smells and getting it to just the right temperature will make all the difference to your pampering routine. Bower’s Aromatic Foaming Bath, (produced by Neal’s Yard), will sort you out with both the right smells and skin-loving needed for the perfect tub. With a soothing blend of aromatherapy oils such as lavender, Spanish marjoram and geranium, plus skin-conditioning herbal infusions, it’s one of the best sustainable pamper products out there. You can also add any other essential oils that you may find particularly comforting and relaxing. When your bath is full, give the water’s temperature a quick test with your elbow (my grandmother taught me this technique when I was little, and it’s the best way to ensure you don’t end up over-heated and dizzy!). 

Whilst you wait for your bath to run, it’s the perfect time to get yourself into a pampering headspace…

*We are lucky enough to have a bath where we’re living, but having a tub isn’t essential to a good pamper routine. If you don’t have a bath where you are you could always have a hot shower followed by our facial care pamper routine!

2. Getting into the ‘pamper headspace’

The problem I tend to find with pamper routines is that my head is too busy to let myself fully indulge and relax. It feels alien to suddenly stop and be mentally repeating my to-do-list to myself. This is where some meditating or gentle yoga can be really good for getting into the ‘pamper-zone’. I personally like to roll my yoga mat out next to the tub and go through a gentle yin-yoga sequence, but you must find what works for you.

3. Bath-time luxuries

So. You’re in your carefully prepared bath, ready to soak up the goodness from the warm water around you. Everybody’s different, but my favourite pamper routines involve watching an episode of something comforting whilst I feel my muscles relax. You don’t want anything too fast paced and intense.  Perhaps something you’ve seen a few times before is ideal. But the combination of lying in warm water and having a mini binge is, in my opinion, pampering at its finest. I also like to massage my feet whilst in the bath. We so often forget about these two body parts that get squished into shoes and are walked on all day long - giving them a bit of attention can be deeply luxurious.

4. Open pores facial care

Once you’ve had enough of a soak and the chance to ease any muscle stiffness from the hot water it’s time to take advantage of the open pores in your skin for an extra cleansing facial routine. Heat opens our pores (even when washing your face it can be a good idea to heat a towel with hot water and then gently press it to your skin before applying your face wash.) We so often wash our faces quickly because we need to get to work or can’t be bothered with the effort, but now take a moment to indulge your face a little more and give it some loving!

Straight after your bath and whilst your face is still damp (if it has dried then gently press a towel warmed under hot water to your face), pour an almond-sized amount of Evolve’s Daily Detox Facial Wash into the palm of your hand, then massage gently onto your face. Do this for about 1 minute, then rinse with cold water. The cold water will help to close your pores and preserve all the cleansing goodness. My favourite thing about this silky face wash is the smell - it’s like pressing flower petals to your face!

Bower Collective’s toner is the second of our Neal’s Yard pampering products. It’s incredibly hydrating (perfect for after a bath or a day in the sun) and delicately smells of roses. To end your facial pampering, splash some of this Rehydrating Rose Toner onto a corner of some clean muslin or a flannel (I’d recommend trying to avoid cotton wool/cotton facial pads to further reduce waste) and gently press to your face, starting on the outside/décolletage and working your way in. 

5. Lip-Love

Last but not least, it’s time for some lip-loving. Especially in the summer our lips can get dry so adding some lip care to your pamper routine is not a bad idea. I like to make a quick lip exfoliator with a teaspoon of sugar and some coconut oil, then massage the mixture onto my lips using a flannel. Once you’ve done this, rinse, and liberally apply some of Bower’s Burt’s Bee’s refreshing balm

There it is! Your very own sustainable pamper routine that helps you be kind to both yourself and the planet. We’d love to hear if you have any little home-made sustainable pamper rituals - let us know all about them in the comments section below. Now I must go - all of this writing has put me in need of a good pamper. 

All words and photographs are from DART. Originally published here: https://dartlifestyleblog.uk/blog/pamper-post

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