Keeping calm…by Belinda Morris.
I’m not sure why, but there seems to be a glut of stress-related issues in my male-dominated household of late. Skin, hair, mood, muscles… they all seem to need soothing, calming, easing. A symptom of seasonal shifts; spring-going-into-summer maybe?
So I have gathered a small arsenal of grooming-cum-medicine cabinet solutions with the hope of unruffling things a bit. Starting with Neals Yard Remedies Men Skincare, which is totally organic and uses herbs, extracts and oils for a total routine – taking into account that men’s skin is different to women’s (thicker, more collagen, less hydration, more sebum…). And for a face that’s unaccountably decided to go red and itchy after shaving, there’s NYR Calming Aftershave Balm (£15.50-100ml) which contains calming calendula and lavender and nourishing olive.
Next there’s some frayed nerves to settle for someone faced with weeks of exams – time for NYR’s Calming Temple Salve (£6.50 – 10gm tin). A blend of aromatic essential oils, shea butter and beeswax, you simply massage a little into your temples to retire cool, calm and collectedness. (There are two other salves: one for aching muscles and another for dry skin patches.)
Then there’s the one whose doing a lot of exercise and complaining of tired, achy limbs. For him there’s Foucaud Energising Tonic which is a blend of camphor, menthol and essential oils, (the French Foreign Military swore – and still swear – by using it apparently) and can be used pre-exercise to stimulate circulation and wake up tired limbs – one application is the equivalent of a half hour warm-up they say! The tonic also relaxes mind as well as body, after a hard day.
£16.95 – 250ml www.roullierwhite.com
Ask someone nicely to cut the lawn and trim a rose bush and what do you get? Grumbles about nettle stings and scratched forearms, that’s what. To the rescue then Pommade Divine – a multi-tasking, natural healing balm of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg with shea butter and jojoba. The recipe dates back over 300 years. Is great on blisters, cuts, grazes and bruises to name but a few– name the aiment, it can fix it! £20 – 50ml www.pommadedivine.com
Finally, a rather less seriously in my view (but try telling a teenager that), there’s the bad hair day thing. Can’t do a thing with it. Wont be controlled or calmed… So, reach for new Gravity Paste (£16) by the wonderfully-named Hanz de Fuko. Who wouldn’t want some of that? It’s taken them two years to formulate this ‘super-grip’ stuff which contains a load of things that are activated once you’ve rubbed it ‘vigorously’ between the palms of your hands. You then apply to dry hair for any style required – with a bit of shine thrown in.