Sluggish Mornings

I had a hard time getting going this morning.  It wasn’t until I got in the shower and experienced the crisp, clean scent of my Pre de Provence linden soap that I realized that the tone of my day never has to be determined solely by the way I feel when I get up.  Instead of giving in to the sluggish, poke-about feeling, I can perk myself up with a few cleansing and pampering steps.

First, in the warmer months, a cool shower can work miracles in the perking department.  I like to use cleansers and soaps that add to the sensation provided by the shower.  So, for instance, in the winter I like to use nubby, warm scents like amber and musks or deep woody ones.  In the summer I like an open scent.  Like I said, I’ve recently been using a linden scented soap by Pre de Provence.  (Yes, linden is a tree, but I think the scent comes from the blossoms, not the bark or sap, so it’s much lighter than something like sandalwood or cedar.)  It has the most fantastic lather, and after a week or so of use, my skin is noticeably softer and smoother.  For open scent, citruses would work, too, but I generally don’t care for them.  I’m not partial to flat-out mints, either, but mixed well enough with another scent, they’re ok.  For example, I have a eucalyptus and spearmint body wash from the Bath & Body Works aroma therapy line that I like to use on just such mornings. 

Some exfolitation is great, too, to wake up the skin.  I used to love love love the coffee scrub from the Bath & Body Works spa line, but they don’t sell it anymore, and I have not made good on my threat to make my own.  No worries because I have since discovered the joys of exfoliating gloves!  The best part is that you can use any kind or scent of soap or body wash with them, so you’re not limited.  And they work so well and never run out.  You just clean them regularly, and you only have to replace them when the wrist elastic gives out.  Huzzah!

Cooling facial treatments are also good for slow mornings.  I have been tempted by many that I see in stores, but I have (as of now, at least) resisted.  What I use is about as inexpensive as you can get for a tingly face.  It’s Neutrogena’s Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask.  Wet the face, put some in your hands and lather it up well on the face and it will tingle nicely.  Very refreshing.  The bonus to this one is that it has benzoyl peroxide, not salicylic acid, which I’m trying to avoid because I just figured out recently that it may do me more harm than good because I’m allergic to aspirin and I want to see if cutting out salicylic treatments will help (since aspirin is acetyl salicylic acid).  We’ll see how that goes.  I don’t know; it may be that I’m allergic to acetic acid, not salicylic, or to the specific combination of the two.  Doink!

Anyway, after the shower, I like to keep the senses going with a good lotion or cream.  In keeping with the fresh, open scents, I like something with cucumber or a bright floral.  I have turned to my Bath & Body Works white cherry blossom body cream often this summer.  And even my deodorant has some cucumber scent in it.  Love that! 

Apres shower would be a good time, too, to do some facial stuff: chilled cucumbers on eyes, cooling eye gels, full-on Clear Pore masking, etc.  But I found that once I had bathed with the nice linden soap, cleansed my face with the tingly cleanser, and put on a pleasant smelling body lotion (not white cherry blossom today, but sweet cinnamon and pumpkin … go figure) I felt just as chipper as ever.

What are your sluggish morning aids?  Do share! 

P.S. — I’m really curious about all that C. O. Bigelow mentha stuff.  Has anyone out there used it?

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