Self-care, not just as a hobby but as a lifestyle, is growing fast—and I mean fast. This concept is part of every aspect of our lives now, from work, to food, and of course, beauty. It’s growing so much that some of us may have gotten lost in the whirlwind. Alright, fine, I’m really just talking about myself here, but I digress. Self-care, as we know it today, isn’t something that I’ve become an expert in yet. Although I do love getting cozy with a good book (that’s self-care, right?), I don’t often find myself taking much time out of my day for me, especially in my daily routines. I just didn’t think I had the time in my day to add what felt like lots of tiny steps to my increasingly busy days (aside from a few mindless Instagram scrolls because we all somehow make time for those).
However, my stress levels are rising with seemingly no end these days and I figured it was the perfect time to try something new when it comes to both taking care of myself and enjoying myself. When Chillhouse curated a perfect list of products for the self-care novice, a starter pack if you will, I jumped on it, looking for a way into the world of self-care. So, tried and tested by a real newbie on the scene, here is your guide to Chillhouse’s official Self-Care Starter Pack.
Ash Candle by Boy Smells
Candles create such a mood wherever you put them. When I got this candle, I started using it at home and it made my space feel extra homey. I have to admit though, I wasn’t surprised. From my own personal experience, candles that smell warm and musky like this one relax the atmosphere almost instantly. This candle, for instance, is made with firewood, palo santo, smoke, and even has hay in it—talk about cozy (or should I say hygge?).
I’m a homebody, I feel most comfortable in my own space, so after a few days, I was kind of like, “okay, I get it.” But then it hit me, what if I took this candle, one with a scent so synonymous with relaxation and home, and took it somewhere else? Would it still have the same effect?
I tested my theory at my office, where I brought the candle with me and lit it every day for a week (don’t worry, it’s not weird to whip out products like this in the name of research at my job). I wasn’t entirely surprised when my hypothesis wound up being correct and the candle did, in fact, bring the same chill vibes to my office space as it did to my home, but I was surprised with the effects it had on me. I had never brought a candle to work before, and keeping one near me while I worked had a really palpable effect on my stress levels (I’m looking at you palo santo). The second I would light the candle, I would feel significantly more at ease. The scent, the warmth, and the happy little flame kept me calm and grounded while I did my work, no matter how stressful the environment around me became. Spoiler alert: it’s been well over the original one week trial period and it is very much still at the office.
Face Oil by Monta
I didn’t really believe how little of this product you had to use to get the full effect until I tried it for myself. Three to four drops? Drops? You’re kidding, right? Wrong. The formula is so light and refreshing that anything else would just be overkill. It’s such a simple little thing to do right after you wash your face, whether that be morning or night. I started to notice a real difference for me. Immediately, I was waking up with skin that was just a bit more hydrated and supple than before, probably due in part to the watermelon and pear oils. This was totally new to me. Taking that extra time to do something that’s essentially a little bonus for my face not only made my skin feel good, but it made me feel good as well.
I have to say though, my favorite part might be the way you put it on. You work it into the palms of your hands just a bit and then hold it onto your face. That’s it. Just press your hands against your face repeatedly, about two or three times, and that’s it! I can’t tell you why, but I’ve started to love doing that every night.
Amethyst Face Roller by Skin Gym
Okay, now this product I’ve actually tried before. Not the amethyst roller exactly, but the jade version. I’d had it for months and I didn’t really know what to do with it, so it sat looking pretty on my dresser (which is not hard to do, have you seen these things?). When I got this one, however, I decided to do a little more research. I already knew that crystal rolling is great for de-puffing the face, especially in the mornings, and using after applying serums or sheet masks to promote better absorption. I also learned that amethyst is powerful and protective, calming inflammation and acne. However, there were two little words that got me to completely rethink this beautiful little wand: lymphatic drainage.
Now I know they’re not the most glamorous of phrases to be associated with a tool like this, but hear me out. I was talking to a friend about how she uses her crystal roller (she has rose quartz) and when she mentioned lymphatic drainage, my ears perked up. I have sinus issues, so I’m always looking for relief of any kind when pressure strikes. She told me that if you focus on the area under your eyes and right next to your nose (there’s gotta be a better word for this!), and add just a bit of extra pressure, you should feel, and she warned me, “something going down the back of your throat.” Naturally, I ran home and did everything exactly as she showed me, and lo and behold, that magic feeling appears. Within just a few minutes I felt lighter and clearer—not to mention, I could breathe better. You can now catch me amethyst rolling while I’m doing anything from scrolling Instagram to writing this very sentence (I’m a changed woman, okay!).
Purify Face Wash and Mask by Linné Botanicals
This is where I have to be really honest with you guys. I don’t always wash my face. Sometimes a hot shower really just does the trick for me! I know, I know, it probably sounds crazy, but I have a reason. My face can actually get too dry if I wash it too much, as my skin type is fairly normal but products can dry it out easily and leave my face feeling tight.
Since I’m not an avid face-washer (really trying to change, I promise) what appealed to me the most about this product is its dual purpose—This face wash is also a face mask. I felt better knowing that if I wasn’t using it all the time as a wash, I could continue to enjoy it as a mask. It’s a win-win! But the best part of all? I actually loved it as both. Even me with my fickle skin! The scent is nice and fresh and the texture is very smooth. The aloe leaves my face hydrated and the green clay leaves it niiice and clean. I can already tell that exfoliating my skin with this cleanser is going to be the secret to my fresh skin come wintertime. (Wait, did this face wash/mask just do the impossible and get me excited for winter?!)
All Purpose Salve Classic Jar by Lauren’s All Purpose
I very rarely put products on my body that aren’t soap and perfume (and deodorant, of course), so adding a body-centric product to my bare-bones routine felt like a pretty big step. I was lured in by the words “all purpose” as I felt it was going to be simple. And, well, I was right! Lauren’s All Purpose Salve really is a one-stop-shop when it comes to covering all the bases in terms of moisture. Oh, and in terms of ingredients, too. I’m talking organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, organic sweet almond oil—you get the picture. The scent is also light so it doesn’t interfere with any of the other scents you may incorporate into your routine, whether it’s your perfume or your body wash.
As for the word “salve,” it really did take me a while to figure out just what that meant in terms of utility. In the beginning, I was focusing more on my body, notably my elbows, knees, heels, and any other place that usually feels a bit drier than the rest of me. But then I started to wonder, does “salve” also include lips? Face? Hands? I think I realized that the question was more along the lines of what does salve not include? According to their site, Lauren’s All Purpose Salve can be a makeup remover, a shaving cream, a hair mask, and even an organic lubricant. I was definitely not that creative.
Debloat Food + Probiotic by The Nue Co.
As someone who’s developed digestive issues in recent years, I had been interested in the idea of probiotics and supplements for a while now, but in all honesty, I had no idea where to start looking. That’s where The Nue Co. really shines brightest for me. They don’t try and make supplements seem that difficult, in fact, they do just the opposite. All of their ingredients are completely organic, so there’s nothing you can’t understand inside the product. After all, you’re putting it inside of your body, why should it be that complicated? The combination of cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric really helped with bloating and upset stomachs, of which I get pretty frequently. It felt really good to take that part of my health into my control once and for all, and to immediately both feel the difference and understand the difference. Oh, and best of all, it tastes pretty great, very earthy and spicy (the turmeric kind, not the Sriracha kind). I drink mine with just a little bit of water, almost like a shot, and savor the aftertaste for quite a while.
Alright, now some real honesty here: this stuff works. I mean really works. My best and perhaps most considerate advice is to not pick it up and use it for the first time in the office. Or before a first date. You know, things like that.
Green Clay Detox Face Mask by Circumference
The first time I used this mask I thought, “this is what a spa smells like.” The scent, which comes from all the botanical oils, like blackcurrant seed, evening primrose, and sacha inchi, has that luxurious feeling of “wow, I’m totally being taken care of.” It goes on so smooth and has a wonderful cooling sensation. When I take it off, which is anywhere from 10-20 minutes later, my face feels refreshed, clean, and not dry, which can happen after a lot of clay masks. I wouldn’t use it more than once or twice a week for risk of being dry, but that’s easier said than done. After using this mask a few times, I felt like I was a “Self-Care Queen” in the making. Nothing felt as glamorous (or as good) as using this mask after I got out of the shower and lounging around in my towel (which I quickly realized should soon be upgraded to a plushy, white robe) until it was dry and ready.
While enjoying my time on the throne of the Self-Care Queen, I thought… could there be more? That’s when a friend told me that she uses her face masks in the bath, so when she’s done, she washes it right off before she leaves. And that’s when it hit me! This mask would go great with…
Soothing Milk Bath by Palermo Body
I’ve never put anything in my bath before (actually, that’s a lie, I’ve used bath bombs before but I was a kid and they weren’t yet trendy) so this gentle product seemed like the perfect place to start. The scent of this milk bath is so soft and subtle that you don’t even smell it after you sprinkle it into the water. The oatmeal and coconut milk are super inviting, like climbing into a warm latte (is that inviting?). Actually, when I was in the bath itself, I wasn’t sure if it was affecting me very much at all, mostly because it’s so lightweight and easy. It was when I got out of the tub that I felt how much softer my skin was, even way, way after my bath.
Now, onto the clay mask/milk bath combo. There’s a reason why pictures of people in face masks with bubbles up to their ears and candles lit all around them are such a thing. It’s because it rocks. The process is effortless, just apply the mask while the water fills up the tub, sprinkle a generous amount of the milk bath once your bath is at the desired volume/temperature, and get it. That’s it. Not only are you killing two birds with one stone, but it feels like a mini-spa. I even took it so far as to bring some reading materials into the tub with me. Once I found a way to ensure my magazine wasn’t going to get wet (note to self: invest in a bath desk), I could have stayed in there forever. It was this culmination of events (or products) that helped me really understood the true meaning of self-care. These seemingly extravagant bath experiences, were really for me, my mind, and my body—and that was totally cool.
Want the whole bundle? Buy all the products below in one swift shop.
Self-Care Starter Pack by Chillhouse