‘Aroma’ means scent and ‘therapy’ means treatment, so when you bring these elements together with beauty you can create something wonderful! The use of aromatherapy in beauty products can help with a number of skin ailments and moods, so it’s a wonderful match. This is exactly what Bodhi & Birch do with their line of eco-luxury bath, body and skincare products which promise to awaken your mind, indulge your senses and enlighten your skincare ritual. We have been delving a little deeper into the merge of cosmetics and aromatherapy with founder Elijah Choo who explains exactly how it works and why we can all benefit from the use of aromatherapy.
Why did you decide to combine advanced cosmetic science with the traditional benefits of aromatherapy in Bodhi & Birch?
Bodhi & Birch aims to create skin-loving natural products that are gorgeous and luxurious to use.
Prior to the start of Bodhi & Birch, I went through a period when my skin was severely dry and stressed. This was due to a number of factors including the use of harsh surfactants found commonly in skin and body care products. The switch to natural skincare saw an immediate improvement but left me wanting more than just basic formulations which does not always feel good nor smell great.
Thus the journey began to create natural skincare that sources ingredients used traditionally in proven herbal remedies. In order to create products that can harness the full aromatic benefits of essential oils and nutrient-rich plant extracts, we turned to science.
One of the biggest problems we faced was to create a bath and shower gel that holds a potent percentage of oils, and yet allows it to be stable and effective. Too much oil and the product breaks down, or is incapable of producing a lather. After much time and effort, we succeeded and launch our seven bath and shower therapies.
What are the benefits of aromatherapy in skin care specifically?
Aromatherapy works in two ways; by inhalation of the aroma of essential oils and through skin absorption.
Many cosmetic ingredients just “sit” on the skin. Essential oils have a unique ability to penetrate skin fairly quickly to give it a boost by activating the renewal of new cells. As the essential oil travels through our body, its healing action works to promote the health of skin, tissues and organs. This in turn helps slow down the body’s process of ageing.
Through inhalation, the scent molecules of essential oils get taken into the body through our olfactory bulb. Our sense of smell is the most powerful of the senses, being closely linked to our amygdala and hippocampus. These are brain regions that process memory and emotion, which also explains why smell is capable of triggering long forgotten memories in an instant.
It is also through scent that we can soothe our nerves, relax our body and de-stress the mind. This therapeutic process shows through our body, skin and overall well-being, keeping us feeling and looking happy and beautiful.
How can the essential oils in your products help with the following feelings?
Essential oils have a profound effect on our body, with its ability to boost cell level activity and induce positivity in our moods. Be it through a body or facial massage, our products deliver a blend of aromatic molecules to help de-stress the mind, boost energy levels or assist with mental focus.
Stress – All Bodhi & Birch products help reduce stress one way or another. Try Flora Paradiso De-Stress Massage & Body Oil for a deep dose of relaxation. Used in a massage, it helps soothe body tension and promotes a sense of bliss. Alternatively apply as a body oil to nourish skin or add to a bath for a de-stressing soak.
Lack of energy – Bergamot, Black Pepper and White Thyme work in unison to boost energy levels in our Pep Noir Bath & Shower Therapy. This is an energising blend best used in the morning or before late nights out. Avoid this before bed, unless you intend to stay up!
Inner peace – Rosemary Chi Himalayan Detox Salt Scrub is one of my proudest creations. Winner of Best Aromatherapy Product in The Beauty Shortlist Awards, this scrub boosts skin renewal, deeply nourishes the driest skin, and helps balance your mind and senses with its synergistic blend of oils to leave you calm, collected and peaceful.
Focus – Mint Thé Temple Balm has become a multi-tasking cult product. Originally created to ease tension headaches, fans have found multiple uses for this aromatic balm, from soothing aching feet to using it as a temporary lip plumper. Applied to pulse points, its uplifting blend of oils help to clear your mind and sharpen your senses.
Rejuvenation – Our blend of Damask Rose Otto, Moroccan Argan Oil and Rosehip Oil in Desert Rose Rejuvenating Face Oil is specifically created to boost skin rejuvenation and radiance. This is our all time best-selling product, loved by Sienna Miller and championed by Ruby Hammer.
Your ingredients are inspired by traditional remedies, can you tell us about your favourites and their backgrounds?
It is difficult to choose my favourite Bodhi & Birch product, let alone choosing my favourite ingredient. I have selected two based on their legendary properties and a couple of newer ingredients I love.
Plai: This is a little known ingredient outside Thailand where it originates. Highly regarded in Thai massage, Plai is a member of the ginger family, which includes Turmeric, Galangal and of course Ginger. The oil from its rhizome is exceptionally healing, helping to relieve pain and inflammation in conditions involving joints and muscles, including arthritis and rheumatism. This is due to the high levels of anti-inflammatory activity, twice as potent as the strongest over the counter anti-inflammatory drug but a far safer and natural alternative. I first come across this amazing ingredient two decades ago in Thailand. You can now discover it in my Ginger Brew Deep Tissue Massage & Body Oil.
Rose: There is no perfume without the Rose. Revered for millennia, the rose is a symbol of beauty and love. Its scent transcends mortality, its history spans civilisations through war and peace, its beauty inspired art and poetry, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose.” It takes 4 tons of damask roses to give 1 kg of rose otto, costing about £8k per kg. We source our rose otto from the Valley of Roses in Bulgaria, considered the best rose oil, and undoubtedly the most precious and expensive. Along with Rosehip Oil and Rose Hydrolat, you can find Rose in several Bodhi & Birch products, including Desert Rose Rejuvenating Face Oil and Rosa Rosa Skincare.
Olive Squalane & Plum Kernel Oil: I couldn’t decide between these two exceptional ingredients! Olive Squalane is a botanical lipid derived from olives. It helps replenish our own squalene levels to prevent skin deterioration and combat against, and prevent, age spots and lines. Plum Kernel Oil is luscious – incredibly nourishing and yet it feels ridiculously light. This carrier oil is also, surprisingly, aromatic, with its scent of cherry bakewell tarts. Olive Squalane can be found as a key ingredient in our Rosemary Chi Himalayan Detox Salt Scrub, and both ingredients feature in Lime Blossom Protecting Hand Serum.
Enlighten your senses and shop the full range here: Bodhi & Birch.
Do you use aromatherapy to help with your skincare or mood? Let us know on Twitter @Naturisimo_UK.