Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy

This semester I’m trying to take better care of myself by exercising four days a week, trying to get eight hours of sleep each night, and making time to read books that I actually want to read.

A few years ago someone told me that lavender helps with anxiety and stress. I didn’t really believe them; I always thought that if I did try it, it would just be like a placebo effect. I never looked into it because I didn’t need anything else that was just in my head.

However, before the semester started, I found myself in Bath & Body Works looking for some new hand soap. As I wandered around the store, I found an entire aromatherapy section that I didn’t even know existed. In high school, one of my friends had hand sanitizer that was supposed to relieve stress, and when she let me try it I really didn't notice any difference, so I was a little skeptical when browsing the section. Skeptical but desperate.

Since I was trying not to spend a lot of money, I found these tubes of hand cream that were cheap, which allowed me to sample more instead of spending money on the bigger tube.

I ended up buying five of them. I bought one for sleep, energy, happiness, comfort, and one for stress relief. It was like I was physically buying something that I had been lacking, but I didn't even know if it was actually going to work. Regardless, they smelled amazing.

The sleep aromatherapy is a combination of lavender and cedarwood scents. I put it on my hands most nights before I go to bed (some nights I’m super lazy), and to be honest I haven’t been able to notice if I sleep better that night or not. I will say that it does help me feel more relaxed when I get into bed.

The energy aromatherapy mixes orange and ginger scents to give you a little boost of energy, which I definitely need all the time. As someone who doesn’t drink coffee or any caffeinated drinks, this does help. It’s not a permanent solution, but I find that it does temporarily wake me up a little bit. The scents are so strong and powerful that it’s kind of hard not to notice them, whereas the the sleep scents are more subtle.

The happiness aromatherapy is made up of bergamot and mandarin scents, both of which I was unfamiliar with until I purchased this. This one is probably my favorite one. I can confidently say that this one has definitely worked because I just feel happy whenever I smell it on my hands. I know that I’m not associating this smell with any other happy memories, because I had never experience them before now. The only downside is that the scent doesn’t last very long, and I have to constantly re-apply it.

The comfort aromatherapy is composed of vanilla with patchouli. This is actually the one I don’t use as much. The scent is incredibly subtle, and you have to put a lot on to even notice its presence in the first place. I also don’t really feel a change in my mood after using this one, but my hands are soft and moisturized.

The last aromatherapy I bought was for stress relief; I feel like I need to go back and buy a bigger bottle of this. This hand cream actually mixes spearmint and eucalyptus scents, which I find incredibly refreshing. This is probably the second lotion I use the most, but I can’t say it does anything other than make me feel a little bit more relaxed.

I do feel less stressed and more in control of my life this semester, but I feel like these lotions aren’t powerful enough to magically fix all of my problems. I think the exercising, sleeping, and self care are the main contributors to my stress management, but these aromatherapy hand creams definitely don't hurt.



Alyssa Harmon