By Kuma-san, 23 March 2022
If you are struggling to wake up in the mornings, but find yourself fighting sleep at night just to have a few more moments of me-time – you’re not alone. It’s a classic syndrome of stress and burn-out that many working professionals face, regardless if they are slogging in the office or at home.
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash
If you are (figuratively and literally) tired of being stuck in this cycle, then it’s probably time to incorporate some elements of relaxation into your daily routine. Specifically, your bath time ritual should comprise a mix of products that are both efficacious and soothing.
Luckily for us, Japanese hair and body products have perfected the art of bottling up serenity, such that every after-work shower can feel like a trip to an onsen.
Read on to find out what makes each of these Japanese personal care products the perfect stress-relief after a day of draining meetings and non-stop emails.
Haircare That Relaxes Both Mind and Mane
OSAKAKUMA EXCLUSIVE: Ayura Thermal Scalp Cleanser
Though it is usually out of sight, neglecting our scalp would bring about redness, irritation and even hair loss. Since our scalp is practically an extension of our face, we need to thoroughly cleanse it as we do in our skincare routines.
A brand under the trusted Shiseido group, Ayura’s Thermal Scalp Cleanser gently warms the scalp and opens its pores so that any stubborn dirt clinging to the scalp is exfoliated away. Think a steam facial – but for your scalp! It is also made without surfactants, so rest assured that none of the healthy oils in your scalp will be stripped away.
The Relax Factor: If heat on your scalp triggers your flight or fight senses from bad bleach jobs at salons, not to worry! The warming sensation is soothing, not scalding. In fact, it acts just like a heated towel placed over your head, melting away any tense areas. This enveloping warmth is accompanied by a pleasant herbal aroma.
Close your eyes and you can probably envision yourself in a luxurious Japanese spa – sans the pricey cost. To cement this experience, try applying firm pressure to the hairline and massage towards the crown of your head.Tip: We recommend pairing with Ayura's Bicassa Plate Scalp Massager for a thorough deep cleansing massage.
Just like its brand name suggests, the Onsensou Hot Spring Algae range contains algae extract from the onsens in Beppu, a city in Japan. The potent ingredient has benefits such as strengthening your damaged tresses, improving blood circulation in your hair follicles to stimulate growth, and reducing your scalp’s sebum production. It deeply cleanses while nourishing at the same time so you step out of the shower with luscious locks. The shampoo is also free of nasties like sulphates and parabens that will only do more harm than good, so you can go ahead and use it with peace of mind.
The Relax Factor: Fall into a tranquil state by giving yourself a relaxing head and neck massage with Onsensou Scalp Care shampoo. The trick is to focus on the back and top of your head while using the pad of your fingers (not with your nails!) to rub in circular motions. Carefully massage upwards at the area where your neck and skull meets – that’s the area that usually holds an unhealthy amount of tension.
While most conditioners on the market advise you to avoid applying product onto your scalp, the Onsensou Hot Spring Algae Scalp Care Conditioner is the complete opposite. This is a conditioner that will deeply hydrate both your scalp and hair to create shiny and smooth tresses which will be the envy of many. Pair this with their range of shampoo and you will get to bid goodbye to dry and dull hair in no time!
The Relax Factor: After applying the Onsensou Scalp Care Conditioner evenly to your scalp and hair, rinse with running water until there is no residue. Let the hot spring algae extract deeply nourish your scalp and repair your hair, while the relaxing aroma of bluebell flowers reminds you to express gratitude for yourself.
OSAKAKUMA EXCLUSIVE: IAU Serum Oil Hair Treatment
No hair care routine is complete without a hair oil or treatment to ensure that your hair remains hydrated even after cleansing. IAU marries the best of both worlds with a Serum Oil Hair Treatment. Engaging the Asian skincare philosophy of healing from within, it nourishes each strand of our hair such that it strengthens the hair right from its roots. It also tames frizziness, making your hair much more manageable in the dreadful mornings before work. Now you can strike out hair management from that never-ending to-do list!
The Relax Factor: With a floral scent reminiscent of apple tree flowers, applying this serum after a steaming shower envelops your bathroom in a comforting, luxurious scent. For maximum benefits, wrap your hair up with a towel and let the serum work its magic throughout. Not to mention, the lingering floral smell will also be a pampering treat for your senses as you fall into well-deserved slumber.
If you are more of a night-out professional that looks forward to dinners and cheer after work, then the Fujiko Ponpon Powder is a must-have styling product. Aside from keeping your ‘do in place, it’s the perfect combatant against excess sebum, reviving flattened hair into its fluffy prime. At the same time, the powder’s ceramide kicks into action and retains moisture in the scalp and strands. Your hair gets to keep all its glossy shine without being clumpy or hardened, as with most hair gels.
The Relax Factor: There is nothing that calms the mind more than knowing that your hair can be done in just a few taps. With all the time you saved, wouldn’t you be more relaxed? Alternatively, throw in a quick scalp massage with this powder to make the most of it.
Relax from Head to Toe, Down to Your Fingertips
OSAKAKUMA EXCLUSIVE: Ayura Aroma Herbal Bath Salt (Ginger Orange Scent)
Imagine this: you stumble home lethargically, peel away stuffy work clothes and hop into a bath that smells deliciously citrusy and spicy… Except, such a scenario does not need to be a figment of imagination with Ayura's Aroma Herbal Bath (Ginger Orange Scent). Packaged in 40g sachets, these bath salts dissolve quickly, allowing you to hop into a dreamy, milky-orange onsen like bath that warmly relaxes both body and mind.
The Relax Factor: Citrusy scents are proven to have calming effects on the limbic system, which controls the part of the brain involved with emotion, memory and even anxiety. The Ginger Orange scented bath salts are sure to steep your body in serene-like calm. For a spa-like experience, include a bath caddy where you can prop your book, tablet or even a glass of wine. The Japanese also enjoy burning incense while luxuriating in a soak to enhance their olfactive experience.
As we discussed in our previous self-care piece, vaginal care is incredibly important. Having a peace of mind includes knowing that our most intimate and private parts are well-cared for. Not to mention, stress levels from our professional life might compromise the health of the vagina (think fishy odours and irritation). Hanamisui’s Inclear Vaginal Washer helps in easing this worry by supplementing lactic acid in the vagina where bacteria are likely to fester. For detailed instructions on how to utilise this important must-have, hop on over to our product page.
Body lotion is an often foregone step that many regret as they ascend the age ladder. By leaving our skins as-is, we are essentially throwing them to the wolves of sun damage, moisture-stripping soaps and ageing. If you are looking to avoid flaky and ashy skin, then look no further than Matsuyama’s M-Mark Yuzu Body Lotion. Formulated with ultra-moisturising ingredients, it hydrates and protects the skin from dryness. If what puts you off lotion is its uncomfortably thick consistency, then fret not – this Japanese lotion is milky and easily absorbed.
The Relax Factor: As its name suggests, this body lotion features a natural yuzu essential oil scent that helps to elevate stress and anxiety. It’s the perfect skin-companion to have as you catch up on beauty sleep. Fun fact: it’s also suitable for all ages. Slather this fragrant lotion onto your children, husband and parents — they can even be walking diffusers for you!
What better way to round off a comprehensive bath time routine than with a hand mask, now that everything that kept your hands tied (both at home and at work) is out of the way? A luxurious treat, EBiS URUWOEET Moisture Hand Masks serve as anti-ageing skincare for your busy fingers. Containing 112 types of beauty ingredients such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and ceramides, this quick 5-minute mask makes your skin softer, plumper and all-around younger.
The Relax Factor: Though these vinyl hand masks are sturdy enough for you to carry on with activities, they visually serve as a perfect reason to say “sorry, my hands are busy!”
Tip: After masking, use the remaining product left on your hands to massage your neck. The neck and hands are the first parts to show signs of ageing, so it is crucial that you start caring for them early on.
Easier Self-Care with J-Beauty Choices Simplified
And there you have it! A comprehensive guide to bathroom essentials that will relax the most burnt-out of working adults. Aside from caring for your physical wellbeing, it is also important to care deeply for your mental state.
Hopefully, these products have been the addition you needed to create the ideal environment for mindfulness.