Before a few cups of coffee, most of us have trouble doing much more than shuffling around our homes. But if you can make it to the shower, there are a few items that can help you wake up to get a jump-start on your day. Some body washes and soaps can help because of their texture, but others stimulate your brain and get you ready for the day ahead based on key attributes of aromatherapy.
We know — aromatherapy sounds like something your mother talks about when she comes home from a spa trip. But the essential oils used in many of those treatments are proven to rejuvenate and relax you, taking away stress while also making you ready to tackle what’s ahead. Some of the soaps on our list use essential oils in their makeup to give you that boost, without sending you to an aromatherapist to find the oils in their pure forms. What’s more, the soaps come in scents that are suitable for both sexes, meaning you won’t step out of the shower smelling like you just came from a forced trip to Bath & Body Works, or the perfume counter at your local department store.
Does your wake-up routine need an extra boost, or an upgrade from the generic soap you’ve been using since college? If that’s the case, check out these three products that are sure to add some extra energy to your morning.
1. Almendra Rejuvenating Face and Body Bar, by Jabonería Marianella
Jabonería Marianella is a luxury brand of soaps and skincare products that offers options for both men and women, meaning you’ll be able to outfit everyone in your household. Each of the bar soaps, regardless of scent, contain colloidal oatmeal, which relieves dry skin, acne, and other minor skin irritations. Each one also contains argan oil, shea butter, honey, and vanilla bean seeds, which improve skin elasticity, reduce inflammation, and lightly exfoliate the skin.
The presence of sandalwood works together with those ingredients to further reduce skin irritation, and is also known to subdue anxiety. If you’re nervous about a big presentation or meeting coming up, the light scent will wake you up without adding to your nerves. Vegetable glycerin helps to create a rich lather without using the entire bar — and without drying the skin after you’ve toweled off. Plus, you’ll feel a little bit like you’re using soaps from the Ritz-Carlton.
If you left Dial bar soaps behind long ago, or you’re in the market for a replacement, definitely give this one a try. I’m not a huge proponent of bar soaps, but it left my skin feeling much softer than a generic bar, and at 6 ounces will (in theory, at least) last longer than many 4-ounce bars on the market. The soap, which isn’t tested on animals, retails for $14 online and can also be found in many Anthropologie shops.
2. Black Coffee Organic Body Scrub, by skinnyskinny
If you can’t wait until your first cup of coffee to jump-start your day, try fooling your brain with this coffee scrub. Skinnyskinny is primarily for women, but provides men’s products like shaving oil and moisturizers through its male-oriented brand, called League. Both sexes will enjoy the novelty of this scrub, which lists its first ingredient as fair trade coffee. The organic beans that are ground as the base for this scrub were chosen for their scent, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly your bathroom starts to take on the smells of your local coffee shop as you’re using the scrub.
Because it’s a scrub, the soap content is low. You won’t get bubbles, but the exfoliant qualities of the ground coffee beans and other ingredients work spectacularly. The only downside is that the scrub tends to crumble quickly, meaning you’ll likely find flecks of what looks like coffee grounds in your shower — because, essentially, there are. If you don’t mind taking the extra minute to rinse them away, you’ll leave the shower refreshed and ready for the real cup of joe.
A regular 8-ounce container of the vegan, cruelty-free scrub is available online and retails for $36.
3. WAKE UP body wash, by PLANT
Of the three products included in your new wake-up repertoire, this body wash might be my favorite. The Brooklyn-based company headed by a husband-and-wife team offers an entire line of products based on apothecary techniques and branded as truly unisex body washes, oils, and scrubs — plus a few gourmet ingredients to fuel your cooking hobby, too.
The WAKE UP body wash combines the power of rosemary and lemongrass, both of which have properties proven to stimulate your senses and prevent drowsiness — waking you up for the day for good. My husband, who takes only a passing interest in the particulars of a body wash but who is picky about scented products, said he’d use it as part of his morning routine. I prefer body washes, putting this one at the top of my list as well. It’s not quite as gelatinous as other washes I’ve used in the past, but it has a good suds factor and a light scent that I enjoy catching a whiff of later on. PLANT’s products are cruelty free and are certified USDA organic. A 9.5-ounce bottle of the bodywash retails online for $20.