Ila: Give yourself a break

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to feel that ‘lead up to Christmas’ stress. Having decorated the house for Halloween and answered the door 200 times, there is just enough time to sit down before preparing for Bonfire Night, everyone I have ever knowns 50th birthdays and then of course Christmas – never mind looking round sixth forms, filling in UCAS forms, working and oh yes trying to have my own life. Just the thought of it all makes me want to lie in a darkened room with a bottle of red wine! Unfortunately I think we all agree, that’s probably not the best solution, especially not if you are peri or fully meanopausal. So how should we cope with the stresses and strains of a busy life?

Last week I met the Denise Leicester, the founder of the organic spa product range Ila, who explained how it’s really important for us to have rituals around relaxation, especially in Winter, when we need to nurture and treat ourselves with care. She created has her organic range around ‘nature and the harmonies of the earth’, and recommended trying out her bath time ritual for a ‘Spa at home’ experience.

She likes to make herself a cup of tea, using grilled ginger (it’s really important it’s grilled apparently) which she then mashes with lime, honey and hot water. She then lights one of her Tuberose & Rose candles, applies her Energising and Detoxifying body scrub and adds Bath Salts for Inner Peace to a hot bath. All of these products have been created to restore balance of the body and mind, up lift spirits and cleanse any aura of negativity. After her bath, she then lies on her bed with a cold eye pillow and a hot water bottle on her feet.

Listening to Denise speak was both energising and inspiring and there is no doubt she is deeply passionate about what she does. Her factory in the Cotswolds is kept completely silent while the products are being made and each blend is hand made by one person, as they tend to change if too many people create them. She is the sort of person who makes you want to devote the rest of your life to yoga and become a vegan – in a good way.

I was given a sample of the products and promptly went home and to try out Denise’s ritual. A couple of hours later, I was more chilled out than Ms Relaxed from Balanced on Sea and the whole house smelt gorgeous.

The products are not cheap, but after Denise had explained the benefits of natural versus mass produced, I was convinced I would never buy supermarket bath or skin products again. In the same way that we think about the origins of our food, perhaps we should think more about what goes into our skin products.

Several of the beauty bloggers we know also love Ila’s Face Oil. The products are available online and selected Spas around the country.

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