It's been quite the roller coaster ride these past few months with the weather — one day it's almost 60 degrees, and it feels like spring might just be heading towards us, then eight hours later it's 22 and snow is threatening to unleash itself on our heads for what feels like the billionth time. This barometric yo-yoing has caused plenty of emotional turmoil (we just want to wear some open-toed shoes and cropped pants, damn it!), but that pales in comparison to what it's been doing to our immune systems.
Our noses are chapped, our throats are raw, and we've sneezed so many times we're pretty sure we're about one sniffle away from throwing out our backs. And, usually when we hit that "can't breathe, sound-like-a-toddler-throwing-a-temper-tantrum" stage, we immediately reach for good 'ol Vicks Vaporub. A little schmear of that tingly concoction helps us achieve the willpower and the physical capacity to, you know, inhale. But, while we like what this tried-and-true remedy does for our lungs, we're not so stoked on a few other things — namely, that ultra-greasy texture that gets all over everything and the fact that it features both petrolatum and turpentine oil. Not high on our list of things we want slathered all over our chests.
So, when we came across Farmaesthetics' — one of our most beloved natural beauty brands — much lauded Deep Lavender Rub, we were curious. Made with sweet almond oil, lavender, ginger, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils, beeswax, vitamin E, and menthol, the all-natural pick promises to give us the nose-clearing benefits of good 'ol Vicks, without the chemicals. Plus, it has a lovely conditioning balm texture rather than a gooey, slick jelly feel.
This tiny tub is quite the little miracle worker: The brand says it can be used for everything from relieving upper-respiratory tightness and clogged sinuses to relaxing tense muscles and softening calloused feet. After a recent bout of the sniffles, we decided to put our Vicks on the bench and give this a whirl.
The brand suggests rubbing the balm on your chest or neck and then covering said area with a warm towel to "super-charge the effects of the essential oils and herbs, to relax tension, and aid in a good night's sleep." So, we did just that, and it was the best sleep of our lives. The combination of the hot towel with the soothing lavender scent lulled us off into La La Land faster than a cup of cocoa and a bedtime story.
Let's rephrase that: It was the best three hours of sleep in our lives. The one downfall to this method is that the hot towel inevitably turns into a cold towel, waking you up abruptly in a confused fog and trying to figure out why you have a cold, wet rag on your chest. While we sorted through the sleep haze, we noticed that our nose was decidedly less stuffy and our sinus pressure was definitely well below the throbbing levels it had been a few hours prior. Success!
So, if this schizophrenic weather is making your head (and your sinuses) spin, but you're not big on good 'ol Vaporub, may we politely suggest you give this natural wonder a whirl?
Farmaesthetics Deep Lavender Rub, $25, available at Farmaesthetics.