Unwind in Style: Pampering Yourself with Early 20th Century Relaxation Rituals

Unwind in Style: Pampering Yourself with Early 20th Century Relaxation Rituals

Edwardian coat in the hero photo by GibsonGirlDress

In the way too fast-paced world we live in, taking time to unwind and pamper ourselves is an essential luxury.

If you are into the antique aesthetics, maybe you have already wondered how women in the Edwardian era indulged in relaxation and skincare.

In this article, we’ll delve into the early 20th century and explore the skincare and relaxation routines that women embraced during the Edwardian era.

Get ready to discover some timeless self-care practices that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, just as they did hundred years ago.

It was always about body & mind

The Edwardian era emphasized the concept of inner radiance reflecting outer beauty. Women understood the connection between a healthy lifestyle and glowing skin. They focused on maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and engaging in physical activities such as walking or dancing. By nurturing their overall well-being, they enhanced their natural beauty.

Exercise was part of some women’s lives in the Edwardian era, but nobody was downing creatine and spreading legs to pull sumo yet. So, there were a few routines that women used to keep their body healthy:

Dry Brushing: This old-fashioned morning practice can help exfoliate dead skin cells, improve circulation, and leave your skin feeling refreshed. Begin from the bottom and work your way up, using upward strokes.

This practice will temporarily kick up you blood circulation, improve skin renewal, and leave you feeling energized for the day ahead.

It can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but will give you a boost of energy.

Fragrant Body Cleanser: Back in Edwardian times this was definitely a rich people area - baths with fragrant plant extracts. These days, you might just look for products that contain invigorating scents like citrus or mint, which can help clear your mind and revitalize your body.

A bath that incorporates real plant-based ingredients and dried flowers works much better to awaken your senses and leave your skin feeling refreshed, though.

Unwind in Style: Pampering Yourself with Early 20th Century Relaxation Rituals
Unwind in Style: Pampering Yourself with Early 20th Century Relaxation Rituals

Organic spa box with shea butter, coconut and peppermint from JustineMareeStudio. Dress from MayaHotenkoDress

The Importance of Beauty Sleep: Beauty sleep has always been valued, even in the Edwardian era. Women recognized the power of a good night’s rest for their skin.

Upper class women prioritized quality sleep and established evening skincare rituals to enhance their skin’s health and radiance. Soothing oil cleansers, hydrating toners, and nourishing moisturizers were part of their bedtime routine, as the aroma of the cosmetics helped their mind relax.

Natural Remedies for Skincare: Edwardian women had to rely on simple, natural ingredients for their skincare needs. There were no vitamin C extracts or retinoids yet, so they embraced the reliance on nature. The result was that people looked a bit too old for their age by today standards.

On the other hand, skincare experts do recommend taking breaks from using active ingredients like peelings and strong antioxidants. For those days when you are just letting your skin regenerate, embrace the botanical extracts, oils, and herbal remedies to cleanse, tone, and moisturize your skin.

Back in the day, ingredients like rosewater, lavender, and chamomile were used for their soothing properties, while honey and oatmeal acted as gentle exfoliants. These natural ingredients can still be part of a holistic approach to skincare today - and they smell amazing.

Unwind in Style: Pampering Yourself with Early 20th Century Relaxation Rituals
Unwind in Style: Pampering Yourself with Early 20th Century Relaxation Rituals

Pink Himalayan Bath Salts with organic Rose Petals from MysticHerbsByCarla. Dress from MayaHotenkoDress

Relaxation and Self-Care Rituals: Edwardian women understood the importance of self-care and incorporated relaxation rituals into their daily lives. They indulged in warm baths infused with aromatic oils and bath salts, allowing them to unwind and de-stress.

Gentle massages using essential oils and scented creams were also a part of their routine, promoting relaxation and skin rejuvenation.

Face Masks and Treatments: Face masks and treatments played a significant role in Edwardian skincare routines. Women used various natural ingredients to DIY their masks, such as egg whites, cucumber, or even milk and honey. These masks were believed to brighten the complexion, tighten the skin, and provide hydration.

Professional facial treatments at spas were also popular among those who could afford them.

An 8-step skincare routine inspired by the Edwardian times

  • Step 1: Cleansing

Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser or cold cream to remove dirt and impurities.

Use a soft cloth or sponge to cleanse the skin, focusing on gentle circular motions.

  • Step 2: Toning

After cleansing, apply a toner to restore the skin’s pH balance and tighten the pores.

Look for natural ingredients like rosewater or witch hazel to refresh and soothe the skin.

  • Step 3: Moisturizing

Apply a moisturizer to hydrate the skin and lock in moisture. Opt for creams or balms with rich, nourishing ingredients like beeswax or almond oil.

Massage the moisturizer into the skin using upward strokes to promote circulation and absorption.

  • Step 4: Facial Massage

Incorporate facial massage into your routine to stimulate blood flow and relax the facial muscles.

Use gentle, upward motions with your fingertips or a facial roller to improve lymphatic drainage and give your skin a healthy glow.

  • Step 5: Eye Care

Pay attention to the delicate skin around the eyes. Apply a small amount of eye cream or gel using your ring finger, tapping gently to avoid pulling or tugging.

  • Step 6: Lip Care

Keep your lips soft and supple by applying a lip balm or salve. Look for natural ingredients like shea butter or cocoa butter to nourish and protect.

  • Step 7: Sun Protection

Even in Edwardian times, protecting the skin from the sun was crucial. While Edwardian women used clothes and umbrellas, you might want to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to shield your skin from harmful UV rays.

  • Step 8: Evening Skincare

Before bed, repeat the cleansing, toning, and moisturizing steps to remove any dirt or makeup accumulated throughout the day.

On some days, consider taking a page from the modern playbook and use a night cream or serum with ingredients like retinol or hyaluronic acid to promote skin rejuvenation and repair. __

Unwinding in style and pampering yourself with early 20th-century relaxation rituals is a timeless practice that can bring a touch of elegance to your modern self-care routine. By adopting the skincare and relaxation routines embraced by Edwardian women, you can discover the power of natural ingredients, prioritize self-care, and indulge in timeless beauty practices. So go ahead, take a step back in time, and embrace the charm of early 20th-century self-pampering for a truly rejuvenating experience.