Bath and body works stress relief lotion ingredients

Deborah C. Escalante

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Bath & Body Works, Aromatherapy, Moisturizing Body Cream, Stress Relief Eucalyptus & Spearmint

Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Moisturizing Body Creams | $15.50 each

The Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Moisturizing Body Creams line is a line of scent-forward products that claim to address the mind-body issue. These fragrant creams say that they will help with different moods. I was sent three to sample. The three body creams promise that they are “rich, non-greasy” and that they “nourish skin with protective 24-hour moisture, conditioning Vitamin E and shea butter.” An aromatherapy blend of essential oils are said to soothe body, mind, and mood.

Stress Relief Body Cream Eucalyptus & Spearmint: This cream contains Eucalyptus Essential Oil, which is said to clear the mind and Spearmint Essential Oil, which claims to soothe and uplift.

This cream contains Eucalyptus Essential Oil, which is said to clear the mind and Spearmint Essential Oil, which claims to soothe and uplift.

Sleep Body Cream Lavender Essential Oil & Vanilla: This cream contains Lavender Essential Oil & Vanilla Absolute, which are said to help calm feelings of stress to promote better sleep.

Stress Relief Body Cream Eucalyptus & Tea: This cream contains Eucalyptus Oil, which claims to clear the mind, and Tea Extract, which claims to calm feelings of uncertainty.

I used all three creams at different points throughout the day and evening. All are excellent products – as promised, rich but not greasy, and delightfully fragrant. But, I didn’t find the mood-altering claims to be substantiated. The vanilla cream was lovely but had no impact on my sleep. The Tea Extract did nothing to calm feelings of uncertainty, a difficult claim to support in any case. The bottom line is that these fragrant creams are excellent products if you leave all the woo-woo talk behind.

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Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Sugar Scrub | $16.50

This product claims to be non-greasy and gently exfoliating. The scrub contains nourishing oils, including jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil, mineral oil, and almond oil.

I used this in the shower. The scent was wonderfully invigorating and I liked the brisk, exfoliating quality. However, it is a bit on the greasy side (it has five different oils in it, after all). Also, it tends to separate so it needs to be mixed before applying. Overall, a good, straight forward scrub at a good price point.

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What are your favorite scents from the Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy line?

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The famous or maybe rather infamous mineral oil. The clear oily liquid that is the “cheap by-product” of refining crude oil and the one that gets a lot of heat for its poor provenance. It is a very controversial ingredient with pros and cons and plenty of myths around it. So let us see them:  

The pros of mineral oil
Trust us, if something is used for more than 100 years in cosmetic products, it has advantages. Chemically speaking, cosmetic grade mineral oil is a complex mixture of highly refined saturated hydrocarbons with C15-50 chain length. It is not merely a “by-product” but rather a specifically isolated part of petroleum that is very pure and inert.

It is a great emollient and moisturizer working mainly by occlusivity. Occlusivity is one of the basic mechanisms of how moisturizers work and it means that mineral oil sits on top of the skin and hinders so-called trans-epidermal water loss, i.e water evaporating out of your skin. When compared to heavy-duty plant oil, extra virgin coconut oil, the two of them were equally efficient and safe as moisturizers in treating xerosis, a skin condition connected to very dry skin.

The other thing that mineral oil is really good at is being non-irritating to the skin. The chemical composition of plant oils is more complex with many more possible allergens or irritating components, while mineral oil is simple, pure and sensitivity to it is extremely rare. If you check out the classic French pharmacy brands and their moisturizers for the most sensitive, allergy prone skin, they usually contain mineral oil. This is no coincidence. 

The cons of mineral oil
The pros of mineral oil can be interpreted as cons if we look at them from another perspective. Not penetrating the skin but mostly just sitting on top of it and not containing biologically active components, like nice fatty acids and vitamins mean that mineral oil does not “nourish” the skin in the way plant oils do. Mineral oil does not give the skin any extra goodness, it is simply a non-irritating moisturizer working mainly by occlusivity. 

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The myths around mineral oil
Badmouthing mineral oil is a favorite sport of many, it is a cheap material and being connected to petrolatum makes it fairly easy to demonize. 

While it is true that industrial grade mineral oil contains carcinogenic components (so-called polycyclic compounds), these are completely removed from cosmetic and food grade mineral oil and there is no scientific data showing that the pure, cosmetic grade version is carcinogenic.

What is more, in terms of the general health effects of mineral oils used in cosmetics, a 2017 study reviewed the data on their skin penetration and concluded that “the cosmetic use of mineral oils and waxes does not present a risk to consumers due to a lack of systemic exposure.”  

Another super common myth surrounding mineral oil is that it is comedogenic. A 2005 study titled ”Is mineral oil comedogenic?” examined this very question and guess what happened? The study concluded that  “based on the animal and human data reported, along with the AAD recommendation, it would appear reasonable to conclude that mineral oil is noncomedogenic in humans.” 

Overall, we feel that the scaremongering around mineral oil is not justified. For dry and super-sensitive skin types it is a great option. However, if you do not like its origin or its heavy feeling or anything else about it, avoiding it has never been easier. Mineral oil has such a bad reputation nowadays that cosmetic companies hardly dare to use it anymore. 

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Stress-relief lotions contain essential oils or other ingredients to create an aromatic lotion or cream. These products may help reduce a person’s stress levels when they massage it into their skin.

the best stress relief lotions

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This article examines how stress relief lotions work and reviews 10 of the best stress-relief creams.

Stress-relief lotions and aromatherapy

Manufacturers infuse stress-relief lotions with aromatherapy fragrances that they claim alleviate stress.

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However, many people question the effectiveness of these creams, and researchers need to conduct more studies to understand the full effects of how these lotions work.

In a 2015 study, researchers investigated how people responded to aromatherapy. Researchers divided the participants into three groups. The researchers gave two groups essential oil aromas to smell, and a placebo group received water.

In addition, some individuals received a prompt about the stress-relieving properties of aromatherapy before they took the test.

The study found that aromatherapy on its own did not reduce stress during the test. However, the people who had received the information about aromatherapy’s stress-relieving properties reported feeling less stressed during the test.

Researchers concluded that it was the suggestion of aromatherapy’s benefits that caused the participants to feel calmer rather than the aromatherapy itself. The researchers believe that this might have important implications regarding stress management techniques.

Learn more about relaxation techniques for stress relief here.

Although research suggests that essential oils may have some health benefits, it is important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor or regulate the purity or quality of these. A person should talk with a healthcare professional before using essential oils, and they should be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. A person should always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

Aromatherapy and the postpartum period

While research into the relationship between aromatherapy and stress relief is limited, there is some evidence that certain essential oils on their own may reduce postpartum stress and depression in some people.

One 2016 study identified lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression in females who inhaled lavender essential oil every 8 hours for 4 weeks after giving birth.

Learn more about lavender essential oil here.

Are stress-relief lotions regulated?

Lotions and other cosmetics do not require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before being marketed, except with regards to adding color.

However, the manufacturers have to abide by the laws and regulations the FDA has set before they can sell the product. For example, they must clearly list the ingredients on the label and make sure the packaging does not contain misleading information.

When to see a doctor 

A person should talk to their doctor if they struggle to control their stress after trying home remedies or natural solutions, such as stress relieving lotions.

A doctor can help find a suitable treatment plan that might include a mixture of therapy or medication.

If a rash or reaction develops after using any stress-relieving lotion, stop using the product. A person should see their doctor if they develop a rash that does not go away or gets worse.

It is always best to test a new lotion on a small patch of skin to see if an allergic reaction occurs.


Manufacturers often infuse stress relief lotions with essential oils for their supposed relaxation and calming properties.

But, it is unclear exactly how effective they are at reducing stress. More research is needed to support the relationship between essential oils and their effect on stress, pain, and anxiety.

Stress relief lotions are generally safe to use, but some people may develop a topical rash or reaction if they have sensitive skin.

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