Plant One On Me! — Get To Know The Bamford Botanic and Organic Collections
Aromatherapy gurus have long praised the benefits of eucalyptus oil, claiming it can facilitate concentration, enhance awareness and boost energy levels. Personally, whenever I’ve experimented with eucalyptus oil (I’ve tried bath soaks, as well as concentrated oils meant to be applied to pulse points), I’ve felt a sense of calm resolve, like I had the energy to focus but without the anxiety or apprehension that can often accompany this type of willfulness. But here’s the drawback: while I appreciate the medicinal, sensory benefits of this herbal extract, its peppermint-like smell gives me a case of the icks (if you’ve been reading STA for long enough, then you already know I’m not particularly fond of mint as an ingredient in anything but oral hygiene products). My bottom line, then, is this: any skincare or haircare product that smells like eucalyptus or mint must be well worth my olfactory vexation. Fortunately, Bamford’s Botanic Shampoo and Conditioner in Eucalyptus fit the bill.
These plant-based products are free of parabens, artificial fragrances and dyes, as well as mineral oils and sodium lauryl sulphates. Instead, the shampoo and conditioner feature botanic ingredients like rosemary leaf oil, basil oil, field mint leaf oil, and eucalyptus leaf oil. This is actually the second range of haircare products I’ve tried that relies on eucalyptus as a primary ingredient (John Frieda’s Root Awakening collection being the first), and I was duly impressed by both. Why the sudden fascination with eucalyptus? Well, apparently, in addition to eradicating any bacteria and germs, eucalyptus refreshes the scalp and helps to stimulate blood flow, which means better scalp health and, in turn, stronger hair.
The Bamford Botanic Shampoo and Conditioner really cool your scalp, creating a nice, invigorating sensation, and I noticed my hair feeling softer to the touch after a few uses. If your hair is very dry, damaged, or color-treated, however, I would recommend adding a deep conditioner or a leave-in treatment to the routine (the John Frieda Root Awakening Health Boosting Detangling Spray is actually a great complement to the Bamford shampoo and conditioner). I definitely enjoyed these products, and I respect creator Carol Bamford’s insistence on creating products that exhibit a desire to live in harmony with nature but, all that being said, I don’t know if I can see myself spending a bundle on these when I can pay substantially less for the Root Awakening products. However, the latter do include some artificial fragrances and chemical complexes, so if you’re serious about going green, Bamford is the better option for you.
I also had the chance to test the Organic Moisturizing Body Cream in Rosemary and similarly, this lightweight lotion’s scent has a crisp, fresh, invigorating scent that adds a bit of pep to your step (unlike the “Botanic” line, this is part of Bamford’s “Organic” collection which, as the name suggests, includes only organic ingredients). Again here, the scent is very leafy and herbal, so it may be a slight adjustment for those of you accustomed to fruity or floral scents.
The main ingredients include: aloe leaf juice, jojoba seed oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, honey, rosemary leaf oil, thyme oil, and chamomile extract. The cocoa and shea butters and jojoba seed oil all hydrate and soften the skin, while the honey heals and soothes, the aloe and chamomile calm skin down, and the rosemary promotes skin renewal, helping to keep your skin looking young and vibrant. The lotion is readily absorbed by skin, so it doesn’t leave any greasy residue and, right away, you’ll notice your skin feeling a bit smoother. Just remember to expect more of a medicinal scent, which is admittedly not a walk in a rose garden — it’s more of a Vick’s Vapor Rub-esque scent, which you’ll want to downplay if you’re hoping to use your female wiles. Make sure to layer on any fragrance accordingly.
Bamford Botanic Eucalyptus Shampoo and Conditioner, $32 each; Bamford Rosemary Organic Moisturizing Body Cream, $64. Available at NeimanMarcus.com