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Mindful Bathing With New The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Collection

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Known as one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains,” Mount Fuji, located on Honshu island, is an active stratovolcano with a cone-like shape characterized by a harsh tundra climate at the summit. Not only does this peak hold the distinction of being Japan’s highest mountain but it’s deemed a symbol of Japan in art and literature thanks to its unique topography and its history as a sacred destination for monks, samurais, and shoguns. Located at the border of two perfectures, Shizuoka and Yamanashi, Mount Fuji’s unique climate (including its often snow-capped summit) provides an excellent environment for the cultivation of green tea, with Shizuoka being responsible for approximately 45% of Japan’s green tea production. This, of course, gives Mount Fuji yet another level of significance thanks to the central role green tea plays within Japanese tea ceremonies, which have long been considered transformative experiences designed for meditation, spiritual enlightenment, and mindful living. Inspired by the emphasis on reflection, introspection, and uplifment woven into Japanese tea ceremonies, The Body Shop developed its new Fuji Green Tea collection, featuring products infused with whole green tea leaves known to possess a high concentration of antioxidants.

In addition to cleansing, hydrating, smoothing, and protecting the skin, the products within the Fuji Green Tea collection are designed to create a cathartic sensory experience, to relieve the mind of stress and worry, to revitalize the spirit. This is accomplished through the products’ unique fragrance, which is fresh, lush and green, and slightly zesty, combining the scent of green tea with a touch of lemon, camellia oil, and an invigorating aroma reminiscent of eucalyptus or spearmint. There’s a slight sweetness to the scent but it’s primarily herbal -— not earthy as if extracted from the soil, but aqueous, akin to the aroma of dewy plant leaves and of fresh breezes blowing through vast orchards and plantations.

So far, I’ve had the pleasure of trying out three of the products in the collection: The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Body Wash($10 at The Body Shop stores and TheBodyShop-USA.com), The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Body Scrub ($24 at The Body Shop stores and TheBodyShop-USA.com), and The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet ($15 at The Body Shop stores and TheBodyShop-USA.com).

The soap-free Fuji Green Tea Body Wash is the perfect body cleanser for a hot and humid day since it not only smells fresh, but it feels cool against the skin, instantly providing some much-needed relief. The body wash lathers into a light airy foam that’s easy to spread onto damp skin, and it gently removes dirt and debris without stripping the skin of its essential oils. Since it’s formulated with honey (obtained from Ethiopia via The Body Shop’s fair trade initiatives), the body wash offers antiseptic and antibacterial benefits while also helping to moisturize skin and strengthen its own barrier (honey, after all, is among the most powerful humectants in nature). Best of all, the scent makes you feel like you’re walking through a damp field and breathing in the crisp, fresh air.

When it’s time to exfoliate, meanwhile, you can rely on the Fuji Green Tea Body Scrub, which has a rather pleasant texture — especially if you have dry or sensitive skin that’s prone to inflammation with coarser exfoliants. Tiny polishing beads are suspended within a gel-like substance — formulated with aloe, honey, camellia oil, castor oil, and jojoba esters —that makes the scrub feel gentle and pampering, all the while still effectively sloughing off dead skin cells and helping to reveal healthy, radiant, youthful-looking skin. Rather than an abrasive, heavy-duty scrub with jagged salt or sugar particles, then, this product offers a more tender, delicate, pleasant approach to exfoliation. It never feels like sandpaper against the skin — just the opposite! The gel-like consistency, meanwhile, makes the scrub easy to rinse off and eliminates the residue left behind by scrubs with richer botanical oil bases.

By far my favorite product in the collection, however, is the Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet, a moisturizer with one of the most unique and remarkable consistencies I’ve ever encountered. The texture is so light that to refer to it as a cream or lotion would feel misguiding so, in this case, the “body sorbet” terminology feels incredibly fitting. Unlike traditional body butters and lotions that contain heavier, milkier, more dense ingredients like shea butter, mango butter, or cocoa butter, this moisturizer has a lighter consistency, as if it were formulated with frozen water (which, in essence, is the main ingredient in a sorbet!).  Like a sorbet or an Italian ice treat, then, the Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet has a cooling effect on the skin,  providing immediate refreshment. Moreover, it melts almost instantly when smoothed onto the skin, leaving behind no greasy residue. Even lightweight body oils take a few minutes to be fully absorbed by the skin, but this body sorbet accomplishes that feat in a matter of seconds. And again, there’s no stickiness, no balminess, no shine. In fact, it dries to a matte finish, if you will, so that your skin won’t even appear shiny after application. Formulated with aloe leaf juice, sesame seed oil, camellia leaf juice, hydrogenated castor oil, honey, and glycerin, the body sorbet soothes and quenches the skin’s thirst without leaving behind that heavy and stifling sensation that can prove so uncomfortable in the balmy, humid summer months.

Overall, these may just be my favorite products from The Body Shop to date — both because of their performance and because of their scent, which I find calming and relaxing but which also makes me feel recharged (as opposed to chamomile and lavender, which can make any hour feel like bedtime!). Think of a green tea-flavored iced tea infused with jasmine, and garnished with a lemon wedge and a mint leaf, and you’ll get a pretty solid sense of the nature of the aroma.

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