T’is the season of love, with hearts, roses, and chocolate everywhere. Chocolate, roses, and even red wine are recognized as some of the most traditional Valentine’s Day goodies. Most people find them so appealing–especially when romance is in the air–because they actually have natural aphrodisiac properties. Instead of going usual Valentine’s gift route of giving a box of chocolates, bouquet of roses, and sharing red wine over an expensive dinner, why not create a memorable “spa night in” experience with your loved ones? Today, we’ll look deeper into how chocolate, wine, and roses add to that lovin’ feeling, and share simple and fun DIY skincare recipes to help you celebrate love.
The aphrodisiac properties of chocolate, wine, and roses
Chocolate–cacao–contains chemicals such as phenylethylamine and tryptophan. These stimulate the areas of the brain responsible for feelings of falling in love, arousal, euphoria, and sensual pleasure. This effect is produced both aromatically, and when you ingest chocolate internally.
Roses traditionally have long been associated with matters of the heart, and intimacy. They have been used to help with libido issues, as well as women’s health issues for centuries, and also increase sensation. The aromatic properties of roses are also known to promote feelings of intimacy and desire, as well as boost confidence.
Red wine contains alcohol, which obviously effects the brain in a way that affects inhibition and libido. However, its aromatic properties are known to mimic human pheromones, which is a key factor in attraction. Wine is made by fermenting red or black grapes, which also have their own properties associated with love and intimacy. Though the fruit of red and black grapes contain nutrients that support healthy estrogen and testosterone function, the hormone-protective fatty acids in grape seeds/grape seed oil are where the majority of the benefits lie.
Love-inspired DIY skincare rituals for couples
In my latest segment on Good Morning Washington, I talked about these aphrodisiac benefits of chocolate, roses, and grapes and also taught two simple couples’ DIY skincare rituals. Watch the segment below:
Chocolate and Roses Sweetheart Bath Soak
We started with a romantic bath soak for two: my Chocolate and Roses Sweetheart Bath Soak. This super simple DIY skincare product combines aromatic raw cacao powder and rose petals with the soothing and relaxing properties of mineral-rich Epsom and pink Himalayan salts, and the antioxidant benefits of resveratrol powder (which comes from the skins of the grapes).
All you do is mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and add two tablespoons to 1/4 cup of the mixture to a hot bath. I’d recommend avoiding use in a hot tub or tub with jets (those are very hard to clean), and store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid away from light, heat, and moisture. Use within one year.
Soothing Sweetheart Massage Oil
What better to follow a relaxing and romantic bath soak than a couple’s massage?
This Soothing Sweetheart Massage Oil brings the soothing and emollient properties of grapeseed oil and rosehip seed oil, plus the powerful aromatics of chocolate and rose essential oils (I used CO2 extracts in the demo) to this sensuous experience.
Store it in a glass bottle with a tightly fitting lid or pump, away from heat, moisture, and and light. Use within one year.
“What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year.” –Leslie Knope (from Parks and Recreation)
Galentine’s Day acknowledges the power and importance of female friendships. On my latest appearance on Good Morning Connecticut, I shared two more DIY skincare products featuring our Valentine’s inspired ingredients. This scrub and facial soufflé’s (or body butter) are great for a spa day with your friends. Watch the segment below:
Salty and Sweetheart Scrub
We began with my Salty and Sweetheart Scrub which includes our same blend of grapeseed oil and rosehip seed oil, raw cacao, resveratrol, and adds mineral-rich pink Himalayan salt and naturally exfoliating raw turbinado sugar. If using super-fine granules, this scrub is OK for more resilient facial skin combinations, but please do not use this on your face if you have broken out, flushed, or sensitive skin.
What you CAN do in that case is dissolve the mixture in warm water or rose tea, and apply it with a warm, soft cloth as a compress. You can also use this scrub for the hands and feet for DIY manicures and pedicures, or as body scrub.
Store it in a tightly closing jar, away from heat, light, and moisture. This is important, because if water or steam does get in, the product can become contaminated and grow bacteria, mold, and yeast.
Chocolate and Roses Facial Souffle
We have a spa day without a decadent, and nourishing moisturizer! This Chocolate and Roses Facial Souffle literally smells like chocolate and melts like butter. It’s great as a rich facial moisturizer or body butter. It contains cocoa butter, which is a hard, saturated lipid pressed from cacao beans, and is known to support skin elasticity and repair. Its chocolatey aroma is so powerful, it filled the entire Good Morning Connecticut studio! The cocoa butter, combined with the grapeseed and rosehip seed oils create a super-concentrated, nourishing moisturizer. A little goes a very long way!
Since this product does not contain water, it does not require a preservative. Still, be sure to store it in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, away from heat, light, and moisture.
Since cocoa butter is extremely stable, it also helps to protect the more delicate fatty acids and antioxidants in the grapeseed and rosehip seed oils. Use it within a year.
I hope these love-inspired DIY skincare recipes help you surprise your sweetheart OR your lady friends with all the things they love about Valentine’s Day in an experience that will create memories of a lifetime! Also remember that any celebration of love has to include self-love. If you happen to find yourself without a sweetheart and your gal pals are busy, use this as an opportunity to treat yo’self (yes that makes two Parks and Rec references in one article) to the luxurious self-love ritual you deserve!
These are great recipes for your actual spa too (if you have one!)
If you happen to be an aesthetician, herbalist, or other skin wellness practitioner with a brick and mortar practice or shop, these are great products to add to your seasonal skincare treatments and retail as well!
For more professional and custom skincare formulation education, check out my Create Your Skincare online course.