Offering problem-solving aromatherapy skincare at pocket-money prices, we're loving Aroma Active Laboratories. These are our highlights
Anyone who’s fallen for the destressing powers of Aromatherapy Associates’ Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil will know just how potent the brand’s blends are, whether you’re looking to sleep better, feel more positive or reconnect with nature, the formulae are seriously effective.
Fans of the brand will also know to expect 'luxury' prices - you won't get much change from £50. So you’ll be excited to know that the lab responsible for Aromatherapy Associates has just launched a budget offering named Aroma Active Laboratories , with products starting from £8 and none costing more than £15, available from today in Boots . Aroma Active Laboratories accesses the Aromatherapy Associates lab and expert blenders for formulation development and are able to harness all the intelligence and ingredients know-how from the cult original.
Anna Teal, Aroma Active Laboratories' founder and CEO of Aromatherapy Associates, says the new brand is launching now because we’re a nation under strain; the collections are designed to make us more resilient day-to-day with natural ingredients to enhance our mental and emotional wellbeing. “This range was created from the best ingredients that nature has to offer with our scientific lab know-how, to give a toolkit of solutions to help you find strength and resilience to take on the day ahead, with one less problem to think about.”
Just like Aromatherapy Associates, Aroma Active Laboratories addresses different issues with different blends – they call them ‘solution led-collections’. While AA's products are more 'save for best' buys to luxuriate in, the new range targets everyday issues – more functional than self-care with offerings including face creams which you don't see with Aromatherapy Associates. There’s a muscle recovery collection with Muscle Cooling Gel, £12, Muscle Recovery Soak, £15, Muscle Recovery Balm, £12, a sleep collection with Sleep Mist, £10, a Pulsepoint Rollerball, £8 and a Sleep Salt Soak, £15, along with a soothing range for stressed-out skin and an SOS range for when you need help with everyday ailments such as headaches, colds or feeling sluggish.
Another difference between the two brands is the packaging; Aromatherapy Associates are known for their weighty, thick glass bottles that make your bathroom look like a spa. Aroma Active Laboratories have gone for plastic and metal packaging for a more accessible price point. They still look chic, but not quite so high end.
We’ve given the collection a test run to see if it’s as impressive as Aromatherapy Associates despite the much more manageable price tag. Here’s what we’ll be buying.
From the Aroma Active Laboratories Muscle collection
Muscle Recovery Soak
, £15 for 200ml
The subtle navy blue apothecary-style bottle makes this look stylish on your bathroom shelf. It’s designed to revive a tired achey body that’s overdone it with the home workout and is a blend of anti-inflammatory turmeric, rosemary which is known for soothing and easing effects along with lavender and marjoram for cooling and cinnamon and ginger to ease discomfort and tension. Arnica’s in there too for its healing properties.
A generous pour of this in the bath didn’t create bubbles but did leave our run-fatigued legs feeling much less heavy after a 20-minute soak. We gave the Muscle Cooling Gel , £12, a spin too and while it certainly cooled our weary legs the roller applicator proved fiddly so not such a winner.
From the Aroma Active Laboratories Sleep collection
Sleep Mist, £10 for 74ml
Aromatherapy Associates’ Deep Relax Sleep Mist , £28, is heavenly and this mist gives it a serious run for its money. To be used both at bedtime and spritzed if you wake up in the night, this is made of a blend of lavender, valerian, ylang yang and Buddhahood which come together to create a calming, centring concoction.
From the Aroma Active Laboratories SOS collection
SOS Stomach Massage Oil, £10 for 75ml
This collection includes fancy takes on Vicks Vapour Rub with the SOS Chest Rub , £10, and a fancy version of migraine slaying 4Head with the SOS Forehead Balm , £8, but it’s this oil that we’re most taken with. A gentle clockwise massage with this eases your digestive system and helps with bloating and cramps thanks to peppermint which is known to aid the digestive system and anti-inflammatory palmarosa.
From the Aroma Active Laboratories Soothe Collection
Soothing Universal Repair Cream Light, £10 for 100ml
This barrier-building cream absorbs ultra quickly, leaving a comforting scent of lavender and patchouli in its wake, both known for their moisturising and cooling properties. This whole collection is designed to provide comfort to inflamed and red skin; we applied this to some angry ingrown hairs which calmed down by the next day. Ingredients include ceramides and oat kernel oil to build the skin barrier and restore its microbiome. There’s an Overnight Face Balm , £15 in the range too which speaks to our irritated complexions and a soothing lip til in a pleasingly thick container for relief from chapped lips.