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Spring has sprung, well it has here in North London, which means it is time to get down the allotment, dig out those weeds, turn the soil over, aerate the composter, spread some manure of some sort, pot the plants, sort the propagators out, re-pot grown plants and that's just for starters!
So imagine how tired, aching, sore and tense your muscles will be after doing all of that, not only are you sore, you have muscles aching that you didn't know you had and you'll be walking with a comedy walk for a few days afterwards. But its all for a good cause and it is so nice to be out enjoying the glorious weather that over doing it pales into the horizon.
After being down the allotment, the one thing I look forward to is a hot bubble bath to relax and unwind in and if I have been really good maybe a glass of nice chilled wine too. When it comes to bathing I am quite particular about what I like and what I don't like and what I can use and what I can't use. So whilst most people would pour their Radox muscle soak into their bath, I cant do that as I am allergic to it, it leaves me itching and blotchy, so I have to look elsewhere for products that I can use and for the first time in a long time, I had forgotten to go to Lush and buy some new bath products so I had to look in my bathroom cabinet to see what I had laying around and that is where I can across some Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Mineral Muscle Soak which I had been given as a gift as part of a gift pack for Christmas and it was yet to be opened.
I am not a regular user of Crabtree & Evelyn products if I am completely honest and it isn't a brand that I would usually buy, even with an offer but when I looked at their website I was surprised to find that they had been in existence since 1972 and that they began the company by selling specialised soaps, something which I link Crabtree & Evelyn and my Nanna too because her bathrooms always smells of the Chamomile Glycerine Soap which she swears by and it isn't a smell I am particularly fond of, but it reminds me of her. But I found the story behind the company quite fascinating and I learnt a few things I didn't know before hand and like many other companies within this sector they strive to use the best natural products they can ranging from fruits, oils, flowers and plant extracts. Their product range is quite extensive and as well as selling soaps in many different varieties from bars of soap to dispensers you will also find hand creams, foot creams, shower gels, bath oils, body powder, hair care, scented candles, room sprays and there is also a section dedicated to male grooming. The range is so extensive that I can't possibly mention everything but there is pretty much everything you can think of.
The Mineral Muscle soak that I received as part of a gift-set defines itself as "The perfect way to relax and unwind after a stressful day or strenuous weekend, Our spa soak with Dead Sea salts, trace minerals and algae extracts turns bath water a beautiful deep blue. Revitalizes your skin and helps ease away soreness and tension.", now there may be no mention of over doing it down your own allotment but stressful and strenuous pretty much sum up the last few weeks at work I have had and I decided to try it out. To look at this product arrives in a baby blue coloured cardboard box which is decorated with the Crabtree & Evelyn logo and the name of the product. Inside the box is a glass half-shaped jar which is see through and it has a white screw on and off lid. Inside the jar are small blue granules which are rough to the touch and similar to feel of sea salt if you have ever used it. The granules themselves are a bright blue colour, a little darker than the accompanying outer packaging.
When it comes to using them, I had a spatula that came within my gift package to use and I simply scooped some of the blue coloured granules from the jar and scattered them into a bath of water which had a few inches already in the bottom and as the water and the granules mix together your water will turn into a really lovely sea blue colour and the aromas that emanate from the granules is also really lovely and aromatic. So that brings me to the actual aroma, as this product is made up of dead sea salts, of which I am a huge fan and have used many products in the past that contain dead sea salts. The Dead Sea, which lies between Israel and Jordan is itself rich in many minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium to name but a few and for decades it has been believed that these minerals work together to help to relieve irritation and itching caused by skin complaints like eczema and psoriasis, whilst at the same time stimulating blood circulation and skin cell rejuvenation. Along with these minerals it is felt that the natural mud and salts nourish, cleanse and detoxify the body therefore leaving it looking and feeling healthy and beautiful and in some cases it is used to exfoliate dead skin from the body. So add to that Peppermint Oil which is the second main ingredient which is a cooling and refreshing ingredient and it is said to be excellent for mental fatigue, refreshing the spirit and stimulating mental agility and improving concentration as a starter and then it helps to ease tension, cools achy muscles and inflammations. Then there is an ingredient known as Bladderwick which after some searching is black seaweed and it has an anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic property and is used to soothe muscle tension.
So with all of those ingredients working together as soon as your body hit's the water, which I might add is bubble-less, the water is a lovely sea blue colour and the description of the aroma on the box is "Relaxing Sea Air Fragrance" and as soon as you read that description that is what immediately springs to mind as the fragrance hits your senses and spreads throughout your home. There is a slight hint of peppermint which you would expect to find but it isn't as pungent as I was expecting it to be, whenever I see a mint within a product my mind always assumes it will as pungent as the Original Source Mint Shower Gel, which I happen to find too strong a mint smell to use, so I am now always a little put off products which state they have mint within them, but thankfully in this case it isn't over the top and it is really refreshing.
Once I am out of the bath I am not disappointed to find I have very soft smooth skin which has been exfoliated whilst I was bathing and I have lovely smelling skin to which the Peppermint Oil has become a little more fragrant but again not too over-powering and whilst I am still a little achey I was able to get out of the bath without moaning and groaning like I would usually be doing. The morning after, well I was still sore around the backs of my thighs but my shoulders and calves were not sore at all, so it doesn't banish aches and pains, not that it claimed too, but it definitely does soothe your aching muscles and it is a relaxing bath whilst you are in there.
So what can you expect to pay for this product? I had to look online to find the price as I didn't purchase this for myself and I was quite shocked to find that a 200g jar, like the one I have, retails between £15 and £20 on its own as a stand alone product, it is widely available from many popular outlets online and the Crabtree & Evelyn website allows you to input your postcode to find your nearest shop or stockist which is also really helpful. I used one scoop of the granules in my bath and I suspect I have got enough left for a good few months yet which means a few more baths because I have only been using it once a week, it is definitely a product you would use as a treat whereas I began using it because I had run out of my usual muscle soak oil.
However, whilst I like this product for everything it does, I think the price is a little steep and it isn't something that I would really purchase for myself anytime soon because you can buy and purchase similar products that cost a lot less, but it is a lovely product all the same and if someone wanted to buy it for me I wouldn't be disappointed with it.