8 Stress Relief Beauty Products, Ranked From Pretty Relaxing To Brain-Meltingly Soothing

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Despite the joy, gratitude, and compassion which come gift-wrapped with the holiday season, winter time also bestows upon the world a less-acknowledged present: stress. Plummeting temperatures are enough to make anyone a bit grumpy, and the weather often wreaks havoc on your skin as well. Add to that the stress of selecting the perfect gifts for your friends and loved ones, attempting to fit in every single holiday activity you can, and juggling a full work schedule with a full social calendar, and its a wonder January isn't a national detoxifying spa month.

However, setting aside a few minutes every day or every week for self-pampering is the key to achieving optimal holiday spirit without sacrificing your sanity. In search of the most relaxing and detoxifying beauty remedies on the market for the 2014 holiday season, I tried out a selection of the freshest and brightest formulas on the market. What I discovered is that when it comes to the holidays, life is much more blissful when you occasionally "treat yo'self". Read on for my ratings of eight products that promised maximal mental and physical relaxation. Hopefully, one or two of them will give your holiday season the extra boost of good cheer it needs.

1. Indie Lee Lavender Chamomile Moisturizing Oil: 7/10 Relaxation Level Reached

Indie Lee Lavender Chamomile Moisturizing Oil, $36, Indie Lee

My skin is one incredibly fussy customer, turning up its nose at even the loftiest of products despite their claims of glowifying powers. However, despite my sensitivity, my skin soaked up Indie Lee's Lavender Chamomile Moisturizing Oil, leaving behind a slight, natural sheen. Created with 100 percent natural ingredients including jojoba oil, chamomile oil, and apricot oil, the product is a diligent multi-tasker for whatever portion of your body might be in need of attention. In addition, the scent is composed of nature's ZzzQuil and Valium, lavender, which is proven to encourage better sleep and peace of mind. I felt thoroughly pampered and pleasantly tranquil after applying the oil before bed.

2. Kora Organics Vitamin Enhanced Lip Balm: 6/10 Relaxation Level Reached

Kora Organics Vitamin Enhanced Lip Balm, $42, Kora Organics

Those of you who chew on your lips in times of stress know the pain of a chapped, rough pucker, which is why any soothing beauty routine should include a top-notch lip balm during the winter. Kora Organics Vitamin Enhanced Lip Balm is made with 99 percent natural ingredients, 87.8 percent organically farmed ingredients, and an incredible amount of lip-calming moisture. After encountering snow, rain, and the force of my own lip-worrying habit, my lips were a bit on the stressed side — and they looked it. However, a thick dose of KORA's avocado, rosehip, and vitamin C and E-infused treatment, made me feel a bit more serene, as did my lips.

3. Clairvoyant Beauty Milk Bath Soak: 7/10 Relaxation Level Reached

Milk Bath Soak, $18, Clairvoyant Beauty

If you enjoy bath time more than a relaxing facial or a deep tissue massage, you know the power that a good steep can have on your skin and mind. Clairvoyant Beauty's Milk Bath Soak claims to combine the best elements of bathing into one formula, and to its credit, it does produce a calming effect. With skin-smoothing lactic acid, sea salt to remove toxins, and baking soda for its countless skin remedying effects, the powder can be added to your bath in your desired amount. I'm not sure if it was the process of soaking in a hot bath after another day of sub-arctic weather or the formula itself, but I was quite a bit less tense after spending some time soaking. In addition, the Bath Soak's faint, creamy scent is an unassuming addition to a bath in a sea of overwhelmingly fragranced bath bombs and crystals.

4. Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Facial Cleansing Milk: 8/10 Relaxation Level Reached

Lavender Cleansing Milk, $13, Avalon Organics

Any cleanser infused with lavender is bound to be more relaxing than your average ho-hum bar of soap, but Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Facial Cleansing Milk is also 70 percent organic and promises a luminous glow post-cleanse. Encouraged by the lack of toxic ingredients and the enticing scent, I gave the product a try. The milky consistency of the cleanser was a far cry from the incredibly foamy soaps and washes I'm accustomed to, but the feeling of leaving my face's natural PH balanced instead of leaving it dry and stripped of oils was a welcome change. The scent itself is a luxurious but earthy blend which reads both soothing and safe for those off put by heavy bouquets. My face felt refreshed and clean, and the lavender aroma made my normally uninspired cleansing routine into a delightful pampering session.

5. Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil: 6/10 Relaxation Level Reached

Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil, $50, Sephora

I'll preface my review by saying that I think Caudalie's products are some of the best on the market, but the company's Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil was more pacifying for my skin than my mind. After dousing several dry patches in the rich yet quick-absorbing formula, I woke up to find my dry patches in remission, and my skin newly refreshed. The understated scent quickly dissipates once the oil is applied to one's skin, leaving a cocktail of Palmarosa Oil, Rosemary Extract, Sesame Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, and Grape Seed Oil to soothe, moisturize, and reinvigorate the skin. Though I wasn't actively calmed by the scent, my skin's dehydration certainly was by the formula itself.

6. Earth Therapeutics Anti-Stress Pillow Mist: 9/10 Relaxation Level Reached

Earth Therapeutics Anti-Stress Pillow Mist: 9/10 Relaxation Level Reached, $8, Earth Therapeutics

After spritzing three pumps of Earth Therapeutics' Anti-Stress Pillow Mist onto my pillow before settling in for a (hopefully) restful slumber, I became immediately enamored of the beautiful scent. Notes of citrus are perhaps the most prominent amongst the lavender and chamomile. However, given citrus's proven ability to decrease depression and stress, I was quite satisfied with the Pillow Spray's top note. The true testament to the product's success, however, was the eight hours of untroubled, restorative sleep I achieved after inhaling the Pillow Mist. I'll be making the product a holiday staple from now on.

7. Fig + Yarrow Clay Mask {Black}: 9/10 Relaxation Level Reached

Clay Mask, $24, Fig and Yarrow

I am a devotee of the detoxifying powers of clay and charcoal, having experienced the extreme purifying powers of each, so I was delighted to try Fig + Yarrow's Clay Mask {Black}. The mask comes in the form of a silken powder containing only black kaolin clay, activated charcoal, and palmarosa essential oil, and directs its user to combine the base formula with aloe, water, honey, or yogurt to create a customized (and optimized) mask formula. Excited at the prospect of concocting my own completely natural and unique mask, I blended the powder with water and honey. The only reason I didn't give the mask a perfect score for the clean, clear, complexion it bestowed upon me and its tranquilizing effects was the fact that I lost a good third of my desired formula in the form of a charcoal-laden cloud that eventually disappeared down my sink. This is no heavy formula, and if you so much as sneeze in its vicinity, you'll lose a bit of the mask to the universe before you can mix it into liquid form. That being said, it is incredibly effective in both relaxing a harried soul and a stressed complexion.

8. LUSH Dream Steam Calming Lavender Steam: 10/10 Relaxation Level Used

Dream Steam, $3, Lush

LUSH's Dream Steam Calming Lavender Steam is such an incredibly pacifying, soothing, and skin-improving product that I must start by saying it has become a permanent fixture in my skin care regimen. A spa-like, religious experience of a permanent fixture. LUSH's Calming Lavender Steam comes in the form of an unassuming, fragrant tab comprised of tea tree oil, rose absolute, lavender, and chamomile, which is then added to a bowl of steaming water. After ruefully following directions and covering my head with a towel to let my skin breathe in the steam, I found myself completely investing in the experience, focusing on inhaling the fragrant steam and experiencing the slight tingle of the tea tree oil. The scent itself is a bewitching blend which somehow recalls London at Christmas time and the most elegant day spa simultaneously. After several minutes of steeping my face in steam, I applied my night treatment and glanced in the mirror to find my face more even-toned and clarified than it had looked in weeks. And my formerly stress-laden brain was now only contemplating how I could manage to incorporated the steam into my daily beauty routine.

Images: Piotr Marcinski/Fotolia; Courtesy Brands