Aesop Citrus Melange Shower Gel review: My honest thoughts on this gentle, low-foaming gel wash
Motivation is hard to come by these days. On the surface, I appear a well-functioning member of society; a vision of poise and decorum (ha) during many a Zoom meeting. A closer look, however, reveals the cracks in the exterior. I've been wearing nothing but elasticated pants for the past two months; sleep at absurd hours; and have skipped countless workouts on the pretense of letting my muscles "rest." In short: I'm well in the depths of quarantine fatigue.
A term coined to describe the bone-deep exhaustion felt at the end of a WFH day, it has to do with the amount of stimulation we're receiving — or the lack of it, for that matter. Jessy Warner-Cohen, a senior psychologist with Northwell Health in Lake Success, New York, has stated in an interview with Healthline that people need a certain level of stimulation to be efficient. Under-stimulation can result in lowered motivation. Overstimulation, on the other hand, can cause a lack of focus. All in all, being in a static environment is taking its toll. And with no set date for the phase 2 roll-out, there seems no end in sight.
Dealing with my affliction is no easy task, though I've discovered that some methods work better than most. As of late, these prove the most effective: acquiring an exercise buddy to hold me accountable; setting early morning meetings to force better sleep habits; and, last but not least, swapping out my shower gel for Aesop's latest launch.
As with most Aesop creations, the Citrus Melange Body Cleanser claims to be both gentle and versatile. Recommended for all skin types, it comes with the added convenience of being multi-functional; an all-in-one cleanser that doubles as a hand wash, too. We wouldn't have expected any less. Lucky for me, I got to try this bad boy out before its official launch on 6 July. A full rundown of my thoughts, below.
A thick, goopy confection this is not. Still, I quickly found that the light, syrupy mixture surpassed all held assumptions by the end of my week-long use. Its buoyant texture meant I didn't feel the need to douse myself in buckets of water to ease any residual soapiness — a sensation most often experienced with creamy concoctions. Repeated hand-washing sessions also didn't result in any peeling, flaking, or redness; a first considering how I've been hyper cleansing vigilantly since the start of circuit breaker.
I would go so far as to say that my uptick in drive and attitude has largely to do with the Citrus Melange's sharp, vibrant scent. Upon first sniff, it hits you with a searing amount of lemon and grapefruit rind, awakening the senses (and sinuses) thoroughly. I liken it to downing two espresso shots. Its fragrance then diffuses to a softer, sensual jasmine that lingers — almost perfume-like in its persistence. Much as with the psychological effects of red lipstick, it grants a much-needed confidence boost whenever I'm feeling particularly lacklustre. And hey, it's hard not to feel accomplished or energized when you smell like it. I envision it the scent of champions; the cologne of the capable. Give it a month and Michelle Obama might just proclaim it her shower gel of choice in her next biopic.
Has it earned a coveted spot on my bathroom shelf?
That's a yes. I might, however, swap it out for something a little more calming during my (indulgent) nighttime baths. To the Aesop gods: might we suggest something with a hint of lavender?
The Aesop Citrus Melange Body Cleanser will be available at all Aesop boutiques and on aesop.com/sg/ beginning 6 July.