Inspired by Cherry Blossoms
It’s almost that time of year in the nation’s capital: huge tour buses will be disgorging hordes of tourists who will descend upon our city to gaze upon the delicate pink blossoms encircling the Tidal Basin. Who can blame them? The cherry blossoms signal the arrival of spring in Washington and everyone enjoys their ephemeral beauty — although I could do without the maddening crowd.
The 3,200 cherry trees were bequeathed in a gesture of friendship to the United States in 1912 by Japan, where the cherry tree is traditionally held in high esteem. In Japanese culture the brief, but glorious existence of the cherry blossoms each spring symbolizes the beauty and transience of life itself.
However, you will be pleased to learn that cherry trees offer more lasting beauty than their short-lived blossoms. Cherries provide potent antioxidants and phytonutrients; the red pigment in cherries contains natural anthocyanin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound that reduces skin-damaging free radicals.
In celebration of the cherry blossom festival, several spas in Washington are offering special cherry blossom-based spa treatments. Trot down to the Mandarin Oriental for their fabulous Cherry Blossom Bliss treatment, which includes full-body massage and exfoliation treatment with cherry blossom rice powder. The Gaylord National’s Relâche spa is also has a cherry blossom-inspired beauty menu, including their Nuface Beyond-the-Bloom facial, which incorporates cherry-based ingredients and microcurrent technology to firm and tone the skin.
To get spa-like results at home, try Redflower Cherry Blossom Wild Rice Buff, a delicately scented scrub that moisturizes your skin with cherry oil. Fight facial wrinkles with Sour Cherry Masque by Eminence, which gives your skin a healthy dose of Vitamin C and deeply soothing honey.
For you DIY types, try this cherry scrub recipe, courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.:
- 1/4 cup loose green tea
- 1/4 cup loose cherry tea
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Use mixture to exfoliate the body. Your skin will feel soft, perfectly hydrated and smooth.
Being a thoroughgoing hand cream addict, I’m planning to splurge on several tubes of my favorite hand cream by L’Occitane in the seasonally appropriate Cherry Blossom scent. This cream’s rich shea butter base is further enriched with cherry extract from the Luberon region of Provence and will keep your hands soft while reminding you with its subtle fragrance of the cherry blossoms long after they’re gone.