My imagination is rarely captured by therapies that activate the senses. Perhaps because, over the years, mine have been dulled by too much self-abuse in the form of cigarettes and booze, as well as an unhealthy dose of cynicism. So, I tend to tune out at the mere mention of aroma therapy and as for color therapy.... a candidate for Dept of Daft. Anyway, I must be getting soft in my old age because Abrione's stack of chakra masques ($36) rather caught my fancy.

Chakra is an ancient Hindu healing system that focuses on seven "energy centers" that correspond to the seven main nerve centers that emanate from the spinal column. Each of the little pots in the stack comes in a different color representing one of these energy centers. You can invite your friends, throw a facial party and everyone can pick a color. I chose red (something to do with physical needs and security).

Whether you buy into this stuff is up to you, but the masques themselves contain great ingredients. My Red Root has antioxidant pomegranate, prickly pear and green tea, sea fennel (vitamin C), lemongrass (an astringent), alga and dulse (a seaweed with lots of iodine and potassium).

Given that Abrione is made by VB Cosmetics, the company behind Dazzle Dry (nail polishes free of nasty things), I am surprised that there are preservatives that are potential irritants (phenoxyethanol and methylchloroisothiazolinone). I assume the concentrations are low, but I'd love Abrione to find really safe alternatives. Then we could throw a party.

UPDATE 6/13/2008: After this post went up, Abrione contacted me and this is what their Dr Vivian Valenty said about the use of preservatives: "When I developed the Chakra Masques I used the most effective preservative available because the masques are natural. Effective means only a very small amount is needed to ensure the safety of the product because I would rather have the preservative instead of the mold and bacteria. The amount of the methylchloroisothiazolinone is less than 5 parts per million. The reports of skin irritation related to this preservative is due to using it in parts per hundred which is a thousand times more than parts per million. We are constantly testing new preservatives but they all require a lot more or have other issues. Until we find a preservative that works and have had a long history of safety and effectiveness we will continue to use the tried and true preservatives. Otherwise we might be just jumping from the frying pan to the fire."

Useful links

The VB Cosmetics site