So, by now you’ve probably come to terms with bubble baths not necessarily being the healthiest, most nourishing alternative for your skin.
C’est la vie, crunchy people. C’est la vie.
Life goes on, and in much more luxurious, relaxing ways.
Here are your 5 ideas to turn your bathtime into a grown-up spa fit for a queen. Or a Kardashian. Or a Kardashian’s stylist (she probably really needs some spa time right now).
Each of them serve a beautifying purpose, and each of them are (of course) environmentally friendly and 100% natural. Straight from nature. No synthetic chemicals applied.
1. Milk and Honey – Bathe Like an Egyptian
You may have heard of Cleopatra. She ruled Egypt. She was beautiful. And she bathed in milk and honey.
As cliche as it may sound, bathing in milk and honey is a fantastic way to get soft, supple skin – all over your body. The lactic acid in milk is very exfoliating, and honey is softening, moisturizing, and all-around beautifying.
The key is to use full-fat milk (or powdered milk) and pure honey. Full-fat milk will not only exfoliate the skin, but it will also moisturize.
How to take a milk and honey bath: Pour 1-2 cups of milk (or 1/2 c. full-fat powdered milk) and 1/2 c. honey under running, warm water. Swish around to mix, and hop in. Close your eyes and imagine 5 beautiful servant men fanning you with palm leaves. Repeat as necessary.
For full effect, brush your skin lightly and in circular motions with a dry brush or a washcloth before getting in the bathtub.
2. Soak in Champagne or Red Wine
It may not be economically feasible to soak in wine or champagne daily, but this bath is a decadent (and highly effective) treat for any skin type. In fact, the veritable Teri Hatcher swears by her wine baths as antiaging and skin softening.
The polyphenols in red wine are incredible antioxidants (read: antiaging) and the tartaric acid in champagne lightens skin and helps reduce discoloration and fine lines. Both red wine and champagne are also great for cleansing pores and then reducing their appearance.
Lest you think this is still a wasteful idea, let it be known that bathing with either of these two heavenly liquids after they’ve gone flat or turned is still a very beautifying experience.
So never again will you have to throw out that last cup of champagne or wine that’s sat alone in the back of the fridge. Now, you can bathe in it. Genius!
How to take a wine or champagne bath: Simply pour a glass (or more) of red wine or champagne into your running bath. Soak for 20 minutes. Feel extravagant.
3. Rejuvenate with Epsom Salts – Sexier Than You Think
Want to feel like you just left a full-body massage given by a man named Hans Hermann (nickname: The Austrian Biceps) without leaving your house? Soak your body in some epsom salts.
Here’s the coolest thing I know about epsom salts: Scientists have proven that your body actually soaks UP the magnesium in epsom salts when you bathe in it. So taking a bath in them is akin to getting a good dose of magnesium.
What does magnesium do? It relaxes you. It soothes aching muscles. It regulates blood pressure. It regenerates and heals skin cells.
And soaking in epsom salts themselves? It reduces swelling, helps heal bruises, and detoxifies your system handily.
So even though the words “epsom salts” may make you think of old ladies in knee-high stockings getting lectured by their doctor, trust me, it’s sexier than you think.
(For the record, any time I ever actually take a bath, epsom salts are ALWAYS involved. Usually, I will add several drops of peppermint essential oil, too.)
How to take an epsom salt bath: Add 1-1/2 to 2 cups epsom salt to your running bathwater. If desired, before adding the salt to your bath, drop in 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil to the epsom salts. Stir well, and then add to the bathwater.
4. Customize Your Bliss with an Herbal Bath
There are a thousand different ways you can take an herbal bath, and each of them are decidedly healing and relaxing.
You don’t need to run out to the store for dried herbs to take a relaxing herbal bath, by the way. You already have perfect options in your kitchen cabinet right now:
- Sage: Uplifting, calming and astringent – GREAT for people with oily skin or back acne
- Rosemary: Relaxing and great for alertness, also astringent and clarifying
- Peppermint: Energizing (or relaxing) and clarifying
- Chamomile: Extremely relaxing and calming – perfect for dry or irritated skin
- Green Tea: Energizing and mood stabilizing – also antioxidant, antiaging, and very healing for any skin type
Or, of course, you could use things like lavender, rose petals, calendula, orange peels … the list goes on and on.
How to take an herbal bath: While you could make little herbal bath bags, my new favorite way is to brew a very strong tea ahead of time using the herbs (and essential oils, if I want an extra kick). Brew 1-2 cups of very strong herbal tea. Strain and add it to your running bathwater. Then, take the remaining brewed herbs and place them in the middle of a washcloth. Gather the washcloth together at the top and tie tightly with a string or a hair tie. Leave it in the bath as you soak, and then scrub well with it before getting out of the tub.
5. Soften and Soothe the Oatmeal Way
Back in the olden days, when I was a medical transcriptionist, nearly every doctor I had the pleasure of listening to recommended Aveeno baths to the patients who had sunburn, rashes, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis … anything itchy, really.
Would you like to know the only active ingredient in Aveeno soothing baths? Oatmeal. That is all.
And it’s not just for people with dry and itchy skin. Oatmeal is also great for acneic skin, oily skin, and aging skin.
It’s just … softening. Soothing. It caresses your body and makes it feel brand new.
You want to bathe in it. Trust me.
How to take an oatmeal bath: Fill a knee-high nylon or thin sock without holes with 1/2 to 1 c. of oatmeal (not quick cooking or instant). Tie tightly at the top. Place it in your warm bath, with you, and squeeze it softly every so often to release the oatmeal “water.” Before leaving the bathtub, scrub your entire body lightly with the sock. To clean: Over a trash can, turn the sock inside out and scrape all of the oatmeal off the outside, then rinse well with warm water. Wash as normal.
Do You Have a Favorite Bath Additive?
Like we discussed in yesterday’s post, bubble baths aren’t all that great for your skin (and most commercial bubble baths contain unhealthy, skin-irritating ingredients).
Have you ever tried bathing with one of these ideas?
Or do you have a favorite bath additive that I skipped here?