Few things are quite as refreshing and relaxing as a long, hot bath. Add some candles and a couple of fabulous products to the mix and you’ve got the answer to a fed-up, after-work attitude. In fact, with the right bath-time concoction, you’ll find you can remedy a whole range of dilemmas, difficulties and general aches and pains. To help you to design the perfect bathing experience for your mood and situation, I’ve done a little research and put together this list of 8 things to add to your bath.
1. Epsom Salts
While Epsom salts might not sound like the most glamorous bath ingredient, they are among the most useful and effective. You’ll find them on the shelf at your local supermarket or pharmacy; add about half a cup to your bath water as a remedy for general aches and pains, and to reduce inflammation.
2. Sea Salt
Un-milled course sea salt makes an excellent addition to your bath if you are struggling with post-work-out cramps in sore, tired muscles. Add a generous handful to the hot water and jump in; the minerals and nutrients the salt releases help to break down the build up lactic acid that causes muscular pain. Be sure to moisturise all over with an intense conditioning cream.
3. Baking Soda
A lot of home made beauty remedies call for baking soda and, frankly, I’m a little sceptical about most of them. Girls use it as everything from a dry shampoo to an astringent facial treatment, and it seems to me that both of these DIY products might a little harsh. However, diluted by warm bath water, baking soda makes a gentle, effective soothing agent. Use it to calm skin irritation caused by insect bites, for example.
Sounds weird, I know, but milk is an ancient beauty bath ingredient, and one that remains effective to this day. It contains lactic acid which is packed with skin softening properties, and promises to leave your skin smooth, even and soft.
Either fill a tea ball with dried lavender or add a few drops of lavender essential oil to you bath. Not only does it smell heavenly, but this little herb will help to relieve inflammation in stiff, strained and tired muscles. It’s great for unknotting tense sinews after a long day stuck in one position at your desk.
6. Citrus Oil
Lemon or tangerine oils (available from all holistic lifestyle stores) make a fantastic, energizing addition to your bath. The fresh citrus scent is super refreshing, and it stays on your skin so you’ll smell delicious when the time comes to climb out of the tub and dry off.
Another excellent, all-natural skin softening addition to your bath, oatmeal is used in myriad commercial bath products and it’s a great remedy for itching, irritated skin. To ensure that you don’t simply turn your tub into a big bowl of porridge, place your ground oatmeal into a tea ball and allow it infuse into the water.
8. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil (also available from wellness and lifestyle stores) smells heavenly and makes an effective and relaxing addition to your bath. It purportedly helps to soothe an overworked body and has tension relieving properties as well.
Few things beat a steaming, delicious-smelling tub when it comes to tension release, relaxation and unwinding. This list of 8 things to add to your bath should help you to tailor yours to suit your mood and your situation: do you have any great suggestions of your own to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: Dennis Wong