If ever there was a time in our lives that called for a relaxing sanctuary in the comfort of our own homes, it’s now. Baths are blissful escapes, self-care that really is caring and nurturing and rejuvenating, whether you’ve got twenty minutes for a quick soak or a whole hour (or two?) to make your bath a thing.
And speaking of making your bath a thing--I have no qualms about dropping a cup or two of epsom salts in my bath and calling it a soak, but I also know the great joy of creating a haven inside my bathroom. I’m taking a bath, y'all--see you on the other side!
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco
Here’s how to make the magic happen for your own private bath retreat:
1. Water, But Fancy
Plain ‘ol hot water is just fine, but here are some things to add to take it to the next level:
A few tablespoons of baking soda will help you gently detox and counter chlorine or other chemicals in your water.
Oils and/or Bubble Bath
If bath = bubbles in your mind or your skin is super dry, sensitive, or irritated, you can use a moisturizing bath oil or a bubble bath. Make sure to go non-toxic and opt out of artificial fragrances, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates!
You can use Epsom salts for their magical healing properties (bye, muscle or joint soreness!), or use a beautiful bath salt blend like this one.
Dried flowers and herbs sprinkled on top of your bath make it Instagram-worthy, but you’ll also get all the benefits these herbs offer--lavender is calming and soothing, calendula is ideal for sensitive skin, irritation, or redness, chamomile soothes anxiety and invites sleep, and rose petals create a beautiful, completely natural perfume.
Mix up your own custom bath blend--or try an Herbal Bath Tea! This one uses oats, chamomile, rose, and calendula to create a heavenly-smelling, soothing blend.
Milk baths help exfoliate and moisturize--add 1-2 cups to your bath and mix gently.
2. Ambiance is Everything
Leaning on the powers of aromatherapy and sound take any bath from 0 to 100. Here are some ideas:
Light a Candle
Lavender + eucalyptus is a classic spa combination. Make sure you dim the lights to enjoy the candle’s flicker.
Diffuse Essential Oils
You can diffuse essential oils near your tub or you can add a few straight into your water (if nothing else in your water is scented). Lavender and eucalyptus are divine, but you can also use chamomile, frankincense, ylang ylang, bergamot, or grapefruit.
You can, of course, read, watch a great film or catch up on a podcast, but I like to make bath time into a sort of meditative, zen white space. You can find spa playlists on YouTube or Spotify to play softly in the background while you become one with your bath.
Photo by Holger Link
3. The Extras
Tub filled with warm water, baking soda, dry flowers, and bath salts? Check. Candle flickering and relaxing music playing softly? Check. Here are a few more extras to take your bath to an over the top sort of place:
Go ahead, lean your head back and slip an eye mask over your face.
Dry brushing exfoliates and increases lymphatic movement, but honestly I’d still dry brush no matter what because it feels like a decadent spa treatment. Brush before your bath for glowing skin after; here’s a tutorial.
Facial rolling can decrease inflammation, increase lymphatic drainage, and lower stress--and also it feels divine. You can roll before or during your bath; here’s how.
Drink or Snack
Does a snack make everything better? Yes! Sip on your favorite herbal tea while you soak, or make a green smoothie or delicious parfait to munch on after your bath, the way you might at a spa.