Water temperature is the first thing to think of when you’re planning a relaxing bath. It mustn’t be too hot or you may burst tiny surface blood vessels. It shouldn’t be uncomfortably cool or you don’t get the full relaxation benefits. Experiment a bit and you’ll soon find the ideal temperature.
Here are 20 ways to make a relaxing bath and feel on top of the world.
1. Essential oils
A luxury bath scented with delicate oils protects your skin from dryness and makes you feel like a dream or a duchess. The oils soak into your skin soothing and softening it.
There are several ways you can use essential oils, a luxurious blend of carefully selected essential oils. Use essential oils in any of these ways, relax and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep without the worry of using addictive drugs.
- Just before bedtime rub the oil into your shoulders, neck or temples, being careful to avoid the eyes, or you can apply it just to the temples.
- You can have a full body massage using essential oils as a massage oil or you can add essential oils to your bath.
2. Aromatic herbs
For keen gardeners and flower children, a herbal bath has the freshness of mountain flowers and sweet-smelling herbs. Put into the bath a small handful of rosemary plucked straight from the bush, with some thyme, lavender or any other aromatic herbs you grow.
Luxuriating in an aromatic herbal bath is a great way to revive or relax your body. Essential herb or flower oils added to your bath water release their special properties to penetrate your skin, as well as exerting their therapeutic value through the inhaled vapor.
At night run a bath using chamomile, jasmine or lavender. Add about 4 drops of oil once the hot water has settled. Submerge for 10 minutes. You will feel the relaxing vapors wash all over you.
In the morning you can enjoy the benefits of fragrant oils with an aromatic shower. Invigorating oils are thyme, bergamot, marjoram and rosemary.
To start, dilute 10 drops of your chosen oil with 15 ml of odorless vegetable oil. Rub your body with a little of this fragrant oil, diluted half-and-half with water. Plug the shower drain and while showering sprinkle in the same aromatics as the water collects.
3. Baby oils
Sensitive skin? Pamper it with a baby soft bath and products specially formulated for baby’s delicate skin. Just toss in a large capful of baby oil, let it soak into your skin. Flick the oil off as you hop out, pat yourself dry and coat skin with baby lotion to seal in oil.
The strawberry bath is a deluxe way to give you and your skin a lift. There are strawberry bath gels on beauty counters, or you can make your own at home. Pulverize half a small box of strawberries in the blender and add to the bath. Let the hot water dissolve the pulp.
Strawberries can do a marvelous job after cleansing and toning. Cut up and mash into a pulp enough strawberries to spread all over the face and neck. Lie down for 25 minutes. For an extra benefit, soak balls of cotton wool in a cold tea made from crushed fennel seeds and put them on your eyelids. Rinse off with warm water, then splash with cold water.
Try a protein bath to soften and smooth away dry, rough skin. Just mix in half a cup of skim milk. Soak at least five minutes to enjoy full benefits of the fat-free protein and it’s emollients. Your complexion, as well as other parts of your body, can be kept youthful mostly by the protein foods which supply all the essential amino acids.
6. Creamy soap
If it’s the simple life for you, there’s nothing like a creamy soap bath. Place a bar of rich, scented soap under the hot tap. Suds will foam and you can sink into the bath knowing there are great benefits from a bath as elemental as this one.
7. Exotic oils
An exotic oil bath, a scattering of patchouli perhaps, leaves you feeling like a tigress, soft and velvety with claws sheathed. The bath oil contains the essential oils of sandalwood, lavender and or patchouli. It is perfect to relax mind and body from the everyday stresses of life in a restorative bath. The addition of vitamin E leaves the skin feeling soft and silky smooth.
8. Bubble bath
Bubble baths are fun and full of cleansing agents. Pour in the liquid, let it bubble like crazy, then plunge in yourself. Soak 10 minutes after which all impurities will have dissolved away.
Milk baths soothe reddened or inflamed skin. Half a cup of creamy milk added to the bath water should do it.
A tangy citrus bath will freshen tired skin. Squeeze juice of lemon or lime into the bath and emerge with squeaky clean skin and a peppy fragrance.
A lemon is a girl’s best friend. It can help you to beauty, literally from top to toe.
- Hair is inclined to look dead in the spring sunshine, so give it a few highlights by squeezing the juice of lemon into the final rinsing water after shampooing.
- If you have an honest look at your neck, you may have to admit that it looks dingy. It’s not your fault, but the continual rubbing of winter coat collars and scarves is the trouble. In your bath, scrub it gently with soap and water and a soft brush or loofah. Dry and then rub a piece of lemon all over neck. Flick off the little pieces of lemon, but leave the juice on all night. It may sting just a little at first, but your neck will be several shades lighter in the morning.
- Cold weather makes a real mess of your hands, but you’ll find lemon juice softens and smooths as well as bleaches. And it isn’t sticky either, so rub it on each time after washing your hands.
- Our grandmothers used to swear by sulfur as a spring tonic, but lemon juice is much nicer. Drink it before breakfast and it will do wonders for your complexion. For slimming, drink it neat — no sugar and no water. And if your appetite isn’t what it might be, try the juice of lemon as an appetizer before meals.
- If your elbows and knees are rough after the cold of winter, scrub them gently with soap and water, rub them with a cut lemon, and after ten minutes, massage cream into them, using a firm circular movement. Repeat the treatment once of twice until the skin is really smooth again.
- Give exactly the same treatment to your feet — round the nail cuticles, the heels and over the insteps. They will look better and feel better, too.
Pine bath has the same effect except that you combine pine essence with a squeeze of lemon. Pine needles have long been used as a traditional health-promoting medicinal food in Korea. A research shows that pine needles exhibit strong antioxidant, antimutagenic, and antiproliferative effects on cancer cells and also antitumor effects in vivo and point to their potential usefulness in cancer prevention.
12. Soothing bath
Balm to the body is the soothing bath flavored with eucalyptus, herbs such as chamomile, thyme, lavender and rosemary. Warmth of water releases aromatic oils, relaxing and calming.
13. Beauty salon
The beauty salon bath is the way to soak before a special night out. Combine your favorite bath oil with a capful of baby oil and a small handful of herbs (preferably lavender); put them all in the bath. Put on a face mask as well.
14. Cellulite bath
The cellulite bath zips up the circulation and helps prevent those nasty dimply pockets of fat. How you do it: get into a hot bath armed with a scrubbing mitt, and use it on thighs, hips, wherever you suspect cellulite. A gentle kneading massage brings a warm glow to the skin.
15. Sponge bath
Try a sponge bath using real sponges for rubbing in the oils that revitalize your skin.
Take a potpourri bath and feel like one of your favorite flowers. Gather all the sweet-smelling petals you can find. Spread to dry then sew into a tiny muslin bag tied at the top and suspended by a ribbon under the hot tap.
If you haven’t tried a sauna bath now is a great time. It’s HOT. Don’t stay in too long, five minutes is enough. The idea is to open the pores and let the dusty smoggy grime pour out. Be lavish with body lotion afterwards.
An old-fashioned favorite, the rose bath isn’t a long flower-plucking process any more. Pour in a cupful of rosewater.
Lemon juice is too severe for the face but it is wonderful for bleaching the neck after sunbathing or gardening. With cotton wool rub in half lemon juice and half rosewater with upward and outward movements. Apply a nourishing cream immediately.
It is easy to squeeze the juice from fruit or vegetables, so use it when you are out of skin tonic or lotion. If your skin is dry and sensitive, mix the juice with rosewater (half and half). These home treatments are useful and effective only on healthy skins.
19. Country Bath
If you’ve tons of time to spare there’s the country bath, a long warm wonderful wallow. Put garden herbs into it, then scrub skin clean with a loofah and clear, soft soap.
20. Health Bath
The health bath rests a tired body after sports or your get-fit program. Splash a herb-infused oil into the bath and lie comfortably while muscles revive.
Today, herbalists regard preparations of rosemary, placed in the bath, to be invigorating and helpful in easing painful joints. So, if you have “gardener’s knees”, a footballer in the family, or want to make a welcome gift for someone recuperating from winter’s ills, try the following as a restorative infusion in the bath:
Rosemary bath oil: When the days are sunny, pour 600 ml of sunflower or safflower oil into a glass, screw-topped jar. Pick a good handful of rosemary and bruise gently, adding one tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Add this to jar containing oil, seal tightly and shake vigorously.
Stand jar on a hot sunny windowsill where it will get maximum heat. Shake well every day for a week. Strain oil and retain, discard rosemary, replace with a fresh handful of the leaves and repeat process for another week. Repeat with a fresh batch a week later. By now the oil should have a wonderful aromatic fragrance. Strain into a corked bottle.