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If self care Instagram accounts have taught me anything, it’s that a hot bath is the answer to pretty much any problem.
Feeling stressed? Hop in the tub.
Anxiety making your mind go a mile a minute? Go run a bath.
Back pain after work? Yep, its bath time.
Seriously, it seems like everyone posts periodic selfies with bath bombs and sheet masks on. Sure, baths are relaxing but do they actually pose any actual health benefits aside from feeling nice?
A Historical Outlook
Skin soaking has been practiced for centuries. Ancient Greek and Roman women would soak themselves in baths of warm olive oil to soften and nourish their skin.
Cleopatra apparently bathed in donkey milk to preserve the vitality and elasticity of her skin.
Elizabeth Bathory, the so-called Blood Countess, allegedly bathed in the blood of virgins to enhance her beauty and preserve her youth.
Maybe do not partake in that last example but it is fair to say that skin soaking has always been a part of the beauty world.
Why It Works
For starters, bathing improves your circulation. When your body is submerged in water, especially if it is warm, the blood moves more easily through the extremities. This heightened circulation rate will sometimes cause the skin to flush due to increased blood movement.
When more oxygenated blood moves through your body, your immune system experiences a boost, as does pretty much everything else. Oxygen is necessary in almost all everyday bodily functions and when your blood is pumping more freely, oxygen is delivered to every part of the body with ease.
A warm bath has also been known to help soothe irritated skin. If you experience dry patches, soaking in the tub can help deeply hydrate the area, alleviating soreness, cracking, itching, and peeling.
Additionally, it also helps to reduce the bacterial presence on your body, decreasing the risk of infection and acne. Steam is fantastic for opening up your pores, making it easier to extract acne spots and creating an ease of access for skin care products applied following the bath, as well.
If you are planning to try out soaking, picking up a bath additive product can add even more skin loving benefits, plus most of the commercial products you can pick up smell amazing and make your bath even more relaxing and luxurious.
The Neiman Marcus Milk + Honey Bath Soak is a cult favorite product with dozens of positive reviews. The calming soak contains chamomile, neroli, and lavender, making it incredibly soothing. The chamomile extract helps to reduce skin irritation in tandem with the lavender oil.
Neroli oil is a natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal agent that has been known to help with acne breakouts, making it an amazing ingredient choice for those with body acne or similar issues. Per the directions, the product is simple to use, with the only instructions being that you pour around one third of a cup into a hot bath and then let yourself unwind.
Another deliciously fragranced product, the Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Honey Bath is a bath time favorite worldwide. Ingredients like shea butter, vanilla extracts, sweet almond proteins, hydrolyzed rice, oat proteins and Pro-Vitamin B-5 moisturize the skin and assist in regulating oil production while reducing the presence of harmful bacteria.
Additionally, the product creates a plethora of luscious bubbles and comes with an adorable honey dipper to remove the product from the tub that helps keep the product sanitary while in use.
Ahava Bath Salts
If bath salts are more your thing, the Ahava Natural Dead Sea Bath Salts are a stellar choice. For around twenty dollars you get two pounds of Ahava’s mineral packed bath salts. A natural detoxifier, these salts are packed with twenty-one elemental minerals that help pull toxins out of the body and replace missing electrolytes and vitamins.
The product is also muscle soothing and claims to help naturally soften the skin through the use of one hundred percent natural sea salt. Many reviewers swear by this product to help soothe dry, itchy winter skin, with several claiming they felt relief in just one usage!
Lush Bath Salts
Lush is pretty much a household name in the skin care and beauty world, with many people swearing by their cult favorite Charity Pot lotion, bubble bars, and bath bombs. One frequently overlooked amazing product is their bath oil line.
Highly underrated, the bath oils come in a solid form that melts into a luxe, hydrating oil bath infusion when introduced to warm water.
With fragrances in pretty much every scent note range imaginable, there is truly something for everyone, making these oil bars amazing for gifting, too. Each different bar is infused with a selection of essential oils and natural extracts; for example, the Furze oil contains neroli, coconut oil, coconut butter, shea butter, and jojoba oil in a moisturizing formula and has a coconutty scent.
It is decorated with adorable dried amaranth and elderberry flowers; other products contain glitter, dried plants, or exfoliants, as well, depending on their intended purpose.
A newer product to the bath market, infusion teas have been growing in popularity quite rapidly as of late. The BubbleT Cosmetics Bath Infusion Tea Bags, for example, are a line of natural based bath soak blends encased in tea bags. You use them like you would a normal tea bag; just simply toss one into your bath and let it “brew”.
Depending on which you choose, you can target a variety of skin issues like acne, oiliness, dryness, and irritation. Each of the bags smell absolutely delicious and are available in gift sets, including some with fun “fill your own” options that allow the user to customize the strength of their bath time brew.
There is a reason that bathing has been popular for so long. It provides genuine benefits to your skin, as well as the rest of your body. Plus, it is rather relaxing. Treat yourself and take a moment to soak in the tub; your mind and body will both thank you.