Baby, it’s cold outside! And even when it’s not, who wouldn’t want to create the ultimate bath experience at home? Here’s how!
By Diane Small
When the days are a colder and shorter, there’s no better way to warm up than lounging in a super steamy hammam, fragrant cedar sauna, or bubbling hot tub. But if you’re not lucky enough to have access to one of these, the next best thing? Learning how to create the ultimate bath experience at home.
Top luxury hotels have recognised the power of the bath ritual and now offer ‘bath butlers’ who will prepare a lush, hot bath for you, complete with scattered rose petals and your choice of oils, salts and scents. But there’s no need to travel to have the ultimate bath experience; with a bit of creativity you can transform your own tub into a watery paradise! Here’s how.
How To Create The Ultimate Bath Experience At Home
First, of course, you need to prepare the setting. Hopefully, you’ve already got a lovely bathtub at home. If not, consider investing in one, if you, like me, are a serious bath fanatic! You can even invest in a hot tub if you wish.
And here’s a bonus: many hot tubs come with accessories such as calming lights and audio capabilities so that you can feel transported when you step in for a soak. If you go for this option, be sure you invest in a model with directional jets, for a lovely massage! Find the latest hot tub advice and buying guides at WhatSpa.
If you’re just using a regular tub, you can still make the experience super special.
Start by lowering the lights and selecting some organic candles to infuse the room with scent. Be sure to choose a quiet moment when you know you’ll have minimal distractions. Get your very thickest towel and comfiest PJs ready so you’ll stay warm and dry when you get out.
2. Indulge Your Hair
Take advantage of the bath’s steam heat! Comb a hair mask through your locks and cover with a shower cap. You’ll rinse this out in the shower, later. We recommend John Masters Toning Mask. Without the use of heavy waxes or excessive oil, this nutrient-rich, super-hydrating mask helps keep the scalp oxygenated, protects against free radical damage, regenerates collagen and balances the production of sebum.
Put the hair mask on before you enter the tub. Cover it up in a shower cap to let it really sink in while you soak, and then shower it off after your bath.
3. Brush Off
Before you jump into the steaming water, give yourself an invigorating body brushing with a natural fibre brush. Start at your toes and stroke upwards up the left leg, then right. Do the same on your arms, and if someone’s around, get them to brush your back with upward strokes, too. Yeah, I admit it hurts a bit at first, but after a few minutes you’ll feel fully invigorated. Plus you’ll be free of dry, dead skin – which means you won’t be soaking in your own sloughed off yuckiness. Yay!
4. Prepare The Water
This is essential: forget bubble bath! ALL bubble bath! If it foams, it’s guaranteed to be almost pure sodium laureth sulphate, which can irritate skin. Instead, add a cup of pure baking soda or Epsom salts to balance your skin’s pH levels and to draw out toxins. Alternatively, try an all-natural soap or one of these mineral-infused, all natural bath products below, that will nourish and hydrate your skin instead.
I would recommend using a Voya Seaweed Bath. Pure Irish seaweed and sea salt infused with delicious essential oils nourishes the skin with minerals and vitamins. This product is a bit different from others in the sense that it is actual seaweed with scented mineral salts – you will need to clean this one out of the tub afterwards, but it does make you feel a bit like a mermaid while it floats around you.
If that’s too messy, go for Dr Teal’s Detox Bath Soak. Finely ground Himalayan salt is the foundation for this detoxing bath blend, which also includes rosemary to reduce fluid retention, Lemongrass stimulates circulation, tones skin. Smells uplifting, tangy and refreshing, and dissolves slowly in the tub, leaving minimal residue.
5. Slap On A Mask
Want to feel like you’re being pampered? Bring a spa-like experience to your home by applying a mask. The right kind of face mask will not only help to hydrate your skin, but will also remove excess oils and help vacuum out impurities, leaving your skin well and truly glowing. Not only are face masks great for the overall appearance of our skin, they can be super therapeutic, too! Try to find one that is infused with aromatic essential oils to lift your spirit and stimulate your senses.
This Seaweed Mask is the perfect treat for all skin types and will leave skin feeling beautiful, smooth and firm. Each mask is freshly made and includes sustainably harvested seaweeds, hand-picked red marine algae and certified organic blue-green spirulina. The holistic formula strengthens the surface of our skin, providing us all with a more youthful, renewed, and healthy glow to our skin whilst also working to fight the signs of ageing.
6. Add Some Aromatherapy
Now jump in! Take a newspaper or magazine if you want to catch up on reading. Set some music if you just want to chill with some tunes. Personally, I bring my laptop to the bath, set it on the laundry hamper, and watch my favourite TV shows. Decadent, right? But be warned: ALL electronics must be at least a meter away from the bath, obviously. For an aromatherapy boost, add a few drops of essential oils to your bath. For relaxation, lavender, chamomile or frankincense oil do the trick; to energise, try citrus based or ginger scents.
Our recommendation? Aromatherapy Associates Shower & Bath Oil! This unique blend of clary sage, frankincense and cardamom was designed to help you find strength in challenging and difficult times. Just breathe in deep and feel yourself feeling infused with confidence and power.
Not a fan of bath oil? Go for Dr Bronner’s Chakra Soaps. This wonderful, all-natural soap brand has created a range of products whose scents and colours are designed specifically to soothe whichever chakra is out of balance.
Sink in to that tub, breathe deep, and maybe indulge in some magazine or book reading. Personally, I love bringing a tray full of goodies to my bath: a cuppa tea, a book, and my favourite candles. I could sit in there, reading, for hours! For the ultimate bath experience at home, I also do some deep breathing exercises whilst in the tub. Divine!
8. Scrub Up And Dry Off
Once your skin’s been softened by the water, slough off any excess cells with a sponge or washcloth. It’s a good idea to take a quick shower to rinse out the conditioner and rinse off the dead cells that were sloughed off in the bath.
Be sure to dry off with a thirsty, organic cotton towel.
9. Nurture Your Skin
Now that you’re out of a long, hot bath, your pores are still open. It’s the perfect time to slather on a quality body oil or cream to seal in the moisture from your bath. Also take advantage of your skin’s softness and push back the cuticles on your finger and toenails with an orange stick. Rub in a good organic hand cream afterwards.
10. Go To Bed!
After taking in the ultimate bath experience at home, you’ll sleep deeper and better. Bathing relaxes us and drops our blood pressure, putting us in a perfect state for a deep snooze. It’s a perfect way to end a stressful day.
Main image: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Bath