From soothing muscles to calming stress, we all know the restorative power of a good bath; but for more than just soft skin and a clear mind, a detox bath can actually help get health back on track.
Used for years as a treatment for a variety of ailments, the key to maximising your time in the tub and reaping the benefits lies in using the right ingredients, and we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch. Here are the rejuvenating and healing ingredients to add to your next bath….
PROBLEM: TIRED, ACHY MUSCLES
THE SOLUTION: If you’ve overdone it (or just done it) at the gym, make a beeline for Epsom salts – the not-so-secret recovery trick. Not only do they soothe and revitalise sore muscles, they’re also packed with magnesium, which works wonders when it comes to reviving a flagging body. We rate Elemis’ Musclease Salts, £149 for ten sachets, packed with algea and sea salts to restock your mineral stores, while rosemary oil will help to ease achy joints and weary muscles.
Remember, the warmer your water is, the more powerful the effect will be. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after an Epsom salt bath – this will help to flush unwanted toxins from your body and keep you hydrated.
PROBLEM: STRESS & ANXIETY
THE SOLUTION: Epsom salts also work wonders to calm frayed nerves (they actually sedate the nervous system); supercharge your soak by adding one to two large handfuls to a bath of warm water along with ten drops of lavender essential oil. If hormones are to blame for your stress levels, keep an eye out for geranium, which works to neutralise out-of-control emotions, whilst pink grapefruit can provide mental clarity. Vetiver, ylang-ylang and rose are also key when it comes to soothing tension and anxiety.
PROBLEM: INSOMNIA OR TROUBLE SLEEPING
THE SOLUTION: Calming chamomile and lavender will set you up for a good night’s sleep – try adding ten drops of each to your tub. Frankincense (just eight drops) can also help to deepen your breathing and induce drowsiness. If you’re having trouble nodding off, the temperature of your bath is key, too, as once you come out of the bath, your core body temperature drops immediately, accelerating a natural cooling process that takes place as we sleep, so keep it nice and warm for the ultimate slumber.
Neom’s Perfect Night’s Sleep Bath & Shower Drops, £40, are an SL favourite – packed with lavender, sweet basil and jasmine, they can be applied directly to the skin or added to your bath.
PROBLEM: COLDS & FLU
THE SOLUTION: Whether you’ve come down with a chesty cold or are fighting off flu, make a beeline for ginger. This punchy ingredient can help to increase the body’s core temperature, which promotes sweating and the removal of toxins – try adding one tablespoon of raw, grated ginger to your tub. You could also try adding ten drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your bath to help clear up any congestion.
PROBLEM: LOW ENERGY OR HUNGOVER
THE SOLUTION: While Epsom and Himalayan salts will work to absorb toxins when you’re feeling hungover, we prefer to go for a gentler approach to counter low energy levels, opting for bergamot, ylang-ylang and grapefruit oils, which are fantastic pick-me-ups. We love Elemental Herbology’s Detox Bath Oil, £20, which perks up skin with grapefruit oil and juniper and stimulates lymphatic drainage to leave you feeling restored; Aromatherapy Associates' cult Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil, £45, is another good option, packed with grapefruit, rosemary and juniper to shrug off unwanted sluggishness.
PROBLEM: ECZEMA, PSORIASIS & SENSITIVE SKIN
THE SOLUTION: Soaking in a tub of the right ingredients can help to soothe stressed out skin. Oats have been used for centuries to calm sensitive skin and eczema – take 100g of uncooked oats, let them stand in hot water and honey for five minutes, then add them under running water to your tub. Similarly, adding two tablespoons of coconut oil to your bath can also help – boasting antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal benefits, it will keep skin smooth and moisturised.