When was the last time you took a bath?
I’m guessing a lot of you are thinking, “I don’t have time for baths, they’re gross and dry out my skin”. But over the course of my many detoxes and most recently Dry January, I noticed that baths kept coming came up as key to chilling the f*ck out. And not baths as we traditionally know them, with bubbles that distract you into a squeaky clean prune, but rather therapeutic healing soaks that promise to detox the heavy metals and irradiation from your body, lower your blood pressure, lose weight, erase your aches and pains and potentially treat diabetes.
Not sure I believe everything on that list, but I can attest that a nightly soak does have the power to replace Xanax and Ambien. And is perfect for the dead of winter doldrums.
The first soaking ritual I tried was last February in the middle of Dr Hyman’s 10 Day detox. To cope with the trauma of eliminating carbs, sugar, dairy, gluten and electronic devices after 9PM, I was to soak for 20 minutes in a cocktail of epsom salts, baking soda and lavender oil. To prevent my skin from getting dry I added coconut oil.
After doing this nightly for 10 days, it’s become the ritual I can’t live without. My soak told my body “we’re going to sleep in about 30 minutes” and washed away whatever fears and anxiety had accumulated during the day and helped me sleep like a baby.
I was hooked and started looking into different soak recipes to keep things interesting. So consider me your soak connoisseur as I share my favorite bath recipes. If you have some of your own, bring it on.
A few road rules with soaks:
- Keep the water hot, but be sure to add coconut oil or moisturize afterwards so your skin doesn’t get too dry.
- Soak for 20-25 minutes.
- Try dry brushing before you get in the bath to get rid of dead skin and move your fluids around your lymphatic system.
- Some baths you’ll want rinse after, others you won’t (like the Epsom salt soaks where you actually want the salt to stay on your skin overnight)
- Don’t thing of this as getting clean as much as soaking. Take all pressure to shave your legs, don a mask and read Atlas Shrugged off until the morning shower, which is where you do your clean business.
- After, just wrap yourself in a robe and go to bed.
- Stay hydrated.
1. The Basic Ultra Soak
This is my daily favorite. 4 cups Epsom salt, 1 cup of baking soda, 1 scoop of coconut oil and 10 drops of lavender oil. Soak for 20 minutes, but do not rinse off. Lightly dry off and get into bed.
2. The Mega Detox Bath
I like this for when I haven’t been treating my body well, like after the holidays when I’m eating and drinking too much. Also great to cure jet lag and if you’re getting sick, but this bath isn’t for the faint of heart. You will sweat like crazy and may feel a bit flu like but afterwards you’ll be reborn.
Dump 1/2 container of Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath into hot water and jump in. For your face, make a mask of Aztec Secret Amazonian Healing Clay mixed with one part apple cider vinegar. This you do rinse off and make sure you moisturize afterwards as the Dr. Singha soak can be drying.
3. The Weekend Warrior Soak
Any of these baths will soften stiff muscles, but this cocktail is especially nice and features two of my favorite bath brands, Kneipp and The Organic Pharmacy. When it comes to baths, I always err on the side of more is more, so I can use half the jar of the Arnica Soothing Muscle Soak as well as the Kneipp Muscle Soothing soak. I add the coconut oil as all to keep me soft. Steep for 20 minutes and don’t rinse off.
4. The “I’m Getting Sick” Bath
This quirky little soak can be hard to find, but it’s terrific for when you feel that head cold about the blossom and isn’t as intense as Dr. Singha’s. Mix with 4 cups of epsom salt, a scoop of coconut oil, 15 drops of Olbas, close your eyes and imagine you’re in the Swiss Alps without congestion.
5. The “I Want To Feel Like Cleopatra Damnit” Sensual, Hydrating Soak
This one is quite indulgent, but you’ll feel as sexy and smooth after. Start with The Organic Pharmacy Cleopatra Milk Bath (the dried roses are either a nice touch or supremely annoying) and rub yourself down with The Organic Pharmacy’s Cleopatra Body Scrub which is the best smelling bath product in the world. Rinse off, but don’t use soap. Finish yourself off with Glow Body Serum No. 5 by Aster and Bay (tough to find, but delicious).
6. The “I Need To Moisturize” Bath
Fresh Sake bath is a bit on the pricey side and doesn’t pay off on the scent department, but it does a wonderful job softening skin and claims to detox at the same time. Before I get into the bath, I dry brush to start the deflaking process. I like to compliment this with their Brown Sugar Scrub and follow up with Sugar Acai Age Delay Body Cream.
7. The “I Need To Get A Good Night Sleep But Don’t Want To Take An Ambien” Soak.
Most of these baths will lull you to sleep, but I especially like Kneipp Sweet Dreams bath for sleep. Add a few drops with your 4 cups of Epsom salt and scoop of coconut oil. It doesn’t smell all that great, but for some reason it guarantees a good night sleep.
Bonus extra: I love love love love my Iluminage sleeping eye mask. It’s supposed to prevent wrinkles, but I like that it fits perfectly and forces me to put down my smart phone.