One of my alter-egos is a 1930s movie star preparing for a big night out. I’m soaking in a huge, clawfooted bathtub, while sipping a glass of chilled white wine, hair perfectly coiffed, skin fresh and dewy, surrounded by luxurious bubbles up to my neck.
In reality, my baths aren’t nearly as glamorous. In my small, London flat, we do have a bathtub (a must-have on my real estate shopping list!), but it’s small. And kind of uncomfortable. I can’t have my knees and my shoulders underwater at the same time.
That being said, a warm bath is still one of my go-to habits for less stress, some relaxation, and some pampering me-time.
Do you take baths?
Yes, I know showers are faster. A shower wakes me up in the morning, but a bath is what relaxes me after a long day. The slow speed of baths gives you time for YOU, time to reflect on your day, time to do some proper body care, and even time to soak in some herbal goodness.
Herbal goodness? What about bubble bath!? Yes, bubbles are fun, but most bubble bath is made from our least favorite cosmetic chemical skin irritant: Sodium Laureth Sulfate! And unlike a shower gel which just rinses away, you soak in bubble bath for 30 minutes… and who wants to soak in chemicals?
Fortunately for us, there are tons of options for a simple, natural bath with herbal goodness and lots of relaxation power.
So what can I put in my bath?
Oh there are so many options for a DIY beauty fan! Some are super quick, and others require a bit of preparation … I use all of these depending on how much time I have and my mood.
Ease of use: super easy
The idea here is just to add 10 drops of any essential oil (or a combination) that you like to the bath water, just before you step in. Swirl the water around to disperse the oils. Soak and enjoy! Essential oils work on your whole body and can be invigorating, relaxing, muscle soothing, aphrodisiac … it all depends on the oils you use!
Try these combinations:
- Lavender and sandalwood for bedtime.
- Ylang ylang or jasmine for an aphrodisiac and relaxing effect.
- Geranium and Grapefruit or Geranium and Rosemary for energy.
- Clary sage and lavender for all-around relaxation and de-stressing.
- Eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree when you have a cold/flu!
Ease of use: easy
The easiest method is just to throw a handful of epsom salts into the bathtub while you’re filling the tub. Then I add my essential oils as usual for some fragrance.
Adding salt to a bath is a traditional remedy for soothing sore muscles and ‘detoxifying’ the body. Does it work? I don’t know. But it feels nice.
If you want to get fancier (or make a gift), you can make up a batch of scented bath salts and keep them in a nice container by the tub. Here are tons of bath salt recipes.
Ease of use: easy
Bath oils are another easy way to make a luxe bath. Just pour some scented oil into the tub and bathe.
Personally, I’m anti-bath-oil because 1) I hate cleaning the tub and 2) I can’t deal with a slippery tub when I do a bad job cleaning it…
So I prefer to take a bath with salt & essential oils, then apply scented body oil afterwards as moisturizer.
If you do want to experience a bath oil, I recommend making a scented body oil first. Apply this body oil to yourself before bathing, then get into the tub. Voila! Bath oil, just where you want it! Check out some of these fabulous recipes for body oils.
Ease of use: moderate
So you don’t have essential oils? You can use actual herbs in your bathtub! There are a few methods of doing this:
- Brew a strong herbal tea, and add it to your bathwater
- Put herbal tea bags in your bath
- Tie up some fresh or dried herbs in a piece of cheesecloth, and add it to your bath.
Ease of use: prepare in advance
Yes, you do have to plan ahead for this one, but it’s so much fun! Drop one bath bomb into the tub and it starts fizzing immediately, releasing essential oils and salts into the water. Check out my bath bomb recipe here!
With all of these options, who needs bubble bath?
Do you take baths? What’s your favorite bathtime treat? Share your recipes and tips below!
Let's Trace the Roots of You
(Re)discover the foods, places, traditions, and rituals that make you, YOU.
Sign up for weekly insights to get unstuck + create a life of meaning!