Bathing has been considered a relaxing and calming activity since, well, pretty much forever (we’re talking as far back as Cleopatra, who regularly indulged in a soothing milk bath)! If history has taught us anything, it’s that there are very few things that soothe the soul quite like a heavenly soak in the tub.
Over time, different ingredients have been favoured for intensifying the experience, and there are now lots of ways to turn your bath into a soothing haven.
We’ve got some great tips for creating the most calming bath possible, using natural products to take care of your skin while you de-stress.
The bath of milk and honey
Famed as the favourite pastime of Cleopatra, and the source of her lasting beauty, bathing in milk and honey has been a soothing indulgence for thousands of years.
You’ll need milk and honey (obviously), but make sure the honey is unsweetened so you can enjoy its natural goodness. Melt half a cup of honey in a mug with boiling water, stirring until the honey is gooey. Pour this into the bath water, along with one cup of milk, and swirl it all around until it’s dispersed around the tub.
Tip: The bathwater should be hot, rather than warm, to keep the honey’s consistency.
Red, red wine
Believe it or not, there are spas around the world offering visitors the chance to bathe in red wine. This classic tipple is filled with antioxidants, and will leave your skin feeling super soft: since it is acidic, it makes for a great exfoliant. The antioxidants produced in the process of wine-making are considered to be incredibly effective in helping to prevent wrinkles, reduce cellulite and boost circulation too!
The vinotherapy spa process typically involves enduring a beauty therapy wrap, before being massaged using wine extracts instead of massage oil. You’ll then enjoy relaxing in a hot red wine bath, where jets of pulsating water will leave you in a state of bliss.
You can try a red wine bath at home – don’t worry, you don’t have to buy enough booze to fill the entire tub to feel the benefits! All you need is a large glass of red wine, poured in along with the bathwater and swished around until fully mixed.
If you want something that’s as indulgent as it is soothing, a spot of vinotherapy might just do the trick.
Tip: If you don’t fancy the idea of marinating in a tub of your best Bordeaux, but do like the idea of your own spa-like sanctuary, then check out our whirlpool baths, for the ultimate in luxury bathing!
Great for soothing both your skin and your mind, herbal tea is an excellent addition to any bath.
You can brew a pot using your favourite loose leaf combination and a teapot with an in-built tea strainer, letting your herbal concoction steep before pouring it into the bathwater. Loose leaf herbs will have a more potent effect, but you can use herbal teabags if you don’t have the time for the loose leaf method.
Alternatively, you can either buy or make a herbal pouch (muslin or cheesecloth are excellent for this) and hang it over the hot tap, so the water runs through the bag and is infused with the herbal goodness.
Tip: Some herbs are particularly good for soothing you while you soak, so look out for eucalyptus, sea salts, rose petals, and lemon balm.
Perfect for soothing eczema or sunburns, oatmeal baths are brilliant for softening and relaxing your skin.
Start with another muslin or cheesecloth, and spoon some unflavoured oatmeal onto the centre of it. How much will depend entirely on the size of the cloth, but you don’t need very much – filling the bag will risk it splitting in the hot water.
If you want to make your oatmeal bath smell extra indulgent, add some dried lavender to the mix, or a few drops of an essential oil. Check with your doctor before doing this if you have a particular skin condition, as some oils could aggravate it.
Seal your oatmeal pouch with a string or an elastic band, and place it in the bath away from the tap. Leave it to soak while you run the bathwater, ensuring that the bag doesn’t stray towards the tap, as the pressure could cause it to split. This process will infuse the bathwater with the goodness of the oats without leaving you with a porridge bath!
Tip: Make sure the oatmeal is in very small chunks before sealing it in your cloth pouch. You can pour it into a bowl first and break it up gently with the back of a spoon, which will ensure it has the perfect consistency.
We all know baths are super-soothing, but if you want to boost how much your soak can do for you, try one of these recipes for rejuvenation. From the incredibly indulgent to the best of a British breakfast, you can enjoy a bath that will soothe all your troubles away without a single chemical in sight.