I love baths. I think this fetish for bathing and bath products goes all the way back to my growing up on the family farm in an old turn-of-the-century farmhouse that had a huge iron claw-footed tub. Every night I climbed into that tub and played, washed and spoke adoringly to my "fuzzy-wuzzy" bear soap. I loved that soap and wonder if it is still made. It would grow fur when it hit the water and he even talked back to me. He was my best friend. At least that's my memory.
Now my baths are a whole other experience. They are a haven and refuge from the day. A place I can focus only on what my own needs are at that given moment and unwind (usually uninterrupted) for a few moment's peace.
So, what do I consider to be the perfect bath? This is a question that must be addressed in stages....
First, a bath requires planning. Yes! I said it, planning. Before even beginning to draw water the serious bather must take a moment to reflect upon the day and what their needs are in that moment. Was a really stressful day? Reach for the Lavender. Down in the dumps? Sandalwood Vanilla. Feeling exotic? Lemongrass. Need cheering? Orange. I can spout on and on all day on scents, fragrances, essential oils. But I'll save that for another post.
Second, what is your intention for the bath? Do you have dry skin and need moisturizing? Need sore muscle relief? Just want some water therapy? Cleansing? Are you detoxing?
With these two questions answered you can choose your bath products. Below I have outlined suggestions for several types of baths. Use this as a jumping off point for yourself so that you can go on to create your own unique bath rituals.
Dry Skin: Bath Bomb, Whipped Soap, Sugar or Salt Scrub followed by body lotion or body oil after exiting the tub (this will be a slippery tub so be careful!!) If you are really in the mood to pamper you can add Silky Saltz to your tub as well.
Relaxing: Bath Bomb, Salts (any type), soft music. For relaxing baths I cannot say enough for Lavender essential oil. If you use Lavender take the bath at night then follow up with Lavender EO lotion and a spritz of Lavender mist on your pillows to help you drift off to sleep. I also use Lavender Scented sea crystals on my night stand (coming to stores in the next two weeks). Another great item for relaxing that goes great with salts? Bath Teas! Place the bag in the water, gently squeeze to release the herbs. The bag can be used repeatedly until the water from the bag runs clear when squeezed.
Pain Relief: I have Fibromyalgia so my baths are very therapeutic to me. Use Dead Sea Salt and Epsom Salt to ease muscles and draw out toxins (I use about half and half and I use about a half cup, I know that's waaaay more than you need so use your best judgement. At least four tablespoons.) Bath Bomb (LOL...I can't help myself!). When I'm in pain I find our Whipped Soap and nice soft bath pouf to be the only thing I really want to touch my body, I know its psychological but that's what I like. Then I soak, soak, soak and add hot water as needed. I'm not a doctor so if you are a doctor and reading this and I've said something wrong please let me know! I'm just writing on what works for me.
Detox: Ooooooo.....I hate to detox!! But at least once or twice a year I go on a huge detox diet and attempt to make myself young again. For those who are interested, we have a couple detoxing bath salt treatments in the salts section of each store. At minimum you should use a salt blend when you bath while detoxing, it will help draw the toxins out.
Now...a moment on mood and ambiance. Make your bathroom your haven. Have a basket in the corner to throw the kids bath toys into, pick up the dirty laundry left behind by your family and wipe down the tub. You can't really relax in a dirty tub. It's just not the same. Light a candle. Play some soft music to relax you. If you are fortunate enough to be a two bathroom family try to comandeer one of those bathrooms for yourself and ban those kids from it!
Tools. Our stores are full of bath tools to help you relax, scrub, exfoliate and wash. Treat yourself to something more than a ratty washcloth. Get a pretty pouf or a soap saver just for yourself (I have been known to hide my tools!!)
Lastly...Rules. Bath rules. Let the family know it is your time and you are "goin' in". Hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the doorknob if you must. Turn on the VCR and park the kids for a half hour. I have a Master's Degree in Education and am giving you my professional permission to allow your kids a half hour of Sponge Bob (or whatever viewing makes them happy). Your family will be better off with a relaxed happy Mom than a worn down stress-out "Super" Mom.
Happy Bathing!! Chris