Photo courtesy of Caiaimage/Rex/REX USA
The English love baths; Americans love showers. Beauty company executives always shake their heads ruefully at this fact, usually as they add yet another shower gel variation to their lineups. A shower is indeed a fantastically invigorating and efficient thing, and baths are entirely another animal. But in this case the English are, as they might say, spot-on.
Think of a bath as slow food—for the mind and body. If you’re cold, it’ll warm you up—for hours on end. If you’re stressed, it’ll calm you down—again, the effects last beyond the bath. If you can’t sleep, the slight cooling that happens when you emerge from the tub actually signals your body to sleep. There’s no better place to discuss the ills or joys of the world with a child than when they’re in the bath; there are also few better places to read a book. Sore muscles relax, the brow unfurrows. Do it.
Dermatologists complain that a hot bath dries out the skin (it does, there’s no doubt). Counter the drying effect with oil—body oil as opposed to conventional “bath oil,” which often has surfactants (drying detergents) added to make bubbles and disperse the oil evenly. (If it bubbles, moisture is not what you’re getting; if you see oil droplets on the surface of the water, rub it into your skin and reap all the moisture). Oils have the added benefit of aromatherapeutic scents that intensify the pleasure of a bath by about six zillion percent. (You can, of course, use plain coconut oil or other scentless oil if you prefer.)
5 Deeply Luxurious Bath Additions
Revitalizing Body Oil $90, goop.com A fantastic, deeply relaxing indulgence that also happens to be incredibly good for your skin. Billed as an anti-aging treatment, this is is packed with flower, plant and fruit extracts that deeply hydrate and restore skin—and smells absolutely incredible.
This Works Deep Sleep
Night Bath Oil $148, Net-a-Porter So powerfully sleep-inducing it should probably be classified as a drug, with lavender, vetiver, and chamomile. It’s a bath oil that’s truly oil, with no surfactants. Created by a former U. K. beauty editor this…freakin works.
de Mamiel Restoration
Body Serum $87, de Mamiel Intensely moisturizing plant oils and botanical extracts from rosehip and camellia to sea buckthorn, argan, red raspberry, evening primrose and about 3 trillion others. Super luxe.
Ren Moroccan Rose Otto
Ultra-Moisture Body Oil $65, Ren Skincare The richest oil and the most heavenly,
spirited rose scent. Wildly luxurious,
perfectly subtle. Heaven.
Burt’s Bees Lemon and
Vitamin E Bath and Body Oil $8, Burt’s Bees Just what it says it is—lemony and bright, super-hydrating, wildly affordable, fantastic as a base to mix in drops of essential oils like rose or neroli.