Ask Jean: A Detox Bath—Really?

Ask Jean: A Detox Bath—Really?

Dear Jean, I take plenty of showers—do I really need to be taking baths? What’s the difference?—Christy K.

Dear Christy, Showers are decidedly more efficient and eco-friendly than baths, there’s no doubt—and they’re arguably a more thorough clean. Baths, though, go deeper. Soaking in warm water relaxes your muscles and mind like few other pursuits: You’re plunged into the moment, and even if you’re still clutching at your phone to scroll through a few more emails, it’s hard to stay focused on them for too long.

If you’re skeptical about baths, though, I say go straight for the ultimate: Pursoma. The instructions on the package include a warning: “This bath is no joke,” and the people at Pursoma are definitely not kidding. Though they compare taking a detox bath to drinking a green juice, a detox bath is a significantly more intense experience: Set aside an evening, or least the latter part of an evening, and prepare to stumble from bath to bed only semi-conscious. Also prepare for a quick moment of tub cleanup the next morning (you won’t mind, because you’ll feel fantastic, well-rested, and will probably stop several times to look in the mirror, unable to believe the extent of your morning-after glow).

My boyfriend J. and I decided to try the Digital Detox first (who among us does not need a digital detox?). We figured we’d take a bath, relax, and maybe stroll out to dinner later. We opened up what we thought was a bag of bath salts, but instead, inside, was a powder—green clay from France, said to be the most powerful clay for drawing toxins from the body—plus grey sea salt, speckled with mineral-rich algae, harvested wet for optimum potency and sealed in a separate bag. “You soak for 20 minutes,” J. read. We drank the prescribed tall glass of water before starting, and descended into the murky, grey-green, hot-as-we-could-stand-it water. Twenty minutes turns out to be a long time; we said little, regarding each other expectantly from our respective ends of the tub. Nothing earthshaking occurred—if the bath hadn’t been specifically for digital detox, we might’ve been tempted to glance at a phone—we sipped more water, and checked the time frequently.

Though we were very much ready to get out when the time came, it was hard to get out. Like being dredged from a very pleasant dream, or perhaps a womb. Emerging into the pitiless air, I felt vulnerable and a little weak.

You don’t shower after: You wrap yourself in a towel and get into bed to “Sweat and Rest,” for another 20 minutes. “Where shall we go to eat?” I asked J.

“Let’s decide after.” By this time it was maybe 7:30 pm; at perhaps 7:31 pm, we were both fast asleep. The Sweat and Rest period lasted until 8 am the next morning.

How do you tell if you’ve been detoxed of EMFs and too much Buzzfeed/Instagram/texting? I cannot tell, precisely. I can tell you how I felt after a Digital Detox bath and the attendant long night of sleep afterward: Incredible. Glowy, full of energy, supremely comfortable in my skin and body, serene but not sleepy—just really, really good. If you’re bothering with any sort of detox, this bath is going to be one of the most pleasurable aspects of it, for sure.

NOTE: If you’re not in need of a digital detox, the Minerals de Mer is a great place to start. And if you’ve got even a hint of a cold or the flu, the Hot Tub Bath is the (f*%king amazing) cure.

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