Create a relaxing, detoxing ‘Spa Bath’ at home
Once a week I treat myself to a bath – not just any bath – but an indulgent ‘home-spa’ bath that is both relaxing and invigorating. Its a special bath that I’ve designed to help improve my well being on the inside and out.
The baths came about because:
- I was starting to lose weight and wanted keep my skin toned and firm, and support the ‘detox’ my body was going through with a change to a healthier diet.
- I used to get frequent migraines so wanted to try some natural/home remedies
- I became an Aromatherapist so had lots of new knowledge to draw on.
The key ingredient to my indulgent spa bath is Epsom Salts which is not actually table salt (sodium chloride) but magnesium sulphate. Magnesium is a mineral that is necessary to help regulate many body functions. Some studies have indicated that many people are deficient in magnesium which is not easily absorbed through digestion, but can be absorbed through the skin (some useful links at the end). Migraines have also been linked to magnesium deficiency so this was my main reason for adding them to the bath. The salts also soften the water giving your bath a soft, silky feel. An optional addition is a scoop of Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda). This also softens the water and balances your skin’s pH.
To help tone my skin and improve removal of toxins I also use a loofah while in the bath to improve circulation and remove dead cells that can clog up your pores or if you prefer you can ‘dry brush’ before the bath. There are also many essential oils that can support the removal of toxins either by stimulating circulation or by boosting the lymphatic system. Some essential oils contain compounds that encourage cells to repair which can be beneficial to aging or stretched skin. By combining several essential oils you can create a unique blend that maximises the benefits that you require. Some oils are stimulating and others are relaxing so be sure to use the stimulating ones in the morning and relaxing ones before you go to bed. I find the warm bubbly water very relaxing so I like to use more stimulating oils (and have my bath during the day). I do change my essential oil blend but most often I use a blend of:
- Ginger – warming, good for circulation, useful for relieving muscular aches and pains
- Fennel – good for digestive system, possibly even curb appetite, supports the lymphatic system and aids in reducing water retention
- Patchouli – skin rejuvenator (helps wounds heal, reduces scarring), diuretic
- Grapefruit – tones the skin, aids detoxing, boosts the immune system
- Geranium – uplifting, stimulates the lymphatic system, soothes the skin
- Juniper – good for clearing the mind and body
Essential oils are not water soluble so if you put drops straight into the bath they will just sit on top. To disperse the oils into the bath – add a few drops of each of your chosen essential oils (about 10 drops total) to a few tablespoons of plain bath milk or bath oil. If you don’t want the added luxury of a bath milk, you can add your essential oils to a small shot glass of vodka. My TOP TIP – Don’t pour your essential oil and bath milk blend in with the running water – this will just cause most of the essential oils to disperse into the air NOT into the water.
Putting it all Together:
Supplies: Epsom Salts, (optional: Dead sea salts, Bicarbonate of Soda), selection of pure essential oils, carrier/base for the essential oils (bath milk, vodka)
- Start running the water – I like to use quite hot water. To get the benefits of the Epsom salts you need to soak for at least 20 minutes so starting with hot water will make sure its not too cold at the end.
- Add 2 full cups of Epsom Salts to the bath and keep swishing to help the crystals dissolve. To add a variety of minerals to your bath (besides the magnesium from the Epsom salts) you can add a handful of dead sea salts and/or Bicarbonate of Soda.
- If you want a bubbly bath add some plain bubble bath to the running water. Choose one that hasn’t had any essential oils added – or artificial fragrance (fragrance free bases such as bath milk are available from specialist aromatherapy suppliers)
- In a separate jar or small bowl, add up to 10 drops total of your essential oils to 2 tablespoons of a carrier (vodka, bath milk or a very plain, natural bubble bath) but don’t add to the bath just yet!
- Close the door and windows. Some of the essential oils will evaporate from the warm water but don’t worry – you get double benefits; some are absorbed through the skin, some are inhaled.
- Grab your loofah, hop in the bath and add the essential oil blend AFTER you have turned the water off. Make sure to give it a good swish.
- Start scrubbing and soak for at least 20 minutes to get the full benefits.
- Follow the bath with a good moisturiser – I use a homemade one based on a blend of aloe and seaweed gel with essential oils.
You can purchase essential oils for personal use in shops such as Holland and Barrett, Neal’s Yard or Napiers. If you purchase your oils online try and use suppliers approved by the Aromatherapy Trade Council. Most suppliers will also give information on each oil to help you choose – if in doubt send them an email – a good company should reply to your queries. If you want to use essential oils therapeutically, please consult a trained Aromatherapist.
Healthy Scale: Home-Spa Bath
Mind: (+) A great way to relax and let your mind be a peace for a few minutes at least.
Body: (+) Using the combination of body scrubbing, Epsom salts and essential oils will all help to improve circulation which helps remove toxins and excess fluid and bring fresh oxygenated blood from head to toe.
Community: (-) This is a great way to take some personal time out and recharge your batteries.