By Lily Asis
How much time do you spend on bathing? What are your bathing routines? If you are like most people, you are probably accustomed to speed bathing which is normally marked by the soap, shampoo, and water combo.
With the busy life that most of us lead, bathing has become a zip, zap, and go routine – which is so unlike the indulgence that it was during the early times. Those times, bathing was more than a quick soak and rinse as it includes the delight of essential oils from fruits and flowers, perfume, and in the case of Cleopatra, milk and honey. Overtime, however, this had changed.
Thankfully, people are rediscovering the pleasures of bathing via the reemergence of bathing companions, effects and paraphernalia. Call it a revival, rediscovery or renewal, whatever tag you attach to it, one thing’s for sure – bathing is no longer just a hygienic necessity; it is a pleasurable experience.
The following are some of the more recognized bathing partners that lift the pin in the pleasure, cleanliness, and even the health scale.
Bath salts. Bath salts are widely recognized for softening and nourishing skin, relaxing and relieving tension. However, you might be surprised to know that bath salts are also believed to have healing properties. In fact, this relaxing bath companion actually helps improve circulation, reduce tenderness, and ease back pain, muscle tension or spasm.
Herbal bath teas. Herbal teas, herbal baths or bath teas are rapidly becoming a favorite for their relaxing qualities. But as the delightful whiff takes away the day’s tension, the soak helps maintain and improve healthy skin and hair, relieve pain, and fights stress, anxiety, insomnia.
Bath scrubs. Salt, sugar, and apricot are the most recognized types of bathing scrubs. Scrubs effectively remove dead skin cells and reveal a younger looking skin.
To maximize the effects of scrubs, one should rub gently as to avoid skin irritation. Scrubs should not also be used when the skin is broken. Consultation with a health specialist is advised before scrub usage. Body scrubs shouldn’t be used as a facial scrub. Look for alternatives that are specially formulated for the more sensitive facial skin.
Milk and honey. The lactic acid in milk is an alpha hydroxyl. It is an effective and a natural exfoliate that clears dead skin cells, accelerates skin cell renewal, and moisturizes.
The perfect partner for a milk bath is honey, another important item in Cleopatra’s luxurious bath supplies. Honey is a wonderful skin ally as it is a humectant – it attracts and retains moisture. The high sugar content and low ph level of honey also makes it an effective anti-microbial agent that prevents the growth of bacteria, helping keep your skin supple and healthy.
Essential oils. It is the whiff of essential oils that sends you off to a calming place. No matter the time or day, the aroma of essential oils almost always succeeds in inducing relaxation. In baths, all it takes are five drops of essential oils to fight stress and tension. After diluting it with carrier oil (others use milk), you are on your way to a divine adventure to relaxation. Common essential oils used in bathing are eucalyptus (a great expectorant), orange (for tension and also effective against insomnia), lavender (very calming and helps balance moods), tea tree (fights skin problems such as acne), ylang ylang (anti-depressant and sedative; it relieves anxiety and tension).
A reminder for pregnant women: Undiluted essential oils should not be use without the green light signal from your well-meaning physician. If the doctor says no, then the essential oils you purchased may still be used after you deliver your baby, provided that you store it properly in a dark colored bottle and keep it away from light.
In today’s stressful life, a relaxing bath is the ultimate guard against tension and yes even irritation. It an important and comforting ally to start the day and soothing way to cap the day.
Always make bath time a pleasurable experience. Find time for an enjoyable bath. Sometimes, all it takes is a little “me time” to keep a balanced well-being. And your me time can happen in a small bathroom filled with the scents of flowers and oils.
So set the stage for a delightful atmosphere. Keep your bathing partners within reach. Play your most relaxing music and just envelope yourself with bliss. And don’t forget to put a “Do not disturb” sign on the door. You know you deserve it.