I’m going in. Into the bath, that is. Because I’ve recently rediscovered the joys of a jolly good soak – not only for that at-home spaaaah moment, but also for the health and beauty benefits you can gain during your dip.
Having been very remiss about exercise lately, I have started back at Fight Klub. Crikey, the old glutes and abdominals are feeling it. Many people swear by a bath with Epsom salt (which releases magnesium and sulfate ions). While dietary magnesium provides many benefits, including supporting muscle and nerve function and sleep, there’s scant scientific evidence that the body absorbs magnesium from Epsom-salt bathwater. But there’s no denying a traditional warm soak can help ease tired muscles.
I’ve been sinking into baths with a good splash of Neom’s brilliant new Magnesium Bath Milks (£40 each) – one is subtitled ‘Perfect Night’s Sleep’ with lavender, camomile and patchouli; the other, ‘Real Luxury’, is infused with lavender, jasmine and sandalwood. Pour and watch the bath turn milky.
I find magnesium cleanses my skin, and in both its bath milks Neom has mixed it with organic jojoba and argan oil, plus vitamin E. The result is a sophisticated soak that leaves your body silky smooth, while the aromatherapeutic action offers the ommm factor. And as I’ve just returned from Egypt, the milk thing has me channelling Cleopatra.
For a bath that feels rather like a reset, I love Dr Hauschka’s Sage Purifying Bath Essence (£18). If I’ve been perspiring profusely and I’m stinky after exercise, or I’ve had a sweaty night, sage is known for its refreshing and deodorising effect (so good for feet). It can also have warming properties; astringent, too – it’s good for blemished skin.
Steeping yourself might seem counterintuitive if you have very dry, itchy skin or you’re prone to eczema, but Aveeno Soothing Bath Soak (£11.99 for eight sachets) can be an excellent solution. Made with 100 per cent natural colloidal oat, once combined with water it binds to skin to lock in moisture and help relieve itchiness. Do mix it well. Don’t rinse it off. Don’t rub, but instead pat skin dry to keep a veil of the product on your body and prolong the positives.
Next, a Susanne Kaufmann product. The spa expert, who hails from the Austrian region of Bregenzerwald, learned a heap about the healing benefits of alpine ingredients from her grandmother, and puts them to good use in her bathing products.
Whenever your skin feels crêpey and lacklustre, reach for a jar of her Herbal Whey Bath (£35). Made from whey (obvs), the formula, with its lactic acid and minerals, sloughs off dead cells and helps nourish. It’s also good for rebalancing skin’s pH levels – hitting the sweet spot between acidity and alkalinity means it feels less sensitive and irritated. With linden flower extract, which has cleansing and water-binding properties, it’s the next best thing to 10 minutes in an alpine hot tub.
Oh, and breathe… when you do so properly and mindfully, it can improve attention and help you control emotion. And if there’s ever something to tempt you to try, it’s Bertioli Water Meadow Bath Salts (£18). This bijou 100g pot of salts releases a scent that is utterly, gloriously green – a reviving, head-clearing blend of river mint, eucalyptus, rosemary and thyme. Addictively good.
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