You work hard, you play hard so self-care isn’t just a good idea, it’s practically mandatory in helping retain optimum life balance. And the best way to achieve this during this seesaw season is with a long, hot bath. Taking the time for a bath can feel luxurious. It can also give you the time to review your day and plan upcoming events, all the while providing your body with stress-reducing physical benefits. So claim your 30 to 45 minutes and unwind after a long day or a hard workout by soaking up a little me time. Sure, it may sound indulgent, especially when you’re using the right scented bubbles, salts or oils, but it’s also therapeutic and oh-so good for your soul. Here’s how you can soak up a little bath power of your own.
Pick your favourite scent and add it to the mix
Maybe you’re a lemongrass and zesty lime girl or perhaps relaxing lavender and sleep-inducing chamomile are more your vibe. Whatever you choose, know that scents and essential oils can create a sense of emotional wellbeing, whether it’s providing a sense of calm or contributing to your overall health. Eucalyptus improves breathing and eases sore muscles, honey and coconut hydrate your skin, rose and honeysuckle make your feel pampered and oatmeal and chamomile soothe away irritation and inflammation.
Wash away stress
Did you know that warm to hot water can soothe your muscles, allowing your body to relax, while lowering your anxiety and releasing toxins? Add a favourite bath product like a body wash or bubbles and all you have to do is lie back and enjoy the stress-relieving benefits.
Know what to use and when
Between bath oil and salts to bubbles, soaps and more, there’s a lot of choice and it can be overwhelming. We get it. Oils, bubbles, salts, milks and bath bombs work best in baths as the products release their hydrating, easing, soothing and fragrant properties as you soak. Ideally, soaking for 15 minutes to half an hour in warm to hot water is best and will provide you with the most physical and mental benefits. For anyone who’s bath adverse, a hot shower can also do the trick, particularly when you’ve got the right products.
Body Wash: Just like the name suggests, body wash cleanses your skin, eliminating the dirt, grime and sweat of your day. Most body washes are made with gentle cleansers, ideal for all skin types. Many are also free of sulfates and are pH balanced, so can cleanses while being gentle to your skin.
Body Scrubs: Eliminate your body’s dead skin cells, build-up of sweat and skincare products. Because even though you can’t see them, our body sheds between 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells ever day and your sweat, creams and lotions can caught in them and create a layer on your skin that needs to be scrubbed off. But take care. Sometimes using a harsh soap or body scrub can strip your skin of its essential oils leaving it looking and feeling dry. Opting for a sulfate-free formula replete with a moisturizing cream can often be the solution. Plus, many scrubs contain relaxing scents, making them the perfect product for a DIY home-spa experience.
Bar Soap: The old-school way to clean your skin is still one of the most effective, especially when you use a bar soap that contains creams and mild cleansers. Just rub the bar between your hands to lather up, apply all over your body and rinse it off.
Bath-Worthy (and Shower!) Products
Calgon Lavender & Honey Moisturizing Bath Fizzies ($7.99, available at Shoppers Drug Mart)
Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil-Froth Body Wash ($22, available online at glossier.com)
Dove Beauty Bar (From $3.49, available at Shoppers Drug Mart)
Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, Relax & Relief with Eucalyptus and Spearmint ($9.99, available at Shoppers Drug Mart)
Philosophy Coconut Frosting Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath ($22, available at the Hudson’s Bay)