Cats or dogs? The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Tea or coffee? Bath or shower? Nothing defines or divides us quite like the minutiae of our daily lives. As a self-confessed bath-lover, I’m always baffled when people dismiss baths as ‘soaking in your own dirt’. How dirty are you people?! Aside from storing my laundry basket, the only thing I use my shower for is rinsing my hair of home dye kits. The rest of the time, it’s baths, baths, baths. I’m a soaker, baby!
I can totally understand the practicality of showers. They’re quick and efficient. But when has quick and efficient ever been much of a selling point outside of a McDonalds? Give me slow and luxurious any day of the week. And give me oil. And salt. And a good book.
It’s also much easier to drink a G&T in the bath. Showers just dilute the gin.
There are infinite types of bath, there’s ‘getting stuff done’ baths, and ‘getting nothing done’ baths. There are baths for getting a good night’s sleep, for soothing sore muscles or frazzled minds. Baths for catching up on The Good Place and baths for finishing a good book. Baths can do infinitely more for your body and soul than a shower ever could, and with a slick of oil or a cup of salts, they become something resembling witchcraft. It’s also much easier to drink a G&T in the bath. Showers just dilute the gin.
My sister and I always buy new mothers a bottle of Aromatherapy Associates Relax Deep Bath and Shower Oil, it’s sleep-inducing properties are second to none, and the knock-on effect of the house being filled with it’s heady scent is that everyone in the family gets a better night’s sleep. The oil can be rubbed into skin before sinking into the tub, or added to the running water to fill the house with heavenly steam as the bath fills. When we gifted it to our step-sister after the birth of her twins, she asked if there was a way to add it to the house’s air-conditioning system, such was it’s power!
Something of a cult product, Olverum combines Siberian fir needle, verbena, lemon, lime, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary, to create a fragrance that’s sophisticated, soothing and, like Jo Malone’s Amber & Lavender Bath Oil, is suitably unisex.
While most of my favourite bath oils are fragranced with essential oils, I find a lot of bubble baths tend to have an over-perfumed, synthetic fragrance, and so more often than not, I go for the baby products when I want some bubbles. Hands down my favourite bubble bath is Johnson’s Baby Bath, I just love the clean, mild, soapy fragrance.
If my skin is feeling a little dry, I’ll go for The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Calming & Caring Bath Milk, which is great for sensitive skin and can help soothe irritation or redness. I’ll follow up with a slather of the body butter from the same range, Almond Milk & Honey Soothing & Restoring Body Butter, before jumping into my onesie. Super-soft skin guaranteed.
Epsom salts have been used for hundreds of years, both internally and externally to treat a multitude of conditions, but are perhaps most widely used for relaxing the nervous system and soothing sore and over-worked muscles and joints. The secret to making Epsom salts effective is to go big or go home. I buy in bulk (5kgs at a time –Westlab Epsom Salt) and put two heaped cups of salt in my bath as it’s running, and soak for a minimum of 10 minutes to reap the full benefits.