Taking a bath is one of the most therapeutic things you can do for yourself, but how often do we actually take the time out of our day to soak in the warm water? Simply the act of taking a bath itself is enough to improve heart health, help you to breathe easier, reduce muscle pain, and cleanse your skin and hair – and that’s without all the natural ingredients you can add to your bath water for additional health benefits.
Whether you can’t go without a nightly bath for essential relaxation purposes, or you’re more of a shower person, it’s time to start upping your bathing game – and including the best natural ingredients in your bath water for ultimate bath time satisfaction.
Stay tuned to find out exactly what you should be adding to your bath if you want to have the finest bath known to man:
If you’re struggling with frequent headaches or just feel in need of a good detox bath, ginger is just the natural ingredient you’ll need. You might remember your mum giving you ginger biscuits when you had a cold, and this is because the powerful herb helps you sweat out aches from a cold or flu, and clears up the chest and nasal congestion. Even if you’re not suffering from a cold, ginger causes toxins to be released through sweat, leaving you feeling cleansed.
Keep in mind that ginger can cause sensitive skin to react, so it’s wise to test it on your skin first. If you’re good to go, chop up a portion of fresh ginger, grate it, or grind it, and toss it into your bath water for immediate benefits.
Yes, you might be more familiar with adding oats to your morning breakfast – but oatmeal in the bath supplies a whole host of unique health benefits. Oatmeal is an especially effective natural bath water ingredient for those colder winter days, as it’s been found to provide soothing relief for dry skin, rashes, and everyday skin irritation, thanks to its content of healthy fats. Don’t rule an oat bath out in the summer, either, as oats have also proven effective in treating sunburn.
These tiny nutritional powerhouses are a great source of the natural cleansers that we need for keeping our pores free of impurities, as well as proteins that help skin maintain its natural moisture barrier. Try mixing a cup-full of oats in your bath, adding them under running water for the best effect.
3. Baking soda
Despite how it seems, you’re not making a cake – baking soda just happens to be an incredibly beneficial natural ingredient to add to your bath water. While you’ve probably eaten baking soda more times than you’ve bathed in it, add it to your bath and your skin, in particular, will thank you for it.
In fact, baking soda is actually a key ingredient in most bath products because it’s proven to be a natural exfoliator that helps keep areas like knees, elbows, and heels soft, smooth, and free of dry skin build-up.
As with cooking with baking soda, a little goes a long way with your baking soda baths. You’ll only need around four teaspoons of soda for a full bath. Let the powder dissolve and then lie back and relax – preferably for at least 20 minutes.
4. Rose oil
There is nothing remotely unappealing about rose oil, especially when you’re adding it to your bath. Rose oil has more than just a pretty name and a soothing scent – experts say it has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that make it a fantastic natural bath product for hair and skin. Because of its refreshing and moisturising abilities, rose oil can help to maintain healthy skin and can keep acne and redness at bay.
You can buy bath products that contain rose oil, but the cheapest and simplest way to add this ingredient to your water is to make your own DIY rose milk bath. Simply mix up to six drops of rose oil with half a cup of powdered milk and add straight to your bath water. Bonus points if you add a handful of actual rose petals too. YOU CAN PURCHASE ROSE HERE
5. Epsom salt
We’ve all heard of Epsom salt by now, and for good reason. This bath-time ingredient is a little misleading in name – it’s not actually a salt but a type of natural mineral compound that combines magnesium and sulphate. Science has found that dissolving Epsom in warm water helps to replenish the body’s magnesium levels, which can improve hundreds of your body’s internal processes. Adding some Epsom to your bath water can also help relieve pain and inflammation and muscle soreness.
Epsom salt is widely available nowadays, so it’s worth shopping around online and finding a less costly product than the ones you might see in your local health store. When you’re ready to take a bath, add one full cup of Epsom salt to your water and let it sit for around five minutes. Then get in and make sure to soak for at least 15 minutes to enjoy the Epsom’s healing benefits.
6. Coconut oil
We cook with it, we use it to make skin and hair masks, and even rinse with it to remove bacteria from our mouths – there’s nothing coconut oil isn’t capable of helping us with. Unsurprisingly, it makes a kind, soothing natural bath ingredient that’s incredible for your skin.
A coconut oil soak has been found to improve skin softness and suppleness, as well as offering antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal benefits. It’s thought that the healthy saturated fats in coconut oil are what keep skin so healthy and moisturised.
Coconut oil is also a natural source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that keeps skin looking firm, healthy, and young. Make your own coconut oil body scrub by mixing a cup of the oil with a cup of sugar and apply it to your skin and hair as necessary. Choose scented oil if you’re a fan of the coconut aroma.
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7. Peppermint oil
One of the most uplifting and rejuvenating aromatherapy oils is peppermint oil. A natural mood booster, peppermint oil boasts a range of benefits to the brain and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight headache pain, relieve PMS symptoms, and ease symptoms of indigestion.
Many people feel more alert after being exposed to the peppermint oil scent, and studies have directly linked the oil with improved concentration. Peppermint oil can even be used to treat acne and allergic rashes on the skin. You can purchase peppermint oil here
As with rose oil, you’ll more than reap the benefits of peppermint oil by adding just five or six drops to your bath water. Too many drops might actually lead to increased sensitivity, so be sensible with your portioning. Try to soak in peppermint oil for at least 15 minutes to appreciate its full effect.
Honey is one of the most enjoyable natural remedies out there, thanks to its sweet scent and delicious taste. It’s hardly surprising that honey has been used as a healing agent all over the world for more years than we know of.
When added to your bath, honey’s antibacterial properties help it to prevent infection and heal minor skin wounds. Honey is also a fantastic source of natural antioxidants called polyphenols, that boost the immune system and reduce signs of aging in the skin.
A honey bath might sound a little sticky to you – but don’t worry, you won’t be adding enough to change the consistency of your bath water. Just mix two tablespoons of raw honey into your bath water, stir, and soak for 15 minutes. For an even better bath time experience, add baking soda and soak for another 15 minutes, to help your skin shed dead cells with minimal irritation.
You might have noticed milk as a common ingredient in your bath products, and that’s because it contains lactic acid, which is bursting with skin softening properties that give you smoother and more resilient skin. The lactic acid in milk dissolves proteins that bind dead skin cells together, helping dead skin to shed naturally during bath time. If you’re having a hard time with sunburn, a milk bath is exactly the thing you need to soothe your skin and recover more quickly.
The best type of milk to add to your bath is powdered. Simply stir in one or two cups of powdered milk to your bath while the water’s running, adding anything else you might like to add for creating a heady scent. Soak until the water runs cool, then gently pat your skin dry with a towel.
10. Olive oil
If you’ve already given a coconut oil soak a go, it’s time to switch things up and add olive oil to your bath water. Olive oil can pass through your skin into tissues, rejuvenating, and cleansing the skin.
Olive oil can also help maintain the collagen in your skin, preventing common signs of aging like sagging and wrinkles. Aside from skin health, research has linked olive oil baths to a stronger immunity to viral and bacterial infections. Olive oil might even be useful to new mums – studies have found that minerals in the oil can help the uterus to shrink back to its normal size much faster post-baby.
To get the most out of an olive oil bath, just add three tablespoons of the oil to your bath while it’s filling. Then relax in the water for as long as you feel like it. You can also use olive oil as a natural substitute for shaving cream for smoother, silkier legs.
Perhaps you’ve only ever dabbled with bubbles in your bath, but now is the time to experiment with some of the more interesting natural bath ingredients like the ones mentioned in this video. The best thing about these ingredients is that they’re the sorts of things you might already have lying around in your cupboards already – or if you don’t, you won’t need to splash the cash to buy them. Most natural bath water ingredients are wallet-friendly, especially if they’re bought in bulk.
There’s no arguing with the fact that non-natural bath products are so last year. You need something that’s good for you and the environment, and won’t give you any nasty rashes or skin damage from harsher chemical ingredients.
You can still achieve a luxurious spa-like scent by using natural bath ingredients, and, of course, they come with the added bonus of boasting a whole range of health properties. If you currently don’t take baths with natural ingredients, what are you waiting for? Pick your favourites and give them a try – although be warned, you may become addicted to your newfound bathing routine pretty quickly…