Essential Oils: Perhaps the easiest way to add a benefit to your bath, aromatherapy doesn't just smell good; studies show it can influence how you feel. Organic pure essential oils can be purchased at natural products stores, and one bottle will last a long time. Be sure to mix the oils into the bath water before stepping in, as undiluted essential oils can irritate the skin. For a calming bath, add lavender, chamomile or clary sage. To energize, add peppermint or rosemary. Eucalyptus and tea tree will offer purifying benefits.
Stress-Relieving Mineral Bath: Adding sea salt to a bath can turn an ordinary bathtub into a mineral pool. The trick is to add quality sea salt that contains naturally existing minerals. Sea salt has a purifying and healing effect. How much salt to add to a tub depends on the condition of your skin; start with a small handful and increase until you are comfortable. We recommend Natural Vitality's Calm Bath, which is a blend of the anti-stress mineral magnesium and Redmond Real Salt, which is rich in trace minerals.
Oatmeal: Fill an old sock with about 1 cup of oats and then tie the end. Toss this into the water and squeeze occasionally. The sock will release cloudy "oat" water that is rich in amazingly calming and healing natural emollients. Try not to make the water too hot, as that dries the skin. If you have dried lavender, you can add that to the oatmeal. Discard when done.
Tea: Yes, tea bags or loose tea works in the tub too. Use 4 to 6 teabags or a large tea ball and add at the beginning, running just-hot water. For a relaxing bath, add chamomile tea bags. Sip a cup of chamomile tea at the same time for extra relaxation. Green tea has many antioxidants that benefit the skin. A citrus tea will create a refreshing soak.
Milk and Honey: The lactic acid in milk is a gentle exfoliator that will remove dead skin. The higher the fat of the milk you use, the more moisturizing it will be. Honey is moisturizing and softening, and it smells great. To a warm tub, add 2 to 4 cups of milk and ½ cup of honey. Mix with your hand.
Slipping into a warm tub feels wonderful on a cold day. If you are blessed with a bathtub (and doubly blessed with a deep one), try taking your soak to another level by adding one of these various healing and nutrifying elements.