Let There Be Bathtime!
18 January 2021
In our humble opinion, a bath is one of the easiest ways to escape and unwind after a long day. From relaxing oils & invigorating salts to soothing scents & fizzy bombs – the world can be your oyster when it comes to bathtime!
Take a deep breath and go in for the plunge with us as we give the lowdown on one of life’s simple pleasures.
A Short History Of Bathing
Bathing is maybe something we take for granted these days, but throughout the ages it’s been an activity with strong luxe and social associations. In the UK, the spa town of Bath was so named for its bathing heritage & Roman baths!
The first record of the buildings in Bath date back to 76 CE, but it is widely believed that the temple buildings had been standing for quite a few years prior. The buildings include baths and temple buildings dedicated to the Goddess Sulis Minevra. Sulis Minevra is a PARTICULARLY interesting Goddess because she represents a combination of Sulis, the ancient Celtic Goddess of healing waters, and Minervra, the Roman Deity and Goddess of Wisdom. Basically… the Romans created their own bathing Goddess and declared it wise to bathe! We couldn’t agree more.
Going back even further in time, it’s well documented that Cleopatra, allegedly, used to bathe in donkey milk, honey and rose petals daily for her complexion. Apparently soured milk was used primarily for the benefits of lactic acid. We’ll probably be steering clear of donkeys but can definitely get behind the idea of a milk bath. Our fave? The sumptuously almond scented L’Occitane Milky Bath!
Bathing Around The World
We may not be able to travel the world extensively at the moment, but it is still fascinating to explore the world of bathing!
The Hungarian capital of Budapest is known as the City of Baths! Its mineral rich thermal baths are naturally fed by over 100 hot springs, which are powered by Budapest’s position on top of a fault line. The most famous bathhouse is Széchenyi, an elegant and ornate structure which is a hotspot for tourists and locals alike.
Did you know allbeauty’s favourite Hungarian beauty brand? Inspired by the historical beauty of Budapest’s natural spas, the brand Omorovicza Of Budapest merges the power of thermal water with high tech-innovation and extensive scientific research.
Moving onto the Hammams of Turkey & Morocco! A Hammam is a steam bath, or public bathing place where visitors go through a series of rooms, starting with a cold temperature before moving to progressively hotter rooms. Soap, clay and vigorous rubbing are used, before being washed off in warm water.
Hammam at home with Moroccan Natural Organic – their clay treatments provide a nutrient rich base for masks (hair or body) and can also be used as shampoo. Argan Oil can also be used to hydrate and soothe the skin.
A Banya is a Russian bathhouse and sauna practice where your body undergoes a deep steam clean. The main premise is to sweat and detoxify out impurities. Birch tree branches (venik in Russian) are used to gently lash the skin. The leaves released from the oils help to relax the skin.
In need of relaxation? Dr Hauschka’s Birch Arnica Energising Body Oil can be applied after a workout or sauna time to revitalise the skin. It uses birch leaves in conjunction with Jojoba oil to soothe tired muscles. Apply to moist skin after showering.
An Onsen is the traditional Japanese name for a hot spring. All guests must shower first before entering the Onsen, so as not to dirty the thermal waters, which are considered to be pure and rich with minerals. Japan even has a Hot Springs Act which sets out criteria for Onsen.
Keen to discover more about Japanese minerals? Shu Uemura Art of Hair uses a large variety of Japanese ingredients in its haircare range – including rice extract, Onsen inspired ferment and the highly prized Red Camellia flower – tsubaki.
The allbeauty glossary of bathtime
So we’ve managed to cover a lot of bath facts and information in a short space of time! But what’s the difference between bath products? Which one should you use? We’re glad you asked!
Bubble Bath & Bombs
Foamy bubbles are probably what the majority of us associate with a relaxing bath!
Bubble Bath (or foaming) products consist of a liquid soap with a lathering agent which create bubbles.
Bath Bombs often take the form of a sphere (but can come in a variety of shapes) and effervesce or fizz when they come into contact with water. Invented by the founder of Lush Cosmetics and originally inspired by Alka-Seltzer tablets, they fizz as a result of the reaction between citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. Lathering agents are also added to create extra bubbles.
Allbeauty recommends : For a sensory experience, choose a Lavender or Verbena foaming bath from L’Occitane. An honourable mention also goes out to Philosophy, who created a bubble bath inspired by Margaritas… Now that’s what we call a Happy Hour!
Feeling a bit extra? Escape the daily grind and indulge in a touch of whimsy with bath bombs from Bomb Cosmetics – our go to for adding sparkle to bathtime!
Bath & Body Oils
Body Oils are liquids formulated with essential oils which have been extracted from plants or other botanicals. Often used in aromatherapy practices, it is suggested that oils can also be used to alter your mood – for example, lavender and bergamot are often used to relieve stress, chamomile for relaxation, peppermint to boost energy and rose to reduce anxiety.
Salts, Soaks & Scrubs
Bath salts are minerals which have been pulverised and made water soluble. When added to water, they can be used to help cleanse and purify the skin. Some salts have been developed that have similar properties to the minerals within natural baths or hot springs.
Body Scrubs can be used in the bath or shower and contain granules (salt or sugar) which gently tone and exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells.
Sometimes products containing bath salts are also referred to as Bath Soaks.
Looking for a soothing soak? Take a farflung trip of the senses with Elemis, who have Lime and Ginger Salt Glow and the Frangipani and Monoi Salt Glow in their Body Exotics range. We also love the idea of bathing in the mineral rich waters of the Mediterranean – and you can bring the Med to your bathroom with the Scottish Fine Soaps Mineral Bath Soak featuring sea kelp and Dead Sea Salt! Another great soak from Elemis (which is especially good for soothing tired muscles) is the Elemis Body Performance Aching Muscle Super Soak, which contains sea salt, thyme and juniper and comes highly recommended by Skincare Guru, Caroline Hirons.
Additional Relaxation Techniques
• Put on relaxing music
• Undertake a meditation
• Gather some essentials, whether that be a cup of tea, glass of wine, chocolates or a magazine and keep them close (just make sure they are not put on the lip of the bath!)
• Get glowing & light some candles!
• Upgrade your bubbles with some rose petals (or rose water, like our pal Cleo)!
• Face mask! Keep it simple with a sheet mask
• When you’re done soaking, hydrate with some water and enjoy some downtime! For an added life hack, make sure you’ve put your towel, dressing gown or pajamas on a heated radiator before you start bathing, so you are toasty straight from the tub when you decide to get out.
Ready to hit the soap suds? Shop all Bath & Body here.