Guest Post: A Holistic Skincare Maker On Bath Therapy
Elisha Reverby, a holistic skincare expert in California and the founder of Elique Organics, reached out a little while ago with an idea for a guest post. Never one to pass up an opportunity to share new voices with you—and since all this bath talk has been so illuminating—here are her thoughts about the best way to take a bath. You can check out her blog, here.
Aaaaaah the bath…
Before bathing was appreciated as a means to relaxation, it was used as a beauty ritual complete with milks, flowers and honeys. It was also used as a medicinal therapy to purify and detoxify the body as well as treat skin disorders, joint issues and other illnesses. But e today, the bath is a sacred place that can promote sleep and calm during the most hectic of times. It can restore and revitalize the chi, i.e. energy, during the most lethargic and exhausted of times. A bath can also heal body and soul and help you tap into your sensuality on days when it would be nice to fee like a woman for a change.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your time in the tub:
The warm bath is the perfect place to have your body, hair and face wrapped in some kind of delicious homemade food and honey mask! The warmth of the bath tempers the skin, allowing it to relax as the pores readily open wide like little mouths just waiting to receive all the yummy nourishment you are offering while also readily excreting and shedding. This is your skin at its best! And listen; don’t just put the mask on. Oh no! The most important thing is to tend to it once by massaging those nutrients deeper while stimulating every single little nerve, muscle and fiber of your body. Work out your jaw and facial muscles, rub the scalp and shoulders and behind the ears. Heck, lift a leg out of the water and rub your feet and legs, too. Then run a little more hot to warm the bath, lie back with lavender pillow over your eye and soak your troubles away…
And remember, bathing uses a lot of water—so for those of us that are living a conscious lifestyle, we know that water is a resource that is not to be taken for granted. Make sure to keep your bathing to a minimum (once a week at the most) and fill tub just enough to cover your body, not to the top.
When I first started receiving acupuncture it was for some back tension and extremely sleepless nights that were riddled with tossing, turning and one worrisome bad dream to another. My acupuncturist also recommended I start smudging my space with sage every week and soaking in epsom salt baths. “Why?” I asked. “Because epsom salts absorb heavy energy and the sage will purify your space…” I never knew this about the salts and so that day, curious and ready for some sweet dreams, I went home and took a long hot epsom salt bath and smudged my entire flat. Not only did I sleep like a baby that night but in the years since I have been given this recipe for eternally blissful sleep, it has become part of my lifestyle and I have even come to know when I need it and it works like a charm every time.
There are some great soaks to get your body in balance. Some I am attached to personally and others are revered for their long history. I love a bath with any of the following ingredients. They soften the skin, exfoliate and cleanse it, are sweetly scented and extremely decadent. Nothing makes my skin scream “GORGEOUS” more than fresh herbs and foods all mashed up with oils, creams and honeys. And then when the bath is over, I like to imagine that when these yummies go down the drain, any life that is in its path is relishing in it too.
- Honey and lots of it from bees that are raised sustainably and ethically. Honey used on my skin makes it toned, firm, hydrated and radiant. When using honey, while thanking the honey bee for all her hard work, I cannot help but feel like a queen. This is my favorite skin food.
- Fresh lemons, limes and oranges are heavenly in the bath. You caneven use the skins of freshly juiced ones and don’t forget to take those suckers and smooth them across the face, neck, décolleté soles of feet.
- Apple cider vinegar alkalizes the skin while refreshing and energizing the entire body. Add as much as 1/2 cup to a bath and be surprised at how much you love it. Braag’s is my favorite brand as it is also probiotic.
- Hydrosols are so luxurious and definitely a treat in the bath. Quality hydrosols are expensive, but once in a while add as little or as much as you desire. Make sure to reserve some and mist the entire body at least twice after bathing. When it is time to moisturize and to feel ultra feminine, massage a European style decadent crème like Elique’s Whipped all over your hydrosol infused skin. Wait 5-10 minutes before dressing and all I can say is va va voom. He wont be able to stay away…
- Ginger, mint, black tea and cayenne work wonders in their ability to gently stimulate the skin and body by encouraging healthy circulation, digestion and excretion. Also the caffeine in the black tea firms and tones the bum.
- Essential oils of grapefruit, cedar, ylang ylang, lavender, geranium and neroli are great in the bath or in food and herb masks.
- Chickpea flour with dry milk is combined with water in Ayurvedic culture to create a cleansing paste that is thoroughly massaged in the body and left on it while soaking. This is a deep cleansing and skin softening treatment.
- Warm sesame oil works wonders on a dry, sensitive and flaky scalp and brittle hair when left on for 10 minutes in a warm environment like the bath. Finally, lightly wash out preferably with a shampoo sans harsh detergents.
- Bananas, milk, ghee, yogurt and honey are used in Ayurveda to create a traditional “Five Nectars” mask, which is massaged into the body from head to toe and then left on to soak for a good 20 minutes. Yummy!
- Rose, vetiver or sandalwood essential oils added into a cool bath is a wonderful treatment for healing sun and wind burns.
- Ginger with rosemary and sage create a bath to ease sore muscles and detoxify the body. Wrap a sprig of fresh rosemary, 1 cup coarsely chopped ginger and a small bunch of fresh sage in cheesecloth and toss into bath as hot tap is running. Get ready to be tingled silly.
- Valerian, hops, chamomile and Epsom salts will induce rest and tranquility. Great for utter exhaustion where sleep is desperate and anxiety filled. Soak in a bath of these ingredients and for an extra dose of zzzzz’s, with or without a teaspoon of bourbon, sip on an organic steamed herbed milk like chamomile or basil. Sweet dreams.
- Apples blended with fresh lemon and rosemary combined is a great rub for the person with a thicker or heavier skin. With hair up and clothes off slather mask over your body, hair, feet and hands prior to entering tub. Use upward strokes referred to in our dry brushing section. Soak and relish in the skin you’re in.
- Mustard in the bath is a traditional English remedy for tired, stressed muscles. It also draws out impurities, relieves stress, induces sleep and warms your muscles. For an added punch add 1/4 – 1/2 cup per bath with 20 drops of ginger essential oil.
There is so much more I can say but for now just have fun chopping, mashing and soaking in all these goodies.