Bathing Rituals

Bath Rituals

Bathing Rituals

Forever in Foam: My Love Affair with Bathing

In my adult life, all I ever wanted was a bathtub. From the tiniest shared apartments in NYC to the 1746 farmhouse I bought on the Delaware River, to the smallest beach bungalows in Venice Beach; all had incredible charm but none had deliciously soothing tubs.

Bath Rituals

My Bathing Backstory

When traveling for work, I would call the hotel weeks in advance to reserve a room with a tub.

I would pack up all of my toiletries in anticipation of living out my bathing fantasy. Do any of you remember the Calgon ad campaign, “Calgon take me away?” Those vintage ads of the women pouring the bath powder into the frothy tub and basking in the warm bath were the epitome of zen for me. It’s safe to say my happy place is deep inside a bathtub.

A few years back, I felt called to buy a house in the rural countryside of Texas, and I took my sister with me to check out the property. Most people would fawn over the foyer or the kitchen, but I had a different devotion. I made a beeline to the bathroom in search of a bathtub. Turning the corner, my eyes ballooned with excitement. There in front of me lay the most divine tub with oxygen-infused jets!

I immediately crawled in and asked my sister to take my picture. She was a bit horrified but obliged my bizarre request. Upon seeing (and sitting in) this beautiful bathtub, I was sold immediately and in the following days began the fast and furious attempt to make her mine.

The first 6 months after moving in, I lived with very few belongings as most of my California life was still in storage. To be honest, I wasn’t in a rush to take on the possessions of my past. I was grieving on a magnitude I hadn’t experienced before. I wanted time to sit in my new home and absorb my new environment. The quiet walls and empty halls allowed me to heal and rewrite my story on my terms and timing.

I relied on bathing as a way to cope with my grief. There was a season in time when I would take a bath in the morning, one in the afternoon, in the evening, and one at night before bed. I would run the water and slowly sink into the depths of the water, letting it rush over me. This immediately calmed my nervous system and in the years 2020 and 2021 seemed to be the only thing that kept me afloat.

Bathing has been a practice I’ve sought after and cherished for many years. As children, we bathed as a way of cleansing and as a time for play. As adults, bathing serves to soothe our muscles and joints, as well as our racing minds. The products I use today have replaced the rubber ducks and toys of youth and provide an opportunity for regeneration and rest from the noise from the world outside and in my head.

Over the years, I‘ve found bathing to be a powerful practice of self-care. From the oils and salts that give the water a delicate scent to the sprinkling of flower petals in the water, each aspect of my bathing ritual holds a certain kind of magic. I’ve listed below some of my bathing essentials. You can add or subtract what you need, but I’ve found that each of these products has provided me with a blissful bath experience. 

Body Wash: Cue the Bubbles!

A great body wash is essential for any bathing session. In my opinion, it must have a substantial consistency that foams easily and a scent with purpose.  For years, I’ve been hooked on the Cathedral Grove Refillable Mind and Body Wash from Bathing Culture. It smells like the northern pines of the California coast mixed with the sea. Has anyone been to Big Sur? Its moisturizing ingredients leave your skin feeling clean but never dry. The glass bottle is so eye-catching, and I love that I can refill it. My favorite way to use a body wash is to combine it with Supacor’s Stimulite Bath Mitt.

Give Skin the Royal Treatment with Oils

A single oil or a combination of essential oils can help ease tension in the body, soften the skin, and assist in opening up sinus pathways.  Aromatherapy encourages you to take deeper breaths which stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system and induces relaxation. I tend to gravitate toward florals and herbaceous scents. 

Aromatherapy Associates’ Rose Bath and Shower Oil is a luxurious and sensuous product. It is a must-have for anyone who seeks to indulge in self-care, as it contains ethically sourced components like opulent rose, powdery geranium, and smooth, rich palmarosa. Their combination creates an atmosphere of beauty and relaxation, allowing you to bathe in the serenity of pleasant floral aromas.

For those who prefer a more herbal fragrance, I recommend Aromatherapy Associates’ Forest Therapy Bath & Shower Oil features an earthy, hand-crafted essential oil blend of evergreen Pink Pepper, soothing Cypress, cleansing Ho Wood, and Juniper Berry. If you’re curious about Aromatherapy Associates’ line of bath oils, but aren’t sure where to start, you can opt for their Miniature Bath & Shower Oil Collection. It’s a discovery set that includes ten mini vials of oils that are ideal for travel or for figuring out which ones you like best. 

It’s Okay To Be a Little Salty

In my opinion, a bath is not complete without the addition of magnesium and salts. As the warm water flows from the tab to the tub, I like to add a cup or two of Pursoma salts; my go-to salt is Minerals De Mer. For magnesium, I turn to Fortified Magnesium Soak by Natureofthings. It contains magnesium chloride which is ecologically sourced from Himalayan salt mines.  

If I feel like I am coming down with a cold or just all-over fatigue there is nothing better to zap me back to feeling myself than Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath; it’s an alkaline bath salt with an energizing blend of wintergreen, eucalyptus, rosemary, and thyme essential oils.

Another bathing salt that I love is True Botanicals Nature Bathing Bath Soak. It comes in two signature scents: Forest and Garden. The Forest scent leans on the earthy side with woody notes, while the Garden scent has notes of bergamot and rose. The formula easily dissolves in the water and leaves my skin feeling smooth and refreshed.

Buff and Body Polish

Body polish adds a touch of moisture and gently exfoliates the skin. The best body polishes leave the skin looking soft and with a delicate scent. Herbivore‘s Coco Rose Body Polish is a blend of coconut oil and Moroccan Rose, so you know I’m a fan. Another body polish I love is OSEA’s Undaria Body Polish. This formula gently exfoliates with lychee seed and moisturizes with a blend of undaria seaweed and kukui seed oils. It leaves my skin feeling buttery soft and smells fabulous.

Bathing Recap

Bathing, for me, is equally cleansing as it is therapeutic. The ritual of mixing the Epsom salts and oils with the water and the aromatherapy of the combined essences allows me to be still and centered in the present moment. We live in such a fast-paced world and it is important to take time out to recharge and rejuvenate. A bath is a great way to reset your mind and body. The next time you need to reset, opt for a warm bath–I promise you’ll feel lighter and brighter afterward.


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