We’ve all heard the story of Cleopatra bathing in milk, but did you know that most ancient Egyptians bathed by taking a dip in the river, using a cleansing paste made with ash or clay? Richer Egyptians, however, would have headed to the public bathhouses; ruins have been unearthed which indicates that some of these bathhouses even had showers.
While we tend to bathe alone these days (and luxuriate in the peace and quiet), for some civilisations bathing was a very social occasion. The Romans used their public baths to catch up with friends, create alliances and discuss everything from local gossip to politics. Original Roman baths can still be found in various places around the UK, although not in quite the splendour they would have been 2,000 years ago.
Bathing rituals differ greatly from culture to culture. Traditional Japanese bathing, for instance, sees the bather rinse themselves of dirt and grime, before stepping into the bath.
To me, there are few things better than locking the bathroom door after a long day and easing down into warm, soothing water. Bliss.
While bubble baths are fun, the chemicals used to create those lovely bubbles can dry and even irritate your skin. Luckily, there are plenty of gentler options…
Treat eczema and dry skin naturally
For soft skin, and to alleviate skin complaints such as eczema, try tying a handful of organic oats into a muslin cloth, or the foot of an old pair of tights. Drop it into the bath as the water is running, and use it to cleanse your body. You should see a pretty dramatic reduction in any patches of eczema the next morning.
I’m a huge fan of salt baths. Our Himalayan Bath Salts are mined and ground by hand, so they’re completely pure, with none of the chemical traces you might find in other salts. They’re rich in iron, potassium, magnesium and other minerals, so help your body to remineralise and detoxify. Unlike some bath salts, they’re not drying, but instead help the skin to retain moisture, leaving it soft and hydrated.
While I love the Himalayan Bath Salts, a tub of our Fragrant Tranquility Bath Salts is what I reach for most nights. Pure sea salt is mixed with several essential oils, to help you rejuvenate body and soul. It smells amazing, and I always feel much fresher and calmer after using them.
If you don’t fancy fragranced bath salts, you can scent your bath with a few drops of essential oil. I find geranium and lavender work well together, but half the fun is creating your own combinations! If you have any health complaints, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, do check that the oil you’ve chosen is suitable. I’m always happy to offer advice if you’re unsure. Just leave a comment below, or Tweet me @Akamuti