I try really hard every to practice gratitude every day and consciously seek out things in my life for which I do feel grateful. But I have to say that no matter how hard I try I still can’t help feeling regret that I don’t have a bath in my home. Well, actually we do have two tiny baths, which are great if you are only one metre tall, but otherwise only allow you the opportunity to bathe like a grasshopper…’knees to ears’.
I love bath products and actually make a small range of beautiful natural skin care products. It is hardly a chore to do as it is so wonderful to be able to play with aromatic essential oils, beautiful cold-pressed vegetable oils, Himalayan salts and nut butters.
But I always have this longing for a deep tub, candles, oils and salts in the bath, maybe a crystal in the water, music …well you know the scene. It’s simply not going to happen in the house of cupboard-sized bathrooms so whenever I go on holidays I always pack these goodies and make sure to book hotel rooms with a big bath.
So today, because this is the ‘Stressy-Season’ I am going to share with you five wonderful super simple home-made recipes for your Home Spa that sound easy and delicious. I hope you decide to practice a little self-love and steal an hour from your busy life to try them out.
1. Here is a Yule recipe. How much alcohol goes in through the mouth over the holidays? Do yourself a favour and put that glass of red wine or champagne in your bath instead. Red wine is full of antioxidants which are simply awesome anti-ageing tools. If you feel a little more decadent a glass of champagne in the water helps to reduce discolouration of your skin as well as fine lines. The bonus for you is that the champagne needs to be flat! So have a drink or two and don’t throw what is left in the bottom of the bottle down the sink, throw it into the running water of your bath instead and then hop in and soak for twenty minutes.
2. This one is a great detox bath and my guess is you will probably need a couple of these after a dose of holiday partying. Regular readers know I love Himalayan salt as it is has so many health benefits as well as being relaxing and soothing. It contains 84 minerals which give it the gorgeous pink colour. For it to be effective though, you have to maintain the right proportion of salt to water. In a tub of 100 litres you would need 1200 grams of Himalayan salt. Don’t use any soap, shampoo or oil with this as the salt cleanses perfectly. Soak for 30 minutes, towel off and then rinse with clean water. The salt leaves your skin beautifully silky smooth. It is getting easier to find Himalayan salt these days, but locals in Melbourne can always get it from me if their local store has none.
3. Bath Salts are really easy to make at home. Try out this one.
Make a mix of 50% epsom salts, 25% sea salt and 25% bi-carb soda. Don’t use the stuff from the supermarket labeled “Lectric Soda” as it is not Epsom salts, you need true Epsom Salts to get the benefits. Use about 2 tablespoons (40mL) of the mix in each bath. You can store any leftover in an airtight jar.
You can add 7 – 10 drops (0.3 – 0.5 grams) of your favourite essential oil to each 40 mL dose. I love Sandalwood mixed with Rose Geranium and Lavender, which smells amazing and these particular oils have a great nourishing and moisturizing effect for my dry skin.
4. Cleopatra was spot on when she added camel milk to her baths. I don’t do dairy so I would hesitate to use this, but if you are not allergic to dairy products milk makes a fantastic mild exfoliant. You can add full cream milk or milk powder, or goats milk to the bath salts mix, or even camel milk if you have some. First add 5 drops of essential oils of your choice to the milk. Mix well and then add in equal quantities to the salt mix (two tablespoons of the salt mix and two of the milk mix). Then soak for 20 minutes.
5. Bath oils are the easiest of all to make and very luxurious. Use a good quality vegetable oil like Sweet Almond or peach. I choose cold-pressed oils and make my own blend which I love that includes hemp seed, avocado and macadamia oil. For every tablespoon of vegetable oil add 8-10 drops of a single essential oil or a blend that you love. Float a tablespoon of the mix on the water.
You can also add botanicals to the water for their aromatic bliss and health benefits. But be sure to choose unsprayed flowers. Lavender blossom is a wonderful relaxant. Rose petals have beautiful skin softening properties and their scent is intoxicating, in fact when you add rose petals even the water will get softer. Sprinkle a handful in the gushing water and remember to breathe in the aroma as you relax.
Many men have learnt to love spas too. Lose the candles, music and rose petals, and look for essential oils that are a bit more masculine. Grapefruit and orange create a feeling of wellbeing – orange is cheering and uplifting, and the fresh citrus smell appeals to men (as well as women). Relaxing sandalwood is another good choice and helps with balancing all skin types. Juniper is a great rejuvenating oil with a smoky note that works really well with citrus oils. Frankincense, marjoram, cedarwood, orange, sandalwood and vetiver are some relaxants with a less girly tone. Patchouli is another oil suitable for men, that I also love, but it is definitely one you need to be sure he likes before using. Use the recipes above as your base but choose oils that suit his emotional state. If he is a bit reluctant encourage him to try it out just once for at least twenty minutes, maybe with a good magazine to read – it’s a much better way to unwind than the television and he surely will get hooked.
One important thing to note – I am really fussy about the oils I use and will only use top quality ‘Therapeutic Grade’ oils and you should too. The effectiveness of aromatherapy is directly dependent on the quality of essential oils employed. Many oils are promoted as being 100% pure and natural but are adulterated or simply ‘lifestyle products’ using the concept of aromatherapy. I hate these low quality ‘essential oils’ and particularly ‘aromatherapy oils’ which happen to often leave a nasty residue after burning, and I hate the way that advertising loopholes again allow these manufacturers to mislead the buyer. Look for therapeutic claims on the oils you use and you will then be sure they are going to actually do you good.
So get on to it. Choose your favourite recipe, mix yourself up a batch of ‘relaxation’ in your kitchen and schedule a ‘recovery hour’ in your calendar. Then light one of those beautiful scented candles in the glass dishes, the ones with the triple wicks, put on some soothing music, if you have an amethyst or rose quartz crystal put it in the bottom of the bath ( and be sure not to sit down on it). Lock the bathroom door and relax back for half an hour. After your bath lavish your favourite moisturizer on your skin and emerge rejuvenated and able to face the next holiday challenge.
And here is a little trivia to end with – today 12/12/12 is the very last date that will have all three digits the same until the twenty second century, so almost certainly the last you will encounter.
All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site.