Spa Secrets for the Perfect Bath

Spa secrets for the perfect bath

Tips for the perfect home spa bathing experience.

Taking a bath seems pretty straightforward: plug up the tub, turn on the faucet, squirt in the Mr. Bubble and hop in. While a bath can be so much more than just that, you also don’t have to go so far as creating a bathroom sanctuary dripping in soy candle wax and pricey bath salts. Honestly, we can’t all be Oprah. A soak in the tub can be a helpful ritual for inducing sleep, hiding out from your kids for a few minutes or just relaxing after a crappy day. So by all means, turn of the cell phone and just go for it. Here’s a practical guide to getting a heck-of-a-good soak.

Pick your poison strategically. Mr. Bubbles is great for the kids but as a grown-up, you’ve earned the points to upgrade to the fancy stuff. Problem is, which stuff? Here’s a quickie rule of thumb: Epsom or sea salts for muscle aches, bath salts with sinus-opening oils like eucalyptus for a stuffy head, anything with an uplifting citrus aroma for a crabby disposition or a super foaming bubble bath for a dose of self love.

Pour yourself a cold one. While I’m all for a chilled martini or glass of chard, alcohol and a tubful of heated bath water don’t mix. The combination can make you dizzy or light-headed and although that may be your very intention, it’s just not a good idea. Pour yourself a tall, cold glass of boring ol’ H2O and place it in arms-reach of the tub. Add a few cuke slices or lemon wedges if you’re feeling sassy but save the martini for later.

Piddle before you plunge. There, I said it. I know this sounds obvious but I’ve forgotten this little tidbit so many times myself that I couldn’t let it go unsaid. Even if you don’t think you have to go, you will as soon as your tushie settles in to that warm bath water. It’s almost as bad as when you’re overcome with the urge to tinkle during a massage (gaaah, don’t you just hate that?).

Bring entertainment. Admittedly, I have the patience of a flea but as soon as I shut off the spigot and am fully ensconced in frothy bubbles, I get bored. If you’re the type that can totally zone out, God love you. But I find the tub a great place to catch up my magazine reading. I have an extra inflatable bath cushion I use to prop up my latest Allure on my knees. Honestly though, who cares if the pages get wet? You’re just going to recycle it when you’re done any way, right? But keep it to light reads and do not (I repeat, do not) bring papers to grade, work reports to read or heaven forbid, your laptop or BlackBerry (I know, duh, right? But people do it!).

Save the green goo for the après-bath. If you have type A tendencies (as you’ve probably guessed at this point like I do), you may feel the urge to multi-task while you soak. However, curb your desire to slap on your weekly facial mask during your bath. The warm water heats up your body temp and the mask will slide off your face like that whip cream scene in Mrs. Doubtfire. The perfect time to mask is after your bath when your pores are open and ready for whatever comes at ‘em. After you dry off, allow your body heat to come down a few notches and then by all means, slap on that green goo! I like a mud or clay mask after a bath because it tends to cool the skin and close the pores.

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