Monday, December 26, 2016

Relaxing Bath Time

     So all the Holiday hustle and bustle is FINALLY over, your relatives are working their way home and you are quite beyond exhaustion.  This is the perfect time to sit back, relax and enjoy a nice bath (maybe with a nice glass of wine or your favorite martini even).  Most of the bubble bath and body wash, at least the stuff that you can find in the stores, are so packed full of chemicals that it can be a bit scary.  However, you can usually make your own at home that can be even more luxurious, even if the natural products don’t get as bubbly. 

A Quick Word on Ingredients

Honey helps your skin in a number of ways.  It helps retain moisture and elasticity, speed the healing of wounds, and helps to clear up blemishes.  Honey is great for aging, itchy, dry or damaged skin and actually makes body wash smooth and creamy instead of sticky.  Using raw, unfiltered honey is best, especially local honey.    

Liquid Castile Soap is all natural and helps your body wash and bubble bath to be full of suds.  It may not be as bubbly as a commercial body wash, but you can make up for it by adding more luxurious ingredients to your bath, like rose petals or tea.  I like to use the unscented castile soap because I add my own essential oils, but if you want to leave out the essential oils, feel free to use one of the scented castile soaps. 

Coconut Oil is not in these recipe, but I wanted to mention how wonderful it can be if your skin is not sensitive to it.  Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal.  It also has a natural SPF of around 4.  This makes it great to use on a daily basis, especially in sunny places such as Florida.  Coconut oil has many antiaging benefits and does not go rancid.  It really is a great oil and I encourage people to use it, just keep in mind that if you use it too often, your skin may need a bit of a break!  If you do want to use it, replace the avocado oil in the following recipes with coconut oil and make sure to melt it before mixing to ensure that it mixes well.

Jojoba Oil is actually not an oil at all.  It’s a wax, which is what makes it stand out when talking about skin care.  It absorbs into your skin and helps to keep the moisture locked in for up to 24 hours, without leaving your skin overtly oily.  It’s also great to protect your skin from annoyances such as razor burn.  It fights fungal and bacterial infections and since it is a wax, it does not go rancid as fast as oils do. 

Avocado Oil (cold pressed is best) is great to get rid of (and prevent) acne, blackheads, and eczema issues on the skin.  This is another natural oil that is readily absorbed by the skin and does not leave it oily.  It’s is believed to penetrate further than most oils, down into the dermis layer of our skin.  This makes it a super amazing oil to help with deep seeded problems.

Vitamin E helps to reduce wrinkles and keep the skin looking healthy and youthful.  It is included in this recipe mainly as a natural preservative, however it has quite a well-earned reputation for being great for the skin.

Epsom Salt is one of the best ingredients to add to a relaxing bath soak.  They are easily dissolved in water and absorbed by your skin.  The magnesium in them helps to relieve stress and reduce the effects of adrenaline.  They also help to relieve muscle tension, pain, and inflammation.  In short, Epsom salts are GREAT for preventing and relieving leg cramps.  There are two other benefits that can be especially helpful after Christmas (or whichever Holiday you observe this time of year), Epsom salts help to lower your blood pressure and regulate your blood sugar. 

Vegetable Glycerin can increase the amount of suds your bubble bath will produce.  It’s also a great moisturizer.   

Dried Herbs are amazing additions to your bath adventures.  You can choose to use premade tea blends or add individual herbs.  There are many herbs that are great for your skin and great for relaxation.  Here is a good list of herbs to add to your bath.  I typically stick with rose, lavender, chamomile, mint (I prefer using dried mint instead of the essential oil because of how strong mint can be), or rosemary.  I like to use calendula as well, but not usually for a relaxing bath soak, I use this more for healing my skin after sunburn, abrasions, or physical trauma.

Essential Oils are great additions to just about everything.  Not only do they smell great, but they have lots of therapeutic uses.  Here is a good, basic chart for essential oils in skin care.  Feel free to use whichever oils you prefer, just keep in mind that some are super strong (peppermint), so only use half the recommended amount, some can trigger seizures in people who are epileptic (rosemary, eucalyptus, camphor, some lavenders), and some are phototoxic (mostly citrus) so don’t use these before going outside.  My personal favorites for relaxation are lavender, chamomile, and frankincense.  For a bit of energy after a long day I like peppermint (I usually use the dried herb here), lemongrass, and neroli.  I usually stick with 3 essential oils for my blends, however please feel free to experiment.  Here is a good resource for blending your own.

Soothing Honey Body Wash

2/3 cup Liquid Castile Soap
¼ cup Raw Honey
2 teaspoons Jojoba Oil
1 teaspoon Avocado Oil
2 Vitamin E Capsules
40-50 drops Essential Oils
(my preference is 10 drops frankincense, 20 drops roman chamomile, 20 drops lavender)
Combine all the ingredients in a bottle (squirt tops work great for this one).  For the vitamin E, puncture the capsule and squeeze out the contents.  Shake gently before using each time, separation is natural. 

Lightly Bubbly Bath

½ cup Liquid Castile Soap
¼ cup Vegetable Glycerin
2 Vitamin E Capsules
40-50 drops Essential Oils
(my preference is 10 drops frankincense, 20 drops roman chamomile, 20 drops lavender)

Combine all the ingredients in a bottle (pump tops work great for this one).  For the vitamin E, puncture the capsule and squeeze out the contents.  Shake well before using each time, separation is natural. 

Relaxing Bath Soak

2 ½ cups Epsom Salts
¾ cup Soothing Honey Body Wash
¼ cup Jojoba Oil
¼ cup Avocado Oil
2 teaspoons Raw Honey
2-3 teaspoons Dried Herbs (ground or not, your choice)
(my preference is 1 teaspoon chamomile,1 teaspoon rose petals, ½ teaspoon lavender)
2 Vitamin E Capsules
Optional* ½ teaspoon Rose Water
Optional* 10-15 drops Essential Oils
Combine herbs and Epsom salts in a medium bowl.  Once well mixed, add in body wash and honey.  Mix well.  Once combined, slowly add in remaining ingredients.  Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Once done, store in an airtight jar.   

    These recipes will last for several months, however if you think it is beginning to smell funky, throw it away and make some more!  The vitamin E is a natural preservative so you shouldn’t have to worry about it for a while (if you add rose water to your bath soak, it may not last as long, but it’ll be well worth using on a regular basis).  I hope you enjoy your relaxing bath, let me know what you think in the comments below!


DIY Natural- Homemade Bubble Bath:
DIY Natural- Homemade Body Wash:
Don’t Mess With Mamma- Homemade Bubble Bath:
Growing Up Herbal- Blending Essential Oils for Beginners:
Hello Glow- 12 Essential Oils for Gorgeous Skin:
Natural Living Ideas- 20 uses for Epsom Salt:
Prevention- Healing Herbs to Use in a Bath:
Savy Naturalista- Relaxing Bubbly Bath Soak:
Using Essential Oils Safely- Phototoxic Essential Oils:

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     Welcome to Bat Lady Herbals.  I have been fascinated by herbs and various herbal uses for quite a few years now.  Plants are amazing t...