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How to create the ultimate bath experience

Your guide to the perfect soak, the natural way

How to create the ultimate bath experience

Self-care has never been so important, and from helping to reduce anxiety and protect your mental health, to soothing aching muscles and looking after your skin, taking a bath is the ultimate at-home pampering treatment. To make sure that you're truly reaping the rewards of your soak, we spoke to Lorna Veale, founder of natural beauty company No Secrets, to find out her top tips for transforming bath time into a beneficial experience, from using eco-friendly bath products, to the ideal temperature of the water and air.

Salt of the earth

"When choosing a bath salt, look for something that contains magnesium sulphate. This mineral is essential to the body, as without it, muscles physically cannot relax," Lorna says. "As chemicals – both good and bad – are absorbed through the skin, soaking in a bath that contains magnesium sulphate means that you're partly replenishing this essential mineral."

So slick

"Bath oil has the ability to be a really ‘clean’, non-toxic product in any natural beauty range because it is simply oil – or a blend of oils – with perhaps some fragrance." Massage it into your skin before getting into the bath, then step in and relax while it works its magic. As with any other skincare product, when looking for a bath oil, read the list of ingredients carefully. Additions like sunflower seed, grape seed and macadamia seed oils, which feature in No Secrets' bath oil, offer some real skin benefits as they're rich in nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc, as well as various vitamins. Ingredients like these make for a much more natural and 'clean' formula that will nourish, moisturise and condition your skin, leaving it regenerated and softened, as opposed to a bubble bath of chemical foaming agents and synthetic fragrances.

Bombs away

If you're a fan of bath bombs, you probably won't like what Lorna has to say about them: “We only like bubbles in our champagne glasses – nothing should fizz in the bath. The main ingredients of bath bombs are usually bicarbonate of soda and citric acid, which strip your skin, and are actually more appropriate as natural cleaning alternatives, rather than a skin treatment!"

4 steps to the perfect bath

1. Keep it clean

The first thing to do when having a bath is to make sure it is ‘clean’ from any toxic cleaning products that you may have used. Most regular cleaning products have warnings on the side like toxic or corrosive. You don’t want to sit in a bath with these nasty ingredients swimming around, giving your skin the opportunity to absorb them. So the first thing to do is to rinse your bath with hot water to make sure there is no residue of these products around that would impact on your home spa treatment.

2. Take your time

Give yourself 20 minutes in the bath and a little time to relax and gather yourself afterwards. Your water should be between 36-38C, and the room should be 25-30C, ideally. To help you float away, try breathing in through the nose for five seconds and out through the mouth for five seconds, increasing to ten seconds for each, and continuing for two minutes. Finally, try to complete your ritual slowly, perhaps using the softest towel to pat yourself dry.

3. Set the mood

Soak by candlelight! Dimming the lights and lighting a candle will also help with the relaxation process. Choose wisely though: most scented candles available today – from the least to the most expensive – contain petroleum-based paraffin wax, a by-product of the crude oil industry. Instead, opt for a sustainably made soy wax candle infused with essential oils.

4. Words of wisdom

The temptation to catch-up on your weekly binge on Netflix should be avoided! Taking a book or magazine into the bathroom with you is also a great way to relax and take yourself into a different world for a while. While we can’t travel, books can transport us to new and exotic places, and help us to switch off.

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