Our recipes for the perfect holiday bath
By Mimi Greenwood Knight
The holidays— whether they’ve yet to actually take place or have recently passed—can wear you down like few other times of year. Amid all the hubbub, it can be super helpful to take an hour or two to slip away, unplug, and revive your spirit with a long, soul-reviving bath.
Ideal Bath Basics
Temperature: 92 degrees Fahrenheit
Length: 20 to 30 minutes
Handy to have:
- Music, audio book, ambient sounds, or blessed silence
- Coffee, tea, or wine
- Bath caddy or shelf
- Bath pillow
- Bubbles, bath bomb or essential oils
Relaxing DIY Bath Bombs
- 4 ounces baking soda
- 2 ounces each of corn starch,citric acid, and Epsom salt
- 1½ teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon essential oil of your choice
- 1¼ teaspoon coconut oil
Combine dry ingredients, removing clumps. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients, then add wet ingredients to dry slowly, mixing as you go. Spoon this mixture into a mold. If you’re having trouble, add additional water, a little at a time. Remove from mold and let dry overnight on parchment paper. Store in an air-tight container, and drop one in the bath next time you’re ready for a good soak.
Rest and Relaxation
Lavender is the go-to essential oil for treating everything from migraines and emotional stress to dry skin and digestion problems. To create a soul-soothing bath, add six to eight drops of lavender essential oil into a warm bath, close your eyes, and let your thoughts drift far away.
Reclaim your Peace
Grapefruit essential oil, with its uplifting citrusy smell, can stimulate your endocrine glands, producing natural, beneficial hormones that help increase energy, alertness, and stamina. If the holidays have sapped your energy, a few drops of grapefruit oil in a slow, soaky bath can put the spring back in your step.
Regain Your Focus
The spicy scents of peppermint essential oils have been known to wake up the most sluggish holiday reveler and sharpen the senses. If you hit a mid-morning slump, instead of a cup of coffee or a candy bar, try several drops of peppermint oil in your bath. The peppermint smell can awaken the mind, boost cognitive function, and improve concentration.
Heal Sore Muscles
Absorbed directly through the skin, Epsom salt helps replenish the magnesium your body loses during a workout or marathon shopping excursion. Soak in Epsom any time you find yourself with sore muscles and tired bones.
Feed Your Skin
milk and honey
The legendary Egyptian beauty Cleopatra credited her soft, silky skin to regular baths in milk and honey. You can do the same. Honey possesses soothing antibacterial properties and milk has high vitamin and mineral content. Add one and a half cups of milk (or even milk powder) and half a cup of honey to your bath water and stir. Don’t make the water too hot though, or you can affect the helpful properties of the milk and honey.