An Ode To One Of Life’s Most Simple Pleasures: The Humble Soak

Your lowdown on bathtime beauty.

A couple of years ago, before I moved out of my parent’s house, they replaced the bathtub with a shower. I was horrified, because I LOVE a bath. For some people, Sunday means going to mass or nursing a hangover, but for me, the bath is my church and I can’t think of a better way to spend the last day of the week.

Luckily, my apartment had a bath and my Sunday night rituals began again. However, once lockdown hit I made the decision to go back to my parent’s house and spend it there. I don’t think any of us thought lockdown would go on for as long as it did, and three months in, there was a lot of things I was missing. Privacy and a room without six people in it are definitely high on this, but number one? The bath.

Diane Von Furstenberg has written an entire book on the subject, from the history of bathing to how Benjamin Franklin brought the very first bathtub to the United States in the 1780s. She writes: “Showers are popular for their speed and efficiency, but baths remain the rite passed down from our ancestors, who understood the need for hygiene and pleasure.”

Sylvia Plath was also a massive bath fan, famously saying: “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” And TBH, I couldn’t agree more. I’m a firm believer that a hot bath can actually cure almost anything, be it heartbreak or a horrendous hangover.

Not everyone is a fan of a soak in a tub, but trust me you can be converted even if you’re a shower girl through and through. If you’re someone who gets in and five minutes later feels like a lobster on the boil and hops back out, I have some advice. Run your bath, and don’t get in straight away. Let it sit, add your products and while it cools down a little, do your body brushing, exfoliating or whatever else you need to do before you get in.

Personally, I have a menu of different types of baths to choose from, so pick one that suits your mood.

The Stress-Free Soak

This is the one you have after a particularly long week, to rinse away all the stress and frustration. For this, you really want to take the time to relax and recharge. Shutting the bathroom door and being alone for an hour or so is a great way to wash off a stressful day and unwind.

Light some candles and go wild with luxurious products. Some like bubbles, but personally I’m a fan of a bath oil, which hydrates your skin whilst you’re soaking and feels super decadent. Jo Malone London has the most amazing selection in a variety of different scents – the Red Roses one is a classic scent that’s hard not to love.

I’d recommend pairing this with lots of candles and a good book or your favourite magazine (cough, STELLAR) so you can properly switch off. To lock in all the moisture from the bath oil, slather on a thick body cream like Soap & Glory’s The Righteous Body Butter as soon as you get out before slipping into some fresh PJs.

The Weekly Pamper

This is the crème de la crème of baths. The ritual that takes place every Sunday, and is the ultimate soul-cleansing pamper session. Before you hop in apply a nourishing hair mask like the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Mask, combing it through from root to ends. If you’re feeling super bougie a face mask is also ideal – a sheet mask in particular, as you don’t need to wash them off after 15 minutes. You can just peel it off and stay in the tub. I love the Moisture Bomb range from Garnier as they leave the skin feeling plumped and hydrated and are a bargain too starting at €3.99.

Personally, I like to perch my laptop on a table nearby and watch a film while I soak for optimum relaxation, but it goes without saying – keep any electricals far away from the bath! A rom-com or anything by Nora Ephron is ideal for a Sunday night soak.

This is what sets me up for the week ahead, as a little self-care on a Sunday makes you a much happier person rolling into Monday morning.

The One for Aches and Pains

If you’re feeling a bit sore, a bath can be the ultimate cure. Whether it’s period pain or achy legs from a run or gym session, the answer is always a long soak in the bath. For this, Epsom salts will be your best friend. These can be purchased super cheaply from most pharmacies, but I particularly like Westlab Sleep, which are lavender scented and amazing if you’re heading to bed straight after. Soaking in an Epsom salt-filled bath, you will literally be able to feel your muscles relaxing as all those aches and pains melt away.

A body oil is great applied straight after whilst skin is still damp. Try NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multipurpose Oil, which is easy to use in a spray bottle, or for an affordable option try good old Bio Oil.

The Pre-Night Out Bath

This is an extra special one that usually takes place on a Saturday afternoon. You know when of those days when you’ve literally nothing on and all day to get ready? This is perfect for that.

Now is the time for you to get all buffed and ready for the night ahead. A deep exfoliating session is good here, along with leg shaving so you’re all ready for applying some instant tan. For an amazing scrub try the ones from & Other Stories, which come in lots of different scents.

*This post contains some affiliate links*

Images via Twenty20

Have your say

More like this