Healing herbal baths have been cherished for centuries, especially in Irish mythology. During the Battle of Moytura, wounded soldiers supposedly plunged into baths and came out healed.
In today’s times, nothing beats a bath for battling the effects of winter—on your skin and psyche, says Bia Master Formulator Tracey Ryan. “Taking a bath is a deliberate act of slowing down and having time for yourself. It’s especially lovely if you’re tired or stressed. For me, baths are an essential part of my self-care routine.” Here, Ryan shares how get the most benefits from this ancient ritual.
An Old Irish Tradition
In Ireland, particularly on the west coast, seaweed baths are a popular tradition. You fill a bathtub with hot sea water and seaweed, usually serrated wrack, which is full of minerals, oils and polysaccharides to leave your skin silky soft. You can do this at home or go to a bath house. One of our favorite bath salt is from Shankara. It relaxes and soothes your aching muscles and joints with a powerful combination of herbs such as Arnica, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Epsom salts.
The aromatic essential oils will calm your nerves, and the luxurious ingredients will help nourish and rejuvenate your body.
A DIY Botanical Bath at Home
“If you don’t have sea vegetation handy, you can still create an incredibly soothing winter bath. The simple act of immersing yourself in warm water opens the pores, improves circulation and allows skin to take on more hydration. It’s also the perfect time to apply your beauty products so the ingredients penetrate fully.”
- Get the temperature right. “It should be warm but not too hot, as scalding water is not ideal for dry or sensitive skin.”
- Tailor what you pour in. “To minimize muscle aches, try Shankara Muscle relief bath salt. For extra hydration, put a muslin bag filled with calendula, chamomile and oat tops in the water to release their calming properties and relieve flaky skin. Essential oils, like lavendar, are wonderful for relaxation but since oil doesn’t mix with water, put a few drops of sulphated castor oil in the water first to help the essential oils disperse.”
- Mask in the bath. “Now that your skin is soft, lather up with Bia’s cold process soaps. Next apply the Bia Exfoliating Wash like a face mask, spreading it all over and letting it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off and your skin will be so smooth and bright.”
- Pull the plug. “20 to 30 minutes is the optimal time to relax, destress and let the hot water do its magic.”
Prolong the Post-Bath Benefits
“Straight after getting out of the water, while skin is still primed to receive nutrients, pat on Bia Facial Oil for hydration. I top it with Bia Skin Superfood, which you can also apply to your entire body—it absorbs quickly when your skin is warm.”