De-Stress for National Stress Awareness Month
DIY Spa Bath
Who doesn’t love a spa day or a little pampering? Unlike the carefree days typical of childhood, now free days to relax may be far and few between, and spa days may be an even rarer occasion. We are busy and the treatments are so expensive, that a day of relaxing indulgence can break the bank. When worrying about the cost, we may not get a chance to do what we want to do most – relax.
As, the stress piles up over the week, it can become increasingly difficult to unwind when you have dozens of tasks to take care of. However, you can still find your inner lively self by making your childhood imaginations come true – who needs a spa, when you can prepare your own spa-imitated, deluxe, sumptuous bath, which will not only make you feel pampered, but will also provide countless health benefits for the skin, the mind, and the body.
Each bath has three basic ingredients: Epsom salt (2 cups), a blend of two essential oils (5 drops each) and a dried botanical or herb (a handful). Each ingredient added provides a specific benefit that can be tailored to your mood, stress level, and the condition of your skin.
Here’s the Science Behind your Spa Bath:
First and foremost, adding Epsom salts into your bath will infuse the water with sulfates, which bind to toxins on your skin and draw out impurities. Sulfates released by the salt neutralize any potentially toxic compounds found directly on your skin, as well as flush out metal ions out of the skin. Although metals are essential to our cells, as they promote healthy cell division and differentiation, our environment exposes us to excess metal ions, which causes imbalances in the skin. When homeostasis, or balance, of the skin is disrupted, the mechanisms in the skin begin malfunctioning.
Another colossal benefit to Epsom salts is the magnesium infused into the salt crystals. When you take a hot bath, your body temperature rises, which brings your blood vessels and capillaries closer to the surface of your skin. Soaking your body in water containing magnesium will allow the ion to enter your body through your skin and participate in over 300 biochemical reactions, to which it is essential. This will make you feel more energized, as well as support your immune system and muscle function. A single bath with Epsom salt will rise body magnesium levels and thus will eliminate the need for magnesium supplements.
One of the greatest qualities of Epsom salt baths is its ability to relieve stress. The hot water will relax and soothe you, and Epsom salts will increase the specific gravity of water, which will make your body more buoyant. As you’re laying down in your bathtub, you will find yourself feeling lighter. The salt will begin to clear your skin, and the aromatherapy from the essential oils will calm your mind. The dried botanical will infuse the water with its aroma and soften the skin, providing it with essential phytochemicals that only found in nature. As you are soaking, take deep breaths – in through the nose, out through the mouth. Light a candle or two, and play some relaxing music (check out the Relax & Unwind playlist on Spotify).
3 Recipes for Epsom Salt Baths to Try:
Uplift, Detox, & Energize
- Lemon zest (a handful)
- 2 cups of Epsom salt
- Rosemary essential oil (10 drops)
- Bergamot Essential oil (10 drops)
Bergamot oil contains Alpha Pinene and Limonene, which are the volatile active molecules that will diffuse into your skin and make you feel more awake and alert as you inhale them. Rosemary oil contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and will help control the skin oil balance to prevent dryness. It is boosting for the mind and increases concentration.
Balance, Strengthen, & Refresh
- Fresh mint (a handful)
- 2 cups of Epsom salt
- Sage essential oil (10 drops)
- Tea tree essential oil (5 drops)
Sage essential oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial, thus promotes healthy skin and healing. It is also a cicatrizing agent, which means it helps to eliminate scars and crack marks. It helps to balance the body by depurating the blood through effusion of toxins from the blood stream.
Tea tree oil is strengthening, as it has a stimulating effect on the secretion of hormones in the body. It boosts the immune system and provides relief from congestion and cough.
Calm, Serene, & Tranquil
- Rose petals (a handful)
- 2 cups Epsom salt
- Lavender essential oil (10 drops)
- Cedarwood essential oil (10 drops)
Lavender essential oil has a calming aroma, which tones down the nervous system. It is effective at treating migraines and stress.
Cedarwood essential oil is antispasmodic, which means it relieves spasms that affect the respiratory system, intestines, muscles, and the heart. It is also a sedative for the mind and effective at curing inflammation and itching of the skin.