How to Create a Spa-Like Detox Bath
Since May is Mental Health Month, I thought I’d share some tips on one of my favorite strategies for de-stressing and detoxifying: Soaking in the bath tub. Creating a detox bath is hands-down my favorite way to de-stress and unwind after a long day or a busy week. I love filling the tub as full as I can, sipping on a hot cup of peppermint tea and reading a book or magazine until I can hardly stand the heat any longer.
When I get stressed and anxious, my whole body starts to ache. Everything from my head and neck to my muscles and bones feel utterly tense and exhausted, and one of the only remedies that actually helps me is soaking in the bath tub. I used to wait until I was exhausted or sore before soaking in the tub, but now I make sure that I incorporate a detox bath into my regular wellness routine. Baths are necessary for helping me to keep my anxiety and stress levels at a minimum.
To me, the most notable health benefit of soaking in the tub is how calm and relaxed I feel during the soak and afterward. However, there are plenty of other health benefits to soaking in the bath and detoxifying. Not only can a soak in the tub act as a form of a meditation, but it also helps to rid the body of harmful toxins that build up over time. Detox baths help to flush out toxins from air pollution, flame retardants, pesticides, heavy metals, and other environmental toxins.
Not everyone can afford a trip to the spa, sauna, or health club, so the next best thing is creating your own spa-like detox bath at home. Below, I’ll tell you how to create a spa-like detox using items you probably already have around the home!
If you have a bit of free time prior to your soak, try dry brushing beforehand. Dry brushing benefits your skin, lymphatic system, circulation, kidney function, and even your digestion! Plus, dry brushing is an excellent remedy for stress relief. Dry brushing helps to calm your mind and soothe sore muscles. I avoid dry brushing my face because my skin is uber sensitive, and I use coconut oil and cane sugar on my face instead (see below).
Exfoliate Your Face
After you’ve exfoliated your body with your dry brush, gently exfoliate your face and lips with a homemade facial scrub. You can make your own environmentally-friendly sugar scrub at home by combining ¼ cup of organic granulated cane sugar with ½ cup of coconut oil. Simply use your fingers to massage the sugar scrub into your skin in a circular motion for thirty seconds or so. The scrub should absorb into your skin, but you can use a soft wash cloth to wipe off whatever sugar is left over. Exfoliating before your soak will open up your pores and allow you to detoxify and sweat out any built-up toxins.
Next, I prepare the bath water by pouring Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) into the tub. My go-to detox bath involves using Dr. Teal’s Epsom salts. Simply fill the tub with water, pour a cup of Epsom salts into the tub as the it fills with water, and wait for it to fill up. Epsom salts help to rid the body of harmful toxins, while also soothing sore muscles. Be sure to soak in the water for at least 20 minutes to get the best benefits.
If I forget to pick up a bag of Dr. Teal’s Epsom salts, I use plain old baking soda. Simply pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the tub and wait for it to dissolve into the water. Baking soda is highly alkalizing, so it helps to balance your body’s pH levels – or your body’s yin/yang. Too much of one thing is rarely good, and a healthy balance is essential to your health.
Interestingly, soaking in a tub with a few bags of green tea is just as beneficial to your health as sipping on a cup of green tea. While the bath water is filling, drop 3-5 bags of green tea into the tub. Alternately, make a DIY green tea bath soak out of the tea leaves and baking soda. Open up the tea bags and pour the leaves into a food processor with 2/3 cup of baking soda. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil and Vitamin E oil and process the mixture until smooth. Then, pour the mixture into a mason jar for later use or add the mixture to your bath water.
Last but not least, RELAX! You’ll only get the full mental health benefits of bath meditation/relaxation if you lie back, relax, and let the water work its magic. This means turning off your smartphone (or at least putting it on silent and keeping it out of arm’s reach) and disconnecting from the world for a bit. Trust me, I’ve made the mistake of replying to emails and answering texts while attempting to soak in the bath – and not only did I accidentally drop my new phone in tub and ruin it, but I totally missed out on the meditative benefits!
During your detox bath, do whatever it takes to tune out and relax, whether you need to play some calming music, turn down the lights, light a few candles, read a book, or flip through a magazine.
After your meditative detox bath, drink plenty of water to help you re-hydrate from sweating in the tub. Otherwise, you may end up feeling lightheaded. Additionally, be sure to protect your skin’s moisture barrier by applying face and body lotion as quickly as you are able.
After cleansing, you should never leave your skin bare for more than 60 seconds – especially if you have dry or dehydrated skin (like I do). For the body, I really like Kiss My Face moisturizers, and I’m a fan of Skinfix Nourishing Cream for my face. Even coconut oil works well (just don’t use too much or you’ll feel like a greasy mess). If you exfoliated your lips, be sure to apply coconut oil, cocoa butter, or lip balm to your lips as well.
What are your tips for creating a spa-like detox bath at home? Share your secrets with us!