Take tub time to new heights of relaxation with these tips.
: Pregnant women should not take hot baths, and people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney problems should not add Epsom salt to their bathwater.
Step 1: Pick your time Plan your bath. To promote sleep, take your bath 90 minutes before bedtime, and because the hot water can dry your skin, don’t soak for more than 20 minutes.
Step 2: Add salts at the start If you plan to use bath salts, add them as you start to run your bath so that they dissolve completely. Use one cup for every 60 pounds you weigh.
Step 3: Regulate temperature As the tub fills, keep track of the temperature with a thermometer. You want the water to be about 100° Fahrenheit, which is ideal for relaxing muscles.
Step 4: Exfoliate your skin While your tub is filling, take a natural-bristle body brush and gently rub your skin from your feet to your neck with upward strokes. This loosens dead skin and helps your body expel toxins.
Step 5: Prepare a cool compress Dip a clean washcloth in cold water and lay it on the side of the tub, so you can put it on your forehead if you start to feel too hot.
Step 6: Add extras Just before the tub is filled, add any extras, like a diluted essential oil, fresh or dried herbs tied in a piece of muslin or cheesecloth, one or two cups of powdered milk, or even a few bottles of beer, which is the bath additive of choice in some Czech Republic spas.
TIP: Milk contains lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxyl acid that loosens dead skin.
Step 7: Make it special Make tub time special by lighting candles, putting on some music, and pouring yourself a nightcap.
Step 8: Scrub-a-dub Toward the end of your bath, vigorously scrub your skin with a washcloth or loofah.
Step 9: Take a quick shower Take a quick cold shower to rinse off and tighten the skin.
Step 10: Apply moisturizer Liberally apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
FACT: The world record for playing Monopoly in a bathtub is 99 hours.