Popping a few drops of something divine into your bath water at night is one of the nicest ways to unwind and relax at the end of a long day. But many proprietary bath and shower products contain parabens and petrochemicals which are not good for you. In addition, some of the perfumes are rather artificial and harsh and almost over-fragranced. So, why not use essential oils at bath time? They are not just for massage.
Most people have some essential oils lurking in the bathroom cabinet, for minor ailments or to help with coughs and colds. You may have some in the bedroom for a relaxing massage or foot rub but you can also use them in the bath or to shower. Essential oils are completely natural and body safe and you can wash them confidently in the knowledge that you are not adding anything toxic to your body. Plus, they smell delicious.
What are the best essential oils for a relaxing bath?
Here are some of the favorite oils to try in your bath plus some tips on which individual benefits they have if you also need a remedy for a headache, stress and anxiety, or aches and pains.
Lavender – Lavender is such a calming and relaxing oil, designed to improve mood and dissipate stress and anxiety. Let the calming vapors of lavender help you unwind and restore your natural balance. A lavender bath is ideal to aid restful sleep and it can also help ease headaches and the symptoms of migraines.
Lemon oil – sharp and tangy, lemon oil encourages positivity and its antifungal and antiseptic properties can assist with a range of minor skin issues. Lemon oil is astringent and will leave your skin and mood feeling glowing and invigorated.
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus has a strong and powerful aroma so some people like to combine it with another oil such as sweet orange, sandalwood, or geranium to temper the fragrance. Eucalyptus is refreshing and stimulating, it opens up the nasal passages so it is soothing if you have a cold as steam from the hot bath will act as its own inhalation. Eucalyptus is popular for relieving sore and aching muscles so a good choice for the bath and as a skin moisturizer afterward.
How to make your own bathtime essential oil blend
Most people who use essential oils pretty regularly know they should be blended with a base or carrier oil but sometimes don’t think this applies to adding a few drops to their bathwater – it does.
The reason for this is that the oils will float in the water and tend to stick to the surfaces they touch which will be your skin largely. So, you can have the same issue with undiluted oils as if you were using them for massage – they can just be a bit too strong.
The Tisserand Institute recommends a dilution rate of 1%:4% for the oils that you want in your bath. This is the recipe of proportions:-
- 2 teaspoons of your carrier or base oil
- 1 drop of essential oil = 0.5%
- 3 drops of essential oil = 1%
- 6 drops of essential oil = 2%
- 9 drops of essential oil = 3%
- 12 drops of essential oil = 4%
So for your bath blend, use a tablespoon of carrier oil and add to it between 5-20 drops of your favorite essential oils. A good carrier oil is grapeseed or you can use argan oil or jojoba.
Mix your oils and add them just before you get into the bath. You will be able to see the oil droplets in the water and as they land on your skin, you can rub them in. Some people rub on the oil blend before they get into the water.
If you just can’t do without your bubbles then use your favorite essential oil blend with a castile soap. Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap that is also made with coconut, castor or hemp oils and is free of animal fats and any synthetic ingredients. Blend together, shake vigorously and then add the oils as the water is running.
In the shower
People don’t always think of using essential oils in the shower – they are seen as more of a deep bath spa luxury. But, you can use the oils in the shower – Peppermint and Eucalyptus are wonderfully refreshing to get you going in the morning. Mix your blend in a base oil and then apply to your body and massage in before showering off. If you want to have the effect of the aromas whilst you are in the shower then place three to five drops of your blend on the wall or edge of the shower so you can inhale the scent as it is diffused by the hot water.
Enjoy the benefits!
The perfume from essential oils influences the limbic system which is the part of the brain that controls mood and emotion, stress and anxiety. Including the oils as part of your morning or evening bathroom routine will allow you to benefit from the oils penetrating your skin and from the inhalation of the wonderful aromas. And they will leave your skin feeling fabulous – so, that’s mind and body refreshed ready to either face the day or settle down for a long night of restful sleep.