Make this generation bathe again
Another month, another exciting prospect for jazzing up the self-care routine. The itch for the latest aside, allow us to reintroduce the near-ancient self-pampering and “me” time ritual we’re fairly certain started it all.
It’s a bath (pause for reaction, please), an activity that can only be described as sacred by any true “bathing enthusiast.” And it’s overdue for a little reconsideration.
Before pulling a Chandler Bing and quipping in disbelief that “you just sit in there stewing in your own filth,” try to ponder on the last time you yourself took a bath. A therapeutic, stress-relieving soak that you emerge from feeling brand-new and energized, a little slice of nirvana you never knew you could experience in a bathtub. Now, that is a bath. When was the last time you felt that?
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If you respond with “not recently” or “never,” even, we understand. As a lost art, the bath has had to bow out to the perfunctory quickie that is the shower. More convenient, more accessible. But it’s high time people in search of not-so-extravagant approaches to personal self-care got their own bath time baptism and got to see for themselves the restorative wonders that the lowly bath holds.
The best bath of your life awaits. Just follow these steps.
#1: Tidy up, then set the mood.
Not in preparation for an aesthetically pleasing #bathtime post on the ‘Gram, but to consider a psychological aspect that comes into play here. It’s difficult to relax in a cluttered space, the sight of which is enough to distract or make anyone feel mildly suffocated.
DIPTYQUE Baies Scented Candle, P2,150
JO MALONE English Pear & Freesia Diffuser, price available upon request
The setting of the perfect bath should induce relaxation, a sense of calm. Nothing about a cluttered bathroom, especially if you’re a type A person, translates into that. Once everything is in place, tidy and neat as a whistle, you can then begin to set the mood. Invest in an aromatherapy candle or two, or an essential oil diffuser and have fresh, clean towels ready.
#2: Ready the tools and a reading material of your choice.
Tools may sound excessive for a simple bath, but not to worry: we only mean an exfoliating glove and a small towel to be rolled up to support the back of your neck when you get started. The idea is to be comfortable enough to drift off as if you were on an outdoor reclining lounge chair, soaking in suds instead of soaking up sun.
#3: Honor thy steps of a perfect bath.
Cleanse first. Exfoliate second. Finally, soak. You need to get the grime off of you and polish off dead skin cells before you can hop into a bathtub for the ultimate soak. There is no skipping steps one and two. Doing so is a lot like applying serum, using a sheet mask and then moisturizing without first washing a face full of makeup. (We reckon Chandler’s “stewing in your own filth” comment absolutely applies in this case.)
THIS WORKS Deep Sleep Shower Gel, P1,156
DAILY CONCEPTS Your Exfoliating Gloves, P895
LUSH Goddess Bath Bomb, P445
Work your way from cleanse through soak and the rest of the agenda is yours. A glass of wine and that book you’ve been dying to get started on? A moment for journaling? Some relaxing white noise in the background, perhaps? Or how about a power nap instead? Your bath time, your “me” time, your call.
#4: It is not an exact science, but certain measures are crucial.
One is that an ideal bath lasts no longer than 30 minutes. A 15-minute soak, as a general rule, should do the trick. Another is that the ideal temperature for bathwater is somewhere between 90 and 96o F. Gauging with the palm of your hand, if it feels like the water is too hot and comes with a sting, it’s safe to assume that it will be too hot for the rest of your body. Super-hot baths are counterproductive (they’re dangerous, in fact, for people with heart problems).
Draw yourself a bath once every two weeks. It acts as a fantastic overall type of detox: perfect for the mind, body and maybe even soul. We hear bath time is a great moment to meditate.
#5: The perfect bath is always followed by reinforcements.
For when you reemerge, that is. It’s important to rehydrate after spending time in warm water. It’s also important to give your skin a little TLC following the taxing cleanse, exfoliate and soak routine it just underwent. Following your final rinse, don’t towel off just yet. Leave your skin wet and go straight to applying a lightweight body oil of your choice. Massage this gently into your skin and dab––don’t wipe–– to towel dry. Skin has a better chance of absorbing product when a little damp, so applying body oil at this stage is great for long-lasting moisture. Double down on reinforcements and apply Shea butter-infused body lotion to seal everything in.
NUXE Huile Prodigieuse, P2,350
ST. IVES Nourish & Soothe Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion, P278
The next time you take on your self-care ritual, how about you retreat to the tub? We all have much to gain from rekindling our love for bath time.
Art Alexandra Lara