In the days of Cleopatra’s rule, it was recorded that she dipped her royal flesh into tubs filled with goat’s milk and honey. When night fell, she often invited Caesar into her private quarters to accompany her with conversation and massages as she soaked. Pop icon Madonna divulged her evening ritual of relaxing into long, warm baths to remedy her aching muscles following grueling performances while on tour. Not long ago, she posted a video to her Instagram account, showcasing her legs immersed in bubbly water – fresh basil slices floating amidst the foam and old school tunes filling the air.
From the ancient days of Egypt, to the modern days of social media, bath-taking has become a ritual transcendent of cleanliness and one in promotion of beauty, healing, recovery and restoration.
Since I was a child, I have felt a gravitational pull towards the bath. I often gathered an assortment of Barbies, toys and plastic cups to join me while sinking into the tub’s warmth—allowing it cradle me until the water turned cold and my fingers resembled prunes.
As my body grew from child to adolescent to woman, my bath-taking ritual evolved with me. A warm bath became my sanctuary—the place where surrender came most naturally. My Barbies graduated to flickering candles, a trail of incense smoke rising and swirling through the air and either a steaming mug of tea or a chilled glass of indulgence. Books have occasionally been involved, further serving to transport me from my own reality to worlds thousands of miles away from all that had become inconsequential and mundane.
Without my ever intending, the tub became my sacred place of self-ministering. As the residue of dirt, makeup and sweat rinsed from my skin, so did the presence of chaotic and toxic energies. It has become the place where clarity rests in waiting.
Which brings me to my intended destination. Being a bath-taking connoisseur, I have experimented and researched tirelessly to find the best non-toxic products and inspirations to help anyone create their own holy half-hour of self.
So brew some tea, dim the lights, silence your phone and set the tone for your personal oasis. It’s about to get radical.
Pure Integrity Soy Candles
Pure Integrity Candles are made of 100 percent natural soy wax and are vegan, paraffin-free, phthalate-free, slow-burning and provide some of the most realistic scents available. According to their website, the company claims that they use a “7 step pouring process,” which allows them to include 50 percent more fragrance in their product than is present in the average candle. Even better? They use a minimal amount of synthetic fragrances, allowing your burn to be as natural as possible. The Pumpkin Pie scent smells exactly like your grandma’s legendary holiday confection, and the Vanilla reminds me of warm sugar cookies.
Meyer’s Clean Day Candles
All candles in this line are made with soy and cottonseed wax, and fragranced with essential oils. The Lavender scent smells like candied lavender with a dusting of vanilla. It is by far the most popular of Meyer’s Clean Day candle line, and the one I most recommend.
LUSH The Comforter Bubble Bar
Forget your antiquated and messy liquid bubble baths. An entire bar will fill your tub with an Everest of foam, but you only need a third of it to produce a nice, fluffy veil. Also it smells like a playful puff of cotton candy.
Warning: There are some synthetic dyes in this product, so don’t be excessive with use of it. Let it to be a weekly or monthly indulgence.
Soothing Touch Balancing Soak Bath Salts
I’m a fan of the popularized and highly effective Epsom salt baths, but this mineral-rich blend will take your muscle-soothing and tension-clearing soak to another level. Comprised of Dead Sea salt, Epsom salt, evaporated sea salt and mineral salt, a sensual blend of clove, sandalwood and ylang ylang essentials oils melt the emotional and mental anguish away. And it is supportive of your health. I always depart my tub feeling like an Aphrodite.
Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Milk Bath Soak
Herbivore Botanicals produce outstanding products – all vegan, cruelty-free and non-toxic. This luxurious powder smells like a blend of coconut and vanilla. It softens the water and cloaks the skin in moisture, leaving behind no greasy residue in the tub.
Soapberry For Body Relaxing Lavender Body Wash
If you have psoriosis, eczema or temperamental skin in general, you are going to adore this product. Made with ph-correct, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal botanicals, it gets its calming scent from lavender essential oil. You need not worry about it bringing toxin synthetics into your bath water.
Nubian Heritage Soaps
Nubian Heritage has an incredible story that will inspire the entrepreneurial-minded and wellness enthusiasts alike. Holding tightly to cruelty-free and paraben-free standards, they create high-quality products with beauty, health and pampering in mind.
With a broad collection of varieties to meet a wide range of skin needs, from Coconut & Papaya to Raw Shea Butter, the Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver variety is a standout – gliding across the skin like butter and leaving its irresistibly sexy scent: a blend of melon, sandalwood and incense.
For this holy half-hour, you are forbidden to entertain heart-wrenching, cry-fest-inducing anything – regardless of how self-pitying you may feel. If this is going to be an act of self-care, it should be a pleasure.
I prefer that classics from Bill Withers or Etta James serve as my soundtrack while I’m soaking in the tub. But you may also consider filling your space with binaural beats and isochronic tones (incredible for calming anxious brain chatter and inciting creativity), guided meditations or motivational speeches. Be aware of what you need, but refrain from anything and everything that encourages you to wallow.
NibMor Organic Drinking Chocolate
Made with does-a-body-good vegan ingredients, and using only fair practices, this potent drinking chocolate goes down silky smooth and tasting delicious.
Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea
Sipping this tea is always a pleasure. Add an additional drop of lavender essential oil, and you’ll be levitated and rocked to a state of blissful and carefree relaxation in no time.
I’m raising my virtual glass in your direction and toasting to you having the most self-loving bath of your life tonight. Enjoy.