Nothing beats a long soak at the end of a stressful day. For a while I worked as a florist in London, and I spent all day on my feet making arrangements and lifting heavy vases. Often, I would return home and soak my weary body in various salts and oils to give my muscles some relief. There are many beautiful and varied rituals associated with bathing around the world, from mud baths, to flower baths, steam baths and salt baths. There’s something for everyone, and each ritual has different benefits for your skin and well-being.
While I would love to travel around the world learning about bathing rituals (wouldn’t that be a dream!), COVID has other plans. So, during this time spent at home, a luscious act of self-care is to develop new bathing rituals inspired by different cultures.
The Luxurious Flower Bath From Bali
There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than in a beautiful flower-filled bath in the jungles of Bali. It seems I’m not the only one, as Instagram is full of pictures of these divine baths, and for good reason. They are achingly beautiful and appeal to all of our senses.
Benefits of Flower Bathing
Flower bathing has a long history in Bali and is used to help relieve sore joints and muscles and for general relaxation. If you use lavender in your bath you will notice the soothing effect of the lavender flowers. Rose is a wonderful flower to add moisture to your skin and to get that glow. And chamomile is great if your skin is irritated and itchy.
Make your own at home
To make your own bath sustainably, I would use dried flowers and fresh flower heads that you would otherwise throw away, to make the most of their life.
For example, use dried lavender and rose buds mixed in with the heads of ranunculus and roses that you have enjoyed around your house. Feel free to add your favorite essential oil and detoxing bath salts as well.
The Revitalizing Steam Bath From Russia
The Banya is a steaming ritual from Russia, more of a steam room than an actual bath. For Russians the Banya is not only a place to cleanse the skin but also a place to cleanse your mind and soul.
Although we can’t all hop over to Russia right now, there are ways to enjoy the benefits of the traditional steam at home as well.
Benefits of Steam Bathing
There are so many benefits to steaming! Firstly, it’s one of the best ways to detoxify and flush your system and your skin. My skin always looks so much fresher if I make facial steaming a priority in my weekly routine. Steaming your face helps to promote your circulation as well as promoting collagen, and it’s super hydrating for your skin.
Make your own facial steam at home
It’s easy to make your own facial steam, by mixing some well-known flowers together.
Herbal Facial Steam Recipe
1 tbsp of dried lavender
1 tbsp of dried rose
1 tbsp of dried calendula
1 tbsp of dried chamomile
1 tsp of dried peppermint
5 drops of essential oil of choice
Add all your dried herbs to a mixing bowl and add boiling hot water. Place the bowl on a table and make sure you can easily place your head over the bowl. But don’t get too close! Then cover your head with a towel and let the herbs work their magic for the next 10–15 minutes. Relax and breathe deeply, this practice is wonderfully nourishing for your mind as well.
The Soothing Ayurvedic Bath From India
Bathing is at the heart of Ayurvedic healing and each Dosha type has specific bath blends to create balance. If you’re interested in finding out which Dosha you are, here’s a quiz.
Ayurvedic bathing is usually followed by massaging a natural oil into your skin, often sesame.
Benefits of the Ayurvedic Bath
The Ayurvedic approach is great if you are feeling out of balance and need to soothe your body and mind. We all get thrown off from time to time and these rituals will bring balance back to your life, at the same time as nourishing your skin.
Which bath for your Dosha?
For Vata Types: An oat bath with lavender will help soothe the airy nature of Vata. Take a muslin bag and fill it with two cups of oats, then add in 3 tbps of dried lavender. As the bath is running, place the muslin bag under the running water and it will produce a milky bath which is perfect for soothing dry skin and the nervous system.
For Pitta Types: A flower and herb bath is just the thing for soothing their fiery nature. Fill the bath with calming herbs such as marigold, rose and jasmine, also add a handful of cooling fresh mint to the bath.
For Kapha Types: A mustard and fenugreek bath will help provide an energy boost to calm-natured Kaphas. Add 3 tbsp of dried mustard seeds and 1tbsp of fenugreek powder to the bath water.
The Cleansing Mud Bath From The Dead Sea
Dead Sea mud comes from the bottom of the Dead Sea which is nestled between Israel and Jordan. Since ancient times, it’s been common for humans to apply mud to their skin to reap the multiple benefits.
Benefits of Mud baths
Mud bathing helps to cleanse the body of toxins and hydrates dry skin. It’s also been known to help ease joint and muscle pain. On top of this is can help soothe inflamed skin caused by acne or eczema. A layer of Dead Sea mineral mud on the skin promotes softness but also prevents the body from losing moisture, and thus increases internal moisture levels. Dead Sea mud is rich in magnesium, calcium and potassium.
Dead Sea Mud Face Mask
Whilst luxuriating in your beautiful flower bath inspired by Bali why not add a Dead Sea Mud Mask to your face, so you can really pamper yourself. Dead Sea mud is easy to find online, but make sure you buy pure Dead Sea mud and not one that is mixed with chemicals.
Get more like this—Sign up for our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photo: Mark Christian Killick-Calver via Unsplash