I‘ve always loved the idea of baths. Leisurely soaking in the warm, sudsy water with a glass of wine and a lighthearted novel sounds wonderful… in theory. But in reality, filling up the tub just sounds like a lot of work to me. Why would I go to the trouble of drawing a hot bath when I’m perfectly content vegging on my couch during my chill time?
In January, I moved into a new apartment that happens to have a beautiful bathtub that would lend itself well to that wine and novel scenario, andddd… I still didn’t take any baths.
But, knowing I could benefit from a go-to activity that would actually help me relax (because let’s be honest, is scrolling social media on the couch really all that relaxing?), I was on a mission to instate a bath-time routine I’d stick to. Many months into being the proud owner—er, renter—of a pretty bathroom setup, I finally discovered the secret to becoming a bath person—and no, it’s not an aesthetically pleasing tub (though that doesn’t hurt).
It sounds simple, but that secret is all about finding the right bath products that make the whole experience, well, an ~experience~. For me, that’s Kneipp’s lineup of bath salts and oils that transform my tub into a small escape from my daily stressors—which requires only slightly more effort than plunking myself down on the couch, with way more payoff.
“Many anti-bathers think of bath soaks as a long time commitment they cannot accommodate into a busy schedule,” says Sohana Samanta, marketing director at Kneipp. “Not true! The physical and mental benefits of a warm water soak have been shown to take effect in as little as 15 minutes.”
Those benefits include creating a designated space for you to take a mental and physical break, but it’s more than that, she says. “Soaking in warm water with added mineral salt featuring beneficial trace elements and minerals can help soften skin, loosen tight muscles, and is proven to relax the mind and body,” Samanta says.
Each of the Kneipp bath-time essentials is geared toward a specific need—from sleep-promoting to muscle-relaxing—but for productivity lovers (*guilty as charged*) who want to get the most out of self-care time, Samanta actually encourages layering multiple types together.
“We often refer to this as a ‘Kneipp Cocktail,'” she says. “You can combine salts with salts, salts with oil, and so on.” A few of her favorite combos? Pairing Joint & Muscle Arnica Mineral Bath Salt with Refreshing Eucalyptus Herbal Bath Oil, as well as creating the ultimate mental-refresh duo by combining Goodbye Stress Water Mint & Rosemary Mineral Bath Salt and Refreshing Eucalyptus Bath Salt.
With her recommendations in tow, I mixed up my own Kneipp Cocktails, and got to soaking. Keep reading for the exact bath-time routine that finally turned me into a bath person.
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The success of multitasking may be highly debated, but personally I love knocking a few tasks out at once—especially when those two tasks are as enjoyable as self care and workout recovery. The base of my go-to bath-time routine has been this arnica salt soak (which Samanta says is a hugely popular bath-time essential to start with—one sells every three and a half minutes).
“Beyond the detoxifying and tension-releasing benefits of mineral salts in a warm bath, the Arnica montana plant has been known to reduce inflammation and soothe sore muscles,” Samanta says. “The blend also contains pine, rosemary, Siberian fir, and arnica essential oils to provide a warming and cooling restorative effect.”
I’ve started incorporating baths into my evening routines, in hopes that soaking in a warm tub will not just relax me, but also help me get a better night’s sleep. While I can’t say for sure that it was because of the valerian root (which is known to promote sleep) in this mixture, the first time I added this salt to my tub, I was almost dozing off by the end.
As much as I love the sleep-boosting benefits, it’s the stunning color that really sold me on this one. The bright blue is so pretty that I want to stay in it until my fingers and toes start pruning (this is huge for a former anti-bather!), and when layered with the Joint & Muscle Arnica Mineral Bath Salt Soak, it turns the water a spa-esque blue-ish green.
While lounging in my tub, this relaxing salt soak transported me to a lavender field. Even when combined with the other soaks, the calming scent is still able to come through (while not being overwhelming). Speaking of, as someone who deals with tons of allergies, I’m usually hesitant to use too many scented bath products, but these didn’t bother me at all.
According to Samanta, the natural ingredients are one of their core differentiators. “We use thermal spring mineral salt, sourced from one of the last remaining salt mines in Europe,” she says. “The salts are extracted from an ancient, 250-million-year-old ocean 1,500 feet below the earth, and are untouched by environmental factors.”
Luxurious on its own—which, let me be clear, all of these are—this stress-relieving blend added a fresh aroma to my bath-time routine. It’s somehow soothing-yet-energizing and added a slightly cooling feel to my otherwise very warm bath (yes, I realize there’s a lot of contradictions here—it’s just my experience!).
Plus, by rounding out my bath-time experience with four different salts, my skin felt super nourished and soft afterward. And if it wasn’t clear already, I no longer just like the idea of baths. You know where to find me!
Top photo: Getty Images/John Dowland and Lauren Abbazzio; Graphic: Well+Good Creative