The Perfect Valentine's Bath
For the last two years, Mr. Handsome and I have rejected the cheesy restaurant dinner-for-two V-Day ritual in favor of a more intimate party at home. I have to say, I love it. We get a nice bottle of bubbly, our favorite takeaway and he draws me the perfect bath. This didn’t happen automatically, BTW. Like so many other things, you have to teach your SO how to make the magic happen for you. If you’re not sure how you’d like to be pampered in the tub, this post can serve as a guide for the uninitiated. Better yet, just forward this email, we’ll take it from here.
STEP ONE: YOU’RE SOAKING IN IT. Even if you bathe infrequently, your tub probably needs a bit of a clean before you fill it. IMPORTANT: Don’t use harsh or abrasive cleaners unless you fancy opening your pores up to a nasty chemical bath. We recommend a quick spritz with a plant based cleaner so you don’t absorb any harsh chemicals through your skin. Just spray and wipe and you’re ready to go.
STEP TWO: GATHER YOUR STUFF. I use a caddy to hold my soaps, oils and a book, but I also employ a little bathing stool for things like my iPad and an extra towel.
STEP 3: CREATE YOUR OWN BATHTUB COCKTAIL. Bath oils? Salts? Maybe even a little bubble? We all have our favorites. My top tip is to avoid anything too greasy in the water, which will leave you with an oily ring around the tub. Likewise, too many bubbles can leave your skin dry. And if you add bath salts, choose one with a fine grain instead of course or you’ll feel like you’re sitting on sharp little rocks in the tub. Not relaxing.
A WORD ABOUT TEMPERATURE. The perfect bath temperature is a personal thing, but I always like to err on the side of cooler, especially when I’m drawing a bath for someone else. The trick here is to only fill the tub halfway with warm water (never cold) and let the Bather adjust by filling the tub to suit.
GET BUFF. I like to do a dry brush session before bathing. It removes dead skin and also revs up your circulatory and lymphatic systems. This means your hot bath isn’t just relaxing, it’s therapeutic! Nice.
SET THE SCENE. For me, relaxation almost never involves a glaring artificial light. Unfortunately, the bathroom in our rental lacks a dimmer switch (it’s either off or full on, so before I get in, I light a few candles to add to set the mood.
SHUT THE DOOR. This is especially important if you have small children. Kids have radar that goes off whenever Mom is about to do something for herself and they’ll want in! DO NOT LET THEM IN. This is Mommy time, which is essential to recharge your batteries. Have them do an activity with Dad, start a movie or get a baby-sitter if you have to, but do not open that door unless the house is on fire. You need the steam from the bath to raise the ambient temperature in the room anyway if you want a good sweat. But mostly…no kids.
REHYDRATE. A good hot bath will get your heart pumping; make you sweat and even burn calories (!). Make sure you replenish your fluids (sorry, wine doesn’t count) with plenty of Spa Water after a bath. Pat dry and slather on a good body oil or body butter while your skin is still slightly damp to seal in the moisture.
OK, that’s it. After at least 20 minutes of soaking you should be ready for sleep or a romantic night! Either way, your skin will be glowing from head to toe and you will be in a much better mood than before you went into the tub.
Happy V-Day, Lovers!