If showering is a sprint, taking a bath (assuming you have access to a large-enough, clean-enough tub) is like a leisurely promenade on a warm day. The only real reason to do it is to relax (ever tried washing your hair during a bath?—doesn't work). So make an event out of it: Pour yourself a glass of wine, tune your Jambox to Rhye, light just enough candles so that you've got ample mood lighting but not a fire hazard...and before hopping in, all but empty one of those CVS bargain bags of Epsom salt into the water. No, the packaging isn't ideal, but if there's been one Top Shelf recommendation that has changed our collective bath technique, this is it. And why not use it as a jumping-off point for a whole bevy of bath add-on recipes in the process? Hey, if you get a little wine in your bath, we hear that’s pretty good in the anti-aging department as well.
To Moisturize: Epsom Salt + Coconut Oil
Actress Phoebe Tonkin told us in her Top Shelf, the oilier she goes to bed the better. Along with an entire box of Epsom salts, she adds a cup of coconut oil. “I just dip my hands in and scoop the coconut oil out of the jar with my hands. It melts in the bath, and then when you get out, it’s all over your body.”
To Relax: Epsom Salt + Lavender Oil
For a more aromatherapeutic experience, Topaz Page-Green, founder of The Lunchbox Fund, adds a couple of drops of lavender oil to her Epsom salt bath. Lavender not your thing? Sage is another good one. The combination detoxifies your body via Epsom salts and your mind with calming sleepy-time scents. “It’s so relaxing and healthy...and $1.99!”
To Detox: Epsom Salt + Hydrogen Peroxide
Another favorite of artist Evie Falci and actress Liv Tyler is the combination of Epsom salt and hydrogen peroxide. Says Tyler: “I take a couple of baths a week where I use a whole box of Epsom salts and either a bottle of hydrogen peroxide or a packet of baking soda. Equal parts salt and hydrogen peroxide. It makes you sweat all of the toxins out and all of the bad stuff. I learned about it from a hippie-natural-amazing pediatrician, actually, for when kids get sick.”
Image by ITG.