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Keeping Your Body Clean

Relaxing:
The ultimate relaxing bath is around 38 degrees Centigrade; this is the temperature that's been shown to relax the muscles and stimulate the production of calming chemicals in the brain. Add soothing bath oils containing scents like lavender, melissa and patchouli.

  • Before you get in the bath gently exfoliate with a loofah, as this will help your body absorb relaxing oils a lot more effectively.
  • Turn down the lights, pop some candles round the bath if you like, or float some flower petals on the top.
  • Stay in there for 20 to 30 minutes, enjoying the peace and silence.

Soothing:
Back and shoulder aches seem to be a common part of many peop-le's working lives but you can help to heal these things in the bath. Epsom or sea salts contain ingredients that, when absorbed by the body, have an anti-inflammatory action. Add to this the healing benefits of hot water and it's easy to see how a bath can soothe away the aches and pains of the day.

  • Run water of around 38 degrees Centigrade and add some Epsom salts or mineral-based bath salts.
  • Lie under the water and try a spot of hydrotherapy. Turn the shower head on at full blast and put it into the water, directing the jet onto your back and shoulders to give an excellent underwater massage.

Smoothing:
Baths can help you create super smooth skin, if you know how. Try out the following suggestions:

  • Start with damp skin and apply an exfoliating scrub to remove the dead skin cells.
  • Run a bath that's warm enough to sit in comfortably, but not too hot (hot water will only dehydrate the skin).
  • Add a pint of milk or cream. These contain ingredients like whey protein which hydrate the skin.
  • Relax for 20 minutes (the optimum time for hydration) and gently massage the water into your skin.
  • Get out and lightly pat yourself dry.
  • Before the last drops of water absorb into your skin, apply a rich body lotion.

Energising:
Most of us use the bath to relax and the shower to give us that get up and go, but it doesnt have to be that way. Sitz baths (where the upper and lower body are exposed to different temperatures) have been used for years to energize and invigorate the body. Here's how to create the effect.

  • Run a bath warm enough to sit in. Put in energizing bath foams or oils concentrating scents like lemon, orange or grapefruit.
  • Before you get in, brush your body vigorously to start your circulation soaring. Use firm quick strokes, moving up towards the heart.
  • Get in the bath and relax for five to ten minutes with a cup of peppermint or green tea, with your feet at the end near the taps.
  • Start running cold water over your feet to boost your metabolism and to energize. Get out when the water has cooled.
  • Apply body lotion and you'll be set to face the day.

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