Whether it’s in a Turkish hammam, a Japanese onsen (or hot spring), a Russian bath, or—in my case—a cramped New York City apartment-sized shower, bathing is universal. Even though it’s become a ritual in so many cultures, in day-to-day life, it often feels more like a chore. Cleansing our bodies seems to be the lowest rung on the self-care totem pole, with skin care and hair treatments stealing all the spotlight.
Bathing Culture, a new-ish personal care brand, wants to change that and bring the joy back to showering. “Bathing is a uniquely shared human experience,” says Tim Hollinger, the brand’s co-founder. “It’s a moment to relax and have fun and be joyful as we all get clean.” The brand wants your bathtub to be a place you look forward to getting into, and so they concocted body-care products to spice things up while you’re in there. “One of the most sold personal care products by volume in the United States is actually body wash—but we saw it wasn’t something people were really paying attention to,” says Hollinger. “No one was really elevating it, especially in the realm of not only personal health but planetary health.”
Since Bathing Culture itself hails from northern California, they wanted to somehow bottle that essence up—so people can channel a downpour in the Redwood Forest from their shower stream. “We love going out to hot springs or taking outdoor showers or hiking in the Redwoods,” says Hollinger. “I love being out in rainstorms—I wanted all of this and the celebration of nature in a bottle.” He points to American bathing culture as including things like jumping into swimming holes, dancing in sprinklers, Slip N’ Slides, all of which also serve as inspo for the products. The Mind and Body Wash ($20), for example, smells like a pine needles that have been soaked in a fresh lake after a big rain, while the Dipsea Soak ($30) has actual California Pacific sea salt infused with a scent that I’d imagine a mermaid to smell like.
“Our goal is to bring people together in this ritual of transforming from dirty to clean, and the feeling of being hugged by water,” says Hollinger. All of which is being done via bottles that are made of 100 percent recycled material, and the brand’s offering refillable options for their body wash—all you have to do is go to a local retailer to refill with more to suds up with, which greatly cuts down on the use of plastic. “There’s nothing better than an unwinding bath—everyone has an amazing bathing story,” he gushes. Let’s make showering fun, shall we?
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