‘Tis the season for getting hygge in your home and binging everything Netflix has to offer. Another important self-care ritual to add to your checklist? Bath time. Not only can a regularly scheduled soak work wonders for your skin, but it’s also been shown in studies to boost your mood. And on days when it’s too cold and dark to get out of bed for a sweat sesh, it can totally be a place holder for the gym.
Science doesn’t just back this up, though. Baths are beloved by actresses like Jenny Slate, who starts her day in the tub and boss ladies like Heather Tierney of The Butcher’s Daughter, who prefers her wake-and-bathe ritual with a few drops of lavender bath oil and a side of jazz music.
“Sacred bathing brings the ancient tradition of meditation and prayer into the modern day ritual practice of a home bath, so that you can connect to Spirit daily and purify your energy,” writes Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D. about The Book of Sacred Baths by psychologist Paulette Kouffman Sherman. Plus, it’s a great way to press pause on a busy day.
So grab a cup of tea and your favorite book (or better yet, your waterproof Kindle) and slip into one of these five baths that are sure to warm you right up.
Keep scrolling for major tub inspiration.
Green tea bath
Green tea is chock-full of polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory properties (meaning: steeping in the green stuff could help to soothe your body after a particularly brutal HIIT class). “The vitamin B contained in green tea will soften the skin and the minerals in it will keep skin youthful,” says Susan Ciminelli, a New York City holistic skin-care expert. In other words: Dump that mug straight into your next bath.
Thinking about basil may have you craving a bowl of pasta instead of a relaxing bath, but #queen Madonna swears by the herb for her detoxing soaks. The anti-inflammatory green can be used straight up or in oil form to ease muscle pain and help you destress, so feel free to fully submerge into your own herb-scented oasis.
Activated charcoal has popped up everywhere from cocktails to pizza crust, and it’s quickly become one of the buzziest ingredients to grace the skin-care aisle. As it happens, a charcoal bath can have many of the same benefits. Applying charcoal topically can help coax impurities like dirt, oil, and blackheads from your pores, and according to Ciminelli it’s great for people with skin irritation or inflammation.
Sure, lounging in a tub filled with rose petals may make you feel like you’re one of the final two contestants on The Bachelor, but rosewater is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, it’s often recommended to reduce stress in skin, and according to Ciminelli, it also helps to promote optimal skin health. If picking apart an actual bouquet of roses doesn’t quite sound like your thing, try sprinkling in a rose essential oil or a rose bath oil instead—just make sure you don’t forget to scrub-a-dub-dub the actual tub when you’re finished.
What better way to turn your tub into an all-out sanctuary than by dropping in a few crystals? Larissa Thompson, founder of natural beauty brand Onda, swears by doing just that—along with a lighting few candles. She rocks steady with clear quartz, which can help clear out your mind and amethyst, which creates clean energy and keeps negativity away. You can also add some love-inducing rose quartz or stress-busting celestine to give your tub the most zen vibes possible.
Since you’ve got the bath thing covered, here are even more ways to make the rest of your bathroom feel like your own private spa. And if you’re looking to treat yourself to a seriously self-care packed ritual, here are five of our favorite face masks to wear while you bathe.