There is nothing I love more than sinking into a nice warm bath after a long, hard day. Something about the heat and the water seems to just melt all your stresses away (and the wine, the wine helps too).
Since developing eczema I’ve been told that if I want to enjoy my precious baths, that the recommended bath time is 5-10 minutes. However, through sheer determination and perhaps a shred of pigheadedness I’ve seen to it that a warm bath is never wasted.
So if you’re a bath lover like me, here are three bath recipes for you to enjoy that will soothe the itch – guilt and timer free!
The Tried and True Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal for skin care use has been documented as far back to 2000BC and still continues to this day. With anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, an oatmeal bath is perfect for people with sensitive skin or skin disorders.
- 3/4 cup of raw, unflavored oats
- grinder (optional)
- muslin bag or a pair of pantyhose (optional)
Follow along, it’s simple!
You’ve got two options for making this milky, soothing bath.
1. Grind the oats up into a fine powder, this will ensure the oats will dissolve completely rather than sinking to the bottom. Test that the oats are fine enough by taking a tablespoon and stirring it into a bowl of warm water. If the oatmeal dissolves without much effort and the water turns a milky color – you’re good to go!
2. Put whole oats into a muslin bag or a pair of unwanted pantyhose. Essentially, this will act much like a tea bag – infusing the water with its wholesome goodness. Squeeze the bag often for faster infusion. Muslin bags are much cleaner method than the ground oats, as all the oats stay contained.
Pour the ground oats or place the bag in the bath while it’s filling at a comfortable temperature. Then sit back, relax, and let those worries and itches melt away!
Devoted to the ocean Salt Bath
Salt baths are known for their wide variety of benefits.
From pain relief to antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, its no wonder that salt baths have been praised for ages. Try 1/2 a cup for a simple relaxing bath or up the salt concentration to promote healing of eczema and other ailments.
- 1/2 cup – 3+ cups of sea salt
- 1 – 2 cups of Epsom salts
Pour in the salt while the bath is running, light that candle, grab a glass of wine and let the minerals do their thing!
Sea Salt vs. Epsom Salt vs Table Salt
The options are relatively endless when it comes to what kind of salt to bathe in. Natural, unprocessed sea salts are the most renowned, as they contain trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium chloride, potassium, and bromides; all of which are absorbed through the skin during your bath. Magnesium binds water to the skin, promoting skin cell growth and permeability. Calcium increases circulation and strengthens bones and nails. Potassium balances skin moisture and is a vital mineral to replace after intense exercise, and bromides ease and relax stiff muscles.
Not sure which to try?
- Dead Sea Salt – perhaps the most famous bathing salt. A white salt only found in a saline lake located 400 meters below sea level; claims to be richer in minerals than other sea salts.
- Sel Gris Sea Salt – an unprocessed grey sea salt hand harvested off the coast of France.
- Alaea Sea Salt – an unprocessed Hawaiian reddish-brown salt enriched with volcanic clay.
- Himalayan Pink Sea Salt – ancient sea salt found in the mountains of northern Pakistan, this pink salt made its mark on the world while boasting 84 trace minerals.
Epsom salts claim the same health benefits of natural sea salt and can be a handy alternative if you do not have easy access to large amounts of sea salt. Epsom salt is high in magnesium and sulfates, with magnesium aiding in skin cell growth and sulfates being essential for the production of collagen (which maintains healthy skin, hair, and nails) and plays an important role for forming proteins in the joints.
- Try plain epsom salts, rather than the ones laced with fragrances which could further irritate your skin.
Table salt should be avoided as it is heavily processed. Minerals are removed until it is pure sodium chloride and then an additive is added to prevent clumping. The benefits to bathing in table salt are slim, as opposed to sea salt and epsom salt -so do your skin a favor and go for the good stuff.
A word of warning: Avoid when pregnant. Avoid sea salt baths and if you have hypertension or respiratory conditions. Open wounds may cause stinging and minor discomfort. Salt baths can be demanding on your circulatory system, consult your doctor if you suffer from weak or poor heart circulation.
Island Vibes Coconut Bath
With honey’s antibacterial properties as well as coconut’s punch with vitamins C and E; honey and coconut form the power duo your skin will be thankful for!
Vitamin C plays a vital role in collagen synthesis (the protein needed for healthy skin, nails, and hair) as well as potentially helping treat and prevent ultraviolet (UV) damage. Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant that cannot be produced by the body. These powerful antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and prevent cellular damage.
- 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk*
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
Mix the honey, coconut oil and coconut milk together in a bowl. Placing the mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds will help soften the honey and allow it to mix and dissolve easier.
Pour the mixture into a running bath, then grab your pina colada smoothie (or perhaps something a bit…harder), sink on down and enjoy!
*Milk may be used as a substitute for coconut milk
For Some extra bath love try:
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 5-10 drops of essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, rose, or sandalwood*
- 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda*
*Essential oils may cause skin irritation, especially if you are sensitive to salicylates. Pregnant women as well as those with diabetes or high blood pressure should consult a doctor before adding essential oils or baking soda to bath water.
So there we have it: three itch busting baths guaranteed to satisfy any bath lover! Be sure to end every bath with a good moisturizer like this DIY Eczema Body Butter and then climb into your favorite fuzzy pajamas – you’ve earned it.
Health & Happiness