Life for a busy gal in the biz can be hectic and exhausting. I like to remind my clients and customers to make time to relax. It keeps your immunity up, helps you sleep (which has loads of other benefits), keeps your hormones regulated, and just plain feels nice. Not to mention how much healthier you look when you’re relaxed.
A simple way to do this is a nice hot bath. Soothing, warming, relaxing… (dreamy sigh). At the end of a long day, or on a brisk, cool night, it can’t be beat.
When it comes to baths, most people will put the plug in the tub, run the water and call it good. Which is perfectly fine, and I do it on many occasions as well. But often I like to be creative and get some added benefits from my soak. My all time favorite bath is a milk bath. It’s simple, quick, and for just a few dollars can turn your regular bathtub into an all out spa treatment.
Why milk? Milk contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, which aids in exfoliation. It helps soften and break up the ‘glue’ that holds rough, dead skin cells together. Milk also contains beneficial lipids, proteins and vitamins that moisturize and nurture the skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.
So how does one make a milk bath? It can be as simple as adding two cups of most any milk to a warm bath. Buttermilk is particularly moisturizing. You’ll receive fewer benefits from low or non fat milk, but they still contain the lactic acid. And I always suggest going organic if possible.
My little secret? I actually keep cans of evaporated milk and a box of powdered milk in my bathroom. I add one can of milk, plus a few hearty shakes of the box of powdered milk when the tub is about half full. Swirl around, sit and enjoy! For added exfoliation, use a loofah to softly scrub your skin after about 10 minutes. You’ll feel ever so soft when you’re done.
Vegans can use non-dairy substitutes such as soy, almond or (my personal favorite) coconut milk. You won’t be getting the lactic acid, but each has it’s own unique and relaxing benefits.
If you want even more benefits from your soaking experience, you can add other ingredients to your milk bath (or you can add them without the milk). Want a bit of a pick me up? Add a few peppermint tea bags to the mix. Want to relax more? I love adding several drops of lavender essential oil (found at most health stores). Extra moisture? Add a tablespoon or two of honey. Particularly dry or itchy skin? Add a cup of plain instant oatmeal. Sore muscles? Good ol’ Epsom salt.
Just remember, after you’re done soaking, you’ll want to remember to thoroughly rinse yourself and the tub. You don’t want to smell of spoiled milk after all!
So after a long day of meetings, pitches, auditions, writing, rehearsing… Do yourself a favor and take the time to indulge. Not only will your mind thank you, but your soft, glowing skin will be an added bonus. Try it tonight! Then come back and tell me how you liked it.