5 DIY Ways to upgrade your next bath

Soak it all in: Five DIY baths that help with muscle aches, dry skin—the works!

Of course a bath lets you relax, but did you know that it can deliver other perks? Natural ingredients turn tub time into a therapeutic experience, says Christine Choi Kim, MD, a dermatologist in Santa Monica. “Give your brain the right cues by dimming the lights and turning on soothing music.” Here, Dr. Kim’s bath hacks. (Got sensitive skin? Test essential oils on forearm first.)

1. If you crave a good night's sleep

Add: Chamomile + lavender

Why: Lavender is well-known for its relaxing effects; chamomile brings more soothing power and can lower stress hormone levels.

How-to: Put ½ cup of dried crushed lavender and five chamomile tea bags into the tub. Steep for five minutes; remove tea bags before bathing.

2. If you want more energy

Add: Peppermint oil + lemon

Why: The peppermint essential oil's aroma can lead to increased alertness, while the scent of lemon may enhance positive chemical reactions in the brain.

How-to: Juice five lemons into the water, then add 5 to 10 drops of peppermint oil. Inhale deeply to feel refreshed.

3. If you have a bad cold

Add: Eucalyptus + tea tree oils

Why: Breathing in eucalyptus essential oil can break down mucus, according to Dr. Kim. When inhaled, tea tree oil acts as a decongestant.

How-to: Add 5 to 10 drops of each. Kick back and feel your sinuses open up.

4. If your muscles are really sore

Add: Lavender + epsom salt

Why: The magnesium in Epsom salt may ease muscle pain, explains Dr. Kim, while the lavender can help reduce inflammation in stiff, tired muscles.

How-to: Mix 1 cup of Epsom salt and ½ cup of dried lavender into a full bath; soak for 20 minutes.

5. If you dream of softer skin

Add: Powdered milk + honey + oatmeal

Why: The fat and protein in powdered whole milk hydrate, honey helps retain moisture, and oatmeal calms skin and prevents eczema.

How-to: Combine 1 cup of finely ground oatmeal, ½ cup of honey and 1 cup of whole powdered milk, then pour into bath.

via Health.com

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