Your top bath and body care questions, answered
Updated: Nov 2, 2021
When should you add bath salts, to a full tub or under the running water as the tub is filling? Should you rinse your face in cold water after doing a facial to tighten the pores? Do you have to wash your body before using an exfoliating scrub?
People are always contacting me to ask bath-product-related questions, and sometimes they are sheepish about it as if they should already know the answer...even though there may be no 'right' way to do things, and for every person asking, ten more are likely just wondering in silence! Since we can only post so many FAQs, so it's high time to answer some of your top questions in a blog post!
Why the reluctance to just ask about bath stuff?
There’s something about bath time, spa rituals, using skin care products etc. that can make us feel a little vulnerable or even sheepish, kind of like when we go to the wax bar and wonder if the technician has really ever seen that before. No one wants to stand out or seem ignorant, yet of course, everyone wants to make sure they’re using a product properly and getting the maximum benefit - a vulnerable spot to be in. When it comes to handmade bath and body care products, the problem is made worse by the fact that labels aren’t always complete or comprehensive (guilty as charged), not because the maker is necessarily hiding anything, but because of the challenges of getting ingredients, directions, French, Latin, and cute names to fit onto a small product label.
We think asking is always better than being in the dark about your products, even if the person you're asking is Google!
Answers to your top bath and body care questions
1. What is the ideal temperature for a bath? I am of the ‘as hot as you can stand’ school of thought, but the truth is that some people should NOT take scalding hot baths – people who are pregnant, who have certain medical conditions, and who have sensitive skin. In terms of the herbal benefits, they will not be diminished by the temperature of the bathwater either way – though we do find a hot bath more relaxing, and it will work to open pores more than cool water would, thus allowing better absorption of our skin-loving oils and ingredients.
2. Should I add my bath salts/bath bombs/bath tea to a full tub or put it right under the running water? Unlike bubble-based products that produce the most satisfying (and chemical-based) foam when poured under hot running water, with salt, it doesn’t matter; the product will dissolve the same way, either way. When using a bath tea bag, either oat-based or herb-based, giving it a periodic squeeze under the water during your bath will ensure a stronger brew, just like with the kind of tea you drink.
3. Do I need to wash my face before I use my mud mask? No, our mud mask is powerful enough that you don’t need a squeaky clean face first – the mineralized Dead Sea mud will pull the junk out of your pores very effectively, as long as your face is damp first. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend not cleansing prior to use, as the mask will work (and tingle) anyway, without the higher risk of irritation that comes with scrubbing first. PS after you take it off with a warm wet washcloth (the quickest and easiest way to remove clingy mud masks, which also aids in exfoliation), feel free to splash cool or cold water on afterwards to tighten pores even further!
4. Why do I get a bath tub ring when I soak with natural products? For a while we used Hawaiian Black Lava Salt in some of our bath products and whoa, you haven’t seen a bath tub ring until you’ve seen a black lava salt bathtub ring! But most natural products will leave a ring of some sort if they contain oils, even plant oils like the ones we use. This is because oil will cling to the sides of your tub along with any natural colour that may have been used in the product plus whatever has been cleansed off your body. Commercially produced bath bombs get around this with emulsifiers like PEG-80, which ensures even dispersal of oils through the water (you guessed it though, making oil and water mix well involves chemicals you may not want on your skin). For us, wiping out the tub is a very small price to pay for a great natural bath!
5. My SaltZ&Co soap doesn’t lather as well as Irish Spring. Our all natural glycerin soap base is super moisturizing and because it’s detergent-free, it doesn’t give the ‘big bubble’ lather you might be used to. However, if you use a bath pouf, it will maximize the amount of creamy lather and either way, glycerin soap is a great way to get a deep clean without drying or irritating your skin!
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to natural product questions. Do you have natural beauty questions of your own? Ask them here and we’ll answer them!