Hydrating Bath Hacks For Dry, Itchy Skin

Hydrating Bath Hacks For Dry, Itchy Skin 1

TRY THESE 7 TRICKS TO SOOTHE AND REHYDRATE YOUR SKIN

Working long hours and juggling the challenges of going to school or raising a family can quickly become exhausting. At the end of a long day, sometimes you’re so overwhelmed that all you can manage to do is eat dinner and flop down in bed.

Eating regular meals and getting a good night’s sleep are necessities, not indulgences, but sometimes the idea of taking time to do what’s good for us feels selfish. In reality, however, self-care is just as necessary for your health and well-being as food and sleep.

Making time for self-care actually improves your ability to physically and mentally handle the stressors in your life and there’s no better form of self-care than a hot bath.

There’s just something about a hot bath that creates a sense of calmness. Soaking in the tub, even for just 2o minutes, helps your mind and body relax and reset. It’s the perfect end to a long day and a great way to recharge on the weekend or during a day off.

But baths aren’t just good for your soul – they’re good for your skin! They can be, anyway, if you do them right. In this post, you’ll learn the benefits of taking hot baths and how to use baths to hydrate and soothe your dry and itchy skin. You’ll even learn about key bathing mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

7 Benefits of Taking a Hot Bath

Taking a shower is typically seen as a daily necessity while taking a bath is an indulgence. Perhaps it’s because showers seems like a more active undertaking while taking a bath allows you to sit back and relax.

Relaxation is the key benefit of taking a hot bath, but it isn’t the only benefit. In fact, taking a hot bath has benefits for your mind as well as your body and your skin.

Here are 7 potential skin benefits of taking a hot bath:

1| It Soothes Your Muscles and Joints

Heat has a soothing effect on sore muscles and stiff joints which is what makes hot baths so effective for pain relief.

Whether you’re recovering after a tough workout or just seeking relief from the aches and pains of the day, a hot bath might be just what you need. When you’re feeling relaxed and pain-free, you’re less likely to make repetitive facial movements that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.

2| It can be a healthy bedtime routine

Self-care often seems indulgent at first but if you make it a habit you’ll learn how to enjoy the activity for what it is – a chance to relax. Taking a hot bath is an excellent addition to a healthy bedtime routine because it helps prepare your mind and body for sleep.

Going through the motions of preparing a bath takes your brain out of work mode and spending even just 20 minutes soaking can help you get sleepy enough for bed.

not only does a nightly routine prepare your mind and body for sleep, but it gets your skin ready for the restoration that happens overnight. A warm bath removes excess dirt and oils from your skin so they don’t clog your pores. You’ll wake with clearer, more vibrant skin in the morning.

3| It reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression

Taking a hot bath is supremely relaxing and the act of relaxation can improve both your mental health and your skin. Soaking in a hot bath gives you a mental break fro stress.

Simply being immersed in water can also have a calming effect on the nervous system. These effects may help improve your mood and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression which, in turn, can benefit your skin health.

There’s a strong link between stress and skin problems like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Managing your anxiety with hot baths may help reduce your body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can contribute to a wide range of skin issues from dry, itchy skin to hyperpigmentation and dull skin tone.

4| It can be an act of meditation

If you’re constantly fighting the compulsion to be productive at all times, you might find that taking a bath forces you to slow down and take a break. As you’re soaking in the bath, close your eyes and focus on your senses. Feel the warmth of the water on your skin and notice how the tension in your muscles slowly slips away. It’s the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness or your preferred method of meditation.

As your mind and body become freed from stress during meditation, so does your skin. Meditation helps minimize the body’s inflammatory response, helping your skin retain more moisture to prevent dryness, dull skin tone, and inflammatory skin issues like rosacea and acne. Meditation can even slow down the aging process, making your skin look younger and more vibrant.

5| It may help alleviate respiratory symptoms

Between the changing of seasons and environmental aggressors, it sometimes feels like cold symptoms are always creeping in. When you start to feel that scratchiness developing in your throat or you begin to feel congested, a hot bath might be the solution. Breathing in the steam helps clear the nasal passages while submerging your body in water past your chest can boost circulation and oxygen intake.

When your respiratory symptoms are no longer plaguing you, you can breathe more deeply to supply your body (and your skin) with the oxygen it needs for optimal health. Deep breathing eliminates carbon dioxide from the body and supplies the tissues and cells with oxygen and nutrient rich blood.

Improved circulation can benefit your skin by reducing breakouts, balancing uneven skin tone, and reducing dark circles and puffiness.

6| It can help improve sleep quality

As part of a nightly bedtime routine, taking a bath helps prepare your mind and body for sleep which can improve overall sleep quality. When your body is relaxed and your mind is unburdened of stress, you’ll be able to fall asleep more quickly and benefit from a fuller night of deeper, more restorative sleep. Even if you’re only able to indulge in a warm foot bath before bed instead of a full bath you could reap the same benefits.

Quality sleep is essential for healthy skin because most of the skin’s rejuvenation happens at night. When you’re asleep, the body produces collagen which gives the skin structure. Blood flow increases overnight as well which helps the skin recover from age spots or wrinkles and repair damage from UV exposure.

7| It may help boost your immune system

The human body is designed to regulate its own internal temperature but there are certain times when a ligher or lower than normal body temperature is beneficial. When you’re trying to fall asleep, for example, a lower body temperature can be helpful. When it comes to immunity, however, elevated body temperature might help.

There’s two way link between immunity and skin health. The skin is one of your body’s primary defenses, forming a physical barrier against harmful pathogens that might make you sick. When your immune system is strong, it’s able to fight off infections that could negatively affect your skins as well as your overall health.

While taking a hot bath is the epitome of indulgence and can be great for your mental health, it can sometimes be tough on your skin.

Frequent bathing is hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils and contribute to irritation and inflammation. It can even make chronic skin conditions like eczema worse. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the occasional hot bath. It just might be worth using bath additives to counteract the potential negative effects of hot water on your skin.

You may even enjoy benefits like softer, smoother skin with the right additive!

7 Bathing Additives for Hydrating and Soothing Dry, Itchy Skin

Whether you’re hoping to address dry, itchy skin or just looking for a way to relax and destress, a hot batch is the way to go. but how hot is too hot? Ideally, your bath water should be just a few degrees warmer than your body temperature – about 104-113F (40-45C) to reap the maximum benefit without drying out your skin.

Once you’ve found the right temperature for your bath, the next step is the add the ingredients to relieve stress and sooth your dry itchy skin.

Here are 7 things to try:

1| Dried Flowers and Flower Plants

Dried flower petals offer aromatherapeutic benefits for stress relief but may also provide skin benefits, depending on which flowers you use. Rose petals help hydrate dry, itchy skin while lotus flowers may help soften rough skin. Sunflowers can help restore damaged skin and calendula flowers offer antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties which can be beneficial for sensitive, irritated and acne-prone skin.

You can purchase dried flowers and flower petals for your bath online or dry your own at home from fresh flowers. While dried flowers may yield a more concentrated aroma, you can also use fresh flowers and flower petals.

2| Olive or Avocado Oil

Bath oil is a popular item in boutique beauty shops and at-home spa packages. You don’t have to pay boutique prices, however, to enjoy the hydrating and skin-softening benefits of bath oil. Simply adding olive oil or avocado oil to your bathwater works just as well.

Olive oil is rich in fatty acids that can help moisturize the skin, especially when hot water from the bath opens the pores. It also offers anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits which may help speed collagen production and aid wound healing. Avocado oil offers similar benefits but is also a rich source of vitamin E. Just use caution when adding oil to your bath because it may make the tub – and your skin – slippery.

3| Fresh Rosemary or Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary has been shown to boost circulation and decrease inflammation, both of which can help improve and protect your skin health. It also offers mental health benefits such as stress relief and mood balancing when used in aromatherapy. You can add rosemary to your bath using sprigs of the fresh herb or using pure rosemary essential oil.

4| Eucalyptus or Tea Tree Oil

Like many oils, both eucalyptus and tree oils help trap moisture within the skin to promote long-lasting hydration. Adding these oils to your bath water may help restore your skin’s natural moisture barrier to prevent your skin from becoming dry and itchy. Simply purchase pure (ideally USDA organic) eucalyptus or tea tree oil and add a few drops to your bath water.

Some studies suggest eucalyptus oil may help boost ceramide production in the skin which can further improve the skin’s defenses against moisture loss. It may also have healing and soothing benefits for inflammatory skin concerns like sunburn and minor skin sounds. Tea tree oil’s primary skin benefit is related to its antibacterial properties. It can be used to treat acne, athlete’s foot, and nail fungus.

5| Fresh Lavender or Lavender Essential Oil

Primarily known for its relaxation benefits, lavender is a great addition to a hot bath. This herb has also been known to offer detoxyfying, healing, and anti-inflammatory skin benefits. You can add lavender to your bath using cuttings of the fresh herb, dried lavender flowers, or pure lavender essential oil.

6| Sliced Citrus

Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, and grapefruit are known for their astringent and antiseptic properties. If you have acne-prone skin, adding sliced citrus or a few drops of citrus essential oil to your bathwater could help cleanse and tone your skin. Citrus fruits are also rich in vitamin C which may have a brightening effect on the skin.

In addition to its skin-boosting benefits, citrus has many properties which make it great for aromatherapy. Adding a few drops of citrus essential oil or slices of fresh citrus to your bath can help lift your mood and invigorate your mind. These refreshing fragrances are ideal for morning baths when you need something to wake you up.

7| Cinnamon Sticks

Like citrus, cinnamon has revitalizing and uplifting properties which can benefit your mood when added to a bath. The skin benefits of cinnamon are largely linked to it antioxidant properties. Adding cinnamon sticks to your bath may help reduce issues with acne and hyperpigmentation – it may even help decrease the visible signs of aging.

Bonus: Hydrating Milk Bath

Hot water can strip your skin of the natural oils that hydrate and protect it. Rather than avoiding hot baths entirely, why not replace your bath water with something that actually benefits your skin? Milk has been used for bathing for centuries, most notably by Nefertiti and Queen Cleopatra herself.

Milk baths can hydrate and soothe the skin. Depending on what other ingredients you add, they can help heal wounds, reduce inflammation, and delay the visible signs of aging.

INGREDIENTS

  • Warm water
  • 1-2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 cup colloidal oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Epsom salt
  • Essential oil (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by filling your bathtub with warm water – it should be neither hot nor cold.
  2. Sprinkle in one to two cups of powdered milk – you can also use whole milk or buttermilk. Powdered soy milk and coconut milk are good animal-free alternatives.
  3. To soothe dry and itchy skin, add a cup of colloidal oatmeal and 1/2 cup avocado oil.
  4. Sprinkle in 1/2 to 1 cup of Epsom salt to relieve pain and relax the muscles.
  5. For aromatherapy benefits, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  6. Stir everything in, using your hand to mix the water.
  7. Settle into the bath and soak for 20-30 minutes.
  8. When you’re finished, gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

5 Moisture- Robbing Bathing Mistakes

With the right additive, a warm bath can help soothe and rehydrate dry, itchy skin. Unfortunately, it may not have much lasting benefit if you go right back to your bad bathing habits afterward. The wrong water temperature, body wash, or exfoliation routine could be making matters worse for your skin.

The act of taking a shower or a bath seems simple enough but it deserves a little more thought than you might be giving it – especially if you already have dry skin.

Here are 5 moisture-robbing mistakes you might be making and what you should be doing instead.

1| Using water that’s too hot

As wonderful as it feels to stand under a hot shower on a cold day, you’re not doing your skin any favors with the the indulgence. Hot water can strip the essential oils and proteins from your skin that help lock in moisture and protect against irritation. Instead of turning the dial as hot as it will go, keep the water warm – just a few degrees above body temperature is ideal.

2| Use soap or body wash formulated for sensitive skin

You don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune on body wash, but don’t skimp with drugstore products that are loaded with synthetic fragrance and chemical additives. Harsh ingredients can irritate and even damage your skin, compromising its ability to retain moisture. Look for a product made for sensitive skin to ensure that it will be gentle. At the very least, choose a fragrance free option.

3| Don’t exfoliate your skin every day

Body scrups can help slough away dead skin cells to leave your skin soft and smooth but there should be a balance to it. Exfoliating too often can damage the skin’s protective moistire barrier and contribute to dryness. The drier your skin gets, the flakier and more irritated it gets and additional exfoliation will only make matters worse. Consider switching to a gentle chemical exfoliant or limit your body scrubs to once or twice a week.

If you want to enjoy the skin-boosting benefits of gentle exfoliation, consider making your own body scrub. Making a DIY body scrub enables you to customize the recipe with hydrating ingredients to relieve and prevent dry skin. Combine 1/2 cup pf granulated sugar with 1/4 cup each of rolled oats and avocado or olive oil. Add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of dried herbs like honey and a tablespoon of dried herbs like sage for aroma then combine the ingredients in a glass jar.

4| Try to keep your showers short

A good shower or long bath can be relaxing, but avoid the temptation to stay for too long. It sounds counterintuitive, but the longer your skin is exposed to water – especially hot water – the more likely it is to become irritated or dry. Aim to keep your showers short, around 10 minutes at most. Baths can be a little longer if you add the right hydrating ingredients, around 20 minutes.

5| Be gentle when drying off and always moisturize

It’s important to be gentle with your skin while you’re in the shower but don’t throw all that care out the window when you push aside the shower curtain. Carefully pat yourself dry instead of rubbing at your skin. It’s even better if you don’t dry off completely and apply body cream or lotion while your skin is still slightly damp. The moisture will help your skin absorb the lotion and bolster the skin’s protective moisture barrier.

When it comes to choosing an after-shower moisturizer, consider using an ointment or cream rather than a basic body lotion. Thicker moisturizers tend to be more hydrating because they sit on top of the skin to protect against moisture loss. Look for a moisturizer that contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, vegetal glycerin, shea butter, or lactic acid.

Bonus Tip: Keep the bathroom door closed

If your skin starts to feel dry, start bathing or showering with the bathroom door closed. Keeping the door closed traps all that hot steam and increases the humidity in the room. Higher humidity levels help your skin retain more moisture and may help relieve issues with dry, itchy and irritated skin. If dry skin is a serious issue for you, you might even consider investing in a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.

Conclusion

When you’re soaking in a hot bath, you find the stresses and worries of your day slowly melting away. It’s the perfect end to a long day and a great way to indulge in a little self-care to give your mood a mid-week boost.

Not only can taking a bath improve your mood, but it may even benefit your skin. That is, of course, if you do it right.

Bathing in water that is too hot can strip your skin of it natural oils, so it’s important to keep your bathwater just a few degrees above body temperature. To improve the skin-soothing benefits of a warm bath, try adding colloidal oatmeal, olive oil, powdered milk, or Epsom salt.

And don’t forget to capitalize on bath-time as an opportunity to indulge in self-care. Adding dried flowers, herbs, or essential oils can have mood-boosting benefits.

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