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Stop scrolling, start soaking—your *ultimate* guide to the best bath

Because a hair mask + tub time is the only multi-tasking we approve of rn

Our fave wintertime activity is officially a warm, cozy bath (sorry, snowball fights). We're swapping bibbles for skin-nourishing milks and topknots for hair-hydrating masks. Get the water running...


image: @thegirlfriendletter

TUB TIME TO-DOS

With hours spent in virtual classes and scrolling through your phone, your brain is always on. But the last thing you want to do in the bath is keep thinking. Here's how to create the ultimate wind-down ambiance...

SET THE SCENE

Kill the harsh overhead lights in your bathroom and light a calming candle or three. Then, set your fluffliest towels by the tub and put your favorite PJs nearby. Turn on some music and just breathe.


image: @baukjen

PICK YOUR POTION

Just not bubbles, an-y-thing but bubbles. "Surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate are often used to create the foamy effect," says dermatologist Dr. Naissan O. Wesley. These chemicals can lead to irritated skin, especially if they're mixed with artificial fragrances. If you can't bear a soak without piles of sides, try a  hypoallergenic option, like The Honest Company Truly Calming Bubble Bath Lavender ($12, Target).

GET BUFFED

Flaky, dry skin? Ugh, same. Meet your new weapon against winter: the dry brush (we love Spa Verde Natural Boar Bristle Body Brush, $25, spaverde.com). Gently brushing your skin in circular motions before you even hop in the bath of shower loosens clogged pores and helps exfoliate the top layers of your skin, explains Dr. Wesley.

APPLY A MASK TO YOUR MANE

Make that steam and downtime work for you by applying a hair mask that will nourish and hydrate your steands. The longer you let it do its thing, the more benefits you'll see (go to girlslife.com/iti for the perfect pick for each hair type).


image: @olehenriksen

HEY, ADD A FACE MASK, TOO

Don't forget to pamper your face. pick something calming that you can leave on for your entire bath like Tonymoly I'm Honey Deep Moisture Rescue Mask ($15, ulta.com).

CHILL!

There are so many amazing apps, like Calm and Headspace, that will talk you through how to relax you body and mind. Plus, it's easier to focus on somenone's voice than it is to force your mind to drift off to nothing.


image: @mermaidme.de

SHOWER 'N' SCRUB

When you're done soaking, take a warm shower and use a washcloth to polish off any remaining dead skin cells on your face and body. "A washcloth will do a final, gentle exfoliation without scratching or irritating," says Dr. Wesley.

SEAL IN THE GOODNESS

"Moisturizing your body while your skin is still damp helps trap water on the skin's surface and restores your natural moisture barrier," says Dr. Wesley. Look for a body butter with ingredients like shea butter, vitamin E and aloe vera leaf juice to hydrate and nourish your skin.


image: @fragrancefoundationuk

MILK BATHS

Are the new bath bombs


image: @noam_tchotchke

According to historians, Cleopatra used to bathe in donkey milk on the daily back in ancient Egypt to keep her skin looking amazing. Given that she lived in the desert, just imagine what milk can do for *your* winter-weary bod. Since you probably don't have a donkey on hand, try SheaMoisture's hydrating and calming Coconut Milk Bath Powder ($11, sheamoisture.com) for your next soak. Or DIY it by combining 2 cups whole milk, 1/4 cup honey and a few drops of essential oil, then add the mixture to your warm bath.

YOUR DIY SPA TOOLKIT


Crisscross Scruff Slippers in Leopard Recycled Faux Fur, $40, madewell.com


Sunnylife Shower Bluetooth Speaker, $25, sunnylife.com


PB Teen Unicorn Faux-Fur Robe, $99, pbteen.com


Illume Coconut Milk Mango Demi Vanity Tin Candle, $10, illumecandles.com


Grace & Stella Waterproof Bath Pillow, $19, urbanoutfitters.com


Tarte Sugar Rush Cake Butter Whipped Body Butter, $28, tartecosmetics.com


I Dew Care Keep Calm & Hydrate On Mask, $24 for 10, amazon.com

YOUR BATH TIME PLAYLIST


image: @scentbird

Looking for a lo-fi vibe? We've curated the *ultimate* musical lineup for your next self-care sesh (dw, Folklore and Evermore vibes abound). Check it out at girlslife.com/iti. Just hit play and relax... 

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our February/March 2021 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

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by Erin Reimel | 2/12/2021
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