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Skincare for self-care

MANDI MAKES

Natural Living Made Simple

MANDI MAKES

Bathing Bliss: The Science-Backed Benefits for Skin, Stress, and Self-Care

Self-care challenge

Welcome to our bubbly oasis of self-care! Today, we're diving into the science behind something most of us can say we rarely get the opportunity for –taking a bath or a long, steamy shower. At Mandi Makes, we're all about embracing the science-backed benefits of these simple yet powerful self-care practices. So, grab your rubber duckies and bath salts because we're about to uncover the scientific marvels that await you in the tub or under the showerhead.

 

In the blog:

 

RELAXATION STATION


Picture this: after a hectic day, sinking into a warm bath or standing under a cascade of hot water in the shower. Ah, instant relaxation, right? But did you know there's solid science behind that blissful feeling? Bathing has been shown to have profound effects on our brain and mental well-being. We're talking about the real deal here – the kind of relaxation that lingers long after the bubbles have popped.

bath

Bathing triggers the release of endorphins, those magical feel-good hormones that help alleviate stress and anxiety. When you immerse yourself in warm water, your body's thermoregulatory system responds by activating a cascade of these magical stress-busting endorphins. These hormones (or neurotransmitters if you want to sound fancy) interact with receptors in your brain, creating feelings of euphoria and contentment. Sign me up!

 

A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that people who had a soak reported lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, than those who didn't. Cortisol is ramped up during times of stress, and consistently high levels can have some rather unwanted effects on both our mind and body. Bathing, or long hot showers, acts as a natural stress reliever, helping you to unwind and recharge after a long day. Your very own stress reliever right in your bathroom!

 

But, that’s not all! The warm water of a bath or shower can have a soothing effect on the nervous system, promoting even more relaxation and calmness. Research conducted at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK found that soaking in warm water for as little as 10 minutes can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Yes, please! This is because of the beautiful combination of sensory deprivation (the feeling of weightlessness in water) and the release of endorphins, which work together to create a sense of tranquillity and emotional well-being. I’m feeling relaxed just thinking about it.


 

SKIN REJUVENATION


Alright, let's dive into the world of skincare – because hey, our body's largest organ deserves some serious love! Bathing and showering aren't just about getting clean; they're like a spa day for your skin. They play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin by helping to cleanse and hydrate it.  And let me tell you, your skin is here for it!

 

bath

First off, warm water is like a magic wand for your pores. It's like opening the gates to let all the gunk and grime out. So, when you're soaking in that tub or standing under that steamy shower, you're not just washing away the day's dirt – you're giving your skin a deep cleanse that leaves it feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Warm water opens up the pores, allowing for a deeper cleanse to remove dirt, oil, and impurities.

 

But wait, there's more! Ever thought about adding a little something extra to your bath, like essential oils or botanical extracts? when you add natural ingredients like essential oils or botanical extracts to your bath, you're not just treating your senses to a delightful aroma – you're also nourishing your skin. Certain essential oils are like tiny warriors, fighting off acne-causing bacteria with their antimicrobial powers. And then there's lavender oil – the superhero of soothing. Studies have shown that it's not just about the calming aroma; it's about reducing inflammation and promoting wound healing. So, when you're lounging in that bath, you're not just pampering yourself – you're giving your skin the VIP treatment it deserves.

 

But hold onto your loofah, because we're not done yet! Research has also shown that bathing can boost your skin's hydration levels. Yup, you heard that right – soaking in water isn't just about getting wrinkly fingers; it's about locking in moisture and keeping your skin soft and supple. So next time you're debating whether to take a bath or shower, remember – it's not just about getting clean; it's about giving your skin the love and nourishment it craves.

 

So go ahead, lather up, splash around, and treat yourself to a little skincare indulgence. Your skin will thank you for it – and hey, who knows, you might just emerge from that bathroom feeling like a radiant goddess!


 

SOOTHE & RECOVER


Feeling sore after a gruelling workout or a long day on your feet? Say hello to your new best friend: the bath or shower. That warm water isn't just there to make you feel like you're in a cosy cocoon – it's like a superhero cape for your muscles and circulation. It's like hitting the reset button for your body.

bath

The warmth of the water helps to soothe tired muscles and improve circulation, promoting faster recovery and relaxation. In fact, research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that immersing yourself in warm water can increase blood flow and reduce muscle soreness after exercise. So, whether you're a gym enthusiast or just in need of some R&R, a hot bath or shower can work wonders for your body.

 

Make your bath even more powerful by throwing in some magnesium bath salts, or spraying on some magnesium oil when you come out of the bath or shower. This is more effective than just using magnesium oil at any random point during the day because the warm water opens your pores to help soak in the magnesium goodness more effectively.

 

Click here for a two-ingredient DIY magnesium oil.

 

 


 

DIY RECIPES


Now, let's get creative with some DIY spa recipes to elevate your bathing or showering experience:

 

DIY Bath Bombs:

bath bomb recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda

  • 1/2 cup citric acid

  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 2 tsp water

  • Essential oils of your choice

  • Natural food colouring (optional)

  • Dried botanicals (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Mix the baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salt, cornstarch and dried botanicals (if using, or leave them to the end as decoration)in a large bowl.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, water, essential oils, and food colouring.

  3. Slowly pour the wet ingredients bit by bit into the dry ingredients, stirring continuously until the mixture resembles wet sand.

  4. Firmly pack the mixture into bath bomb moulds or any silicon mould. If using dried botanicals as decoration, you can add some to the bottom of the mould before putting mixture in.

  5. Allow the bath bombs to dry and harden for at least 24 hours before using.

 


 

DIY Bath Tea:


Ingredients:

bath tea
  • 1/2 cup dried herbs (lavender, chamomile, rose petals, etc.)

  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt

  • 1/4 cup oatmeal

  • Cheesecloth or muslin bags (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Mix the dried herbs, Epsom salt, and oatmeal in a bowl.

  2. Spoon the mixture into cheesecloth or muslin bags, tying them securely.

  3. Hang the bath tea bags under the faucet as you fill the tub with warm water.

  4. Allow the bath tea to steep in the water for a few minutes before soaking in the bath. Or, simply throw the ingredients directly into the tub.

 


 

DIY Shower Melts:


Shower melt

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Essential oils of your choice


Instructions:

  1. Mix the baking soda and cornstarch in a bowl.

  2. Slowly add the water, stirring continuously until a thick paste forms.

  3. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oils and mix well.

  4. Spoon the mixture into silicone moulds or ice cube trays.

  5. Allow the shower melts to dry and harden for at least 24 hours before using.

 


 

TREAT YOURSELF


So, the next time you need a little self-care, remember the magical benefits that await you in the bath or shower. Whether you're looking to unwind after a stressful day, pamper your skin, or soothe tired muscles, these simple yet luxurious practices have got you covered. Go ahead, treat yourself – you deserve it!

 



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Hi, I'm Mandi. A former primary teacher, Lifestyle Medicine graduate and current Diploma in Natural Skincare student with a passion for natural living.

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