THE BLOG
05/05/2014 05:07 pm ET | Updated Jul 05, 2014

Beauty: The Anatomy of the Ultimate Bath

Clearly, our ancestors were apparently as much for a spa day as we are in modern times. The bath -- taking a long, good soak -- dates back to earliest stretches of time with the first record of such things noted over 2,000 years ago. Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Turks, Japanese and many other cultures often created elaborate, decadent bathhouses for the cause. Fast forward to the present and the bath continues to be seen as a luxurious and relaxing experience, and we are just as keen to make it something special as history has itself.

Just as unique as we all are as individuals, so is how we indulge. Some like to pamper with products that are fruit-scented, others like florals. There are those who prefer rich and exotic scents, while other essences play on favorite foods like milk, hazelnut, chocolate or almond. There's as much variation in the type of products for the tub -- salts, oils, scrubs, soaps. Some like to surround themselves with music or various aromas from pretty room sprays, essential oils or candles.

The key to mastering the bath begins with the tub. Chances are even if you own your home, the bathtub may or may not be your dream accommodation, but you can make the most of any size as long as you can sit in it and it can hold water. Water temperature is essential -- a warm bath is notorious for relaxation, and you can go a little hotter with the water if you'd like. If you wait until the tub is filled before you hop in, make the temperature slightly warmer so that it doesn't cool down too quickly once you're in the tub.

1. Start With A Good Oil or Salt

As the water is filling, add a little bath oil, essential oil, or salts. Classic epson salts, available at any store, can do the trick and are usually very low cost. Salts are known for their cleansing and relaxing elements, while a good oil will soften the skin head to toe. You don't have to purchase an oil that's specifically for the bath -- some use coconut oil, olive oil, or other natural oils that can be bought at any grocery store. A favorite oil is Eminence, which organic and packed with a variety of oils.

2. Pick Your Soap -- Bubbles or Not

After you've dropped a little oil or salt into the water as the tub is filling, it's time to finish with a good soap. This is where the bath can get really creative -- some love the fun and fruity scents, others might gravitate towards the more subtle, etc. Whatever you choose, be sure to add it to the bath with plenty of time for it to dissolve or create bubbles before you sink into your tub.

3. Create Your Bath Environment

Candles, music, magazines, your favorite TV shows -- whatever helps you unwind and relax is what you'll want to get together and prepare as the tub is filling with water. Drinking chocolate like the one we carry by Flying Noir in Condiment's store, homemade hot cocoa or just a little steamed milk are good alternatives to the common drink or glass of wine. Don't forget to put a big, fluffy towel for you to wrap yourself in once your bath time is done. A robe or pajamas should also be in easy reach as well.

4. Let The Tub Do The Work For You

Now that you're ready for the bath, hop in. All you need to do from here is enjoy. As you kick back, the oils, salts or other products will be busy getting you clean and refreshed, moisturizing the skin and pampering your muscles. If you're looking to release stress, try to keep your mind at rest. Though some like to do their thinking, dreaming and planning in the bath -- there's no wrong way to spend yours.

5. Finish Big

After you've had a good, long soak in your bath, use the last few minutes to give a good shave of your legs or underarms as the skin will be nice and soft. Whish Body makes an incredible shaving cream that is perfect for the job. Eos is also another go-to. Both have great scented choices that leave the shaved areas soft and clear of stubble. Once you've finished with a quick shave, drain the tub and flip on the shower for a good rinse. It's good to remove soap and other residue from your body once your bath time is done. Now's the time to also do a quick body scrub -- we reach for Whish Body here again for its body scrub, which comes in a giant container full of thick, rich ingredients. Smooth Naturals is a great favorite also.

6. Top It Off

Once you've finished rinsing in the shower, grab the bath oil you used at the start of the bath and give a quick application of it from head to toe. Rinse, and dry off as you normally would. This can help seal in moisture and leave your skin ultra soft. We love to finish with a great luxurious body butter or lotion. Body Shop is great and budget friendly. LaVanila's an awesome all-natural option. Don't forget the hands and feet, particularly the heels of your feet. It's also a great time to apply a cuticle-softening oil or other nail product on both your fingers and toes. BioOil is inexpensive and perfect for the job.

To see all of this month's edition of Condiment magazine, visit www.getcondiment.com