From foams and fizzers, milks to bombs, there’s a multitude of ways to liven up a bath. Bath oils are probably one of the longest established, but far from being old hat or boring, they can be truly indulgent and luxurious. They offer the added advantage of moisturising as you bathe, avoiding the need to apply oil or lotions afterwards and are an ideal option for drier skins. Bath oils also tend to be more suited to sensitive skins than bubbles containing foaming agents.
While scent free versions are available, a product containing pure essential oils also acts as an aromatherapy treatment, lifting your mood or encouraging a more relaxed state of mind, depending on the blend. The concentrated ones are capable of scenting your entire bathroom, turning it into a mini spa haven; more dilute blends can double up as body oils, earning them a space in a toiletry bag when travelling light.
One of the few downsides of using an oil is that the bath can get pretty slippery, which is something to watch out for when getting in or out. A rubberised mat may be a good idea and you will probably want to give the tub a good clean afterward in addition!
For the ultimate luxury, any of Aromatherapy Associates award-winning bath and shower oils ticks our boxes. Their Deep Relax blend combines vertivert with soothing camomile and sandalwood and is perfect for bathing before bed after particularly hectic days.
It doesn’t come cheap; a bottle will set you back the price of some professional massages, but it is concentrated so if you use a cupful per bath as directed, it will see you through 20 blissful baths. This also doubles up as a shower treatment – you are advised to massage a capful over your body before stepping into the shower, although for the price we’d prefer to wallow in it as long as possible!
This natural formulation includes geranium essential oil which is associated with reducing feelings of anxiety, fatigue and tension and balancing emotions – ideal for the end of a long, stressful day. Blended with uplifting orange, the oils in this product include wheatgerm and apricot. Unlike the other bath oils featured here, which state a use by date varying between 6 -12 months, this one is recommended to be used within three months of opening. Not a major issue if you love it as much as we did and are likely to use it regularly.
If you prefer a fresh, citrusy scent to florals or earthier fragrances, this lightly lemon scented oil from US based, cruelty free company Burt’s Bees is a good option and one that reminded us of lemon drizzle cake. It would work well used as a revitalising, wake up call for summer morning bathing or before a night out and can be applied as a body oil in addition. The bottle looks relatively small but is wider than many 100ml bottles so you get 115 ml for your money.
If you love anything rose scented, this rich, yellow oil is the perfect product and made our testers’ bathrooms smell like a spa. It was also one of the best for dispersing as soon as it was poured in, as oppose sitting on the top of the water. Moroccan Rose Otto oil is very hydrating and is combined with Geranium and easily absorbed sesame seed oil. Like the Aromatherapy Associate’s product, we loved the glass bottle and packaging which make it very gift worthy in addition to being an indulgent treat for yourself.
Lavender is a tried and tested remedy for sleep and this bath and body oil with pure Epsom salts is scented just enough to avoid being overpowering. With a blend of hydrating ingredients including soybean, sesame and jojoba and shea butter, it would be a great choice for winter bathing. Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate, are commonly used in the bath for treating muscle soreness and this combines those benefits within a hydrating oil. With a generously sized 260ml bottle, there’s plenty to use either in the bath, or as a body and massage oil.