Last updated: Mar 01, 2007
A bath is one of the easiest ways to squeeze in some much-deserved Me Time. (Not many people will follow you into the bathroom, after all.) These simple ingredients and expert tips will help you draw the perfect bath for your health and beauty needs.


Our experts swear by these for the best bath. Just remember to hop out after 20 minutes to preserve skins natural moisture and oils.

Moisturize Dry Skin: Almond oil
Almond oil is a humectant (that means it helps seal water into the skin), which makes it one of the best moisturizers around. Jo Glanville Blackburn, author of Home Spa: Relax, likes to add two drops each of geranium, frankincense, and rose oils to a warm bath, as well as calming lavender essential oil and a big spoonful of sweet almond oil.

“After 20 minutes, my skin is gorgeously scented, and Im completely relaxed,” Blackburn says. Looking for some prepackaged options? You might want to add just a few drops of Carols Daughter Almond Cookie Body and Bath Oil ($18, Carol's Daughter) or Earthworks PurEssence Almond Bath Oil (above; $30, Earthworks PurEssence) to your bath; both have an almond-oil base.

Calm Irritated Skin: Milk
“Milks a natural anti-inflammatory, so its perfect for skin thats been irritated from shaving, sunburn, or windburn,” says Donna Perillo, owner of Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa and Boutique in New York. “Plus, the proteins and lactic acid in milk help remove dead skin.” Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a gallon of milk, then pour the whole thing into a tub filled with warm water. Afterward, relax as the milks softening properties are released. There are several ready-made, milk-rich bath products available in stores, too. Try Fresh Milk Bath (above; $35, Fresh), Lait Sweet Almond Bath Milk ($27.50, Baudelaire Soaps), and Aspara Powdered Milk Lustrous Bath Baubbles (above; $28, Aspara Aromatics).

Exfoliate Your Body: Mud
Mud, a natural exfoliator, helps remove dead cells and leaves your skin looking smoother and more radiant. Alternative-health and well-being expert Jane Alexander, author of The Overload Solution: How To Stop Juggling and Start Living, has been a mud bather for years and has discovered an added benefit: “I swear by it for deep, deep relaxation. The first time I soaked in mud, I slept for 14 hours afterward.”

Its brimming with minerals, salicylic acid, and plant extracts such as marigold and rosemary. Three to try: Golden Moor Mud Bath Pine ($52, Golden Moor), Archipelago Botanicals Mineral Mud Bath ($22, 800-399-4994), and Shea Terra Organics Moroccan Mud ($15, Shea Terra Organics).