Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bath Smart

Good grooming and basic beauty care begin in the bathroom. Bathing can be fun, not a chore and can make you feel fresh and glowing. Personal freshness is essential for everyone. The bacteria on the skin attacking the sweat when it reaches the surface of the skin cause body odor. Perspiration odor doesn't start until about the age of 10, when the special apocrine glands develop. These are found mainly under the arms and between the legs.

Once a week, take time to have a lazy bath night, and turn it into a beauty treatment. Make the bath water soft and sweet smelling by adding some bubble bath, bath salts or bath oils. Alternatively, you can soften the water with a large spoonful or borax or powdered water softener.

Your bath won't do you any good if you stay in it so long, as soaking will dry your skin, or if is too hot, as this too is very drying. Twenty minutes is the longest you should linger, and 38 o C(100 o F) is the highest temperature you should have the water. If you are not washing your hair, protect it with a shower cap, as the steam will make curly hair more frizzy or straight hair lank.

Other things you might need for your beautiful bath are:

  • A loofah, friction strap or mitt
  • A sponge
  • A back brush
  • A nail brush
  • A pumice stone
  • Soap or body shampoo
  • Talcum powder
  • Body lotion

While you are in a bath, rub yourself briskly with a loofah, friction strap or back brush. This makes your skin tingle, improving your circulation and encouraging blemishes to disappear, but be careful if you have delicate skin.

Scrub your feet thoroughly, and follow the foot care routine. The hot steam of the bath will open the skin pores on your face. If you suffer from blackheads, you should be able to press them out gently with your fingertips and remove with a clean tissue. Or try the new blackhead removal strips that are available in the market.

While you are relaxing in the bath, this is a good time to apply a face mask- something you can do occasionally than every week.

If you are not giving yourself a facemask and have oily skin, wash your face with soap and water. If you have dry skin, spread moisturizer on your face and let your steam help it to sink into the pores. After your bath, rub yourself dry briskly with a fairly rough towel. Now is the time to deal with unwanted body hair. It is a matter of personal choice whether you get rid of on your legs and under your arms.

There are many ways of dealing with unwanted hair: shaving, using a depilatory cream or lotion or waxing. If using a depilatory cream, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. They may advise you not to use it immediately after a bath.

Even if you are careful about the time you spend in the bath and the temperature of the water, your skin will still need help, after your bath, to re-establish its correct moisture balance. Use body lotion, and then dust yourself with talc.

After a bath, your nails are softened, and this is a good time to give yourself a manicure and pedicure.

Milk, Oil and Honey Bath

(To soften and moisturize your skin).

Ingredients: warm water, one cup of powdered skimmed milk, one teaspoon oil (baby or vegetable), two teaspoons clear honey dissolved in one cup hot water.

Duration: 20 minutes

Directions: add all ingredients to water, then lie back and relax for 20 minutes. Maintain the temperature by adding hot water as necessary. Don't dry too vigorously afterwards.

Seasalt Bath

(To cleansing bath for oily skin)

Ingredients: Warm water, two cups of sea salt, additional salt.

Duration: Ten minutes in all (five in the water).

Directions: Pour the two cups of salt into bath water to dissolve. Meanwhile, massage the additional salt over your body with the loofah or friction mitt. Get into the bath, rinse away the salt and soak for five minutes. Use plenty of body lotion afterwards.

Mint Bath

(To refresh and revive you)

Ingredients: Tepid water, two tablespoons dried mint leaves steeped in boiling water for one hour then strained so that only water goes into the bath.

Duration: Ten minutes

Directions: Add the mint infusion after running the bath. Don't have the water too deep as this will dilute the benefits. Lie back for the first few minutes. Wash briskly with the loofah or friction strap or mitt for the remaining five minutes.

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