Time to indulge in a soak

Is there anything more soothing during the bleakest month of the year than a long, hot soak? Tap into Katie Wright’s guide to bathing heaven.
Time to indulge in a soak

As good for your mood as they are for your body, baths can become addictive in winter, but that’s no bad thing.

The four essential ingredients for a super soak?

You’ll need a candle, soothing music or a podcast, wine (or tea if you’re abstaining this month), and something delightfully fragranced to pour into the steaming tub.

Turn your bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary with these bathing beauties...

ESSENTIAL OILS

The most luxurious way to scent your soak, bath oils dissipate in hot water, releasing the fragrance and creating a moisturising film that clings to your skin.

They may be more expensive, but you only need a splash, and the potent aroma of essential oils can be invigorating (citrus and ginger) or slumber-inducing (lavender works wonders before bed). n TempleSpa Drift Away Bathing and Massage Oil, €28.26 (templespa.com, plus p&p) n Neom Energy Burst Bath & Shower Drops, €47.45 (www.lookfantastic.com, free p&p) n This Works Deep Sleep Bath Oil, €78.50 (www.beauty bay.com, free p&p) n Jo Malone London, Red Rose Bath Oil, €22 (www.brownthomas.com)

SPRINKLING OF SALT

If soothing aching limbs and cold symptoms is your top priority in the tub, bath salts are what you need.

A capful of the clever crystals in a hot bath will relieve muscle tension, plus the salt draws out moisture to reduce bloating (result!), while the vapours help clear airways. n Aveda ‘Stress-Fix Soaking Salts’ 454g, €42 (brownthomas.com) n Kneipp Eucalyptus Cold & Flu Mineral Bath Salt, €11.46 (Feelunique. com) n Burt’s Bees Theraputic Bath Crystals 454g, €16 (boots.ie)

WHEN IN FOAM

For the ultimate in relaxation, a frothy bubble bath will make you feel like you’re floating on a cloud.

Lavish, oil-infused bath foams offer skin-softening properties too — but if you’re feeling the pinch this month, cheap-as-chips bubble bath will do the trick. n Clarins ‘Relax’ bath and shower concentrate bubble bath 200ml, €22 (www.debenhams.ie) n Baylis & Harding Wild Rose & Raspberry Leaf Sensuous Bath Foam 500ml, €2.99 (boots.ie) n L’Occitane en Provence ‘Verbena’ foaming bubble bat, €23 (www.debenhams.ie)

MAGIC LOTIONS

Prolong that post-bath Zen by lathering up with a body lotion — particularly important if you’re partial to a piping hot soak that can leave your skin dry.

Gourmand scents, like vanilla and tonka bean, are real mood-boosters, while ingredients like shea butter and argan oil will soften and restore moisture. n Origins ‘Comfort Mood’ vanilla body butter, 200ml, €40 (debenhams.ie)

n Laura Mercier, Ambre vanillé body butter, €42 (www.brownthomas.com)

n Liz Earle Superskin Body Cream, €44 (www.boots.ie) n L’Occitane en Provence ‘Shea Butter’ body lotion 250ml, €27, (www.debenhams.ie)

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