I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
I love my man more than anything. We met three and a half ish years ago when he made me a latte on my first day at a new job. He puts up with all of my moods, whims, and fits. He is fun, sexy, and has a great sense of humor. Andy is a dreamboat and a great human, I think I hit the win for life with this one.
He is slightly younger than me, so I have to have a smidge of patience, but lord knows he is patient with me. Andy is a nightlife worker who specializes in djaying, and when my friend Steven, an electronic musician, told me about his legendary bath recipe, I knew it would make the perfect treat for my boo for Valentine's Day. Their tastes are similar, from music to movies, so I knew Steven would come through with the best present idea ever.
We met up for coffee and crepes and started talking about why this bath is such a special treat.
Milk, honey, green tea, lemons, sake, and Epsom salts all come together to give you a treatment worthy of Elizabeth Bathory and her consorts. This is not the type of bath that you want to fill, leave to make a cup of tea, and come back. You also want to be 100% sure you plugged up the drain--I am a bit of a space cadet, and more than once I have set up the tub to fill up with the last of the epsom salts in the middle of the night, left to do something, and came back to a draining tub that got rid of half of the active ingredients. Never again!
Steven is a singer/songwriter and a self-described nighttime philanthropist, and as a fellow creature of the night, can attest to the importance of self-care. Not only do we have to look fashionable when we go out, we also have to look youthful, fresh, and well-rested--three things that we don't always feel like. I don't work at night as frequently as I used to, but Andy my boyf is allllllllways at work. He needs R&R to keep himself functioning.
Steven has the recipe! Apparently this bath is so legendary that all of his friends demanded the recipe, and I think it's just what Dr. Dani ordered for an overworked boyfriend who has been putting up with her stress for awhile.
The very first step to this bath is serious dry skin brushing beforehand. Skin brushing while dry will remove all the dead skin hanging out on your bod, allowing the full theraputic effect of the bath. Stimulating circulation before hopping in the bath will also help skin absorb everything that much better. Plus, it is just a great habit to get into.
Place 2-3 cups of Epsom salt in a plugged tub. Fill with only hot water; most baths get too cool if you add any cold water in the filling process (another space cadet bath lesson). Squirt as much honey as you are willing to part with into the hot bath water to dissolve.
Epsom salts are another oft-brought-up topic over here at xoVain. Magnesium is an important mineral for health, and many of us aren’t getting enough of it. Honey is, just, well, an amazing and humble substance. I never slather honey on my skin, hair, or face, because I am far too busy putting it in my gob. In the bath, honey will melt into a hydrophilic solution that will help moisture penetrate and stay in your skin. For this recipe to be extra luxurious, you should use at least ½ a cup of honey.
Taking a bath in milk is honestly something I have never done! I will be trying this recipe after I treat my man to it, but upon researching it really seems like I have been missing out on a softening and soothing bath additive.
Steven says using between a quart and a gallon of whole milk is adequate. I will be using local high-quality milk from Battenkill Valley Dairy in upstate New York. Milk that is hormone- and antibiotic-free is important to me, and if I’m not drinking milk with stuff in it, I definitely wouldn’t recommend taking a bath in it.
Milk is full of fat and lactic acid, which is crazy-good for the skin. If it really bugs you out to use fresh milk, you can try powdered dry milk. Vegans can definitely substitute coconut milk, but you would want to make sure it is full-fat. Coconut milk would provide a different, more moisturizing effect, but cow’s milk will give you skin-softening, anti-aging, and anti-acne benefits of lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid. I couldn’t think of a more perfect set of benefits for us vampires.
Green tea is well-known for all the wonderful things it does for us. Antioxidants provide anti-aging benefits, and caffeine plumps up tired skin. Using a strong batch in the bath, like around a whole box or so, can give you those results quicker than with other methods of application. Using it in a steam application is very beneficial to the face, and putting it IN the bath with you combines a topical effect for the body while steaming to the face. You can either tie a bunch of bags together, or use loose leaf tea in a satchel or filter bag.
One of the reasons this bath is SO luxurious is the addition of sake. Sake is a fermented rice spirit, made similar to wine, but with rice instead of grapes. Countries such as China, Korea and Japan have been including sake and its active ingredient for skincare, kojic acid, to lighten freckles and age spots as well as dissolve any dead skin left over from exfoliating.
Kojic acid is used in professional preparations for brightening facials to combat hyperpigmentation, and was supposedly involved in the traditional Geisha bathing routine, which Fresh has done it’s own version of.
The last thing on the list: 3-4 lemons cut into chunks and squeezed on in. This will turn the milk to buttermilk, activating all of the lactic acid and helping it penetrate even deeper.
With all of these ingredients in mind, you want to spend an adequate amount of time in this bath--at least an hour and a half to two hours. This is why Steven suggests popping on a movie; he recommended a few horror movies. Andy looooooooooves his horror movies, so Steven suggests V/H/S/2, which is a standalone sequel, or A Haunting in Connecticut.
Let me know if you do this for your dude, or yourself!