DIY Bath Oils And The Water+Oil Method For Moisturising Your Body

Of all of the different ways I have tried to moisturise my dry body, the bath oil is absolutely the best. It leaves my skin oiled but not oily, and the effect lasts for days. In the summer this really calms my sun-parched legs and makes everything soft and supple. In the winter I go for heavier versions of this oil soak and come out of long hot baths with a lovely protective coating on my skin.
If you own a bathtub I'll be sharing my simple DIY recipe with you, if you are bath-less I'll share a way of doing this in the shower.

Combining oil with water works way better than oil alone -- on both skin and hair. The best way to do this is to pre-mix the oil and the water, and there are two ways of doing this: the primitive one is mixing oil and water and beating it with a whisk, like you would a salad sauce. The better way is mixing the oil with an emulsifier. An emulsifier is something that helps water and oil mix. It breaks up the oil into really tiny droplets that coat your skin evenly and don't make it feel greasy like when you apply oil straight onto the skin.
Emulsifiers are also the way to go if you want to use essential oils in your bath. When I was a young foolish girl I didn't know this and just added a couple of drops of a strong essential oil into the bathtub and stirred the water. The oil ended up on just one area, and it stung my skin.

I love baths, and when I don't have time for a real one I do a short half-baths with just enough water to cover most of me. When I add this oil mix it moisturises my skin like no other product does:

Bath Oil Mixture:

8 parts oil (I go for the cheaper stuff like sunflower oil, or use up whatever is starting to get old).
1 part emulsifier*
1 part or less essential oils (Optional. I like lavender, sandalwood and patchouli)
The contents of one punctured capsule vitamin E for extra moisturising.
*Most DIY cosmetic ingredient retailers sell emulsifiers, and I use one from BeHaWe because I can easily buy it in my city. Lecithin, guar  ones are especially gentle. Here is a nice overview of the different emulsifiers.
If you prefer to go the kitchen route, milk, aloe vera gel, castile soap and Epsom salts are lightly emulsifying.

I like to make a bigger batch of this and fill it into a bottle. I shake or whisk everything and pour it into the tub -- in the summer I use around two tablespoons but in the winter it can be half a cup. Add water, jump in and soak. You can also dip your hair in it if you plan to wash it afterwards, it is a great way to lightly oil it without overdoing it. After you come out of the bath it is a good idea to immediately rinse the tub with a blast of very hot water, otherwise the oil attracts soap scum.

If you don't own a bathtub then you can massage oil onto your skin before taking a warm shower. At the end I usually find that the oil has not completely absorbed into the skin, so I wash off the excess with a gentle soap or towel it off.
These bath oils make great gifts, especially if you know which scents the receiver likes. If you don't, you can't really go wrong with lavender for a relaxing bath or eucalyptus for a cold-relieving bath.

How do you moisturise your body? If you use oils, what is your preferred way of using them? Have you ever tried a bath oil?

Photo credit: Karla Alexander via Unsplash

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