The Beauty of Bathing

Cats or dogs? The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Tea or coffee? Bath or shower? Nothing defines or divides us quite like the minutiae of our daily lives. As a self-confessed bath-lover, I’m always baffled when people dismiss baths as ‘soaking in your own dirt’. How dirty are you people?! Aside from storing my laundry basket, the only thing I use my shower for is rinsing my hair of home dye kits. The rest of the time, it’s baths, baths, baths. I’m a soaker, baby!

I can totally understand the practicality of showers. They’re quick and efficient. But when has quick and efficient ever been much of a selling point outside of a McDonalds?  Give me slow and luxurious any day of the week.  And give me oil. And salt. And a good book.

It’s also much easier to drink a G&T in the bath. Showers just dilute the gin.

There are infinite types of bath, there’s ‘getting stuff done’ baths, and ‘getting nothing done’ baths. There are baths for getting a good night’s sleep, for soothing sore muscles or frazzled minds. Baths for catching up on The Good Place and baths for finishing a good book. Baths can do infinitely more for your body and soul than a shower ever could, and with a slick of oil or a cup of salts, they become something resembling witchcraft. It’s also much easier to drink a G&T in the bath. Showers just dilute the gin.

Bath Oils

My sister and I always buy new mothers a bottle of Aromatherapy Associates Relax Deep Bath and Shower Oil, it’s sleep-inducing properties are second to none, and the knock-on effect of the house being filled with it’s heady scent is that everyone in the family gets a better night’s sleep. The oil can be rubbed into skin before sinking into the tub, or added to the running water to fill the house with heavenly steam as the bath fills. When we gifted it to our step-sister after the birth of her twins, she asked if there was a way to add it to the house’s air-conditioning system, such was it’s power!



A Life Loved Bath Oil

Jo Malone Amber & Lavender Bath Oil  |  Le Labo Fleur D’Oranger Body & Bath Oil  |  Aromatherapy Associates Relax Deep Bath and Shower Oil


Something of a cult product, Olverum combines Siberian fir needle, verbena, lemon, lime, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary, to create a fragrance that’s sophisticated, soothing and, like Jo Malone’s Amber & Lavender Bath Oil, is suitably unisex.


A Life Loved Bath Oil2

Olverum Bath Oil  Tisserand Neroli & Sandalwood Bath Soak  |  Neal’s Yard Remedies Soothing Bath Oil


Bath Bubbles

While most of my favourite bath oils are fragranced with essential oils, I find a lot of bubble baths tend to have an over-perfumed, synthetic fragrance, and so more often than not, I go for the baby products when I want some bubbles. Hands down my favourite bubble bath is Johnson’s Baby Bath, I just love the clean, mild,  soapy fragrance.



A Life Loved Bubble Bath

Johnson’s Baby Bath  |  Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Bubble Bath  |  The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Calming & Caring Bath Milk


If my skin is feeling a little dry, I’ll go for The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Calming & Caring Bath Milk, which is great for sensitive skin and can help soothe irritation or redness. I’ll follow up with a slather of the body butter from the same range, Almond Milk & Honey Soothing & Restoring Body Butter, before jumping into my onesie. Super-soft skin guaranteed.

Bath Salts

Epsom salts have been used for hundreds of years, both internally and externally to treat a multitude of conditions, but are perhaps most widely used for relaxing the nervous system and soothing sore and over-worked muscles and joints. The secret to making Epsom salts effective is to go big or go home. I buy in bulk (5kgs at a time –Westlab Epsom Salt) and put two heaped cups of salt in my bath as it’s running, and soak for a minimum of 10 minutes to reap the full benefits.

Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor View all Kate's articles

After many former careers - running a restaurant in a boutique hotel, working in 'new media' (during the first dot-com boom, I’m that old!), training and working as a hair and make up artist, launching an online magazine, running a bespoke stationery business - I’ve finally found my freelance sweet spot, mixing graphic design work for large media companies on a global scale with smaller projects for individuals. I split my time between client offices in London, and working from home in Devon where I live in a small community on a farm just a stone's throw from the coast. I spend my free time cooking, baking, pickling and preserving, regularly delivering goodies to my neighbours to save from eating a whole cake myself! I love nothing more than a very hot bath, slick with perfumed oils, an episode of Poirot and an ice cold martini. And I firmly believe that if we all treated ourselves as though we were guests in our own home, we’d all be a little happier. Get the good china out. There’s no such thing as ‘best’!