There are two types of bath. Firstly, the evening relaxation type, with candles, a glass of wine, and a good book (translation: iPad propped up on the loo seat). Secondly, the actually washing type, wherein you forgo the salts and ambient lighting, and instead really lather up.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person. Sleep is an all-encompassing and sticky sensation for me, and I routinely get 9-10 hours every night. Insomnia and I are not even acquaintances (knock on wood). I can’t even wake up properly in the mornings, instead opening one eye very slowly and only opening the other one about ten minutes later when my husband plonks coffee down next to my head (gold star, that one). It’s a whole thing.
However, I have a new found affinity with the early morning. After our return from our trip to California, I found myself completely laid low by jet lag, not helped by being rather unwell.
This meant that I was waking up at 5 or 6am for about two weeks, and most surprisingly, I have kept it up. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and waking up naturally, with plenty of time to get up before work. Let me tell you, the things that they say about this being good for your mental state are not lies. It’s bloody fantastic.
I wouldn’t say we really get birds singing on the 36th floor of a high-rise in the middle of Hong Kong, but sometimes you hear a chirp. The light is different, everything feels clearer, and I can actually feel excited about the day, instead of my first thoughts being “F**k, it’s late! Where is my hairbrush? Where is my wallet? Who cares about that rip, you’ve already put it on!”.
And, getting to the point of this post, I have actually had time to do the previously-thought-impossible, and take morning baths. I have started a little stockpile of products around the rim of the tub especially for this new ritual, and I thought I would share them with you.
Firstly, on the days when you have time to make breakfast and check Instagram before getting into the bath with the aforementioned coffee by your side, then I heartily recommend putting on face and hair masks. Sets you right up for the day.
I love the Origins GinZing mask for dull days, and the Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque for clogged up days. The Origins one can be left on for less time, if you need to keep that in mind. Both of these are outstanding formulas and do what they say they will, not a small feat.
For hair, we have to go with the king of hair masks, the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, which I’ve talked about before, and which I buy in the bulk size. You use it pre-shampoo, on dry hair, and there is nothing like it for softening and shining.
While you are running the bath, you might as well drop in something that will moisturise you while you are in it, and the Lush bath melts are perfect. I’m addicted to this one called Furze, which makes me feel like I am coming in from herding my sheep on the moors, which is a pleasant feeling.
I use my regular shampoo and conditioner, but I like to use a cleanser with a bit of pep, and the Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser is perfect – slightly exfoliating, a little cooling, and very gentle and natural. (I use this pre-mask if I’m putting one on).
Afterwards, I lock in all the moisture from the bath with Goē Oil, which is unbelievably rich and unctuous, and I am ready for whatever life throws at me that day.