It's summer, and that means it's time to hit the beach. But we all know that salt, sun, and sweat can totally dry out your skin — and when it's the season of swimsuits and sundresses, nobody has time for that.
Luckily, there's a way out of this dehydrated nightmare world, and it's in your bath. There are some really simple (and really cheap!) products that you can add to your bath that will re-hydrate, moisturize, and soften your summer skin.
Here are your 7 post-beach saviors.
1. Aloe vera.
Aloe is a classic post-bath additive for a reason. Not only does it just FEEL luxurious to say that you're bathing in aloe, it soothes dry skin, helps reduce inflammation, and can cool skin redness. Not that you have any of that if you're judicious about sunscreen application, right?
Roses? After the beach? You heard me! A splash of this incredible-smelling tincture (often found at health food stores or natural beauty shops) will not only make you feel luxurious, it has post-beach skin benefits, too — it can help reduce the itchiness you might experience after salt, sand, and sea, re-hydrate your skin, and leave your entire body smelling amazing.
3. Coconut oil.
I know, I know. I am personally on record as saying that coconut oil isn't as great as people say that it is, but in this case, the coco-locos have the right idea. It doesn't take a lot of heat to melt a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in your bath; scoop it straight from the jar into a hot bath, let it melt, then let your skin rejoice. Not only do people believe that coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial properties, but the great-smelling oil will leave your sun-stressed skin softer than a baby's bottom.
4. Milk and honey.
I know that "It's not even gross!" may not sound like the most ringing endorsement for a post-beach bath, but trust me. Add half a cup of powdered milk to your bath while the warm water is running, then add a squirt of honey. The powdered milk has lactic acid, which will smooth dehydrated skin; the antioxidant-rich honey will help undo any damage done by a day in the sun.
5. Green tea.
This was, no joke, my ride-or-die when it came to surviving summer in Chicago with no air conditioning. Green tea is amazing: it's refreshing, hydrating, and SO soothing, which is exactly what you need after spending a day at the beach. You have two choices here: 1) run your bath as normal, throw in a couple of tea bags, and let your entire tub steep for five to 10 minutes, 2) brew up a concentrated batch of green tea the day before, let it steep overnight, then add it to your tub as needed. Whichever way you go about this, your skin will thank you.
Colloidal oatmeal is a lifesaver if your skin is dehydrated. It gently cleanses away the grime of the day, repairs the barrier of the skin, and exfoliates without stripping — all while soothing and calming. To avoid a clogged drain, I wrap my colloidal oatmeal in cheesecloth, THEN drop it in.
Cucumber is my favorite thing in the world — and yes, you can bathe in it. There's nothing that hydrates, soothes, and relaxes quite like cucumber. Core the cucumber and toss both the seedy middle and the hollowed, sliced veg straight into your bathwater.