On Beauty: The New Wave of Wellness-Oriented Bath Products

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On Beauty: The New Wave of Wellness-Oriented Bath Products

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Like so many other things, baths have recently reached a new level of wellness: The bubbly elixirs of the past have now been replaced with high-performance essentials with advanced skincare ingredients and spirit-boosting add-ons.

To buff away dead skin and revitalize limbs this winter, try Aesop’s Redemption Body Scrub ($35), which contains milled pumice and bamboo stem, plus a dose of refreshing fir and pine needle essential oils. For the body-care equivalent of your face serum, there’s Ren’s Atlantic Kelp and Microalgae Anti-Fatigue Bath Oil ($30): The blend of kelp, plankton and algae oil is rich in “potent antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory functions and may enhance wound healing,” explains the Los Angeles-based dermatologist Dr. Kelly Bickle. It would be hard to say the same of the fizzy bath bombs from decades ago, which featured drying surfactants that often outnumbered natural ingredients in formulas. Post-bath, blot with a towel lather on a moisturizer like physician Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Anti-Aging Body Cream ($105), with healing vitamins C and E, and softening lactic acid. Embrace the ritual of having to rub it in. “The thicker the cream, the more effective it will be at trapping in water and hydrating your skin,” says Dr. Bickle.

Still, not all new-world remedies are radically new. Consider Pursoma’s After the Class ($34; launching on November 15) — a post-workout soak that comes with a crystal to guide your intention (amethyst for wisdom and spirituality; citrine for joy and prosperity). The active ingredient, however, is magnesium sulfate which, as Dr. Bickle points out, is another name for Epsom salt. Granny connotations aside, the classic mineral compound “works by inhibiting muscle contractions and relaxing muscles,” she says. The crystal’s powers, on the other hand, are open to interpretation. “Crystals are beautiful, and I think good at helping us guide our energy in a certain direction. But there is no medical data on the benefits.” As someone who bathes daily, though, Dr. Bickle has this advice: “If taking care of yourself means soaking in a bath and holding a piece of rose quartz next to you, then do it.”

Additional reporting by Caitlin Kelly

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