The Romans, Egyptians and oriental women were known to have very fastidious beauty and bathing routines. For them, bathing was a major social event. They also promoted the healing powers of warm water to which various herbs, salts and flowers were added, thus ensuring health-giving qualities to their baths. Here are some you could try.
Mixed herbs bath
Take a handful of bay leaves, rosemary and camomile leaves. Put all these together in a piece of muslin. Tie it tight and soak this bundle in your bathtub or water bucket in slightly warm water for half an hour. The fragrance permeates into the water.
Remove the bundle of muslin and gently rub it all over your body and then bathe with the fragrant water. This bath is most relaxing and will tone up the body.
Camomile flowers, rose petals or fragrant tube roses, even acrimony, wrapped in a muslin cloth or bag, soaked in water would have the same toning and smoothening effect on your skin.
A traditional elaborate bath that literally ‘feeds’ your skin. Considered to be the very height of luxury, it was used by Nero’s wife. Poppaea, and has since been a favourite over the years. Poppaea bathed in donkey’s milk and water. Several innovations have been introduced to make this a fascinating bath regime. It’s very easy to try at home. Take half litre milk. To this add two tbps of honey. Add strained camomile juice or the juice of crushed rose petals obtained by infusing them in water. Mix all these and pour the mixture into warm bath water. Soak yourself in the bath-tub, or keep pouring slowly over your body, rubbing all over. Be leisurely about this. After the milk and flower water has been used up. You could bathe with normal cold water.
Bath for dry skin:
Take 200ml of glycerine and add to this 200ml of rose water. Pour this in a bottle. Smear this all over your body beginning at the neck, start rubbing it in gently as you go downwards, to your arms, torso, legs and back. Continuously massage the mixture into your skin, nourishing it. Once the solution is absorbed into the skin take a normal bath using a glycerine-based soap.
This is also an ideal solution for people with a dry skin. It should be used especially during severe winters when even normal and oily skins tend to dry up. You should use this treatment instead of soap.
Take a piece of muslin, crush a few almonds and tie them in it. Wet your body: rub this almond bag all over your body vigorously. Keep adding a little water and continue scrubbing. This will nourish your skin.
Those with an oily skin should definitely try this. Take a mug of water and add to it a little malt vinegar. Mix well and massage your body with the diluted vinegar water. Take a cold water bath and feel the difference.