Until recently, I was not a bath person. I lived with roommates for too long to trust the cleanliness of the tub and when traveling, never found the time. Last October, however, while spending a weekend in Malibu at the Ranch 4.0, I was introduced to Epsom salts. Life hasn't been the same since! Of course, a really first-class bath requires more than just a clean tub and plain salts; if you really want to make the most of your post-workout recovery or evening de-stress routine, you need to invest in stuff. Below, everything you need for the best scrub-a-dub ever.
1. While you wait for the tub to fill and heat to an ideal 120-140 degrees*, give yourself a head-to-toe dry brushing. Move from the extremities (ankles, hands) toward the core. Above the waist, brush toward the heart. Below the waist, brush toward the groin. Try Mio Skincare's Natural Dry Body Brush, $20.
2. Light a candle. I swear by Diptyque's Baies scent of black currant and rose, $60. (But skip the music--we need more silence in our lives.)
3. Pour a cup of Epsom salts into running water. Several brands offer lavender- and eucalyptus-scented solutions that help you wind down at the end of the day. Try Tree Hut's Fig and Olive Detoxifying Mediterranean Salt Soak, $7.
3. Stock your bathtub caddy, ideally one with a coaster for your wine glass (or mug of herbal tea) and an adjustable frame to hold your iPad or book, not to mention good looks. Try Bed, Bath & Beyond's teak version, $40.
5. Scrub up. When you've soaked long enough and are ready to reemerge, exfoliate from neck to toes with an aromatic scrub, such as African Botanics Marula Detoxifying Salt and Sugar Body Scrub, $55.
6. Rinse in cold water. After you've rinsed off your scrub and opened the drain, jump in the shower. Rinse off your face and hair masks with tepid water, and then turn down the heat altogether. Nothing will seal your body's moisture better than a cold plunge. Don't worry about getting frozen out of your post-bath stupor; while the ice plunge may wake you up at first, you'll soon slip back into your Epsom salt-induced daze.
7. Pat yourself dry with a clean towel and apply a thin layer of body oil, such as Caudalie's Divine Oil, $49, to seal in the good stuff. Ask yourself, "Why don't I do this more often?"