6 Beauty Rituals That Are Just As Relaxing As Taking A Bath

When it comes to washing our bods, Americans seem to prefer a speedy shower. But that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy the soothing, healing, and restorative powers of a nice bath from time to time — or does it?

If you're cooped up in a tub-less, shoebox city apartment or happen to live with a handful of roommates who have a collective adversity to Clorox, dipping into a tub may not be an option — or at least not one that seems like more of a luxury than a liability.

Not to worry, your time to marinate in a tub filled with bubbles, epsom salts, or even rose petals will undoubtedly come. But until then (or if you just don't have the time for a proper soak), we've figured out a few ways for you to get the benefits of a bath without ever having to run one.
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Steep It
When we want to pamper ourselves, a sheet mask is a no-brainer. But there's a little trick to make the experience as soothing as a good soak. Founder of Pūr~lisse skin care Jennifer Yen (who will be launching sheet masks this April) suggests steeping your mask of choice (in the packet) in a bowl of hot water before you put it on your face. Applying a mask warm rather than cold will make it that much more relaxing.

Dr. Jart+ Water-Full Hydrogel Mask, $9, available at Birchbox.
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Breathe Deep
Has your day left you a little irritated? Does the fact that you came home to a house without a functional bath make you even more so? We kid, that's probably the least of your worries.

But it is true that if it's been one of them days, many people opt for a de-stressing bath to help get themselves out of a funk. Well, guess what: A little aromatherapy can do the same trick. Apply a bit of this calming chamomile, uplifting lemon, and soothing patchouli goodness to your pulse points (wrists, neck, temples), lift your wrists to your nose, and take five deep breaths. The calming effect is immediate — and if you want it to last even longer, you can add the treatment to a diffuser or humidifier that takes essential oils.

Tata Harper Aromic Irritability Treatment, $65, available at Tata Harper.
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Scent Your Shower
Alternatively, you can take the aromatherapy route in an entirely new direction. This relaxing blend of essential oils can be used in the bath, yes, but it is also formulated for the shower. Simply massage a few drops into your skin before showering, and let the chamomile, sandalwood, and vetivert combo soothe your sore muscles and calm your mind.

Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil, $73, available at Space NK.
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Treat Your Feet
A bath not only provides mind-cleansing, muscle-relaxing goodness, it's also a great way to soften the tough skin on your feet. Plenty of foot products claim to do just that, but mainly focus on removing the hard skin on the surface. This heel cream has a 19.5% active complex (but contains no acids, so you won't see peeling) that absorbs into the skin quickly and hydrates below the surface to soothe and prevent future dryness. Try it on your elbows and hands, too!

Hand Chemistry
Heel Hydration Complex, $15.29, available at Target.
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Brush It Up
Taking a bath can help increase your blood circulation — another way to achieve this is by dry brushing. Use a natural brush like this one and rub it on dry skin, starting at your legs and working your way up the body, a few times a week. Not only will it get your blood pumping, it can help detoxify your body, make your skin glow, and help you sleep better. Read more about this holistic treatment here.

Mio Skincare Natural Dry Body Brush, $20, net-a-porter.com.
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Rest Easy
One of the major benefits of a soothing bath before bed is that it can calm you down and set you up for an easy drift off to slumberland. But if you live in a soak-free zone and are in need of a relaxing sleep remedy that doesn't involve pill-popping, you can let this lotion be your lullaby. It utilizes the relaxing powers of lavender and chamomile to calm your skin and enhance sleep, all the while leaving you with a supple, allover softness. Sweet dreams.

Bath & Body Works Lavender Chamomile Body Lotion, $13, available at Bath & Body Works.
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