If you love a good bubble bath as much as I do, then you will appreciate that today is National Bubble Bath Day! Who knew??!!
In celebration of the occasion, I wanted to share some expert advice on how to get the biggest benefit from a good soak, as well as how to avoid health issues.
1. How Hot Is Too Hot?
Dermatologist Dr.Jeremy Fenton says the hotter the water, the more drying on your skin. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you should aim for lukewarm temperatures rather than hot. The water should be 1-2 degrees above body temperature to be comfortable, but not too drying. He recommends a temperature below 100 degress F, something between 96 and 100 degrees F should be good. If it feels hot to your hand, it is too hot for your body.
2. Do Products Matter?
Dermatologist Dr. Jessica Weiser says bubble bath products in general contain surfactant which allows the water to foam but also pulls oils out of the skin and damages the skin’s protective barrier. In general bubble bath causes dryness and irritation especially in sensitive or eczema prone skin. Bath oils with vitamin C or E, or even baby oil (or olive oil), in addition to numerous natural products such as ginger, lemon slices, and rosemary can be added to bath water to diminish dryness and improve skin quality.
3. Can You Soak Too Long?
Yes. Dr. Fenton says staying in the bath too long can lead to dry skin, especially if that is a bubble bath. The longer your skin is exposed to the soaps in the bath, the more of your natural oils will be stripped away. If you have sensitive skin and want to spend some extra time relaxing in a bath, best to do it in the beginning before adding the soap or bubbles.
4. Can You Heal While You Soak?
Yes. Dr. Weiser says epsom salts are high in magnesium and sulfates which can reduce inflammation, improve the absorption of nutrients, exfoliate dead skin, and flush toxins from the body. Witch hazel while less traditional in a bath can also be anti-inflammatory.
More serious issues:
And ladies, aside from dry, irritated skin, bubble baths can cause much more serious health issues for our lower lady parts. Here is some information from Discovery Health that we should be careful about.
•Discharge: Normal vaginal discharge serves an important role in removing bacteria and dead cells, and this process helps prevent infection. But the use of some bubble bath products can cause abnormal discharge that may result in itching, burning and an unpleasant odor [source: WebMD].
•Dryness: Although bubble baths don’t cause vaginal dryness, they can aggravate existing conditions. Women shouldn’t take a bubble bath to relieve vaginal dryness because the bubble bath may cause further drying [source: Mayo Clinic].
•UTIs: Women and girls are at an even greater risk of contracting UTIs than men and boys. Women suffering from a UTI should especially avoid bubble baths because exposure to some ingredients can slow recovery [source: National Institutes of Health].
•Vaginitis: A number of infections fall under the heading “vaginitis” including yeast infections. Soaking in a soothing tub of bubbles may seem like a good way to relieve itching, burning and pain, but irritants commonly found in bubble bath can actually make these symptoms worse. A bubble bath won’t cause a yeast infection; however, it can make you more susceptible to one [source: Mayo Clinic].
Adults can read product labels to make informed choices about bubble bath products, but babies can’t. Read on to learn how bubbles and babies mix, so you can make the best choice your infant.
If you’re undergoing radiation therapy, a hot bubble bath may sound like a great way to relax, but before you soak, ask your doctor for product recommendations. Many skin products, including bubble bath, are restricted during radiation therapy. If you’re allowed to indulge in a bubble bath, make sure you do so at least four hours before or after radiation therapy [source: National Cancer Institute].
For more information about Dr. Fenton, please go to Nyccosmeticdermatology.com.
For more information about Dr. Weiser, please go to nydg.com or colbertmd.com. Also, you can follow on twiiter @colbertmd