Bath time is my absolute favorite. A bath can transform your mood, relieve sore muscles after a grueling workout, or just help you switch off and reset your brain after a stressful day of work.
If there is one person on this planet that loves a bath as much as I do, it’s Gwyneth Paltrow. She first fell in love with baths while filming Emma (over 20 years ago), when the only thing that helped with the bone-chilling cold was a hot bath. She took a bath every night while filming. I can relate to this mindset. When it’s cold out, I take a bath nearly every single night. To this day, Gwyneth takes a bath every night, and over the years (while building her own brand), GP learned a lot about the science of essential oils and botanicals… especially as she worked with Paul Kempisty (a New York based herbalist and acupuncturist). Together, the two of them dreamed up five magical bathing potions. I got to try them all and meet with Paul for an essential oil treatment and wanted to share my experience here today!
What I love most about the baths is that they are all so specifically formulated. A lot of times when a brand launches a collection, the base product is the same but with different fragrances. All five of these soaks are SO different. Some are powdery and milky, some are more traditional salts. I’ve listed out all 5 below (in order of my personal preference), breaking down what is so great about each of them (and the mess factor associated with each – but rest assure, cleanup is a breeze… after some of the darker baths I just let it drain, run the shower, and wipe the tub down with a soft cloth. It takes all of two minutes and is totally worth it after such a luxurious soak!
Each soak retails for $35 and contains enough for 3 baths.
* Phys. Ed., for sore muscles / after a workout. First of all, a pleasant surprise: the photo on the front of the bag is bright turmeric yellow which leads one to believe that this could be a rather messy bathing experience. So, I was happily surprised when I opened the bag up to find a white/clear soak (similar to epsom salts). This bath is like epsom salts… well, the most luxurious epsom salts you could ever find, that is The base is pharmaceutical grade epsom salts and dead sea salts, and it also contains apple cider vinegar + arnica (so good for sore muscles). For essential oils, it contains turmeric, ginger, frankincense, rosemary, lavender, and wintergreen. This is my personal favorite of all the soaks, actually, simply because I am working on my fitness and very sore a lot of the time. I absolutely loved this soak. I sweated a LOT and felt amazing, super relaxed and sleepy afterward. (I did it two days after a particularly hard yoga class and a fast run that day.) Mess factor: None.
Nurse!, is a totally different consistency from the other soaks, in that it’s more of a powder (think powdered milk). I tried this when I wasn’t sick but was feeling a little bit run down. The idea is to take a bath before you get really sick. The base is made of epsom salts + baking soda (hence the powdery consistency) and contains mustard powder (hence the yellow color), coconut oil, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree oil, rosemary + more. It smells amazing and invigorating (like the spa) and left me so relaxed. This is Paul (Gwyneth’s acupuncturist/essential oil expert)’s favorite of the baths, and my second favorite. Is it bad that I’m looking forward to using this next time I’m sick? Mess factor: Messy. Left my tub very yellow (it rinsed off easily), and I had to shower afterward because it left a milky residue on my skin.
The Martini, to help you chill out. I tried this one at the hotel. It was perfect as I was having one of those days where anything and everything could go wrong… stupid, little stuff kept adding up! I really loved this as the fragrance reminded me of my favorite incense (I think it’s the frankincense and sandalwood oils), but I will also say that isn’t for everyone! (One friend reached out via DM and told me her house smelled like “church” after – haha!) I can see that but to me that was a good thing and I really love how it smelled. It instantly mellowed me out and I felt amazing afterward. This soak contains epsom salts + Himalayan pink salt, and I was intrigued to see that it also contains passion flower (which my mom’s herbalist on Cape Cod gave me to take (orally) when I have anxiety – it works) Mess factor: Medium. The salts dissolve but there’s some other stuff left behind… you’ll need to give it a good scrub after!
G. Tox, to detox, was a surprise as it is a charcoal bath but it smelled a bit fruity! (In a yummy, refreshing way – this is because it contains pineapple + papaya seed extracts and grapefruit essential oils). I felt extreeeeemely relaxed and refreshed after doing this soak. This one is a little creamy too as it contains glacial clay and activated charcoal. Mess factor: Medium. I always get asked if charcoal soaks ruin my tub and the answer is while they’re a little messy it isn’t that bad. Just be sure to rinse/wipe down the tub quickly afterward.
G.Nite, for sleep. As someone who loves to sleep but can have a hard time getting there, this was actually my least favorite. The scent was pretty exotic (I can’t figure out which ingredient it was that I didn’t love as I love lavender and sandalwood) and once I was in the tub soaking, I felt great, but it wasn’t my favorite. Also, I don’t really think there is a need for a specific sleep soak as all of the soaks are great before bedtime. That being said, even though this was my “least favorite,” choosing a “least favorite” of Gwyneth’s baths is like choosing a “least favorite” pasta at Carbone – they’re all pretty amazing!! Mess factor: Medium. The salts are brown and it leaves a mess behind but as with G Tox, it’s pretty easy to clean up!
photography by Trent Bailey. (This post isn’t sponsored, but thanks to goop for providing me with an amazing + relaxing evening… and for providing me with all 5 soaks for testing purposes.)