When you’ve had a mentally stressful day, a warm bath is a fabulous way to unwind… Then there are those days when you may have pushed your body a bit too much. Maybe you overdid it in the yard, were trying to keep up with the grandkids at the park, or engaged in a new activity that your muscles weren’t used to. All of those things can result in sore muscles and achy joints. A soak in the tub can help relax your body, quiet your mind, and calm your soul.
Get Clean in the Shower, Relax in the Bathtub
If your primary objective is cleansing your body, you’re most likely to jump into the shower. All that dirt and grime goes right down the drain. For radiant skin and additional detoxification, try dry skin brushing right before you take a shower.
So, the bathtub isn’t typically where we go to wash up. Most of us think of a warm bath as something designed to create a different experience altogether, but I want to make certain your bath isn’t doing more harm than good.
Here’s what this article will cover:
- What are chlorine and chloramines?
- Why these chemicals are so detrimental to your health and your skin
- How to dechlorinate your bath water to protect your healthy bacteria, and to minimize aging of your skin
Chlorine and Chloramine: Two Dangerous Toxins in Our Water Supply
Chlorine is used in the municipal water supply for the purpose of removing microbes, which include bacteria. Chloramines are also used to treat drinking water, and they are most commonly formed by adding ammonia to chlorine. Not only will these chemicals disinfect the water, they also have the potential to do the same to YOU. There is evidence that chlorine and chloramines can target and kill the friendly bacteria (which are crucial for optimal health) that reside on your skin and in your gut.
If You Wouldn’t Drink It, You Shouldn’t Bathe in It
I bet you’ve probably been drinking purified water for a while now. Removing toxins and impurities from the water you drink is important for your health, but I want to make sure you have considered the water you shower and bathe in. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so absorbing toxins by daily bathing in unfiltered water has the potential to create much more toxic exposure than drinking unpurified water.
Before you even stick your big toe into the bathtub to test the water temperature, you’ll want to make sure your water is as pure as possible. As you soak in your luxurious bath – if you haven’t taken steps to dechlorinate the water – you will absorb chlorine through your skin. Hot or warm water will cause your pores to open up, increasing the likelihood of absorbing even more toxins.
First, I want you to know why these chemical are so harmful, then I’ll reveal a simple, low-cost method of dechlorinating your bath water.
Two Ways Chlorine Harms Your Skin
- Chlorine kills off beneficial bacteria. Millions of microbes reside on the surface (and in the deeper layers) of your skin. I’m sure you know that to be optimally healthy, you need beneficial bacteria populating your gut, so hopefully you are taking a good quality probiotic every day and frequently consuming prebiotics in your diet. You may not know, however, that your skin (again, your largest organ), needs to have a colony of friendly bacteria as well. Why? To fight infection.
- Chlorine can cause premature aging of the skin. As a young girl, I spent most summers swimming in my best friend’s neighborhood pool. Not only did my naturally blonde hair develop a greenish tint, but my skin would become dry and flaky as well. Today, now that I’m in my late 50s, if I spent a few hours a day in a swimming pool, my skin would likely become dry AND wrinkled. Whether you swim in a chlorinated pool or not, to keep your skin radiant and healthy looking, you must make sure you remove chlorine from your bath and shower water.
If you are like the women over 50 that I work with in my private practice, you spend time taking care of your health. You know it’s true that efforts to reduce stress, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and get plenty of rest will result in healthier, more radiant looking skin. However, one activity that you probably consider an important beauty regimen – cleansing your skin – could actually be damaging it. That is, if you are using unpurified water. Fortunately, there is a simple way to remove these toxins!
How to Neutralize Chlorine and Chloramine
Dechlorination of your bathing water can be done by using vitamin C.
Option 1: Purchase Effervescent Vitamin C Tablets
Every Christmas, I bought my maternal grandmother Cecelia (“Grandma Cecil”) a large container of bath gelee from her favorite company, Vitabath. I loved taking bubble baths as a young girl, but at home we were on a tight budget, so it was just plain hot water and Ivory soap.
When I visited grandma’s house, though, I got to take a luxurious bath with her wonderfully fragrant bath gelee. These days, if Grandma Cecil were here, I’d have her use Vitabath’s effervescent vitamin C tablets to dechlorinate her water before adding her gelee. You can purchase these tablets on Amazon, and they are quite reasonable.
Option 2: Add 1 teaspoon of powdered vitamin C to your bath water. I buy powdered vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. This is really all you need to get the job done, but if you want to recreate the Vitabath formula, here’s what you’ll need:
Option 3: Homemade Formula
The Vitabath tablets contain the following three ingredients. I mix them together, and store the mixture in a glass container I keep on the edge of my tub.
- 1 tsp vitamin C powder as ascorbic acid
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp citric acid powder (optional)
Once you have obtained your chosen form of vitamin C for dechlorination, these are the steps you’ll take:
- Fill your tub with very hot water
- Add 1 teaspoon of vitamin C powder. If you have a very large tub, use 2 teaspoons.
- Wait 5 minutes
- By now the temperature should be right, but add more hot or cold water if necessary
An Ounce of Prevention
Many women use oils and moisturizers after bathing to add moisture back into the skin… And while that can be definitely be beneficial, why not reduce the damaging effects of chlorine on your skin by using vitamin C to purify your water as well?
BONUS Tip: You could make a special, homemade gift with this recipe. Place the ingredients in a mason jar, add a personalized label (with instructions), and tie a beautiful bow around the rim.
Dr. Kathleen Perry is a nationally recognized authority on natural health and personal transformation, passionate about helping women over 50 age with vitality, purpose, and passion. For nearly 30 years, Dr. Kathleen has helped thousands through her clinical work. She curates the latest cutting edge research via her website, eBooks, women’s retreats, digital programs, and speaking engagements. Dr. Perry continues to transform lives in her private practice near Houston.
Discover the Top 7 Best-Kept Secret Strategies for Aging with Passion, Vitality, & Purpose with Dr. Kathleen’s newest resource for Women by clicking here.