Excerpt from Aromatherapy by Micheline Arcier - Bath Oils
Baths have been taken since time immemorial to improve both health and looks. Continuing in this tradition, bath oils, in which essential oils are used, are the most popular of our preparations.
An aromatic bath is not only useful for the wonderful aroma it creates, but also for the numerous therapeutic properties in the various essential oils. It is magical to relax at night in a warm bath. Morning baths, using uplifting and fortifying essential oils, are also excellent.
Essential oils are not absorbed by water, so they form droplets that will stay on the surface. Even if they are mixed into the water, they still have a tendency to stay on the surface. Their therapeutic action is gained through breathing in the odoriferous molecules they produce.
Simply place 4 to 6 drops of essential oil in the bathwater. Always check the properties of the essential oil before using it in the bath, as some can be an irritant to the skin.
Some manufacturers use a special disperser that allows the essential oil to be more evenly mixed into the water. In this case, their action is beneficial both by their aroma and by osmosis through the skin into the bloodstream.
The temperature of the bath and the length of time spent in it are also important. Spending 15 to 20 minutes in a warm bath is calming. A cooler bath in invigorating. Very hot baths are not good for the vascular system and are not advised in the case of varicose veins, thread veins, haemorrhoids, high blood pressure, cardiac problems and pregnancy.
Too many baths have a drying effect on the skin and diminish its protection against infection. Aromatic baths, on the other hand, help to preserve and restore the skin. Four aromatic baths a week is the usual recommendation, except when otherwise prescribed.
A point to take note of when having a bath; do not rub your hands on your eyes in case they have some of the essential oil on them.