Megan Tries It: The New Secret to Moisturizing in a Bath – megan oneill

Megan O’Neill in bath tub

Megan Tries It

The New Secret to Moisturizing in a Bath

Megan O’Neill

Megan O’Neill is the senior beauty editor at goop. Which is another way of saying she has a passion for clean products, loves anything that reduces stress, and will happily guinea pig herself in the name of wellness.

There are a lot of dreary bathrooms with gnarly tubs in New York City (that is, if you’re lucky enough to rent a place with a tub). Even after a robust scrub, the one in the apartment where I grew up always looked somewhat dingy at best. When I moved to Brooklyn after college, the tubs were even more unwelcoming—comically teensy and crammed so close to the toilet that the idea of taking a soak lost any bit of appeal. The terrible tubs went on for years. I really only ever took baths at fancy friends’ apartments or on the rare occasions when I found myself staying at a deluxe hotel.

Fast-forward to thirty-six-year-old me—at last the owner of a freakin’ great tub. My husband and I bought a place and poured everything we had into the bathroom: colorful Mexican tiles, rustic patinaed fixtures, and the pièce de résistance, the tub. We’re both humongous (Jesse is six-three; I’m six-one) and have spent our lives bitterly cramped at the movies and on planes, so we got a giant, deep-as-a-grave tub as recompense. I put myself immediately to work testing salts, oils, and tinctures, and my very favorite discovery so far is this new sandalwood-and-lavender prebath body oil, which keeps you totally moisturized while you’re in even a very warm tub and, I swear, practically stops time when it touches your skin.

Fast-forward to thirty-six-year-old me—at last the owner of a freakin’ great tub. My husband and I bought a place and

poured everything we had into the bathroom: colorful Mexican tiles, rustic patinaed fixtures, and the pièce de résistance, the tub. We’re both humongous (Jesse is six-three; I’m six-one) and have spent our lives bitterly cramped at the movies and on planes, so we got a giant, deep-as-a-grave tub as recompense. I put myself immediately to work testing salts, oils, and tinctures, and my very favorite discovery so far is this new sandalwood-and-lavender prebath body oil, which keeps you totally moisturized while you’re in even a very warm tub and, I swear, practically stops time when it touches your skin.

Here is my prescription: Close the bathroom door (lock it if you have curious kids), fill the tub, dim the lights so that your flickering candle sets a vibe, and get naked. Massage two pumps of the oil over your body. Take your time, touch your limbs lovingly, and devote this small interval completely to yourself. (I learned the power of this sort of ritual with oneself from Erica Chidi, CEO and cofounder of LOOM, a sexual and reproductive health and well-being brand.) Breathe in the oil’s incredible herbaceous scent and let it take the edge off the day. Bathe’s founder, Tiffany Brown, is a Black woman based in Harlem who’s an herbalist and developed her gorgeous line out of a need for formulas that moisturized and calmed her own unsoothable sensitive skin. Once you’re gleaming with oil from the neck down, sink into the tub and steep for the fifteen minutes or so it takes to fully unwind. The blend of organic jojoba, sesame, and olive fruit oils also doubles as a body cleanser, so it dissolves dirt, grime, and oil on your skin while simultaneously moisturizing it—strange magic.

Here is my prescription: Close the bathroom door (lock it if you have curious kids), fill the tub, dim the lights so that your flickering candle sets a vibe, and get naked. Massage two pumps of the oil over your body. Take your time, touch your limbs lovingly, and

devote this small interval completely to yourself. (I learned the power of this sort of ritual with oneself from Erica Chidi, CEO and cofounder of LOOM, a sexual and reproductive health and well-being brand.) Breathe in the oil’s incredible herbaceous scent and let it take the edge off the day. Bathe’s founder, Tiffany Brown, is a Black woman based in Harlem who’s an herbalist and developed her gorgeous line out of a need for formulas that moisturized and calmed her own unsoothable sensitive skin. Once you’re gleaming with oil from the neck down, sink into the tub and steep for the fifteen minutes or so it takes to fully unwind. The blend of organic jojoba, sesame, and olive fruit oils also doubles as a body cleanser, so it dissolves dirt, grime, and oil on your skin while simultaneously moisturizing it—strange magic.

Out of the bath and toweled dry, my skin feels softer than flower petals, plumped, and deeply nourished. What I can’t get over is how springy and impossibly moisturized it still feels an entire day later. (And I’m someone with perpetual lizard skin.) I waited thirty-six years for my dream tub—and to discover this dreamy, now-permanent part of my skin-care routine.

While I’m Soaking


If You’re Not a Bath Person (or Have an Unwelcoming Tub):

A Shower Routine for Silky Skin (and Hair)

Baths are special, but I love showers and, like most people, take them much more frequently than I take baths. As with a bath, though, emerging soft and moisturized is my primary goal.

1

Dry Brush

Do this on dry skin before showering or climbing into the bath. The bristles feel incredibly invigorating as you sweep the brush up your arms and thighs, leaving your skin impossibly smooth and your psyche refreshed.

2

Preshower Oil

My much-loved prebath oil works beautifully massaged on before a shower, too (though the skin-softening effect is admittedly most powerful with a bath).

3

Exfoliate

I like my showers scalding hot, and the steaminess is perfect for helping to open my pores. I smooth on a dab of Microderm face scrub and let the glycolic acid do its thing for three minutes or so while I relish the heat. When I do it at least two or three times a week, my skin looks its glowiest and smoothest.

4

treat Your Hair

I’m obsessed with this once-a-week whipped pink-salt shampoo that doubles as scalp scrub. It lathers like a dream, the Himalayan salt and detoxifying oils sweep away product buildup and oil, and it leaves my curls downy and healthy-looking. I follow with the hydrating conditioner from Rahua—it’s made with nourishing mango, green tea, and aloe extracts—and work it through my ends with a comb or brush for the shiniest, most manageable, bouncy results. It smells like mangoes, which I love.

5

Lather Up Your Body

I alternate between these two: the Sangre de Fruta is flowery-with-a-hint-of-bergamot heaven (I love the giant chic-as-hell pump bottle), and the Bathing Culture smells like a redwood grove, lathers stupendously, and radiates fun Cali vibes.

6

Moisturize Afterward

After any shower—but especially a hot one—your skin needs a little extra. Whether you’re team body cream or oil, apply whatever you’re using onto damp skin right out of the shower, so it melts right in (damp skin is more absorbent than dry skin). The body cream from Karité is rich, velvety, and made with pure raw shea butter sourced from Ghana. It smells delicate and fresh, and I love dipping into the giant tub. And the rose hip body oil from goop is perfection—so powerfully moisturizing, it leaves your arms and legs with the prettiest sheen.

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