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From gym showers to tin tubs, discover how we’ve scrubbed up through the ages
It’s fair to say the Ancient Egyptians were big on baths. They made their own toiletries – a scented ‘soap’ paste consisting of ash and clay – and believed the cleaner the person, the closer they were to the gods.
Blokes in Ancient Greece loved hitting the gymnasium, where they’d train for sports and compete in public games. Result: a total sweat-fest. That’s why the Greeks came up with indoor showers and plumbing. Smart.
Communal bathhouses were the hub of Roman towns. People would socialise, exercise, slough away dead skin (urgh), and bathe in rooms with different temperatures.
Englishman William Feetham made the first mechanical shower. It pumped water into a vessel over a person’s head, which then cascaded down when the chain was pulled – like an 18th century ice-bucket challenge!
Homes were built with bathrooms as early as 1900, but even as late as the 1950s, lots of families still relied on tin tubs for their weekly bath. Yes, you heard that right – one wash per week.
Flotation tanks were first created by an American neuroscientist to investigate brain activity. But sensory deprivation was found to be deeply relaxing, particularly when Epsom salts were added to aid weightlessness. No wonder tanks are enjoying a comeback today.
A groundbreaking study found that a long, lavender-scented bath can leave us feeling more optimistic and content. Now if that’s not an excuse for a good soak, we don’t know what is.
Enjoy a blissful soak with New Dr Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution Soothe & Sleep With Lavender Boots Exclusive £7.99/799 points (1.36kg) – perfect for winding down before bed.Add
In 1807, iconic British company Pears made its first soap bar. Still going strong today, try Pears Shower Gel, £2/200 points (250ml).Add
A skin-softening bath that helps calm and soothe your mind? Sounds dreamy. Sanctuary Spa Bath Relaxer Boots Exclusive £6/600 points (150ml).Add
Make like the Romans and add exfoliation to your bathtime ritual: Miss Patisserie Lotus Flower Sugar Scrub* Boots Exclusive £13/1,300 points (480g).Add
Words Charlotte Grant-West Photography Alamy Stock Photo, Getty Images
*Available in selected stores