Newest Trend for Influencers: Taking Baths

Say hello to the bathfluencers

Influencers are making bath time an art.
By Kayla Kibbe / September 30, 2019 12:57 pm

As a child, graduating from baths to showers was a major milestone. It meant I was a semi-functional person who could be trusted to stand alone under cascading water without drowning and/or getting soap in my eyes. Baths were for children. Taking showers was a privilege, an achievement.

These days, however, you don’t have to scroll too far on Instagram to see that baths are in, and not just for overzealous parents documenting baby’s first (and second, seventh and 400th) bath time. Colorful baths drawn for grown adults filled with fizzy bath bombs and other pricey products dominate social media feeds everywhere, proving bath time has not only grown up, but aged into luxury. Showers seem increasingly austere by comparison a utilitarian hygiene regimen for the rushed and harried. Steamy baths filled with expensive products, meanwhile, appear to be for people with both time and money at their disposal. In other words, baths are for influencers or, to use the charming portmanteau Rachel Syme aptly coined in a recent New Yorker piece, “bathfluencers.”

Syme counts the likes of Mariah Carey, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lin-Manuel Miranda among the diverse corps of celebrity bathfluencers who have made their highly specific bath time routines public information. Models and makeup gurus have also made contributions to the bathfluence trend, including Glossier CEO Emily Weiss, who, as Syme noted, is known to take a scalding, Epsom salted bath almost nightly.

Meanwhile, there are also influencers who have built their entire brands around baths, often focusing on a spiritual aspect that has become a hallmark of trends in the wellness space. Syme points to Deborah Hanekamp, a Brooklyn-based bathfluencer and trained Shaman whose Medicine Readings in SoHo end with a customized bath prescription.

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Been leaning into the Ritual Baths a lot lately to remind me of my resilience, I go in to the bath feeling one way and I come out feeling balanced, peaceful and strong. This bath is dedicated to my enchanted city of resilience ~NYC~ and to anyone who may be in need of a reminder that everything we experience in life is an opportunity to gain wisdom and strength. . ✨ . INGREDIENTS . Mix a tablespoon of raw local honey, 10 drops rose absolute essential oil, 10 drops frankincense oil into 2 cups non dairy milk of your choice and then add mixture to your bath water along with 3 cups pink salt, pink rose petals and rose quartz and moonstone crystals. . 🍃 . RITUAL . Cleanse aura with the smoke of a lit cinnamon stick, step into bath, place rose quartz on heart center and moonstone on upper chest, close eyes and take deep breaths till your heart and lungs feel clear. Sit and soak in the magic and medicine you’ve created. . . . . #mamamedicine #medicinereadings #ritualbath #beyourownhealer #byoh #ilovenewyork photo of my bath creation captured many moons ago by @stephanienoritz

A post shared by Deborah Hanekamp (@mamamedicine) on

“I like to make baths with açaí powder, and coconut milk, that creates this beautiful purplish water that makes the skin feel amazing,” Hanekamp told Syme, adding that she often reserves leftover post-bath ingredients to “offer them to a tree.” A recipe book of these “ritual baths” is forthcoming from William and Morrow.

Trees aside, it’s clear a new, sophisticated era of bath time is upon us, and like most trends today, it comes complete with its own genre of influencers.

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