We Tried It

What Happened When I Tried a Digital Detox Bath

We’re guessing you might need one this time of year.

By: Alicia Cesaro

“This bath is no joke. Put down your cell phone. Shut off the computer,” reads the label on the mineral-rich sea salts I’m about to pour into my tub full of hot water. The directions are specific, which I like (full disclosure: I love directions and beauty labels to make sure I have the steps down pat). I’m taking everything the Pursoma Digital Detox Bath says to heart, which, besides the obvious powering-down of all electronics, includes drinking 16 ounces of purified water beforehand (and during, and after), and a specific post-bathing detox ritual (I’ll get to that in a sec). For extra credit, I light a variety of very necessary Diptyque candles and immerse myself in the tub, ensuring I’ve stirred all the French green clay and hand-harvested grey sea salt together with a large wooden spoon. Oddly enough, I use my kitchen utensils more in the bathroom than in the kitchen.

 

I started to feel a bit light-headed, which I attributed to the digital toxins leaving my body. I kept hydrating and willed myself to fall asleep.

 

The bath itself doesn’t seem any different than normal, but I feel very fancy and detox-like as I try to be still, keep my body under water, and maintain a consistently hot water temperature. The only thing that’s different this bath time is that I don’t have my laptop perched on the toilet streaming The Mindy Project. According to Pursoma founder Shannon Vaughn, while I soak, the “montmorillonite clay assists in drawing out unhealthy toxins, while the sea salt stimulates circulation and helps relieve stiff joints and muscle cramps.” It's all meant to combat the environmental stressors of anyone who’s “tired, stressed, and had excessive exposure to technology.” All the hands up.

After 20 minutes of soaking comes the best—and what felt like was the most important—part, the sweat and rest. After getting out of the bath, I pat dry (do not rinse, as the ingredients are still going to work on your skin), then run to my bed wrapped in a towel and arrange myself under the warmest, coziest blanket. I stayed like this (phone-, TV-, electronic–free) for 15-30 minutes. Since your body is still so hot from the bath, you continue to sweat, which Pursoma says is when the remainder of the toxins are purged from your body (I like). At this point, I start to feel a bit light-headed, which I attribute to the digital toxins leaving my body. I keep hydrating and will myself to fall asleep.

After the 30 minutes, I felt very refreshed and my skin felt super smooth—like I had done the whole hot-yoga-sauna-steam circuit at the gym and spa, but without ever leaving home. Pursoma recommends their baths every week, but I would say that even just a hot, phone-free bath followed by some quiet downtime would help your mind *and* body. It just gives you a legitimate excuse to relax and recharge quietly without any distractions or email notifications.

If you’re home or traveling for the holidays, Im guessing your parents or the hotel has a bathtub way more appealing than the one in your studio apartment, making it the perfect time to try a detox bath. Plus, holiday time also means more chances to power down a bit (*prayer hands emoji*) from work, Instagram, and Netflix.

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