Gwyneth Paltrow has a bath every day.
Whether she has always done this or is now just upping her bathing game as GOOP has a line of $35 bath soaks, I don’t know. Apparently, her evening bath is non-negotiable. She must not have to make dinner and clean up afterwards, help with home work, do laundry, and grocery shop like mere mortals.
I didn’t think much of it because I’m more into showers. I’m super tall and my bath is a relic from the 1970s, so it’s a tight fit.
However, yesterday I ran a half-marathon! Yeah me.
My 51-year-old legs were less enthusiastic about the awesomeness of the accomplishment. By the time I made it back home they were incredibly sore and stiff and a hot bath sounded good. My son, a Lush addict, tried to get me to use one of his bath-bomb things and then I remembered my GOOP bath soak called Phys. Ed. I was in actual possession of a “recovery bath soak!” GP’s medicine is wacky yet useless, but as a self-styled bath-goddess maybe she knew a thing or two about the tub?
The advertised ingredients seemed like they came from a trendy woo word generator. Apple cider vinegar, arnica, and turmeric just didn’t seem like they would complement each other olfactory wise. It was not as if they would be absorbed to provide any health benefit, after all that is why we have a stratum corneum to keep things like turmeric and apple cider vinegar out. The GOOPsters know that, right?
The ingredient list read like a strange spell and the instructions said they would work “magic.”
There is no science to support the use of Epsom salts (nice review here by the way) and so when I recommend sitz baths (as I often do for medical conditions) I just suggest water. However, if you like the feel of Epsom salts it’s fine. If you think they make your skin feel nicer afterwards, that’s all good too. Liking how something feels isn’t medicine, it’s life. Epsom and Dead Sea salts in your bath are preference not pharmaceutical. Magnesium is important for muscle function, but it isn’t like it is going to seep through the skin from bathwater and work directly on muscles, you know?
I was also worried about the turmeric. Given the color advertised on the packaging I did not want to end up the color of Donald Trump! My Cheetos skin fears were, however, unfounded as the package is a grand exercise in false advertising! Color me shocked.
The turmeric is obviously in homeopathic quantities. Maybe that is what makes it so strong? (Not really, I’m dying at the thought though).
So I took the plunge.
I felt as if I were making a brew because this shit stinks. I mean it is horrible!
It smells like a compost bin in the fall if you have an apple tree. Think of a bin half full with rotting apples topped off with wet leaves, twigs, and food scraps. Like that, but with medicinal notes. My kids also thought it was disgusting. I was going to get their reaction on video, but they refused to smell it a second time for the camera.
The bath water was not orange. The water felt like Epsom Salts. It stank. It did not make me feel relaxed. I longed for Lush.
My hair and skin smelled like medicinal compost for several hours and my cat refused all cuddles. I was pleased that I did not develop any disturbing vulvar skin reaction.
My muscles did not miraculously recover.
If you like baths I am pretty sure you can get a far nicer product for less than $35.
There is no way the GOOP recovery bath soak can help your muscles any more than plain Epsom salts or just water. For me the point of adding scents to bathwater is to smell nice! Whether the other bath soaks are as disgusting I can’t say as I’m not going to try them.
After being at the In GOOP Health event it is clear that her acolytes are willing to give her a pass on everything that doesn’t produce miraculous changes (so basically everything sold by GOOP). GOOP is the cult of Gwyneth. I suspect people will buy the bath products and they will sell well for a time. When sales drop as repeat customers are unlikely (given the smell and expense) Gwyneth will find a new quasi-medical ritual with a matching product line.