Hungary sits on one of the richest geothermal water resources in the world. In 1934, Budapest was awarded the title of "City of Baths," and for good reason. It's home to 118 natural springs — more than any other capital city in the world. These thermal and medicinal waters bubble up and feed the famous bathhouses and spas with more than 70 million liters of warm, healing water each day.
Thermal springs have been an integral part of the city's history and culture for thousands of years. In the second century, the Romans first discovered and colonized the area to the west of the River Danube so that they could control and utilize these natural resources. The ruins are still visible in parts of the city. During the Turkish occupation of Hungary, in the 16th century, new baths were built that served both bathing and medicinal purposes. Many remain in use today!
It's safe to say that this traditional bathing culture continues to thrive today. There are 15 public baths — among them Széchenyi, Gellért, and Király — and countless private thermal spas. Each year, tourists and locals flock to this paradise of holistic health and wellness to soak their troubles away. The city was even dubbed the "latest skin care mecca."
But what makes Budapest's thermal springs so special? The answer lies deep below the earth's surface. These ancient waters are rich in naturally occurring trace elements, including zinc, sodium, bromine, sulfur, calcium, and magnesium, which are prized for their curative properties. Regarded as the holy grail of healing elixirs, a soak in these mineral-rich waters does everything from soothing sore muscles and fighting inflammation to improving circulation and promoting relaxation. And it's a blessing when it comes to your skin, delivering detoxifying and anti-aging benefits as well as treating common conditions like acne and eczema.
While a trip to Budapest sounds absolutely divine, most of us can't just jet off every time we need a little R&R. That's why we're such fans of brands like Eminence, Omorovicza, and I•Pekar Skin. These natural skin saviors effectively bottle the therapeutic benefits of the city's legendary thermal springs, so you can reap all the restorative and rejuvenating benefits in the comfort of your own home.
Eminence Thermal Spring Whip Moisturizer: Now watch me whip; now watch me moisturize. Too much? So is this clarity-promoting cream. And we mean that in the best possible way. Made with soothing Hungarian thermal spring water, purifying peppermint and toning sage, it simultaneously hydrates and balances excess sebum production.
Omorovicza Cleansing Milk: A face wash that removes impurities while hydrating and energizing skin? Sounds almost too good to be true. This miracle formula is infused with healing Hungarian thermal water, anti-inflammatory calendula oil, nourishing jojoba oil, and the brand's patented Hydro Mineral Transference. As Omorovicza puts it, "the results are nothing short of spectacular." And we can't argue with the truth. ($80)
I•Pekar Hungarian Thermal Mud: This mask is like a trip to a luxe Hungarian thermal bath ... in a jar! Activated thermal water plays a key role in this youth-reviving treatment, delivering a potent blend of raw healing minerals — magnesium, calcium, kalium, and sulfur — that helps minimize breakouts and maximize hydration. ($98)
After a long day there's nothing better than sitting back, relaxing, and letting the power of these majestic waters wash away all your stress (and skin ailments). Now all that's left to do is play some Franz Liszt and brush up on your borscht-making skills.