There’s nothing like creating your own home spa with a bath salts recipe you know will turn an everyday bath into a luxurious soak. And nothing could be simpler. You can also create home-made bath salts from a base of common materials you can find in your local grocery or drug store.
Take some time out of your day for a long, health-giving soak that will leech the tension from your body and leave you with fresh, glowing skin. You can even mix up a large batch of this bath salts recipe and save it for later. Or, if you choose, add food coloring, mix well, and put into pretty jars to gift to your friends.
The Base “Salts” in Your Bath Salts Recipe
Generally, a bath salts recipe starts with a base of Epsom salt, sea salts, or baking soda, either used individually or in combination. Each of these “salts” brings its own benefits to your bath, as well as softening your skin.
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, treats skin rashes and abrasions. It also helps to treat fungal infections like candida and other strains that infect the skin like athlete’s foot, dandruff, and nail infections. Those with eczema and psoriasis can benefit from the soothing effects of a baking soda bath.
Anecdotal evidence says that its especially good for oxygenating the blood, as it increases CO2 levels in the bloodstream, which dilates blood cells in tired muscles and drives oxygen and other nutrients into the tissues for speedier repair.
Another common ingredient you’ll find in your bath salts recipe is sea salt, more specifically, Dead Sea salts.
Sea salts include essential minerals that assist your skin in healing. It can also provide a drying effect, which helps with rashes and dermatitis. One of medicine’s first observations was the disinfectant capabilities of sea water, documented by the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates.
Dead sea salts, which include high levels of magnesium, have been proven to improve skin integrity, hydration, and smoothness. These salts are also rich in minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, zinc, and strontium.
Adding Essential Oils to Your Bath Salts Recipe
Along with providing a lovely fragrance to your bath salts recipe, many essential oils offer mental and emotional benefits via aromatherapy. Lavender promotes relaxation, as does Roman chamomile. Ylang ylang oil has also shown that it reduces anxiety, lowering blood pressure, pulse rate, and breathing rate when applied topically.
Some essential oils also promote skin healing. For example, a May 2018 study showed that oregano and winter savory essential oils were effective again drug-resistant vaginal yeast infections.
Tea tree oil (melaleuca) has long been used to treat bacterial infections of the skin such as acne, and fungal infections of the skin and nails like onychomycosis.
Bergamot, cilantro, and spikenard essential oils inhibit inflammation, and helichrysum and ylang-ylang essential oils help in wound healing.
Essential oils can even speed up skin healing. Whether your skin is inflamed or sun damaged, a 2000 study showed that the aromatherapy effects of relaxing fragrances shortened the healing time for skin. Normally, the damaged skin suffers some shock before it can begin repairing itself. However, the sedative effects of some essential oils prevented that delay in healing.
Rosemary, lavender, and sage have all shown that they increase collagen production in humans, while tests on animals suggest they may also serve as an anti-aging component in cosmetics.
For skin that's aging and fragile, try a rose oil. Researchers found that it assisted skin rejuvenation by improving how new skin cells differentiated themselves during growth.
Along with making you smell divine, sandalwood essential oil carries anti-cancer properties, halting the overgrowth of precancerous cells, and researchers believe it may help prevent skin cancer. With its sensuous fragrance and health benefits like that, sandalwood makes an excellent addition to your bath salts recipe.
Finally, it may be a bit of a reach, but grapefruit oil may help you reduce excess subcutaneous fat cells. Scientists have found that it inhibits fat cell growth in a dose-dependent manner. And another study found that getting a massage with a combination of grapefruit and cypress oils reduced both abdominal fat and waist circumference in postmenopausal women while improving their own self body-image. Even if it isn't worth the hype, a soothing bath soak aids a healthy sleep pattern, which has been shown to help fight obesity.
Herbs for Relaxation
You can also add many of your favorite herbs to your bath salts recipe, like comfrey leaf for cuts and scrapes. Calendula helps soothe inflamed skin with dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. Although some can be found in the form of essential oils, you can also use the dried herb as a “tea” for soaking.
The herbs in your bath salts recipes should be well dried before you add them to the mixture. In this way, they won't spoil in your bath salts mixtures. If you prefer using fresh herbs, add them separately to the bath water in a small cheesecloth bag.
Bath Water Temperature and Sleep
Although all the nourishing minerals, salts, and herbs you add to your bath salts recipe are generally considered safe by physicians, you may wonder how effective they really are. And you may (or may not) be surprised to find out that the temperature of the bath water impacts your results regardless of the ingredients you add. Sometimes, the ritual of the bath and the warming effects are enough to aid sleep.
Researchers working with sleep disorders have tested hot baths and even footbaths with a wide range of patients. These researchers have found that young athletes slept better after a simple warm shower of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It raised their skin temperature, which helped ready them for slumber.
In another study, female fibromyalgia patients, known for the interrupted sleep patterns that exacerbate chronic pain, slept better after a 30-minute soak at 97 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
Researchers also discovered that women suffering from fatigue and insomnia during cancer treatment enjoyed better and more restful sleep after a 20-minute footbath of 105 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. A hot bath results in deeper sleep, with more time spent in the restorative cycle, for many.
Along with the soothing effect that a hot bath provides, a higher water temperature also increases the permeability of your skin. This makes it more likely to absorb the nutrients in your bath salts recipes, especially the magnesium.
Choosing a safe temperature
Although you may be tempted to run your bath as hot as possible for maximum benefit, you should observe safety guidelines. Temperatures in excess of 114 degrees F can cause scalding and are certainly not safe for seniors, children, or pregnant women.
Young and middle-aged adults (who are not pregnant) can handle hotter temperatures, but dermatologist Dr. Melissa Pilang says to limit the temperate maximum to 112 degrees.
For the most relaxing bath, a healthy adult can test the water with their hand and assess its comfort level. The best part is that if you’re taking a long soak, you can add hot water to the bath throughout to keep it at your preferred temperature.
Create Your Own Bath Salts Recipe
So, now you’ve read about all the benefits of the many ingredients you can add to your bath salts recipe and you're ready to soak away your troubles and get a great nights sleep.
If you choose, you can add a few drops of food coloring to match your bathroom décor. Blues, greens, and lilac are considered very soothing colors and may help you relax.
Add the coloring a few drops at a time and then mix thoroughly. Just add more drops for a deeper color.
Storing your bath salts
You can choose any closed container you like to store your bath salts recipe, but you may want to create something pretty to hold it. A well-sealed glass jar is a good option because it will keep the salts dry. Plastic is safer for the bath, but unfortunately, many essential oils corrode plastic containers. So, make sure you keep your glass jar up high and safe away from curious children.
Get Ready to Relax
To try this amazing bath salt recipe for the most relaxing bath, just add a half to three-quarters of a cup to a running bath. Check the temperature while the tub is filling to make sure that it doesn’t fill up with water that’s too cold. It’s easier to cool off a hot tub than heat up a cold one. You may even want to get a bath thermometer for the optimal temperature.
Then, slip in and soak for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy a cup of hot herbal tea or even a glass of wine while you relax. You can even use them as a body polishing scrub before slipping back into the water.
We hope you found some useful information and enjoy this bath salts recipe. Happy soaking and sweet dreams!