Bath salts have been one of the ultimate luxuries for a long time. The benefits of soaking in bath salts are considered to be helpful to the body in a number of ways. Salt contains minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, and these are thought to have therapeutic properties to cleanse and remove toxins from the body as well as improving circulation.
The salt also softens the water and the skin by removing dead skin cells from the body’s surface. The essential oils that are used for scenting the bath salts provide aromatherapy for the mind and soul, either relaxing you or invigorating you through the use of different scents. Bath salts are also thought to help people with psoriasis or other skin disorders gain temporary relief.
Whether bath salts can accomplish any of the above is up for debate. The best thing about bath salts is that they smell wonderful and provide a retreat from the everyday world. They are also simple to make and are a great homemade gift for friends and family.
Bath salts start with salt, of course! A variety of salts can be used and they can be combined for texture and interest by using both fine and coarse salt. The most common types of salt used are Epsom salt, kosher salt or sea salt. A basic recipe for bath salts is as follows. Then oils are added for scent. These can be fragrance oils or essential oils. Fragrance oils tend to be cheaper because they are man-made, but essential oils last a long time because only a small amount is needed for a powerful scent. Either kind will work well in bath salts. Bath salts can be plain or colored with a few drops of food coloring to make them more vibrant and attractive.
Basic Bath Salt Recipe
2 cups Epsom salts
1 teaspoon glycerin
2-3 drops scented oil as desired
2-3 drops food coloring as desired
Bath salts need to mixed in a plastic container that can be discarded or in a large, resealable plastic bag. Combine all ingredients together until well mixed.
Clumping can sometimes be a problem with homemade bath salts. Adding glycerin helps prevent clumps and also has the additional benefit of moisturizing skin. When placing your bath salts in bottles or jars for storage or gift-giving, it is important to wash and dry them at least six hours beforehand to prevent moisture from being introduced into the bath salts. Bath salts should also be kept tightly capped, as the damp bathroom air will make the salts lumpy.
For people with very dry skin or other skin conditions, this second recipe is especially good. It contains baking soda and milk, both of which are good for the skin.
Dry Skin Bath Salts
Â½ cup baking soda
Â½ cup dry milk
1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup sea salt
Fragrance and coloring as desired
Mix all ingredients well and place in bottles or jars.
This last recipe is for bubbling bath salts. Many people prefer to have bubbles in their baths, so this recipe combines both.
Bubbling Bath Salts
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup fine sea salt
2-3 drops almond oil
2-3 drops food coloring
Â¼ cup baby shampoo
Combine the first three ingredients until smooth. Drizzle with baby shampoo. Mix well. Spread in an even layer on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or parchment paper. Allow to dry. Store until ready for use.
Bath salts make a wonderful, luxurious gift. They can be packaged in decorative, small glass jars or bottles. The lids can be covered with fabric and secured with ribbon or raffia around the neck of the bottle. A small card with directions and a list of ingredients can be added. About 1/3 cup of salts can be used in standard tubs, while the garden tub will call for twice that much. To make the salts attractive and fun, cosmetic grade glitter could be added or the bath salts could be colored in several shades and placed in the jar one color at a time for a layered effect.