When it comes to bath products, bubbles reign supreme. But, let's consider bath salts: Sure, they can sound a bit medicinal, but they're great for relaxing sore muscles and tend to be less irritating to the skin than bubbly products. The only downside? They can often smell like a pharmacy. Or, just plain stink. (We recall walking by a famous body product store, only to lose our ability to smell anything for a good 15 minutes afterward.)
However, bath salts and soaks are really easy to make. Which means you can customize a blend to better suit your preferences and skin type. And, bath salts are also on the cheaper end of the spectrum. All you really need is salt (usually Epsom or sea salt) and a little bit of oil, plus whatever scents you'd like to add to the mix.
A variation on lemon bath salts that has a hint of rosemary. Flickr photo by skampy
Or, you can try one of these simple (and adaptable!) recipes.
Basic Unscented Bath Salt Blend
2 cups Epsom salts
5-10 drops oil (we like a neutral oil, like grapeseed)
To make: Gradually add drops of oil to the salts, mixing gently with a wooden spoon. If your skin is on the drier side (or you'd like to make a thick scrub), add more oil. Store in a clean, dry jar with a lid.
Zesty Bath Salt Soak
2 cups Epsom salts
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
8 drops lemon essential oil (Note: Essential oils can frequently be found in the natural foods section of larger grocery stores)
To make: Add the zest to the salts, gently mixing by hand to evenly distribute. Then, add in a drop of lemon essential oil until you reach your desired scent level. If you added too much, add an unscented oil to create a thick scrub. Store in a clean, dry jar with a lid.
Relaxing Bath Salt Mix
1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup sea salt
10 drops lavender essential oil
Optional: 1-2 tablespoons dried lavender buds, chopped or crushed (Note: If adding buds, make sure your bathtub has a fitted mesh drain sieve to prevent clogs)
To make: Combine the salts and (optional) lavender buds. Add in the lavender essential oil drop by drop until you achieve your desired scent level. Store in a clean, dry jar with a lid.