Aromatherapy bath salts for gift giving or your enjoyment

Bath Salts

Bath salts, December 2013

Here’s an idea for a Christmas gift you can give to family and friends, or for your own probably-much-needed energizing or relaxation: homemade bath salts. This bath salt recipe includes beneficial Epsom salt, sea salt, baking soda, and essential oil. A hint of pastel color is just for appearance and is optional.

A little about the ingredients:

Epsom salt is actually not salt at all but magnesium chloride. The name comes from Epsom, England, where it was discovered in the 16th century. The magnesium is absorbed through your skin and helps you relax. Find Epsom salt at most drugstores.

Sea salt helps remove toxins and soothe muscles. I used Bokek fine grain Dead Sea salt, available at Amazon and Saltworks.

Baking soda helps soften both the water and your skin. There should be no need to pay extra for “aluminum free”; baking soda is pure bicarbonate of soda.

Essential oils are steam-extracted oils that carry the essence of the plant. They provide a sensory experience (aromatherapy) and can aid in relaxation, energy, or other benefits, depending on the type of oil. Also, if the aroma is one you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to take healthful deep breaths. Mix and match oils depending on the aromas you like and the effect you want. In one batch I used a creativity-enhancing combination of thought-provoking sage and renewing lemon. In another intended for relaxation I used just calming lavender.

Coloring. If you wish, add food coloring to make the salts a pretty pastel. I tried the commonly available McCormick and also India Tree. India Tree colors are derived from edible plants and are available online at Amazon. I thought the lavender from India Tree colors was truer.

Essential Oils Bath Salts
Recipe type: Cosmetic
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups Epsom salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 30 to 60 drops single essential oil, or combination of choice (example: lavender alone; equal parts sage and lemon; etc.)
  • Food coloring
  1. In a large bowl place Epsom salt, sea salt, and baking soda. Mix well with a whisk. Add essential oil and mix well.
  2. To color the salts, use just a few drops of food coloring. If combining colors, for best results place drops in a small container and stir well with a toothpick. Add a small amount of the salts mixture to your blended color and stir until completely combined. If you’re pleased with the hue, add the colored salt to the rest of the batch and stir well. If not, repeat. When stirring the color into the full batch, break up flecks of coloring with a rubber spatula.
  3. Store in a covered glass jar. Allow at least 1/2 inch air space at the top of the jar and leave the cover slightly loose, as the baking soda can cause pressure to build in the jar.
  4. Use 1 to 2 cups per bath. After bathing, rinse away any baking soda residue from tub.
Pregnant women or persons with high blood pressure should consult a medical professional before using essential oils.


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