Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth nutrition, fitness and adventure courses, and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+..
Soaking in a warm bath is a delightful and therapeutic way to relax your body and your mind. Toss in a few handfuls of bath salts infused with aromatic essential oils and your bath can actually change your mood, help you sleep better, and do wonders for your skin.
The health benefits of a warm bath are due partly because hot water dilates blood vessels and opens pores so you can remove impurities with a scrub or some suds. When you toss in bath salts, your body absorbs their magnesium topically, which helps the nervous system, eases stress, and can relieve water retention (see “Healing Waters,” below). Be sure to add salts, soaks, and bubble bath with essential oils before you step into the tub so the running water disperses their benefits.
So go ahead and relax in the tub for 15-20 minutes. Take advantage of this quiet time to reflect on just how good your spa-at-home bath feels.
Turn any bath into a restorative soak with these therapeutic add-ons:
- Vitamin C Powder: According to Emily A. Kane, ND, LAc, who practices naturopathic
medicine in Juneau, Alaska, adding vitamin C powder to a warm bath helps ease aches and pains. Use one single-serve packet per bath.
- Magnesium powder or flakes: Magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin, and a bath is a great way to reap this mighty mineral’s health benefits, including stress relief, better sleep, and reduced muscle soreness.
bubbles + peace of mind
Reinvent the bubble bath with EO Serenity Bubble Bath. The calming scent of French lavender essential oil; the moisturizing properties of hops and fig extracts; and an organic blend of aloe, chamomile, calendula, and white tea extracts create a frothy foam that leaves skin clean and nourished.
ultimate stress buster
Revel in an aromatic experience with Aura Cacia Body Soak. Relaxing essential oils such as sweet marjoram and lavender provide relief from stress, while kaolin clay purifies skin, oat powder calms irritations, and sea salt eases muscle aches and relaxes the entire body. Choose from Soothe, Cleanse, Recover, and Clear.
luxurious bath gel
Lather up with Nature’s Gate Pomegranate Sunflower Body Wash. Pomegranate and sunflower moisturize skin, combat inflammation, stimulate collagen, and protect against sun damage and premature skin aging in this velvety cleanser with a sweet, fresh scent.
goodbye to achy muscles
Soothe overworked muscles and restore energy with Weleda Arnica Muscle Soak. Organic arnica and birch extracts relieve fatigue and tired muscles, while lavender and rosemary essential oils re-energize the senses. This warming bath milk is ideal for a post-workout soak or whenever you need an energy boost.
Transform an ordinary bath into a relaxing spa with Dr Teal’s Detoxify & Energize Pure Epsom Salt Foaming Bath. Ginger root oil and bentonite clay draw out toxins and boost energy, while liquid Epsom salt eases aches and pains and refreshes skin.
Kymberly Keniston-Pond, author of Essential Oils for Health, shares a few bathtime suggestions for a range of health issues:
- Clary Sage: physical and emotional support for women.
- Eucalyptus: decongestant, antiviral, antibacterial, and analgesic.
- Geranium: hormone balance.
- Ginger: nausea relief and better circulation.
- Lavender: antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
- Peppermint: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, cooling (eases itching), decongestant, expectorant, and liver-supportive.
- Ylang-ylang: relieves emotional shock, anxiety, and tension.