For me, baths are a luxury. Making the time to clean my tub, light some candles, put on my bubblebath playlist – all of the things I need to do to prepare for the experience – takes time and effort. It’s an intentional exercise in relaxation and self care. So it better be worth it by the time I step into the water. I need my bath to be relaxing and soothing, but more than that, these days I need my baths to be beneficial. I’ve really gotten into baths with medicinal purposes, to improve your skin, to soak and relax muscles, to just enhance the experience. I call it bath therapy.

Luxurious, Relaxing Bath Recipes

You can use the usual pre-packaged bubble bath formulas, but they can be drying and damaging to the skin. Does that mean I never use super bubbly bubble baths, though. It just means I moisturize even more afterwards. OR I add a special ingredient to my bath water to combat the drying effect.

What ingredients can you add to your bath water to enhance the experience? These are my favorites:

Oil – if you have dry skin, you can add a tablespoon or so of your favorite oil to your bath water. Olive oil, sweet almond, or my favorite, coconut. Drizzle it in, soak and enjoy!

Milk – milk baths date back to the days of Cleopatra, but you don’t need to empty a gallon of the good stuff to reap the benefits. Add a few heaping spoons (I use 1/3 cup) of dry milk powder to your bath to soothe and soften your skin, it’s especially good for eczema and irritated, dry skin (like post-sunburn) according to this Livestrong article. Click here for a milk bath recipe.

Tea – tea is universally praised for its therapeutic and antioxidant properties, and if you don’t love drinking it, then you may be able to soak in the benefits via your bathwater. Green tea makes for a great bath additive, and several brands sell their own varieties of “bath teas” containing tea blended with herbs or flowers.

Flower petals or extracts – Rose petals or lavender flowers are a decadent and beautiful touch to any bath. This Times of India article also positions rose petals as a “detox,” and mood enhancer.

Salt – Salt baths are known and widely respected in spas for their health improvement capabilities. Epsom salts, sea salts, Himalayan salt – all of it is popular, and frequently sold for therapeutic use in at-home baths.


Bath image via Shutterstock

Kate Bello, author of Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts and Scrubs: 300 Natural Recipes for Luxurious Soaks, explained to me how awesome salt soaks are and what they do for our benefit.

“The most wonderful thing to me about salt soaks is not only their ability to make you feel amazing physically, but the impact they have on our minds. Let’s face it, our brains are pretty much going non-stop these days with work, social media, and just keeping up with the busyness of life in general. It’s really essential for our well-being for us to take a break. To me, a meditative salt soak at the end of the day is the perfect way to do that. You can just let go of everything. And you can use different essential oils blends to evoke different feelings.”

Bello says the Cedar-wood and Lavender Salt Soak recipe is one of her favorites. “This blend evokes the feeling of being taken away at sea over gentle waves—each note of the scents allows you to escape to another place.”

Cedar-wood and Lavender Salt Soak

2 cups of Himalayan salts
1 cup of coarse sea salts
1/2 cup of baking soda
1 cup of fuller’s earth clay
5 drops of cedarwood atlas essential oil
5 drops of lavender essential oil
2 drops of rose essential oil

And what’s the MOST luxurious bath recipe from her book? That would be the Delicate Floral Blend Salt Soak.

Delicate Floral Blend Salt Soak

2 cups of Dead Sea salts
2 cups of Himalayan salts
1/2 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of dried jasmine petals
1/2 cup of dried rose petals
1 cup of French green clay
5 drops of jasmine essential oil
5 drops of rose essential oil

And there you have it. You can get LOTS of great, safe-for-use essential and carrier oils online at Vitamin Shoppe, BTW!

What’s your favorite bath recipe?


Ginger-vee Carter says:
May 19, 2015, 9:20 pm
Such lovely recipes and advice. When I do take baths they must be an experience for sure. Doors shut, tunes on and positive thinking are a must!
pets says:
May 20, 2015, 11:33 am
Unfortunately we only have showers no tubs - so what can you recommend?