DIY Bath Soak Recipes
Have you been feeling lethargic, a little sick, or overall gross for no good reason? It’s time to flush out those toxins with a relaxing and refreshing detox bath! A simple bath soak can do wonders for both your physical and mental health.
I’ve got the simplest bath soak recipe for you to customize to your own needs based on how you’re feeling. You can take a detox bath when you’re feeling sick, meh, or just need to escape for a little bit! A nightly bath soak is my favorite self-care activity when I’m sore or cold! But what does a detox bath do, exactly?
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The Benefits of Regular Detox Baths
A detox bath is exactly what it sounds like, but it doesn’t have to be this super intense cleansing session. You can certainly go for that if you want to, though! A DIY bath soak session has the same benefits, but you can do it on a more regular basis.
The ingredients I’m about to list have great detoxing properties for pulling all the yucky stuff out through your skin. And since your skin is the largest organ in your body, a detox bath is one of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re feeling gross. But there are so many more benefits than detoxing from a simple bath soak.
Having a detox bath session at least once a week can help with both physical and mental ailments, leaving you with:
- Smooth, exfoliated skin
- Reduced stress
- Less pain with sore muscles
- A boost of magnesium
And these are just the benefits of including Epsom salts in your bath! Depending on the other ingredients you add, you can experience much more. And there are plenty of household ingredients you can use to make a relaxing bath.
You may be wondering about the magnesium I mentioned earlier. Our bodies need magnesium to calm down and help us fall asleep at night, among many other things. But we often don’t get enough magnesium in our daily diet. Epsom salts are actually a great source of magnesium that we can absorb through our skin in a detox bath (source).
If you’re struggling with falling asleep at night, an Epsom salt bath about an hour before bed can do wonders! I’ve got even more natural ways to fall asleep fast that work very well for me if you want to learn more.
The benefits of detox baths depend very heavily on what you put in them, but the general benefits include more energy, better sleep, better mood, and a stronger, more relaxed body. So let’s get into some basics about making your own simple bath soak recipe!
Why You Should Always Make Your Own Bath Soak Mix
You might be thinking, “I’ll just buy more bath bombs from Lush and treat myself! Or I’ll try those scented bath salts I keep seeing at the store.” Please don’t do this! While your intentions are good, those products aren’t the best options out there for your body.
Some of you might be shocked that I just called out Lush. Don’t get me wrong, I love that they’re working on sustainability and their products are so dang cute, but they’re also dang expensive! I don’t want to spend $9 on a single bath bomb that has somewhat okay ingredients! That’s like getting a Chipotle burrito with guac and chips.
And when I say that Lush has somewhat okay ingredients, I mean that not all their ingredients are the best. One of the most common ingredients that you may have heard of is sodium laurel sulfate. This is an ingredient that has proven to be a hazardous skin irritant in both humans and animals (source).
As for the scented Epsom salts, there’s one synthetic ingredient in those salts that can make a “natural product” just as toxic as the rest of ‘em. Take a look at the ingredient list on the next bag you consider buying. If you see anything along the lines of “fragrance” or “parfum,” run the other way. Putting “fragrance” on an ingredient list is a company’s loophole for omitting hundreds of questionable ingredients to make a product smell a certain way!
Luckily, there are plenty of small companies that sell perfectly legit natural bath products. Try to shop local if you can and do some research on what’s available in your area. Otherwise, it’s best to make your own bath soak recipe so you have more control over the ingredients. So with that out of the way, let’s make your own special bath soak!
What to Add to Every Bath Soak
You can make homemade bath salts using the most basic ingredients: Epsom salts and baking soda. I recommend you add these to your bath soak in a 1:3 ratio of baking soda to Epsom salts. Baking soda is an extra detoxing punch to really reap the benefits of a good detox bath.
Baking soda will help pull any toxins out from your skin, calm sore muscles, and even soothes skin problems like eczema or even hives. If you’re dealing with any fungal issues like athlete’s foot, adding baking soda is an absolute must because of its antifungal properties.
Start with these two ingredients as a base for every simple bath soak you make. Feel free to add in some fun things to make it look pretty, or some practical things for when you’re sick. I always keep a big bag of Epsom salts on hand to make my own detox mixes. If you’re looking to go the extra mile, here are some suggestions depending on the results you want.
How to Make a Detox Bath
Start with your Epsom salt and baking soda as a base and add in one or all of the things listed below. If I’m sick or feeling a cold coming on, I take a bath with all of these things to help me detox and sweat it out.
One of the best detoxing agents out there! What I love most about Bentonite clay is that it absorbs any toxin or heavy metal it comes into contact with and won’t release the toxins back into your system if you take it internally. That’s why you feel extra sluggish during a detox diet or after a massage. All the nasty stuff in your body was basically knocked loose and is swimming around in your body waiting to be digested.
I usually get a big jar of the powder and it lasts me for years! I’ll shake about ¼ to half a cup into my bath while the water’s running. Yeah, it won’t look pretty. In fact, it will look like you’re about to soak in a bath of dirty water. And in a way, you are. But it’s good for you!
Oh, and while you’re at it, shake a little bit of the powder into your hand and make a paste with some bath water. Voila! You’ve made yourself a detoxing facial. I’ll even put the paste in my arm pits if I really want that sick feeling to go away because your body does most of its detoxing through your pits.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This one isn’t for detoxing specifically, but it helps your skin through the detox process. Apple cider vinegar is very acidic, so adding it to your bath water will make that acidic as well. This is to help balance the PH of your skin to soothe any kind of inflammation or skin ailments.
Apple cider vinegar will help keep your skin’s biome healthy and strong while it gets rid of all those toxins. And if you suffer from common skin ailments like eczema, this will help you rise from the tub all glowing and soft.
Just be very careful that you don’t add too much to the bath water! I add no more than a quick splash (so like 3 tablespoons) because its acidity makes it very potent. I made a simple face mask one night where I used apple cider vinegar instead of water, and my skin came out looking like it got a massive sunburn! So please be ginger with how much you use to avoid temporary irritation.
The Best Detox Bath Practices
I know it sounds slightly condescending to tell you how to take a bath, but with ingredients like these involved, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Make the water hot enough for you to sweat. This will help as an extra outlet for your body to detox itself, and it gives all those loose toxins a place to go instead of lingering inside your body. You can always wash off the sweat with the bath water if it gets too uncomfortable.
- Soak for at least 20 minutes. Ideally 30 or more. If you’re doing an especially intense detox bath for a cold, staying in for 20-25 minutes is fine. You don’t want to overwork your body while its already weak.
- Make sure everything is mixed evenly before stepping in. I’ve noticed that if the Epsom salts aren’t completely dissolved before climbing in, the backs of my thighs will start to feel irritated after about 15 minutes of soaking. You especially want to do this if you include essential oils to dilute their potency!
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after! You need to replace the fluids lost from this detox session. Drinking water before really helps you from feeling light-headed when you get out as well. I’m especially prone to light-headedness when I get out of a hot tub, so I always get up as slowly as I can to avoid feeling like I’m going to pass out.
Go by these bath soak practices, and you’ll be golden. I’ve learned them from trial and error so you don’t have to. So let’s get on to treating some sore muscles!
How to Make a Bath Soak for Sore Muscles
If you just want to relax after a long day or a tough workout, I’ve got you! This is the simple bath soak that I make the most because I can do it once a day if I like without over-detoxing myself.
Just start with your 1:3 ratio of Epsom salts and baking soda and you’ve already got a great combo for sore muscles. But a couple of additions will really make a difference from the nighttime to the following morning. Essential oils are great for a sore muscle bath soak because certain oils have a cooling effect on the skin and can penetrate deep to calm inflammation. The best oils for sore muscles include:
If you’re at all familiar with essential oils, you know that just about all of these oils have a cooling but invigorating effect in both aromatherapy and on the skin. But please be careful and don’t apply these directly to the skin without a carrier oil! These oils are especially potent, and you can read all about proper dilution in my essential oil safety guide.
Don’t worry though, you’ll be just fine with a few drops in your bath water. Don’t add more than five drops per oil and give the bath a good “stir” with your foot before climbing in to soak. You can get even more recommendations on essential oils for sore muscles from Rocky Mountain Oils!
My personal favorite essential oil combination for sore muscles are lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus oils. I used this combination after a long day of a ballet performance where my legs were completely dead by the end. I took this simple bath soak before bed, slept like a baby, and felt like a new person the next day!
Easy and Fun Bath Soak Add-Ons
You can even go the extra mile and make a fun or decorative bath soak concoction to display in your bathroom. I recently inherited this cute little glass container from my mom and I just had to find some cute bath salts to put in it!
One of the most visually pleasing add-ons for your bath soak are dried herbs. But don’t worry if you don’t have a garden! You can get plenty of dried herbs for a good price on Amazon. Or you can even break open some tea bags. Some common dried herbs in bath salts include:
If you have any of these herbs (or a mixture of them) already in tea form, go ahead and use that. I made this lovely bath soak using my 1:3 baking soda and Epsom salt ratio, three drops of rosemary essential oil, and one bag of chamomile tea. I use it almost every night to help soothe my sore muscles!
Final Thoughts on These Therapeutic Bath Salts Recipes
You’re probably thinking that this simple detox bath recipe isn’t so simple after all. And that’s okay! You’re welcome to customize it and simplify it to whatever it is you need at any given time. For me, I like to keep it simple with Epsom salts, baking soda, and a few essential oils.
If I’m feeling sick, I’ll add in a few more things, like bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar to really pull out all the toxins lingering in my body. Or if my muscles need some TLC, I’ll add some essential oils to my base to help them heal from inflammation.
Whatever you decide to put in your relaxing bath soak, don’t forget to de-stress and unwind! I’ve been using nightly baths as my “zen time” to simply let my mind relax and my body heal itself from the trials of the day. It’s one of my favorite forms of self-care, and I highly recommend you give it a try.
What do you like to add to your relaxing detox bath sessions? Let me know in the comments below!
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