Being a mom is tough work! I don’t have to tell you that. I can dream about a weekend getaway or a day to myself at the spa, but I know that’s just wishful thinking. That’s not to say there aren’t little things we can do for ourselves when we need a little bit of pampering and self-care though. This 24/7 mom thing is hard and we deserve a break every once in a while!
It’s been ages since I’ve had the chance to take a nice long, uninterrupted bath with a couple of candles, a good book, and some relaxing bath salts. Bath salts are one of the easiest DIY bath and body products to make. All you need is a few basic ingredients you can find in your local drug store plus some essential or fragrance oils. The main ingredient is Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate. Epsom salt promotes relaxation and sleep, improves circulation, helps with back pain, skin problems, muscle strains, pain, and cramps, and even helps to remove splinters, making this a great base for bath salt, foot soaks, and medicinal baths.
The basic bath salt recipe is very simple: 4 parts Epsom salts, 1 part baking soda, then add your oils. Today I made my favourite scent – lavender and vanilla. Lavender essential oil helps to relieve stress and improve sleep, and vanilla just smells warm, relaxing, and cozy to me.
Lavender is a mild essential oil and considered safe for pregnancy. When it comes to vanilla though, it’s a bit trickier because there’s no such thing as vanilla essential oil. There’s vanilla CO2 (pricey), vanilla absolut (also pricey) or oleoresin (not very suited to mixing with salts), but for bath salts, I’ve found it easiest to use a high quality skin-safe fragrance oil. Whichever oils you use, be conservative when you’re adding them. It’s easier to add a few more drops than it is to double up on the Epsom salt because the scent is too strong.
For this easy DIY, just mix up all the ingredients then transfer the finished product into a pretty jar with a tight fitting lid to keep moisture out. Most of the time I skip the mixing bowl and make these right in my Mason jar. Add everything, screw the lid on, then shake, shake, shake!
For a little extra pampering, or for gift giving, it’s easy to colour your salts with a bit of food colouring. I used some Wilton’s gel food colouring diluted in a few drops of water to make these lavender coloured salts. I added the coloured water directly to the bath salts in my Mason jar. It clumps up at first, but just keep shaking until the colour is evenly distributed. You can even make layers if you’re so inclined. This jar alternates white with lavender for a pretty layered effect.
I’ve seen other recipes suggest adding dried lavender flowers to your bath salts. Now I agree it’s very pretty, especially if you’re making this as a gift for someone special, but honestly I would skip it. It looks pretty in the jar, but after your bath it either goes down the drain potentially clogging up the pipes, or you’re stuck mopping up soggy bits of lavender out of the tub. And in my opinion, cleaning the tub afterward sort of defeats the whole purpose of the relaxing bath.
- Mix all ingredients then transfer into jar with a tight fitting lid.
- Pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup into a hot bath for a relaxing and aromatherapeutic soak.
- You can add colour to your bath salts with a touch of food colouring.