• Nicole Salter

How to make your own bath salts


Ever wonder why you can go to Walmart and find a 500 ml jar of bath salts for $3.99, but in those quaint little stores in Niagara-On-the-Lake, the same size jar (albeit glass) retails for $13.99, or $23.99, or even more? When it comes to bath salts in Toronto, turns out, the devil is in the details.

Types of salt used in bath salts

First of all, not all salt is created equal. The salt you use in your tub certainly isn't table salt! The two most commonly used types of salt for baths are:

Epsom salts: Comprised of magnesium sulphate, these 'salts' taste bitter, not salty, and are meant for external use. They dissolve easily in bath water and impart much needed minerals which penetrate the skin to relax tired muscles and provide pain relief, among many other benefits.

Sea salts: Sea salts contain many other minerals besides sodium. They are considered excellent for skin softening, wound healing and skin conditioning, even providing relief from skin conditions like psoriasis and acne since, far from drying out skin, they actually help skin maintain its vital moisture balance.

Dead Sea salts: Taking it up a notch! The Dead Sea has the highest concentration of salt in the world, but that doesn't make these salts cheaper; abundant as they are, these salts are only found in one place in the world - Jerusalem - and their extremely high mineral content and exotic nature give Dead Sea salts a premium price.

In addition to these commonly used salts, you may find Himalayan pink salt also being used in the tub for an extra-special mineral boost.

Price comparisons of bath salts

So, what's the difference between these different types of salts that causes such a massive price differential?

Commercially available bath salts that you get for $3.99 are almost certainly comprised mainly, if not entirely, of Epsom salts. That doesn't mean they're bad; Epsom salts are great for you, especially post-workout, post-massage, or pre-bed for relaxation! The body craves their magnesium, so don't hesitate to buy Epsom salts. The problem (if you consider this to be a problem) with commercial Epsom salts is that the fragrances used are entirely synthetic, and instead of oils being added for moisture, cheaper (but still good for you!) glycerin is often used. These salts may also contain other artificial preservatives and additives.

Contrast this with those bath salts you find at farmers markets/gift shops - what are the main differences?

  • Premium blends of salts

  • Organic/fair trade carrier oils and essential oils in place of glycerin

  • Organically grown/wild sourced plants and flowers

  • Premium additives like coconut milk powder, clays and seaweed

  • Glass jars and wooden scoops

SaltZ&Co bath salts all contain these premium salts and ingredients. Even our salts that need a phthalate-free synthetic fragrance boost have this in addition to pure essential oils and other skin loving ingredients like seaweed and herbs.

How to make your own bath salts

So you want bath salts at home, without the crazy prices...or the additives you might find in mass-produced store bought offerings? Making bath salts at home is extremely easy.

-Start by purchasing your salts in bulk at health food stores - you'll save over the price of pre-packaged salts, and have the option of choosing as much or as little as you want to make.

-You'll need a carrier oil to add moisture and help disperse your fragrance through the salts. Jojoba, coconut, almond, avocado, grapeseed and extra-virgin olive are some good examples of great carrier oils to use. You won't need much - a tablespoon or two per pound of salt.

-Essential oils are a great natural way to add fragrance to your salts. Essential oil fragrances can fade quickly in salt, but if you're making homemade bath salts you should be gifting them or using them up fairly quickly anyway. Be sure to make small batches only, and store your finished salts in a cool, dark, dry place to maximize their benefits.

-Herbs and petals make an attractive addition to your bath salts. Just be sure to keep the size quite small so as not to clog drains. Try such dried herbs and petals as lavender, rose, lemongrass, bath tea mix, chamomile, jasmine, pine, rosemary and just about anything else you think would be attractive and fragrant in your salts!

Simply mix all the ingredients together and store in airtight glass jars away from moisture and direct light. You can also add baking soda for added soothing and cleansing power. Use a scant handful of your new salts under hot running water for bath time bliss! Or you can purchase an easy to use, make your own bath salts kit from Saltzbaths.com. It contains everything you need, plus easy to read instructions, so you can make gorgeous bath salts gifts for family and friends.

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