There are few better ways to unwind after a long day than with a hot bath. Or maybe you like to take yours in the morning to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. Either way, it’s a ton of fun to experiment with the many aromatic oils and powders that can help with everything from lethargy to insomnia. But if peace and serenity are the name of your game, you’re going to want the best bath salts for relaxing. Bath salts are my preferred method of aromatherapy since they're rich in minerals, help with muscle pain, and leave skin feeling baby-soft.
When it comes to inducing relaxation through aromatherapy, lavender and chamomile are some of the most stood-by scents. Lemon balm and eucalyptus are also popular choices, or you can turn to your own personal memories and experiences. For example: I'm at my most peaceful when I'm in the forest, so when I'm trying to relax, I often turn to Alpine-inspired blends.
As an absolute bath obsessive — I've been known to take two or three a day — I've tried dozens, maybe hundreds, of bath salts by now. From individually-packaged sachets for travel to Epsom soaks that soothe aches and pains, I've compiled my top five favorite bath salts for relaxation, below.
1. The Overall Best Bath Salts For Relaxing: These Lavender Scented Crystals From A Famed German Brand
Lavender is one of the most popular aromatherapy choices for relaxation simply because it works. Most people love the smell, and it's proven to be effective at reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and promoting sleep. These plant-based bath crystals from German brand Kneipp are abundant with minerals and infused with pure, high-quality lavender essential oil. Rich in thermal spring salt, they not only help evoke a peaceful state of mind, but also cleanse, detox, and nourish the skin.
A quick word about Kneipp, since they're featured on this list twice: Kneipp is my go-to brand for anything bath-related because they're the pioneers of water-based medical cures. Founded by naturopath Sebastian Kneipp in 1821, they continue to produce only the finest plant-based skin care products based on proven scientific research. That is why I just had to include two of their products, the second of which you'll find just below...
2. Runner-Up: These Soothing Lemon Balm Bath Salts By The Same Brand
Another pick from Kneipp! Overall, the centuries-old formula is pretty similar to the one above, with the main difference being scent. Not everyone loves lavender, so if you're one of those people, consider trying these lemon balm crystals instead. Lemon balm is different than lemon — it's actually a type of mint. And while lemon is energizing, lemon balm can be quite calming — and even potentially sedative.
"This bath salt smells [sic] amazing," said one reviewer. "I have lemon balm growing in my garden and this scent is an exact replica of the real thing! Used it in my bath and it was perfect and was just what I needed to relax.""
3. Best Value: Two 3-Pound Bags Of Eucalyptus & Lavender Epsom Salts That Relieve Aches & Pains
If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, this two-pack from Dr. Teal's is the way to go. For less than $20, you get two 3-pound bags of Epsom salts. One (Soothe & Sleep) is scented with lavender, and the other (Relax & Relief) with eucalyptus and spearmint. Epsom salt is known for its ability to soothe muscles, ease pain, and reduce swelling, so this is the best option for anyone who participates in physically taxing activities or is on their feet all day. I particularly love the Relax & Relief blend because eucalyptus always reminds me of the spa, and if you're congested, the light menthol scent can help clear your sinuses. And with 6 pounds of bath salts total, these two bags will last ages.
4. Best For Travel: These Individually-Packaged Sachets Of Chamomile Mineral Salts
Since travel can be stressful on both your body and mind, it's always a good idea to bring along some bath salts. (Plus, hotel bathtubs are the best.) These handy sachets come individually packaged, and for less than $10, you get a pack of three. The mineral salts feature a blend of Roman chamomile, which is known for its calming effects, as well as lavender and patchouli. Aura Cacia is another trustworthy brand committed to using pure, safe, and natural ingredients. You won't find any synthetic fragrances, colorants, or stabilizers — this stuff is just pure essential oils and salt.
5. Editor’s Pick: These Japanese Hot Springs Bath Salts That Smell Like A Forest
As I mentioned, I love being in the woods — and these forest-scented bath salts from Japan transport me to my happy place every time. But even if you don't share my affinity, you'll probably still become obsessed with this stuff. Made to mimic the experience of a Japanese hot spring in the comfort of your own home, these bath salts feature a warm, woodsy pine scent — and they turn your bath water a stunning emerald green (don't worry, they won't stain your tub). Use them any time of year, but you'll find them particularly comforting on a cold winter's night.
"It reminds me of walking through a forest after a rain storm," one reviewer said. "Beautiful forest-like scent. Really relaxes the muscles. Doesn't stain anything. Fabulous color to match the scent. Very high quality," said another.
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