The 8 Best Bath Oils
Is there anything more luxurious than bath oil? I, personally, think not. Bath oils are much more moisturizing than bath salts, making them the better choice for dry skin. But just like bath salts, they contain hosts of skin-nourishing and relaxation-inducing ingredients that are good not only for the body, but also the mind. As a bath aficionado — I take one nightly — I'm constantly on the hunt for the latest and greatest in bath products. And below, I divulge the very best bath oils I've come across over the years.
Depending on what you're looking for, your interpretation of the best bath oil might differ from mine, which is why I've included eight different picks that target a variety of issues, from stress and insomnia to sore muscles, sinus infections, and eczema. Because they come in oil form, they'll all leave skin moisturized and soft.
To really amp up your bath time routine, I recommend pairing one of these oils with a candle, some relaxing music, and a glass of tea or wine. I also suggest investing in a comfortable spa pillow and bath tray so you can bring your tablet or book in with you. Sounds extra? In my opinion, there's no better act of self-care than a long, indulgent bath — so go ahead and treat yourself.
1. The Best Bath Oil For Relaxation
Lavender essential oil is the go-to choice for people looking to relax, because of its naturally calming properties. Dr. Teal's harnesses the power of lavender in this bath and body oil, which also contains sesame oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, aloe vera, and cocoa butter to soothe and nourish dry skin, leaving it smooth and soft. Add the "Soothe & Sleep" formula into your nightly bath to help you calm your mind before hitting the sack, or use it in the morning to help ease your stress levels before heading out for the day.
2. The Best Bath Oil For Sleep
Both Dr. Teal's Soothe & Sleep and Kneipp's Dream Away formulas can be used interchangeably, as they both help induce relaxation and ease the mind, but this bath oil was specifically formulated with bedtime use in mind. Kneipp doesn't use any lavender here; instead, the formula contains valerian and hops to lull you into a deep sleep. Valerian was used in ancient Greek and Roman medicine to treat insomnia, as well as in the medieval era to ease stress, ward off spirits, and treat epilepsy. Similarly, hops have been used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and even ADHD — so you know you can trust this medicinal formula when it comes to promoting better sleep and calming racing minds.
3. The Best Bath Oil For Sore Muscles
This awesome find from Switzerland was brought back to me by a friend and blows all the other muscle-relaxing formulas I've tried out of the water. It's an herbal formula that soothes sore muscles and eases achy joints, so it's excellent when used post-workout to promote faster recovery. The alpine scent is deeply invigorating, so it's also great for uplifting the mind and opening up your sinuses. Reviewers say it has helped them with everything from allergies, colds, flus, hemorrhoids, headaches, and of course, body pain. It's also wonderful when used as a foot bath.
4. The Best Bath Oil For Flus, Colds, & Sinus Infections
Similar to the Olbas Herbal Bath, above, this is another excellent foreign important that I discovered in Germany — but this bath oil is made specifically with easing the symptoms of colds, flus, and sinus infections in mind. It helps clear your nasal passageways, break up mucus production, and soothe headaches and achy limbs — basically, it's a life-saver for when you have the flu. Tetesept's Erkältungs Bad (cold bath) contains a mix of Alpine-sourced essential oils like eucalyptus, thyme, pine needle, and camphor, so it smells like walking through a forest, which to me, is deeply therapeutic in itself. It's also wonderful for warming up your body on cold, winter nights.
One reviewer found another nifty use for this bath oil: "put a big bowl of hot water on the kitchen table, add a teaspoon full of the Erkältungsbad, and make your own steam tent with a towel draped over your head and the bowl. Looks funny but opens the airways."
5. Best Bath Oil For Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin and are looking for a no-frills bath oil to keep your skin moisturized and soft, this is the stuff for you. It's dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin and contains no mineral oil, gluten, dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde releasers, and other known irritants. Made with cottonseed oil and not much else, it's an excellent treatment for relieving dry skin and itchiness associated with psoriasis, eczema, and ichthyosis. Even if you don't have sensitive skin and simply prefer to use fragrance-free formulas, you'll get a ton of use out of this bath oil — especially since it comes in a huge, 16-ounce bottle that will last you ages.
6. Best Bath Oil For Eczema-Prone Skin
Formulated specifically with the delicate skin of babies and eczema in mind, Mustela's Stelatopia Bath Oil is another awesome fragrance-free choice. Instead of cottonseed oil, this formula contains two deeply nourishing skin care oils — avocado and sunflower — as well as chamomile extract to strengthen the skin's barrier (which is often compromised in eczema-prone skin types), soothe irritation, and reduce itching and flaking. It's also pediatric- and dermatologist-tested for eczema and babies, and it's hypoallergenic and free of paraben, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol, to boot. Whether shopping for yourself or your newborn, everyone in the family can benefit from using this skin-nourishing bath oil.
7. Best Bath Oil Sampler Pack
Shopping for a luxurious set of bath oils for someone else or yourself? This bath and shower oil collection from Aromatherapy Associates has got you covered. It contains 10 3-ounce bottles filled with high-quality, all-natural oils: Relax Deep, Relax Light, De-Stress Mind, De-Stress Muscle, Revive Morning, Revive Evening, Support Breathe, Support Lavender & Peppermint, Support Equilibrium, and Inner Strength. You can add them directly into your bath or, as the brand suggests, rub them into your hands, apply them onto your torso, and cup your hands to your nose to inhale the scents deeply, before stepping into the water.
8. Another Great, But More Affordable Sampler Pack
If you're not ready to commit to one bath oil and are still interested in a sampler pack — but want to spend a bit less — try this 10-piece set from my personal favorite bath product brand, Kneipp. It contains the following blends: Enjoy Life (may chang and lemon), Beauty Secret (argan and marula), Soft Skin (almond blossom), Stress Free (mandarin and orange), Back Comfort (devil's claw), Pure Relaxation (lemon bam), Relaxing (lavender), Pure Bliss (red poppy and hemp), Dream Away (valerian and hops), and eucalyptus. You'll be surprised by how many uses you get out of each little bottle, and each one leaves your skin feeling nourished and soft.
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