I receive many inquiries from people wanting to make their own bath salts. Their reasons vary from the desire to make attractive gifts for family and friends or their love of the product which has led them to desiring further exploration. Of course, these people are searching for something creative, useful and economical. Bath salts are wonderful for lifting the spirits, melting away stress and cleansing the body while nourishing it with minerals essential for your well being. The addition of colours and fragrances enhance the experience by evoking multiple senses to enable full relaxation. There are a vast number of items which can be added to a bath salt recipe with no hard and fast rules about what is right and wrong. A recipe is a great place to start, or simply follow your heart with the items you would like to enjoy in your bath.
Epsom saltsare a favourite ingredient in many recipes due to its high magnesium content and dazzling appearance. Magnesium aids calcium absorption which is an added benefit to your bones, muscles and circulatory system. It is known to relax the mind, sore muscles, and draw toxins from the body. Our society is often deficient in magnesium, and a warm soothing bath is a great way to top up and replenish these stores. Epsom salts have a short, rod-like structure which is highly reflective and makes for an attractive end product. If you are thinking of making your own recipe: consider this ingredient as amust have.
Sea salt (sodium chloride) is another popular ingredient created through the natural evaporation of sea water. Sodium chloride is a natural antibacterial ingredient that will reduce quantities of bacteria that may be on your skin. Sea salt has an added 1.8% of beneficial trace elements in it’s make-up compared to regular table salt. This salt does not have additional iodine or anti-caking agents added – simply the minerals of the sea. Sea salt has either afine granularform or a chunkyrock saltversion. The only difference is the degree to which they have been ground. Deciding which form of sea salt to use should be based around the visual presentation required and any practicality issues. Fine sea salt is quite closely packed and does not reflect the light as well, however it dissolves in the bath very quickly. Rock salt has a larger particle size giving a far different visual appearance which takes on colour more unevenly giving a much more crystal-like facade.
Bicarbonate of soda is an ingredient that is popular for its cleansing and deodorising qualities as well as its abilities to drain the lymphatic system of toxins. It is known for its skin softening capabilities and can absorb excess oil for those in need. This quality can also be beneficial if you wish to add essential or fragrance oils to the salts as this ingredient will assist the salts to hold more fragrance without an oily runoff. Be a little cautious using this ingredient as baking soda exposed to water will release carbon dioxide which may build up in your packaging. Keep the baking soda away from water(oil is fine) until ready to use. Bath bombs fizz because of this carbon dioxide/water reaction so ensure your salts stay perfectly dry and are not able to draw atmospheric moisture.
An ingredient I am fond of in a bath salt mix isglycerine. It is a humectant, meaning that it will allow moisture to be drawn to the relaxing body immersed in the water containing the glycerine. This will aid absorption of the minerals that have been added from the bath salts as well as softening and rehydrating tired skin. Use only a tiny amount – about half a teaspoon in a kilo of salt to bring out the depth from powder colourants that may have been used and to add a shine to the salt. Overuse will cause a gluggy mess that is very unappealing.
Botanical itemscan be used either for practical application or visual stimuli. For those who like an all natural bath salt, cosmetic clays can be added for the colour they add to the package as well as the properties they add to the bath. You must remember that clay does not dissolve in water. The best you can hope for is a suspension where the clay particles float through the water for a while, but over time it will settle out will form a thin mud layer on the bottom of the bath. You can use this to your advantage by scooping up the mud for a mud pack if you so choose. Keep in mind that mud is slippery when it is time to get out of the bath. Dried flowers are great additions to bath salts, as seen in the mandarin bath salts recipe, contributing a beautiful relaxing calm from petals floating on the water’s surface. Some flowers will add small quantities of the healing qualities they hold but given the dilution rate cannot be relied upon to provide therapeutic values. Rolled oats or oatmeal makes a very soothing additive to a bath salt mixture. Oats are known to reduce inflammation and assist itchiness in skin with either or both of these problems. If adding this particular ingredient to your salt it is recommended that you place the salts in a fabric bag. It should have a weave loose enough to let the dissolved salt and oat milk into the water without the oats themselves being loose in the water, but not so large that particles can free themselves into the bath.
Fragrancesandcoloursare optional additives to a bath salt. To scent your bath salts you can use eitheressential oilsorfragrance oilsmixed well into your chosen ingredients. Intensity can be as strong or mild as you wish to make it from a few drops for a mild fragrance to considerably more. If using essential oils researching contraindications (technical term for the effect the oil can have on people with sensitivities to these ) for your salts is highly recommended as reactions can occur with some medical conditions. If using fragrance oils ensure they are suitable for skin application sourcing them from a reputable dealer specialising in this type of product. Oils for burners and room scenting only are generally not suited to this purpose.
To colour bath salts use a product that is content with both water and oil applications while being skin safe.Colour powders available fromHeirloom Body Careare the type I would recommend for this purpose and were used in the Baby Powder bath salts recipe. Their brightness can be intensified with the addition of glycerine or a few drops of oil and stir well to ensure even distribution. As with any new procedure if you are pregnant or have any health concerns, please check with your doctor before using bath salt blends and their components.
In the side panel are a couple of recipes you may wish to start with before beginning to play with your own ideas.
I have been soaping for quite a while now, and the adventure has made for quite a soap opera.
Thirteen years ago my husband decided he wanted to keep bees on our semi-rural property, which we did successfully for quite some time. The issue arose as to what to do with the beeswax. Make soap of course!! he said. So, I studied, and I learned, and I played, experimented and fell under the spell of the varieties that soap making can offer. I was hooked.
I started having to buy larger and larger quantities of ingredients from a local supplier for whom I started teaching classes. When she said she was selling up and moving to Queensland the opportunity to jump had arrived. With my business partner, Julie, we bought ourselves a business and named it Heirloom Body Care (www.heirloombodycare.com.au). We wanted to be able to help all those out there with the same soap addiction to fulfil their dreams, to create the purple soap with green polka dots, or the stripped one, but most especially the soap that will ban rashes and dry skin forever!