When I take a bath, I need to know that I’m getting something out of it — like loosening tight muscles, banishing post-hangover toxins, alleviating dry, itchy skin, or quieting an overactive brain. The best natural bath salts can do all of the above, plus they’re free of synthetic additives like fragrances, colors, cleansing agents, and preservatives.
All the bath salts listed ahead contain sea salt or Epsom salts, whose huge stores of skin-soothing, tension-relieving, detoxifying minerals our body readily absorbs when we’re soaking in water. In some cases, naturally derived essential oils are added to the mix, mostly for their aromatherapeutic benefits, though certain essential oils have physiological benefits, too — eucalyptus, peppermint, and pine, for instance, are all anti-inflammatories that can help melt away muscle tension.
For best results, give your tub a good clean, fill it up with hot water and your bath salts of choice, then soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Once you’re thoroughly pruny — or, if you’re like me, your patience has run out — rinse off in the shower, drink lots of water to rehydrate yourself, and enjoy your loosey-goosey muscles and (fingers crossed!) relaxed state of mind.