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Look, we get it, taking a bath every day probably (read: definitely) isn’t in the cards for most people. But there’s no denying that there’s something truly decadent—not to mention utterly relaxing—about trading a five-minute shower for a long, leisurely soak. And for those rare occasions when the latter is an option, adding all the right accouterments is the best way to take a bath from basic to blissful. Enter bath salts, which have long been used for both their physical and mental benefits. Many are made from either magnesium sulfate (commonly known as Epsom salt) or different types of sea salt, all rich in minerals that can do everything from detoxify the skin to soothe sore muscles. Add in essential oils for various aromatherapy benefits and bath salts are the perfect way to treat both your body and your mind.
Check out a handful of our favorite bath salts below and get to soaking.
Best Overall: Follain Organic Bath Co. Rose Bath Salts
There are just three ingredients in this soak—magnesium chloride flakes, Himalayan sea salt, and Moroccan Rose essential oil—but each one packs a punch. Magnesium detoxifies and is an essential mineral for calming the mind and relaxing muscles, while the mineral content of the Himalayan salt maintains the skin barrier to keep moisture locked in. And that essential oil? It’s what makes this soak smell oh-so-good, fresh and floral. Bonus points for the gorgeous pink hue and packaging that makes this look so pretty perched on the edge of your tub.
Best Budget: C. Booth Pink Himalayan Bath Soak with Epsom Salt
Not only is the price a total steal, you only need to use a small amount for each bath, so one jar lasts quite a while. A combination of Himalayan sea salt and Epsom salt do their thing for your body, and the floral scent—of rose, pink peony, lily, and violet—is a big hit among satisfied reviewers.
Best Drugstore: PREP Your Skin Peppermint and Eucalyptus Bath Salts
This brand makes several different varieties of bath salts (all at the same great price point), but we’re partial to this option. While many bath salts are great for relaxation purposes, the peppermint and eucalyptus scent of these is uplifting and invigorating, ideal when you need a little mental or physical pick-me-up (or feel congested or stuffed-up). It’s made with Atlantic sea salts, rich in important minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Best Before Bed: This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak
Have trouble sleeping? Instead of reality TV binging or never-ending social media scrolling, try taking a bath with this soak a few hours before bedtime. A blend of lavender and vetivert oils, plus chamomile extract, in a sea salt base help to calm and quiet your mind, leaving you feeling totally relaxed and ready to hit the sack. You’ll get extra credit points for not bringing your phone into the bathroom.
Best Detoxifying: Goop Beauty G.Tox Detox 5 Salt Bath Soak
Don’t be put off by the black hue—that’s just activated charcoal and glacial marine clay, a dynamic duo that goes to work removing all the impurities and assorted gunk and grime we’re exposed to on the reg. There’s also a blend of different salts, skin-softening enzymes, and essential oils, too. Be sure to soak for at least 20 minutes in order to reap the purifying benefits—consider this your excuse to stretch out your time in the tub.
Best Luxe: Susanne Kaufmann St. John’s Wort Bath
It may be a splurge, but this soak is worth every penny, particularly if you have dry or sunburned skin; calming and soothing St. John’s Wort leaves skin feeling silky soft after just one soak. Also nice: It is ground into a fine powder that dissolves completely, just mix a few teaspoons under running water as you fill the tub.
Best Scent: Fresh Sugar Lychee Sugarbath
Okay, so technically these are made from sugar and not salt, but we use them in the same way, hence their appearance on their list. Toss a couple of the sugar-based cubes into a bath; infused with hydrating shea butter and avocado oil they’re an especially good pick for anyone with dry skin. But these take the cake for their addicting scent, a slightly sweet, slightly citrus-y combo that’s never cloying, and a pleasant change from the standard bath product smells like lavender and chamomile. Plus, they get fizzy in the tub, which is just plain fun.
Best Calming: Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts
No time for daily meditation or yoga class? Hop in the tub with this soak. A combo of Himalayan pink salt and Pacific sea salt relax muscles, while vanilla oil calms the nervous system to help you seriously chill out, no matter how much your mind may be racing. Ylang-ylang essential oil balances out the scent with its floral notes, but also maintains the moisture balance in your skin so that you feel both blissed out and super soft after you climb out of the tub.
Best Hydrating: Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Epsom Salt, Coconut Lime
You get all the muscle-relaxing and detoxifying benefits of Epsom salt, coupled with hydrating (and certified organic, we should add) shea butter to simultaneously add a heavy hit of hydration to your skin. And we’d be remised to not mention the scent, a tropical mix of coconut lime that will transport you to a beach vacation even in the dead of winter.
Best Natural: EO Bath Salt Soak in French Lavender
What you won’t find in this clean formula: Synthetic fragrance, artificial dyes, or artificial colors. What you will find: A triple threat of mineral-rich California and Himalayan sea salts coupled with organic lavender essential oil. Not to mention that it’s also certified cruelty-free and USDA organic.
Best Epsom Salt: Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution Pre & Post Workout
The Epsom salts from this brand may not be super fancy or come in Instagram-worthy glass containers, but there’s a good reason they have a cult-like following. Made with pure Epsom salt, which can do everything from reduce pain and inflammation to improve your sleep, there are over 15 versions, all with different ingredients and essential oils added. (There are fragrance-free and pure Epsom salt versions available for purists, too). Still, this one, which has cooling and soothing menthol, is one of our personal favorites, perfect for relieving achy muscles after an intense workout.
Best for Travel: Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt, Lemon Balm
One of the best parts of staying in a hotel? Taking a bath, of course. Upgrade your vacation soak by taking one of these perfectly portable packs with you; the single-use size is ideal for travel. They come in a variety of different scents and benefits.
Looking for more bath goodies to shop? Check out our guide to the best bath bombs you can buy today.