The 14 Best Bath Salts for Spa-Level Soaking

Our best overall pick is Maude Soak Bath Salts

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The 10 Best Bath Salts in 2022

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

The simple act of immersing your body in warm water can help soothe achy muscles and alleviate tension. But with the right product, the benefits of soaking in the tub don't end there. Bath salts can be made of various types of salt, like Dead Sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, or Epsom salt (aka magnesium sulfate). These granulated mixtures are rich in minerals, particularly magnesium. "While magnesium's mood-boosting, muscle-improving benefits are well known, this mineral can also be good for skin by reducing inflammation," says dermatologist Rachel Maiman, MD.

Meet the Expert

Rachel Maiman, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Marmur Medical in New York.

Bath salts often contain essential oils as well. "They can provide a surplus of aromatherapy benefits," Maiman tells Byrdie. "For instance, peppermint oil has been shown to reduce anxiety, and lavender oil can promote relaxation."

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our best overall pick is Maude Soak Bath Salts, which soothe inflammation and have a hydrating, mineral-rich formula with calming scent options. For a more affordable pick, consider Dr. Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, which uses magnesium-rich Epsom salt and softens skin.

We conducted hours of research on the best bath salts and tried some of the top-rated soaks out there, our testers taking note of ingredients, scent, and how the bath salt affected skin. Our team then combined these results with our own research of fan-favorites plus dermatologists and esthetician-recommended picks to create this list.

Meet the Expert

  • Hysem Eldik, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Marmur Medical. He treats a wide range of skin conditions, including eczema, acne, and nail issues.
  • Dana Murray is a licensed esthetician and product developer with a keen understanding of skin physiology and the chemistry of ingredients.

Ahead, find the best bath salts for a relaxing soak.

Best Overall: Maude Soak No. 1 Bath Salts

Maude Soak No. 1 Bath Salts

Sephora

What We Like
  • Soothes inflammation

  • Leaves skin soft

  • Calming scents

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers note it can be prone to clumping

Our top choice is Maude Soak. It leans on mineral-rich Dead Sea salt to calm inflammation, ease muscle tension, and address dryness. Not only that but the all-star ingredient has been shown to improve skin barrier function and leave you feeling oh-so-soft.

We also like that these bath salts come in two calming scents. No. 1 features a warm amber base with notes of cedar leaf and tonka bean. No. 2 is a livelier profile of pink pepper with hints of balsam and lemon.

Key Ingredients: Dead sea salt | Scent: Amber-cedar-tonka bean, pepper-balsam-lemon | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Budget: Dr. Teal's Soothe & Sleep with Lavender Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution

Dr. Teal's Soothe & Sleep with Lavender Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Generous amount

  • Calming scent

What We Don’t Like
  • Bulky bag

"A good-old bag of Epsom salt from your local drugstore like Dr. Teal's works wonderfully," says esthetician Dana Murray. Aside from muscle-relaxing magnesium, this wallet-friendly pick contains lavender oil to help you wind down and feel more at ease; it also softens skin beautifully.

Key Ingredients: Epsom salt, lavender essential oil | Scent: Lavender | Size: 48 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Drugstore: Dove Renewing Care Foaming Bath Salts Peony and Rose

Dove Renewing Care Foaming Bath Salt

Walmart

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Generous amount

  • Dermatologist-recommended

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains dyes

  • Bulky bag

Dermatologist Hysem Eldik, MD, recommends Dove bath salts. "The smell is rich and potent," he says. "In addition to the muscle-relieving benefits, the unique scent can play a significant role in relaxation."

Key Ingredients: Sea salt, glycerin | Scent: Floral | Size: 28 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Splurge: Gilded Body Nero Bath Soak

Gilded Body Nero Bath Soak

Gilded

What We Like
  • Soothes inflammation

  • Leaves skin soft

  • Refills available

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

Nero Bath Soak is filled with hand-harvested sea salts from around the world. The mineral-rich mixture helps soothe inflammation and relax your muscles while hydrating and softening your skin. The price is steep, but you can get a refill for the marble container or bypass the fancy dish altogether and go straight for the refill bag.

Key Ingredients: French gray salt, Mediterranean black salt | Scent: Botanical | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Luxury: Naturopathica Sweet Birch Magnesium Bath Flakes

Naturopathica Sweet Birch & Magnesium Bath Flakes

Amazon

What We Like
  • Relaxes muscles

  • Esthetician-recommended

  • Eco-conscious company

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

Murray is a fan of Naturopathica Bath Flakes, which contain a pure form of magnesium. "When used topically in a bath soak, it can act as a muscle relaxant," she tells Byrdie. "That's why it's so beneficial to help soothe sore muscles and tired feet."

Key Ingredients: Magnesium chloride, sweet birch oil | Scent: Herbal | Size: 1.7–11 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Gifting: Esker Sparkling Bath Salts

Esker Sparkling Bath Salts

Amazon

What We Like
  • Shimmering effect

  • Luxurious formula

  • Seagrass-wrapped carafe

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

Shopping for someone else? These shimmering bath salts are a perfect gift. Inside the seagrass-wrapped glass carafe is a luxurious blend of Epsom and Dead Sea salts, plus coconut milk powder, kaolin clay, and a calming blend of essential oils.

Key Ingredients: Dead sea salt, Epsom salt, kaolin, coconut milk powder | Scent: Sweet botanicals | Size: 10 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Moisturizing: Tree Hut Moisturizing Epsom Salt

Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Epsom Salt

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Generous amount

  • Leaves skin soft

What We Don’t Like
  • Bulky bag

  • Strong scent

This nourishing medley combines the deep moisturization of shea butter with the skin-softening, inflammation-reducing effects of Epsom salt. "It can also help ease skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis," Murray adds.

Key Ingredients: Epsom salt, shea butter | Scent: Coconut-lime | Size: 48 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Skin-Softening: OUAI Chill Pills Bath Bombs

4.8
OUAI Chill Pills Bath Bombs

Sephora

What We Like
  • Unique design

  • Effervescent effect

  • Moisturizing

What We Don’t Like
  • May leave residue

Ouai Chill Pills contain a base of skin-softening sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda), plus jojoba, safflower seed, and hemp oils to condition and moisturize. Just fill your tub with warm water, drop one in, and then sit back and relax while it does its thing.

Key Ingredients: Sodium bicarbonate, jojoba, safflower, and hemp oils | Scent: Jasmine-rose | Amount: 6 bombs | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Detoxifying: Goop Beauty G.Tox Detox 5 Salt Bath Soak

Goop G.Tox Detox 5 Salt Bath Soak

Credo

What We Like
  • Absorbs impurities

  • Soothes inflammation

  • Leaves skin soft

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

"Detox" is somewhat of a loose term in the self-care industry, but concerning this bath soak, it refers to the absorbent, purifying abilities of activated charcoal. The formula also contains a blend of mineral-dense salts to soften, soothe, and ease muscle tension.

Key Ingredients: Epsom salt, Dead Sea salt, solar salt, activated charcoal | Scent: Herbal | Size: 24 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Calming: Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts

4.7
Herbivore bath salts

Amazon

What We Like
  • Luxurious

  • Nice scent

  • Dermatologist-recommended

What We Don’t Like
  • High price per use

Maiman is a fan of this luxurious bath product from Herbivore. "This product contains coconut milk and coconut pulp, both of which provide immediate and lasting hydration," she tells Byrdie. "The scent is awesome and reminiscent of a tropical destination."

Key Ingredients: Himalayan pink salt, essential oils | Scent: Vanilla, ylang-ylang | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Scent: Bathing Culture Big Dipper Mineral Bath

Bathing Culture Big Dipper Mineral Bath Salts

Credo

What We Like
  • High-quality salt blend

  • Sophisticated scent profile

  • Leaves skin soft

What We Don’t Like
  • High price per ounce

We're suckers for a good scent, and these bath salts don't disappoint. Designed to capture the natural sensations of dipping into a hot spring, the fragrance flaunts a warm, earthy base of vetiver and balsam with woody notes and hints of floral.

Key Ingredients: Epsom salt, Pacific sea salt, Himalayan pink salt | Scent: Woody-floral | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Sore Muscles: Osmia Recovery Salt Bath

Osmia Recovery Salt Bath

Safe & Chic

What We Like
  • Contains organic ingredients

  • Calming scent

  • Esthetician-recommended

What We Don’t Like
  • Nothing

Recommended by professionals, Osmia Recovery Salt Bath combines Epsom with French gray salt and coconut oil. The result is a muscle-relaxing brew that reduces soreness and eases tension. The lavender aromatherapy provides a calming effect, too.

Key Ingredients: French gray salt, Epsom salt, coconut oil | Scent: Lavender-marjoram | Size: 17 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

What Our Experts Say

"The area of the body you are soaking can directly absorb the magnesium sulfate into the skin and deeper muscles. Its anti-inflammatory effects function as a muscle relaxer and pain reliever that can improve soreness and [help you] avoid injury." Hysem Eldik, MD, Dermatologist

Best for Winding Down: Saje Sleep Well Restful Bath Soak Salt

Saje Sleep Well Restful Bath Soak Salt

Saje

What We Like
  • Soothes inflammation

  • Calming scent

What We Don’t Like
  • Nothing

If soaking in the tub is part of your pre-bedtime routine, Saje Sleep Well. This relaxing elixir combines Epsom and sea salt to soothe your skin and muscles, while the aroma of lavender and chamomile essential oils helps put your mind at ease.

Key Ingredients: Sea salt, Epsom salt, essential oils | Scent: Lavender | Size: 10.6 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Scrub: Butter by Keba Aromatic Bath Salt Scrub

Butter by Keba Aromatic Bath Salt Scrub

Amazon

What We Like
  • Physically exfoliates

  • Moisturizing

  • Leaves skin soft

What We Don’t Like
  • Nothing

Granulated salt can also be a great physical exfoliator for the skin on your body, helping stimulate cell turnover and smooth uneven texture. After sloughing off dead cells and revealing silky-soft skin underneath, this bath scrub calls on grape seed oil to moisturize, nourish, and protect.

Key Ingredients: Dead sea salt, grape seed oil | Size: 8 ounces | Scent: Citrus, eucalyptus, botanical | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is Maude Soak Bath Salts, which soothe inflammation and have a hydrating, mineral-rich formula with calming scent options. For a more affordable pick, consider Dr. Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, which uses magnesium-rich Epsom salt and softens skin.

What to Look for in a Bath Salt

Ingredients


The most common ingredient in bath salts is magnesium sulfate, however, magnesium chloride may be just as effective if not more so. Magnesium chloride is a type of magnesium salt that includes chlorine, and it’s easily absorbed transdermally.


Aromatherapy Benefits


Scented bath salts can offer additional aromatherapy benefits, such as relaxation, reduced depression symptoms, and improved mood. Some popular scents include lavender, chamomile, and peppermint.


Avoid Essential Oils on Sensitive Skin


We recommend staying away from Epsom salts that contain essential oils if you’re someone with sensitive skin or are prone to eczema. 

FAQ
  • Do bath salts help you relax?

    Yes! Bath salts can help relieve muscle aches and reduce inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation recommends soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath to help relieve stiff and aching joints and reduced muscle soreness after exercising. On top of that, many bath salts contain relaxing essential oils for aromatherapy benefits.

  • How do bath salts relieve stress?

    Epsom salt baths are known to replenish the blood magnesium levels transdermally, which then helps soothe the muscles, alleviate stress headaches, and calm tense joints and muscles.

  • How long should you sit in an Epsom salt bath?

    It’s recommended that you soak for at least 15 minutes. It’s best to use lukewarm water, as water that’s too hot might worsen swelling.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a freelance copywriter specializing in skincare, lifestyle, and wellness within the commerce space. She considered dozens of bath salts for this roundup, evaluating each on key ingredients, scent, and effect on the skin. She also consulted our testing insights and an esthetician and dermatologist for this roundup. Theresa has been contributing to Byrdie since 2020, covering skincare, color cosmetics, and fitness products.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  2. Proksch E, et al. Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. International journal of dermatology vol. 44,2 (2005): 151-7. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2005.02079.x

  3. Malcolm BJ, Tallian K. Essential oil of lavender in anxiety disorders: Ready for prime time?. Ment Health Clin. 2018;7(4):147-155. Published 2018 Mar 26. doi:10.9740/mhc.2017.07.147

  4. Cleveland Clinic. Epsom Salt: Potential Benefits and How to Use It. Health Essentials. 2018 Jul 20.

  5. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. Published 2017 Dec 27. doi:10.2147/CCID.S144180

  6. Detchanamurthy S. Studies on the Addition of Activated Charcoal in Herbal Shampoo. Chem Technol Ind J. 2018 Mar. 10 ;13(1):119.

  7. Miraj, Sepide, and Samira Alesaeidi. A systematic review study of therapeutic effects of Matricaria recuitta chamomile (chamomile). Electronic physician vol. 8,9 3024-3031. 20 Sep. 2016, doi:10.19082/3024

  8. Rodan K, Fields K, Majewski G, Falla T. Skincare Bootcamp: The Evolving Role of Skincare. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2016;4(12 Suppl Anatomy and Safety in Cosmetic Medicine: Cosmetic Bootcamp):e1152. Published 2016 Dec 14. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000001152

  9. Gröber U, Werner T, Vormann J, Kisters K. Myth or reality-transdermal magnesium? Nutrients. 2017;9(8):E813.

  10. Yim VWC, Ng AKY, Tsang HWH, Leung AY. A review on the effects of aromatherapy for patients with depressive symptoms. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15(2):187-195.

  11. Proksch E, Nissen H-P, Bremgartner M, Urquhart C. Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. International Journal of Dermatology. 2005;44(2):151-157.

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