10 of the Best Bath Salts for Every Purpose

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Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

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 purify 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.

Our Top Picks
This pick is specifically formulated to relax muscles and calm the nervous system.
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.
This drugstore favorite smells great and is reasonably priced.
A blend of oils come together in this formula to help you relax and lull you to sleep.
This pick is formulated to remove all the impurities and assorted gunk and grime we are exposed to on the reg.
This splurge-worthy pick will leave your skin feeling silky soft after just one soak.
These have a slightly sweet jasmine rose combo scent that is a pleasant change from the standard bath product smell.
You get all the muscle-relaxing and skin-purifying benefits of Epsom salt, coupled with hydrating shea butter in this pick.
The Epsom salts from this brand come in over 15 versions, so you can find one that suits your specific needs.
Upgrade your vacation soak by taking one of these perfectly portable packs with you.

Best Overall: Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts

Herbivore bath salts
What We Like
  • Hydrates and softens skin

  • Vegan formula

  • Aromatherapy benefits

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

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.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Budget: C. Booth Pink Himalayan Bath Soak with Epsom Salt

C. Booth Pink Himalayan Epsom Bath Soak
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Aromatherapy benefits

What We Don't Like
  • Ingredients aren't disclosed online

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.

Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Drugstore: Dove Renewing Ritual Peony and Rose Bath Salts

Dove Nourishing Secrets Bath Salts Peony and Rose
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Sulfate-free

  • Hydrates and softens skin

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

Who knew drugstore favorite Dove has a line of soothing bath salts that smell great and are reasonably priced? We're partial to this relaxing peony and rose scent, which is rejuvenating and invigorating, ideal when you need a little mental or physical pick-me-up. It’s made with Dove's patented moisture blend of sea salts that are sulfate-free, gentle, and will nourish your skin.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Before Bed: This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak

deep sleep bath soak
What We Like
  • Great to use before bedtime

  • Hydrates and softens skin

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

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.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

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

G.TOX DETOX 5 SALT BATH SOAK
What We Like
  • Clarifying

  • Hydrates and softens skin

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

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.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Luxe: Susanne Kaufmann St. John’s Wort Bath

SUSANNE KAUFMANN St. John's Wort Bath
What We Like
  • Soothing

  • Hydrates and softens skin

  • Dissolves completely

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

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.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Scent: OUAI Chill Pills Bath Bombs

OUAI Chill Pills Bath Bombs
What We Like
  • Hydrates and softens skin

  • Smells good

  • Fizzes

What We Don't Like
  • Can leave a residue in tub

Toss a couple of these adorable cubes into a bath for the ultimate unwind. Infused with hydrating jojoba oil, safflower seed oil, and hemp seed oil, they’re an especially good pick for anyone with dry skin. But these take the cake for their addicting scent, a slightly sweet, jasmine rose 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.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Hydrating: Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Epsom Salt, Coconut Lime

TREE HUT SHEA MOISTURIZING EPSOM SALT COCONUT LIME
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Hydrates and softens skin

  • Made in the U.S.

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

You get all the muscle-relaxing and skin-purifying 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.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Epsom Salt: Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution Pre & Post Workout

Dr Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, Pre & Post Workout with Magnesium Sulfate & Menthol, 3 lb
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Cooling sensation

  • Reduces pain and inflammation

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

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.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Travel: Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt, Eucalyptus

Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt, Eucalyptus
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Travel-friendly

  • Vegan formula

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

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.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

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, if not more, effective. 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 if you have 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.

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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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