Warm baths are so much more than pampering time. They can help to reduce stress, get pain relief, clear congested sinuses, open pores and get clear skin with detox baths. This ultimate guide to detox baths will guide you on the benefits of detox baths and how to do it.
What is a Detox Bath?
A detox bath is a natural way to remove toxins by adding ingredients such as Epsom salts and essential oils to your bathtub. It is an easy and inexpensive way to aid your body’s own detoxification system. This is because sweating is in fact your body’s natural way of detoxifying. Therefore by soaking in hot water, harmful toxins can escape the skin while helpful minerals such as magnesium can be absorbed.
Benefits of a Detox Bath
A healthy way to absorb magnesium
An important ingredient in a detox bath is Epsom salts which are made from magnesium sulfate. Both of which are essential to your body’s function yet are often lacking from modern diets. Instead of absorbing from food, a detox bath allows them to be absorbed via the skin which in turn has many benefits including reduced inflammation, lower blood pressure, healthier circulation, and sleep.
As a detox bath helps to replenish magnesium levels it will help reduce stress and induce sleep. This is because magnesium helps to create melatonin, the hormone responsible for our circadian rhythm and sleep patterns. While closing the door on the outside world for a relaxing bath will always help to calm both body and mind, the addition of Epsom salts will also contribute to a better night’s sleep which supports our everyday mood. The addition of essential oils to your detox bath such as lavender or chamomile helps calm the nervous system and uplift your mood – overall reducing stress.
Provides pain relief
Toxins are to blame for inflammation in the body which heightens stiffness, swelling, and pain. As a detox bath promotes sweating and triggers reverse osmosis, this, in turn, helps remove toxins which help with muscle tension, cramps, and blood circulation. A detox bath can also help regulate electrolytes in the body which are vital for healthy muscles.
Flush out toxins
Unfortunately, toxins are unavoidable, whether absorbed from our food, water, medications, skincare, or more. It is when these toxins cannot be expelled that issues occur as a build-up impacts the body both mentally and physically. A detox bath, however, encourages the elimination of toxins, therefore reducing inflammation and boosting your overall health.
Opens pores and clear skin
Despite being the largest organ of the body, our skin health is often an afterthought. Luckily, a detox bath has incredible benefits to the skin, as a relaxing soak helps to open pores and reduce redness, irritation, and inflammation. Epsom salts can help soften dry skin and exfoliate dead skin cells as magnesium acts as a natural moisturizer. Overall, this will help brighten skin and help illuminate discomfort from common conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
Opens congested sinuses
A further benefit of magnesium is the metabolization of vitamin D. This is essential for a healthy immune system as this is what helps fight colds, flu, and illness. A detox bath is one of the best natural remedies for cold and flu as the steam aids decongestion while the magnesium and essential oils replenish the body of immune-boosting nutrients.
Detox Bath Tips
- Fill your bath with the hottest water you can tolerate. As mentioned, sweating is the body’s natural detox method. This is why a hot bath will help flush toxins.
- Soak your whole body for at least 20 minutes. Alongside temperature, time is important. Allow enough time for reverse osmosis to take place.
- Use filtered water. Filtered water means most contaminants are removed which preserves the body’s natural oils. If your bath is not filtered add ½ to 1 cup baking soda to neutralize chemicals.
- Be sure to hydrate after taking a bath. Although it doesn’t necessarily feel like it, think of taking a detox bath like exercise, as you sweat out the toxins, rehydration is essential.
The Best Essential Oils for a Detox Bath
When searching for the best essential oils for a detox bath, choose wisely. Some essential oils can irritate or feel hot when in contact with the skin. These include; black pepper, cassia, cinnamon, clove, hyssop, lemongrass, oregano, peppermint, thyme, and wintergreen.
Furthermore, use no more than 5-10 drops of essential oils in a detox bath, even if you are using a combination. Be sure to choose essential oils that can be used topically (most cannot or have additives and fillers). I have created a guide for the best essential oils for baths that includes recipes, tips, and benefits.
In summary, however these are my top 10 essential oils you can use in a detox bath:
- Eucalyptus – helps to clear sinuses and smells refreshing
- Jasmine – a romantic essential oil that is an aphrodisiac and pairs well with ylang ylang
- Lavender – relaxing and calming essential oil, perfect right before bedtime
- Marjoram – excellent for soothing tired muscles
- Orange – an uplifting scent that pairs well with florals like jasmine, rose, and ylang ylang. It can make your skin photo-sensitive (or prone to sunburns) so after using you may want to avoid the sun for 24 hours.
- Roman (or German) Chamomile – pairs well with Lavender for a relaxing, calming experience.
- Rose – a warm, floral scent that’s calming to the mind, and excellent for the skin
- Rosemary – helps to soothe tired muscles and pairs well with lavender and marjoram
- Sandalwood – this grounding scent is great for calming and pairs well with floral oils like ylang ylang, jasmine, and lavender
- Ylang Ylang – this sweet, floral scent is both romantic and uplifting.
Where to Buy Essential Oils
Some brands of essential oils may be causing more harm than good when added to your detox bath. Young Living is the only brand of essential oils that I recommend using. Learn more about why I choose Young Living and how to get them at up to 60% off + free shipping.
What if I feel lightheaded after a detox bath?
A lightheaded sensation can occur due to dehydration or from the detox properties. To avoid, drink plenty of water before and after your bath, avoid adding too much Epsom salt, and don’t make the water too hot. If lightheadedness occurs, exit the bath carefully and slowly. It is then advised to sit or lie down in a safe space and drink plenty of water or an electrolyte drink. A drink high in electrolytes can help counteract the potential dehydration.
Be sure to talk to your doctor or health care practitioner if you have any questions about detox baths.
Should I shower after a detox bath?
No. Do not shower after a detox bath as this will allow maximum absorption and avoid washing off the many benefits. Ideally, rest for a minimum of 1 hour afterward or have a detox bath before bed to allow the detoxification to continue working its magic as you sleep.
How often can I take a detox bath?
To start with, enjoy a detox bath once a week. Feel free to increase this to two to three times a week. Be aware, too many baths can cause dry skin and dehydration so aim for quality over quantity. A short bath of only 20 minutes can still trigger the detoxing benefits. Although a longer bath will allow your body more time to sweat and flush out toxins.
Can I use other bath products in the tub?
Store-bought bath products often contain artificial dyes, scents, and preservatives which may be reversing the detoxing benefits. Instead, to maximize the detox bath benefits, I recommend using natural bath products only and ensuring your Epsom salts are from a reputable source. This is because some Epsom salts are less pure than others.
What do I do if I don’t have a tub?
No bathtub? No problem. You can still enjoy the benefits of a detox bath through a foot soak. Instead, fill a basin with warm water, Epsom salts, and essential oils just as you would a bath. By simply soaking your feet for 15-20 minutes you can detox naturally while reviving circulation – all without filling a bathtub.
Can I add essential oils to a detox bath?
Yes, there are many essential oils for baths that will heighten the detoxing effects. Just be sure to add 1 tsp of carrier oil like olive, avocado, or almond oil with the essential oils and mix well in the bathwater.
Can I add dried flowers?
While those dried flowers will make your detox bath insta-worthy, they will not be liked by your drainage system. I suggest using sparingly to avoid clogged drains.
Can kids do detox baths?
Yes, warm baths are excellent for kids, but I suggest talking to your physician or health care practitioner as well for recommendations. I’ve had my own kids take warm baths with Epsom salts and 2-3 drops of essential oils. Just adjust the amount accordingly. For kids ages 5-10, opt for ½ cup Epsom salt to a warm bath and 2-3 drops of essential oils. For kids ages 10 and up, they should be able to do the recipes below. Be sure to learn how to use essential oils safely for kids.
6 Detox Bath Recipes
1. Epsom Salt + Essential Oils
As mentioned, Epsom salts help increase magnesium levels. That’s why taking an Epsom salt bath can help to relieve muscle aches and pains. Add essential oils for aromatherapy and extra relaxing benefits.
For example: Add 1 cup Epsom salt, 1 tbsp carrier oil (like avocado or olive oil), and 5-10 drops of essential oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile.
2. Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt
A detox bath with Himalayan salt is known as a brine bath. The ions in salt’s minerals can help to rejuvenate the skin and help to flush toxins out of the body.
Add 1-2 cups of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt to bathwater, and soak for 20 minutes (no more than that as muscles may feel fatigued if in the bath too long). Don’t use soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. Stick to salt and water only for best results. After the bath, get out slowly and pat dry lightly (or ideally, dry naturally) – try not to rub or towel off the saltwater to ensure maximum absorption.
3. Mineral Bath (Epsom Salt + Sea Salt)
Got sore or tired muscles? Had a hard workout? Soak in a mineral salt bath to soothe and replenish muscles.
Add 1 cup of Epsom salt, 1/2 cup of Himalayan pink or sea salt, 1 tbsp carrier oil (like olive or avocado oil), and 5-10 drops of essential oils like Rosemary and Marjoram in a tub of warm water for 15-20 minutes. The magnesium in the Epsom salt help to soothe muscles and provide pain relief. The essential oils help to relax muscles.
4. Bentonite Clay
There are many benefits and uses for bentonite clay, including adding to your bath. Add 1-2 cups of bentonite clay to your bathwater, and soak for about 20 minutes. The bentonite clay will draw toxins out of your skin. Due to its electromagnetic properties, clumps of clay may stick to a particular area of the body where toxins have surfaced. If any spots of clay are left on your skin after rinsing, rub gently with a washcloth.
5. Baking Soda
Are you a swimmer exposed to chlorine or need to detox from everyday toxins in food and the environment? Baking soda helps to neutralize bath water (if you’re using regular tap water) and helps to relieve muscle tension.
It is also known for its soothing benefits and can draw impurities and toxins out of the skin. According to Healthline, a detox bath with baking soda can help with diaper rash, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin issues. For babies and young children, you can do 1-2 tbsp baking soda in a bath for about 10 minutes. For adults, add 1-2 cups, swirl to dissolve, then soak for up to 40 minutes.
6. Milk Bath
Taking a bath with milk is excellent for the skin, especially dry, itchy, irritated skin. Milk helps to nourish skin and helps with inflammation too. You can use any milk, such as cow’s milk, goat milk, buttermilk, or coconut milk. Just opt for the highest fat content you can find.
For a milk bath: Add 1 cup milk of your choice, ½ cup Epsom salt, ½ cup sea salt, and 5-10 drops of essential oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile.
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How to Get Started with Essential Oils
- Sign up for my FREE essential oil email course in order to learn the basics.
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