beauty

Bath salts by I.Randi

Generality

Bath salts are products used above all for perfumed and relaxing baths.

In detail, bath salts are cosmetics used both at home and in beauty and spa centers to perform hot baths against stress and tension or, possibly, therapeutic-like baths. In fact, these products can be enriched with essential oils or other ingredients with different properties in order to obtain a certain effect on the skin. Clearly, it is only and exclusively a cosmetic treatment and not a medical treatment. Therefore, the use of bath salts cannot cure diseases or disorders and even less can eliminate any kind of imperfections, for the treatment of which it is instead necessary to resort - depending on the case - to pharmacological medical treatments, surgical or dermo-aesthetic treatments.

What are

What are Bath Salts?

Bath salts are cosmetic products based on salts, in fact, to which can be added different types of ingredients (essential oils, perfumes, dyes), in order to enrich the product and make it more attractive, both during the time of purchase, both during use. In this regard, we recall that in this case the term "salts" is not used to refer only to table salt, or rather, the almost pure sodium chloride used in the culinary field; but it is used to indicate different substances used for the preparation of hot baths which - chemically speaking - consist of anions and cations (joined by ionic bonds) which are arranged to form a crystal lattice.

Among the salts most used in this area, we mention sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium sulfate.

Features

Features and Types of Bath Salts

Bath salts appear as crystals, more or less large, totally soluble in water. In most cases, bath salts are enriched with essential oils, perfumes and / or dyes, in order to give color and pleasant aromas both to the crystals themselves and to the water in which they will be dissolved.

Bath salts can be used at home (in supermarkets, perfumeries or herbalist's shops, if they can be found of all types) and at professional level, in beauty centers or spas.

The salts most known and used in this area will be briefly described below.

English salt

English salt - also known as Epsom salt or epsomite - is considered by many to be the ultimate bath salt. From the chemical point of view, Epsom salt is made up of magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (MgSO4 ∙ 7H2O). It is a compound to which various properties are attributed, including - when used externally - the ability to promote muscle relaxation by removing any tension and pain and the ability to relieve irritated or affected skin such as psoriasis. Although such activities have not been scientifically proven, many use this salt, claiming its effectiveness.

Whole sea salt

Integral sea salt is obtained by evaporation of sea water and subsequent washing and purification operations. In addition to being composed of sodium chloride, integral sea salt contains appreciable amounts of iodine, potassium, magnesium and other trace elements. Draining and anti-cellulite properties are attributed to this salt which, however, are not supported by scientific evidence. In any case, even if these properties were scientifically proven, the only use of bath salts made with integral sea salt would not be sufficient to counteract an imperfection such as cellulite, but it could be considered as a cosmetic adjuvant treatment within one healthy lifestyle characterized by a balanced diet and a good level of physical activity.

Himalayan Pink Salt

Himalayan pink salt is considered as a particular type of integral salt because it is not refined. It consists of sodium chloride crystals (about 95%) and numerous minerals (over 80) present in smaller quantities, among which we find iodine, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The characteristic pink color is, instead, attributable to the content of iron oxides . The bath salts prepared with this product are given the ability to relieve inflamed and irritated skin.

Dead Sea Salt

Dead Sea salt is a mixture of different salts, such as sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride and calcium chloride. To underline the fact that, unlike other types of salt, in the Dead Sea the concentration of sodium chloride is not very high.

However, it is believed that bath salts made with this particular product are able to provide relief from muscle pain and that they are able to counteract fatigue by promoting relaxation. In addition to this, detoxifying and draining properties are also ascribed to bath salts of this type.

Please note

The aforementioned salts can be used to make baths either pure or mixed with other ingredients (fragrances, essences, etc.) in order to improve their characteristics or possibly enrich their potential properties (however, not always scientifically confirmed).

Essential oils

Essential Oils Used to enrich Bath Salts

Bath salts can be enriched with perfumes, or with essential oils in order to give particular aromas or any additional properties. There are many essential oils that can be used for this purpose; among these, we mention a few:

  • Lavender : lavender essential oil is known for its calming action on the skin, useful in case of irritation. Furthermore, according to aromatherapy, the essential oil of lavender is endowed with marked relaxing properties.

Did you know that ...

Lavender essential oil is also widely used in balneotherapy for the treatment of certain types of cardiovascular disorders.

  • Chamomile : soothing properties are attributed to chamomile essential oil in the presence of redness and skin irritation. In aromatherapy, chamomile essential oil is useful for combating nervousness and states of anger; in other words, it is believed to have calming properties not only on the skin, but also on the nervous system.
  • Mint and eucalyptus : are essential oils with a balsamic action, very useful in the presence of respiratory disorders, such as colds and nasal congestion.
  • Sweet orange : according to aromatherapy, sweet orange essential oil is able to relax the mind, removing stress and anxiety.
  • Lemon : lemon essential oil has antiseptic and astringent properties, which is why it is very useful in the presence of impure skin.
  • Rosemary : rosemary essential oil has balsamic properties, which are associated with analgesic and revulsive activities. For this reason, this essence can be useful in the presence of rheumatism and superficial circulatory disorders.

Essential oils can be used in the preparation of do-it-yourself bath salts, just as they can be included in the composition of industrially produced bath salts.

Please note

Essential oils should not be used pure because they are too concentrated and - as such - because they can potentially cause serious skin irritation. Furthermore, they are products with a certain allergenic power . For this reason, before using it, it is advisable to carry out a preliminary test, applying little product on a small area of ​​skin in order to assess the possible onset of allergic reactions. Finally, remember that use in pregnancy is generally not recommended.

Mode of use

How to Use Bath Salts

The use of bath salts is very simple. In fact, it is sufficient to fill one's tank with hot water and add three or four tablespoons of bath salts. The effect of the heat of the water enriched with fragrant and colored bath salts should create a situation of total relaxation, relaxing the muscles and removing the stress accumulated during the day.

Furthermore, bath salts can be used to make foot baths. Even in this case it is sufficient to fill a container with hot water inside which the bath salts (one or two tablespoons) must be dissolved and then dip your feet in them.

Do-it-yourself

Recipes for the home preparation of Bath Salts

Preparing bath salts at home is easier than you might think. In fact, just a few ingredients are needed to create a customized product that suits your needs and tastes. However, it is good to remember that it is necessary to use quality raw materials, possibly purchased from reliable retailers.

Below are some of the many recipes you can follow to make DIY bath salts.

Refreshing Bath Salts

The following recipe is extremely simple to make and involves the use of very few ingredients, such as:

  • 250 grams of coarse salt (preferably whole sea, but also the common coarse salt can serve the purpose); alternatively, 250 grams of salt from the Dead Sea
  • 10 drops of mint essential oil
  • 10 drops of essential eucalyptus oil

The procedure consists in placing the coarse salt in a glass container, adding the essential oils, closing the container and shaking well to mix the ingredients. After that, let it rest until the salt has dried completely. After drying, the bath salts will be ready to be used.

Please note

Kitchen salt is a refined salt which, as such, does not have the same mineral richness typical of unrefined integral salts. Despite this, it can still be useful for the home preparation of DIY bath salts.

Relaxing Bath Salts

The ingredients that can be used to prepare relaxing bath salts are different. This recipe involves the use of:

  • A kilogram of coarse salt, better if it is an integral sea salt
  • 70-80 drops of sweet orange essential oil
  • 10 grams of rice oil
  • 10 grams of liquid vegetable glycerin
  • A teaspoon of baking soda

Compared to the previous recipe, the process for the preparation of these bath salts is slightly more complicated and can be summarized in the following points:

  • Dissolve essential oils in rice oil;
  • Put the coarse salt in a glass container and gradually add the rice oil inside which the essences and the liquid vegetable glycerin have been dissolved;
  • Mix everything in such a way as to mix the ingredients;
  • Allow the salt to dry and finally add the baking soda, stirring well.

Vegetable glycerin is used to make salt crystals shiny and, moreover, it is able to exert a moisturizing and emollient action on the skin.

Useful Tips and Variants

  • If desired, it is possible to replace the essential oil of sweet orange with the same amount of essential oil of lavender. Alternatively, you can use both oils (35-40 drops of lavender essential oil and 35-40 drops of essential sweet orange oil).
  • If you buy vegetable glycerin in solid form, before using it, it is necessary to dissolve it in a bain-marie.
  • If desired, it is possible to add food coloring to the recipe. In this case, the chosen dye must first be dissolved in the glycerin.

Bath Salts with Aromatic Herbs

The preparation of these bath salts does not involve the use of essential oils, but the use of finely chopped aromatic herbs.

The ingredients are:

  • A kilogram of coarse salt, better if it is an integral sea salt
  • A teaspoon of finely ground rosemary leaves
  • A teaspoon of finely ground sage leaves
  • A teaspoon of baking soda

To make these bath salts it is necessary to finely chop the sage and rosemary leaves and add them to the coarse salt and bicarbonate previously placed in a glass container with a stopper. After adding all the ingredients, it is necessary to mix everything well and let it rest for a few days. After this time, the bath salts with aromatic herbs will be ready to be used.

Side effects and contraindications

Side effects and possible contraindications to the use of Bath Salts

In the vast majority of cases, bath salts are well tolerated and their use does not cause undesirable effects. At the same time, similar cosmetic products do not present particular contraindications, with the exception of cases of known allergy to any of the ingredients they contain.

Despite the relative safety of these cosmetic products, we remind you that - as a precaution - pregnant women should always seek the advice of their doctor or gynecologist before resorting to the use of bath salts of any kind.