Bath Salts: An Ancient Solution to Modern Stress
If you've ever gotten home from a long day at work, soaked in a hot tub with some luxurious bath salts, and felt utterly rejuvenated—no, it wasn't all in your head!
If you have trouble unwinding at the end of the day, bath salts may be just what you need. Bath salts have proven health benefits for both the mind and the body. In fact, they've been used for at least 4700 years!
Bath Salts: A Brief History
The earliest known mention of bath salts for health was found in pharmacology records from China dating back to 2700 BC. Mixing salts in water to create a brine for soaking was believed to have healing properties.
Other cultures used them as well. In Greece, Hippocrates wrote about the health benefits of soaking in the sea—the original salt bath. When asked what these health benefits were, he replied that the saltwater could improve aches, pains, and arthritis symptoms.
If there's one ancient culture that comes to mind when thinking about bathing, it's the Romans. Roman baths were a place of healing, socialization, and political discussions. Baths were created using natural hot springs full of salts and minerals.
Epsom salts specifically have been used since the 17th century, when magnesium sulphate heptahydrate was found in a naturally-occurring spring in the town of Epsom. Drinking this water proved to be an excellent laxative, but Epsom visitors also enjoyed relaxing in the spring.
Throughout time, bath salts have been said to help with weight loss, reducing menstrual cramps, improving circulation, and treating acne, fine lines, and wrinkles. But what's true and what's merely a myth?
Physical Health Benefits of Bath Salts
To understand the physical health benefits of bath salts, you must first understand what exactly bath salts are made of. Bath salts generally contain magnesium chloride, potassium, and sodium. Other trace minerals may also be present. Magnesium chloride does, in fact, have the ability to soothe aching muscles.
Many people don't realize that skin does not form an impenetrable barrier. Many solutions that your skin comes in contact with are absorbed deep within the skin and nano-sized particles can enter your bloodstream. When you bathe in warm water, the pores in your skin open up more and allow greater absorption in less time.
The minerals in bath salts can also soothe dry, itchy skin by balancing the oils of your skin. Exfoliation of the skin also occurs thanks to the minerals in the salts, as well as the texture of the salts themselves.
The jury is still out in the scientific community on weight loss, wrinkles, and acne, but just because there's no conclusive evidence for these yet doesn't mean they're certainly myths. Try bath salts for yourself to learn firsthand how they can benefit your physical health (and your mental health, too!).
Mental Health Benefits of Bath Salts
Some of the mental health benefits of using bath salts come from their ability to work as a muscle relaxant. A relaxed body supports a relaxed mind. But many benefits also come from aromatherapy.
Many bath salts today contain essential oil blends to take the relaxation benefits one step further. Essential oils are used in many topical solutions to improve ailments, such as sore joints. As an example, peppermint oil is frequently used to treat headaches. Simply breathing in the aroma of certain essential oils has benefits too.
Aromatherapy has been scientifically proven to reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Certain oils, such as lavender, can also improve a person's ability to sleep. Adding essential oils to bath salts promotes a sense of calm and relaxation that, when combined with the physical healing properties of bath salts, creates a truly formidable combination.
However, aromas must be naturally occurring from essential oils to provide benefits. So how do you know which bath salts you should buy?
Natural vs. Artificial Bath Salts
Ingredients in Artificial Bath Salts
Epsome salts are naturally occuring, but most are created synthetically. These synthetic salts are not a concern, however, some artificial and potentially harmful ingredients that are added to bath salts can be concerning.
The most common artificial ingredients you'll see on bath salts produced by large bath and beauty companies are fragrance and parfum. Fragrance and parfum are two names for the same ingredient, which can be an unknown combination of up to 3000+ chemicals. Many of these potential chemicals can cause skin irritations, allergies, migraines, and asthma attacks. They may also have reproductive effects, making them something that many of us want to avoid.
Essential oils will be listed in the ingredients list by their full name, and often with the common name in parentheses, as in Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil.
Ingredients in Natural Bath Salts
Natural bath salts will contain only a handful of ingredients. Salts included may vary but might be a combination of Epsom salts, pink Himalayan salts, and dead sea salts. You'll also likely see one or more essential oils listed.
Alternatively, you can purchase pure Epsom salts. They won't have any aromatherapy benefits, but you'll benefit greatly from the salts all on their own.
For Bath Salts in Canada, Try Bubbles & Balms!
At Bubbles & Balms, our goal is to offer our customers the best skin care products Canada has to offer for dry & sensitive skin. Since 2014, we've grown our natural bath and body business from farmer's markets, to our own boutiques and now with retail partners as well. We believe that great-smelling skincare and bath products can support the wellness of our bodies, mind, and the planet—at an affordable price.
We currently offer four different varieties of the best bath salts Canada offers using organic essential oils:
- Spa Day (featuring the fresh scents of peppermint and eucalyptus)
- Cinnamon Orange Clove
- Eucalyptus and Geranium
Can't decide which delightful variety to purchase? We offer an artisanal bath salts bundle, so you can try them all at a discounted price! And if bath salts aren't your thing, we also make bath bombs, body scrubs, creams, salves, lip balms, deodorant, shampoo bars, conditioner bars, and shave bars with raw & naturally-derived ingredients proven safe and beneficial for sensitive skin.We also know how much of a risk it can be to spend your hard-earned money on an unfamiliar product, which is why we offer a money-back guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason, we will refund the entire cost of the product within 60 days of purchase. We believe in our products and cherish all honest feedback from our community!