I love taking baths and look forward to a good relaxing soak almost every night. This winter my skin has been so dry, I actually had to go to the doctor because I itched and scratched so much I was actually making myself bleed. The more I itched, the more baths I was taking (with all my store-bought bath add-ins), which I found out was counter-productive. Most bubble baths and shower gels contain sodium laureth sulfate and fragrances that actually dry your skin out even more. They can strip away natural oils in your skin, aggravate eczema, and cause red, itchy dry spots on your skin.
Our daughter in law, Sarah, who has been researching and making natural health and beauty products this past year whipped up a couple of bath soaks for me that have helped tremendously. They are simple, inexpensive and contain easy to find ingredients. Here’s two recipes you can make up for yourself, or give as gifts.
This first recipe contains Epsom salt, which is made up of magnesium and sulfate. Studies have shown that magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin, making Epsom salt baths and easy and ideal way to enjoy amazing health benefits. Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscles and nerve function and helping to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help easy migraine headaches.
EPSOM SALT BATH -
- 2 cups Epsom salt
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- essential oil of your choice
- 1/4 cup mustard seed (whole or grind it up)
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda. Mix your baking soda mixture with the epsom salt and mustard seed.
Epsom salt has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind and soul. Some of the countless health benefits include; relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating cold and congestion and drawing toxins from the body. If you don’t want to make a bath concoction of your own, simply pouring some Epsom salt in your bath is fine too.
Mustard seed also helps draw toxins from the body, warms the skin and helps increase circulation.
*I found Epsom salt online at Wal-Mart (you can find it in most stores in the pharmacy section) for $2.86 for a 4 pound bag. Penzeys spices sells 1 pound bags of mustard seed for $5.60.
I found this very informative article on choosing an essential oil.
For another inexpensive and easy bath soak…
MILK OATMEAL BATH -
- 2 cups powdered milk
- 1 cup oat flour or 1/4 cup oatmeal
- 1/4 cup baking soda mixed with 2 teaspoons essential oil
*You can also add ground spices, herbs or even extracts for scent and added health benefits
Mix up all your ingredients and add 2 to 4 teaspoons per bath.
The powdered milk has lactic acid which works as an effective exfoliant. Lactic acid is also a humectant, which attracts moisture to the surface of your skin so your skin stays hydrated. The oatmeal protects the skin from irritants and helps soothe skin that’s itchy, painful or irritated.
Tammy’s Tip ‘O the Day!
For an inexpensive way to store your homemade bath soaks, the Dollar Tree has lots of containers for only a dollar.