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20 Best Bath Ingredients to Soften and Soothe Skin

20 best bath ingredients


If your skin needs a little boost, try adding a little something to your bath. You can often find the best bath ingredients right in your kitchen cupboard. Whether you want to soften your skin, stop it from itching or just make it glow, use herbs, spices and other kitchen ingredients to beautify fast.

By knowing what to use, you can combine ingredients and give your skin the pick-me-up that will leave it feeling tingly and refreshed. The most fun part is mixing and matching ingredients to find the combination that works best for you. 



20 Best Bath Ingredients for Your Skin


Each of the natural bath ingredients below helps soften and soothe your skin. Many of these ingredients are anti-inflammatory, too. Some of the best bath ingredients in this list can stop your skin from itching or tighten large pores or increase collagen production. Read on to find out exactly how to fix what ails you. 



apple cider vinegar

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

An apple cider vinegar bath soak will help with everything from dry skin and body odor to athlete’s foot and yeast infections. Simply add 2 cups of raw apple cider vinegar to your bath water and enjoy the healing effects of this natural substance. 

Apple cider vinegar has the effect of unclogging the pores of your skin, making it appear clearer and brighter. 




Baking soda can be used to clean the bathtub

2. Baking Soda

Use baking soda as a regular go-to ingredient when you want to give your skin a special cleanse. This useful household substance restores pH and neutralizes skin acidity. It’s perfect for anyone with any skin inflammation or if you just need a regular pick-me-up for tired skin. 

Baking soda has a neutral scent, but pair it with fresh mint or lavender (or their essential oils) for an aromatherapeutic experience. 

Alternatively, use a scented candle like this gorgeous Water Lily Pear candle from Chesapeake Bay Candle.




A woman floats in the Dead Sea

3. Dead Sea Salt

Cleanse, soften and detoxify skin by adding a cup of salt from the Dead Sea to your next bath. 

Adding a handful of this unique mineral composition will transform your bath into a spa experience, and you can soak in a natural formulation that includes magnesium, potassium, calcium, bromide, and sulfur. 




Image of Epsom Salt crystals - A float pod contains about 1,000 pounds of dissolved Epsom Salt

4. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is very different from table salt, and if you taste a grain of it with the tip of your tongue, you will notice that it doesn’t have a salty taste as you would expect. 

Adding Epsom salt to running water will calm and soften your skin, restoring a lovely healthy glow. 

Epsom salts are known for easing muscle soreness, so if you’ve had a particularly long session in the gym, grab this miracle ingredient and let your body heal while you soak.  

There is loads of anecdotal evidence from people with chronic pain that bathing in Epsom salt helps alleviate their suffering. However, medical research has yet to show that the magnesium from Epsom salt is actually absorbed through the skin.




How to Take a Detox Bath with Turmeric

5. Ginger (Dried and Ground)

The thought of adding ground ginger into bathwater seemed a little extreme until I tried it! 

Ginger has various medicinal benefits, but did you know it can be a powerful bath detox? Soaking for 20 minutes in a bath infused with a tablespoon of fresh ginger can work wonders, and you will emerge feeling cleansed.

Ginger is loaded with antioxidants and may even help restore collagen, giving our skin a more plump, younger appearance.

If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can substitute a heaped tablespoon of powdered ginger. Just be sure to remain hydrated during your detox bath. 

Before you try this, read my post about What to Expect After a Detox Bath.




tea bags

6. Green Tea

Green tea is another simple and effective skin detox. Simply steep 5–10 green tea bags in boiling water. 

Once the tea bags have released all their natural essence and the water is dark-tea color, add it to your bathwater and relax. 

You can also drop the tea bags straight into the bath for extra infusion while you soak. Green tea is anti-inflammatory and can reduce any skin redness or irritation.




Himalayan Salt Sauna at Spa Castle, Texas

7. Himalayan Pink Mineral Salt

Pink Himalayan mineral salt is a popular bath additive that is cleansing and invigorating. If the weather outside is damp and cold, the fresh saltiness will remind your skin that summer days will be back soon. 

Add a favorite essential oil to this revitalizing bath to give your bath a lovely scent. 

This mineral salt helps your skin retain moisture and reduces inflammation. Watch the video above to see me visit the Himalayan salt sauna at Spa Castle in Carrollton, Texas.

Check out this Himalayan Pink Salt blend from Maharishi Ayurveda. It’s mixed with frankincense, eucalyptus, and rosemary to decongest and destress you. 



raw honey for a milk and honey soak

8. Honey (Raw)

Add 1 cup of raw honey as the water runs into your bath. Then soak for 20 minutes. This will leave your skin feeling deeply cleansed and moisturized. Honey is one of the simplest and most decadent bath additives – just be sure to use natural raw honey. Generally, the darker the honey’s color, the better it is.

Honey not only will open up your pores, but also it will disinfect your skin, soothe it and then lock in all that dewey goodness. Putting honey on your face is like employing an invisible army of dermatologists to amp up your collagen production and eliminate your wrinkles. 

If you team honey up with milk for a classic milk and honey bath, you can use half a cup of honey. 

Read my post on How to Take a Milk and Honey Bath and Live Like a Queen.  





9. Lavender

The great thing about lavender is that you can use it fresh, dry, or as an essential oil. 

It’s one of the most commonly used essential oils used in body care products as it not only reduces inflammation but it has a soothing and familiar scent that can do wonders for our spirits. 

If you’re using dried lavender, just be sure to put it into a muslin bag so it won’t be a hassle to scoop out of the drain later. 

And lavender can be one of the best bath ingredients to add if you’re suffering from period cramps. Read more about how a warm bath can soothe cramps.




Lemon zest for a milk and honey bath

10. Lemon Juice and Zest

The sensation of fresh citrus can give your skin’s pores a bit of extra zingy freshness that will leave your skin glowing while you feel more energized than before you soaked. Lemon juice can also tighten large pores.

Just add the juice to your bathwater, then lie back and relax. 

For some extra lemony freshness, grate up some lemon rind or put in pieces of peel that are big enough to remove easily when you’re done. 



Coconut milk can be used in a milk and honey bath

11. Milk (Powdered, Full Cream, Coconut)

Adding milk to a bath will remove dead skin cells and give the appearance of brighter skin. You can use whole milk, powdered milk, coconut, or even oat milk.  I love adding milk to a bath because the water gets a satiny, luxurious appearance.

It is easy to team milk up with any of the other bath ingredients or a favorite essential oil – just be sure to first mix your essential oil with a carrier medium like coconut oil or almond oil. Otherwise, it won’t infuse with the bathwater. 

Learn how to take a chocolate milk bath and get recipes.




mint leaves

12. Mint (Fresh)

Mint is a beautiful herb. Its rich green color and fresh scent are natural pick-me-ups. 

Adding it to your bath water will invigorate your skin and relieve any stress you may be feeling. And of course, our skin always looks more gorgeous when we’re relaxed. Plus, mint is antifungal and antibacterial. It can even help clear up acne.

To use fresh mint in the bath, I recommend that you steep about a handful of leaves in a glass jug of boiling water.  Stir it every minute to draw the oils out of the leaves. After about 10 minutes, carefully strain the mint-tea into your bath.  




13. Oatmeal

Oatmeal isn’t just good for breakfast. It can be used as a tonic to soothe skin conditions like eczema or sunburn. Add oatmeal to your bath to help stop itching.  

But before you start scooping the breakfast oats into your warm bath water, there are some steps you must take to ensure that it doesn’t clog your pipes. When using oatmeal in a bath, the best option is to use colloidal oatmeal, which is fine enough to run down the drain easily. 

The other alternative is to grind oats in a blender until it is a smooth consistency. However, adding regular oats to a securely closed muslin bag and popping it under the warm water tap can also work well.



olive oil

14. Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)

While I always knew that olive oil is a healthy part of any diet, I didn’t always realize how super it is to soak in. 

Come to find out that the vitamin D in olive oil can soothe skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis. The natural fatty acids in extra virgin olive oil will soften and tone your skin.

Add 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil under running bath water, and you’ll immediately notice how soft and moisturized your skin feels when you step out. 

While using olive oil, be very careful when stepping in and out of the tub because it can make the bath floor slippery. And when you get out of the tub rinse the bottom until there’s no greasy feel. Use an all-natural cleaning method like the one I describe in my post Tricks to Make Your Tub Gleam Like New.


orange peel for a milk and honey soak

15. Orange Peel

Orange peels are great for your skin, so the next time you enjoy a  juicy orange, keep the peel and let it work its magic on your skin. The citric properties of orange peel naturally help reduce oiliness and blemishes.

To make a natural orange bath additive, crush the peels of 3 or 4 oranges in a blender to form a smooth paste. Use a sieve to press out the oil and add it to your warm bath. 

Then relax and let this citrus infusion go to work. 




16. Paprika

If you thought paprika was something you can only use to create delicious dinner recipes, think again. This powdered herb is a natural vasodilator, which causes blood vessels to open, giving your skin a healthy glow. 

Adding paprika to the tub will transform your bath water to a deep salmon color. Combining it with milk will create a rich, silky bath experience that can turn back the hands of time as its antioxidants go to work, revitalizing your skin. 

Paprika is also useful in reducing inflammation, so it is recommended for anyone who suffers from itchy skin conditions like eczema.

While you are resting in the bath, why not also mix a paprika and honey face mask? Simply mix one tablespoon of paprika with 2 tablespoons of honey. Leave the mask on while you bathe to enjoy a full-body paprika experience. 



lit candles, towels and two glasses of wine on the bathroom ledge

17. Red Wine

Your skin will glow radiantly by adding a glass of red wine to your bathwater. There is never any reason to discard leftover wine ever again – the polyphenols in the alcohol will clean and soften your skin.  Just add one glass of red wine to the running bath water and enjoy a leisurely soak. 




Pouring milk into bath

18. Rose Petals

Rose petal-infused water can brighten your complexion by tightening pores. This, in turn, leads to a smoother skin tone. 

Rosewater also soothes irritated skin, so if your skin feels chapped from the winter cold, this is a great option. 

Add handfuls of fresh rose petals under running warm water while your bath is running. If you don’t have fresh roses, you can use dried petals. Just make sure that they are organic and haven’t been treated with pesticides that could leach into your water. 

To double the indulgence, pair this bath ingredient with a cup of coconut milk and let these two soothing ingredients work their magic on your tired skin.




19. Rosemary Sprigs

Some of the best bath ingredients can come straight from your garden. If you happen to be growing rosemary, pick a few sprigs. (And if not, buy some organic rosemary from the grocery store.) 

Separate the needles from the stalks and drop into the tub as the warm water runs. (Or mash the needles a bit first to release the wonderful smelling oils and then drop them into the water.) 

Rosemary hydrates your skin. It’s also antibacterial so it’s cleansing, too. It’s another natural ingredient that is anti-inflammatory and can help calm acne.

You can gather the small floating leaves at the end of the soak and use them with a dab of rosemary liquid bath wash as a mini scrub on your elbows and knees. Your skin will feel wonderfully revitalized. 



How to Take a Detox Bath with Turmeric

20. Turmeric (Dried and Ground)

Turmeric is a well-known antimicrobial and antioxidant bath ingredient. Adding ½ cup of this healing substance to a warm bath can leave your skin feeling super fresh. 

Watch the video above about how to take a healing turmeric detox bath. Ground turmeric will also help to ease sore muscles after a long and tiring day. 

If you’re worried about turmeric (or any of these great bath ingredients) staining the bathtub, be sure to read this post about how to clean the tub after you soak.

To get the benefits of turmeric without any messy cleanup, try the turmeric bath salts from Better Bath, Better Body. 


Best Bath Ingredients: Benefits and Amounts 


Natural IngredientBenefitAmount
Apple Cider Vinegar
soothes dry skin, helps with yeast infections and athlete’s foot2 cups
Baking Sodarestores skin’s Ph and neutralizes acidity4-5 tablespoons
Dead Sea Saltsoftens skin and detoxifies1 large handful for a regular soak. Up to 2 cups to treat skin conditions like psoriasis
Epsom Salteases muscle soreness and calms tension½ cup
Ginger (Dried & Ground)detoxifies skin and restores collage1 tablespoon. dried and ground

Green Tea

reduces redness and irritation5–10 teabags

Himalayan Pink Salt

helps skin retain moisture¾ cup
Honey (Raw)increases collagen production, decreasing wrinkles1 cup
Lavender (Dried)decreases inflammation and stress1-2 cups

Lemon Zest

energizes, refreshes, and tightens poresThe juice of 5-6 lemons. You can also zest 1 lemon
Milkremoves dead skin cells and tightens skin1 cup powdered, full cream, coconut, or oat milk
Mintanti-fungal, antibacterial, can help with acne1 pint of water that has been infused with a handful of fresh mint leaves


soothes irritation of sunburn or eczema, stops itching

1–2 cups of oatmeal. Use colloidal oats or keep it contained in a bag
Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)natural fatty acids soften and tone skin5 tablespoons
Orange Peel reduces oiliness and blemishesBlend and strain the juice from the peels of 4-5 oranges
Paprika (Dried & Ground)increases circulation causing skin to glow1 tablespoon ground paprika
Red Winepolyphenols clean and softens skin1 full glass
Rose Petalssmoothes and brightens complexionPetals from 1 bouquet of organic roses or 1-2 cups dried
Rosemary Sprigs hydrates and cleanses1 handful of fresh rosemary leaves
Turmeric (Dried & Ground)detoxifies skin help it radiate a youthful glow½ cup


How to Add Essential Oils to a Bath


Bath bomb ingredients - Carrier oils dilute essential oils and deliver them to the skin


Remember that some ingredients are naturally scented while others have a neutral odor. If you select bath additives that will only liven up your skin, but you also want an aromatherapeutic effect, try adding a few drops of pure essential oil. 

Natrogix has a super range so you can find your favorite and not only emerge from your bath with radiant, glowing skin but feel energized and ready to face the world. Be sure to read my post on how to safely use essential oils in the tub.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, be sure to get the okay from your doctor before using essential oils. Once you do get permission, try Mother’s Oil from Neal’s Yard Remedies, a blend specifically designed to nourish the skin of pregnant and new moms.


Find the Best Bath Ingredients for YOU


Mom Bath Feature


Mix and match ingredients and create a skin glow recipe that works for you. Dull winter skin can be a thing of the past once you know what you can add to your bath water to make your skin glow radiantly all year round. 





Tags: bath additives, best bath ingredients, how to soften skin, lemon juice, natural bath ingredients, What is the best thing to bathe in?, what to put in a bath to stop itching, what to put in bath water to soften skin, what type of bath is good for skin

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