Ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, India, and Italy used essential oils to care for their skin and hair.
Happily, there is a wide variety of essential oils you can enjoy in the bath.
There are single oils and blends that detox the skin and relax sore muscles.
Today, I’ll discuss the best essential oils for your bath and how to use them safely.
Let’s lead off with something we need to get out of the way – the essential oils that are best not to use in the bath.
Don’t Bathe with These Essential Oils
Although the following essential oils are beneficial in some situations, never take a bath with them. They could easily cause an adverse skin reaction if you do.
- Peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, camphor
- Cinnamon, cassia, clove
- Black pepper, oregano, thyme
Now we can move on to the top essential oils for your bathwater plus how to use them.
The Best Oils for a Romantic Bath
Ready to enjoy a sensuous bath?
Light the candles, dim the lights and take a bath with these oils.
- Ylang Ylang
But how do you use essential oils safely in the bath?
Dripping a few drops direct from the bottle and stirring the water won’t do the trick.
In a moment, the oils will float on the surface of the water.
They may smell good, but they won’t mix with the water. As a result, you could end up with an allergic reaction from the oils touching your skin undiluted.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely in the Bath
Here’s the TL;DR summary:
Dilute them with vegetable oil, fractionated coconut oil, bath soap, tapioca starch, Polysorbate 20, or Solubol (1).
Now, here are the details along with the products you need.
Fractionated Coconut Oil by Artizen
Fractionated coconut oil is something most essential oil fans have on hand. It’s odorless, colorless, and quick to absorb into the skin.
Interestingly, calling it oil is inaccurate. It’s an ester that feels a lot less greasy than a true oil.
The advantage of this oil over something like sunflower seed or olive oil is that it’ll probably be less slippery in the bathtub.
The downside of diluting essential oils with any carrier oil for your bath is that it usually leaves a film behind.
If you hate slipping and sliding in the bath, try one of the other options below instead.
The Easiest Recipe for Taking a Bath with Essential Oils
For each tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil, add 5 drops of your favorite essential oil.
Try lavender to relax an overworked body or mind.
Mix well before adding to warm water running from the faucet.
Vermont Soap Organics – Unscented Liquid Aloe Castile Soap
The next easiest way to add essential oils to water is to mix them with a foaming bath product.
Unscented Castile soap is a great choice. It’s non-toxic, plus it doubles as body wash and shampoo.
For each tablespoon of liquid soap, add 5 drops of essential oil and stir or shake well before adding it to the water.
PS: if you’ve wanted to leave sulfates behind, this soap doesn’t have them. It’s made from saponified coconut, olive, and jojoba oils.
Polysorbate 20 Food Grade Kosher by Florida Laboratories, Inc
If you’re ready to go pro, mix your bathwater like a chemist. Use polysorbate 20.
This substance is a non-ionic surfactant that solubilizes essential oils into the water. Translation: it safely dissolves the oil into bathwater.
Combine it 1:1, or one part Polysorbate 20 to one part essential oil. But you can go as high as three parts Polysorbate 20 to one part essential oil if you need.
This ingredient will make the water a little foamy. Since it’s food-grade, it’s definitely safe for use on the skin.
Polysorbate 80, 1 Quart Jug by Traverse Bay Bath And Body
What’s the difference between Polysorbate 20 and Polysorbate 80?
The former is perfect for dispersing essential oils. Meanwhile, the latter, Polysorbate 80, dissolves carrier oils like jojoba and fractionated coconut.
It emulsifies the oils into water and alcohol alike.
People who make DIY homemade soap, bath oils, and bath bombs find this ingredient very useful. It blends well with glycerin, too.
Natrasorb Bath (Tapioca Starch) 8 Ounces by Chemistry Connection
Tapioca starch, unlike baking soda, is perfect for making bath products. It can absorb a large amount of essential oils and carrier oils.
Then, once the starch gets wet, it dissolves and disperses the oils into the water. It won’t leave a film on your skin or the bathtub.
For each 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch, add a maximum of 20 drops of essential oil.
How to Make Your Own Bath Bombs
Grab the tapioca starch, your favorite essential oils, and a few other ingredients to make your own bath bombs. You can make them with or without fizz and add biodegradable glitter or dried flower petals if you like.
Foaming Bath Butter Soap by Mystic Moments
Foaming bath butter also dissolves essential and carrier oils into the water.
It’s mild enough to use on your face as it has a pH of 5.5. It’s also free of parabens and propylene glycol.
And Now for the Bad News, Here Are the Ingredients That Won’t Work with Essential Oils in Bathwater
If you go back a decade or two, you’ll find advice telling you to mix essential oils with baking soda, Epson salt, cornstarch, rubbing alcohol, vodka, glycerin, aloe, and milk for your bath.
Don’t do it.
If you’ve experimented with making your own perfumes, you probably already know that neither alcohol nor vodka have a high enough proof to dissolve essential oils.
The same goes for all of the other materials I just listed. They may seem to absorb the essential oils at first. But then when you drop them in the bath water, the oils will rise to the surface and float.
After all, oil and water don’t mix unless you have a solubilizer.
The Top Essential Oils to Make Your Bath an Unforgettable Experience
Now that we’ve covered the various ways you can dissolve the oils into bathwater, let’s look at the top essential oils for a bath you won’t forget.
Edens Garden Rose Geranium Essential Oil
Both rose and geranium oils smell fantastic. Their delicate floral aromas can put you at ease.
Both oils help with blood circulation and improve respiration, too.
Moreover, rose and geranium soothe problematic skin.
Ladies’ Night in Bath Recipe
Before you run the bathwater, combine the following ingredients.
In a small bowl, put 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch. Then add:
- 5 drops of rose geranium
- 5 drops lavender
- 2 drops jasmine or patchouli
Mix well then dissolve under warm running water as you fill the bathtub.
The aroma will help you unwind before bed. Then you’ll feel like royalty before you slip between the sheets.
NOW Essential Oils, Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is excellent for relaxation, relieving muscle aches, and calming a troubled mind.
It’s also antimicrobial, so it can boost healing of body acne, razor rash, and cuts.
Plant Therapy Sandalwood Australian Essential Oil
Sandalwood is a natural aphrodisiac. The woody scent appears in many masculine colognes.
But sandalwood is also helpful for restful sleep and calming anxiety.
When you soak in a bath with sandalwood essential oil, you’re likely to notice that it improves the appearance of your skin.
Aura Cacia Essential Oil, Roman Chamomile
You can stop worrying about proper dilution when you use this oil from Aura Cacia. It’s pre-diluted with jojoba oil.
Even if you drop it straight into the bathwater, it won’t burn your skin.
The only con is that it won’t mix well with water if you don’t use something to emulsify it. Combining it with Polysorbate 80 or Castile soap will make sure it spreads throughout the water for maximum effect.
Chamomile is antiseptic to encourage your body to heal. It’s also a sedative. It can take the edge off depression and anxiety and help you get to sleep at night.
Edens Garden Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang has a floral scent that may inspire a romantic mood or creative thinking. It promotes a sense of peace and relaxation.
If you’re struggling with cramps and other symptoms of PMS, Ylang Ylang can relieve those, too.
Edens Garden is one of the top essential oil brands. They deliver pure, fresh oils direct to the public. Each one is quality-certified after passing multiple rounds of testing.
Poppy Austin 100% Pure Neroli Oil
Neroli oil fights premature aging. It smooths fine lines, fades scars, and stretch marks.
The delicious citrus scent also has a positive effect on the mind. It’s like a natural tranquilizer.
If you’re new to Poppy Austin, be aware that they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. They manufacture cruelty-free products in the USA.
Plant Therapy Patchouli Essential Oil
Patchouli oil can put you in a meditative mood. It’s also useful for clearing up acne and reducing wrinkles.
Experience an exotic experience when you put patchouli essential oil in your bath. Or mix it with evening primrose oil for a sensuous massage.
Precious Essentials Oil Jasmine Absolute w/Jojoba Aura Cacia
Jasmine absolute oil is distilled from the flowers by way of a solvent. Even in its diluted form with jojoba oil, it has a powerful fragrance. Just a few drops will perfume the room or your body.
If you’re feeling down or struggling to get over a cold, put jasmine in your bath. It can help you breathe easier and feel less stressed.
Plant Therapy Frankincense Frereana Organic Essential Oil
Frankincense frereana oil comes from the gum resin of the Boswellia frereana tree. It’s a remedy for wrinkles, scars, and dark spots.
Furthermore, the aroma of frankincense encourages positive thinking and calm feelings.
ArtNaturals 100% Pure Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Need a little motivation? Then take a bath with sweet orange essential oil.
The vibrant fragrance will help you feel more alive and alert.
Eve Hansen Organic Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca, relieves sore muscles and gets rid of acne and fungal infections. It can also treat dandruff.
If you don’t like the medicinal scent, blend tea tree with lavender, eucalyptus, or sweet orange.
Radha Beauty Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil will unstuff those clogged nasal passages when you soak in the bath. It gets rid of brain fog while it disinfects the surface of your body.
If you need a good detox session, take a bath with eucalyptus and tea tree oil, then drink plenty of water.
Recipe for a Detox Bath
Deep-clean your pores with a soak in the tub. Premix these bath salts, then add to the water.
Combine a ¼ cup of Epsom salt with a ¼ cup Himalayan pink salt or Dead Sea salt.
Then add 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch.
Shake or stir well to blend the dry ingredients then drop in these essential oils:
- 5 drops tea tree
- 5 drops eucalyptus
- 5 drops lavender
- 5 drops frankincense
Stir everything thoroughly again, or shake it inside a closed container.
If you tip it into the stream of running water as you fill the tub, it dissolves faster.
Even if you don’t need to detox, this blend is great for making a stiff body feel better.
Whether you want to clear your mind, calm down, or cleanse your body, there’s an essential oil for that.
Boost every bath with a few drops of oil properly dissolved in the water. Then reap the benefits of clearer skin and thoughts.
Which essential oils have made your bath better? Please leave me a comment below.
1. https://tisserandinstitute.org/safety/bath-safety/ by Deborah Kallevig, accessed July 15, 2020
2. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-A-Bath-Bomb-2/ by Rye Soap Kitchen, accessed July 15, 2020