Bath Ritual (bath-ritual.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
Epsom salt has been one of the most widely used and utilized components when it comes to creating bathing products. For hundreds of years, it’s been known as a healing agent and pain reliever. Nowadays, it is considered one of the most vital ingredients in creating bath bombs. Now, you might wonder if it’s possible to create bath bombs even without the availability of Epsom salt.
Making bath bombs without Epsom salt still consists of the usual ingredients. These would often include baking soda, essential oils, citric acid, fragrance oil, and some additives of your choice. You can also use an alternative to Epsom salt by using either Himalayan salt or sea salt in making your personal bath bombs. There are also no changes in the preparation process as you only need to mix these ingredients in a bowl then have them placed in the mold once done.
It might seem not the usual process in making a bath bomb, but there are actually some ways and alternatives that you can use if you really want to make one. The materials and components used in creating them are not limited to the actual types. You can still make and customize your own version of a bath bomb with a personal touch, and we will be showing you how.
Do You Have to Put Epsom Salt in Bath Bombs?
You may be thinking and might even find it weird why you would put salt in your bathing products. Epsom salt was discovered and has been widely used for hundreds of years now. It has been proven to help treat ailments such as constipation, insomnia, healing agents, and pain reliever. Upon knowing the health benefits of this component, different innovative findings have been made on where it can be used.
Epsom salt is not the type of salt you would want to add to your food. Even though there are valid health benefits to using one, due to its taste, it may not be ideal to even use it as an alternative to table salt. It got its term due to its chemical structure and not because of the possibility of using it as an additive to food. Epsom salt can be purchased online and mostly at your local drug store and grocery stores.
Now, is Epsom salt really necessary in making bath bombs? A simple answer to this is no. The standard procedure in creating or making bath bombs with Epsom salt included made more sense due to the use and its popularity in bathing products. However, it is not necessary and not a required ingredient in making bath bombs and perhaps other similar products.
Ingredients such as Epsom salts have been viewed as a substantial part in making bath bombs because of the benefits it offers. This has been the key component in relaxing the muscles and making your bathing experience worth your while. Also, aside from the use of Epsom salts, there are also some alternatives that can be used in making bath bombs.
What Are the Alternatives to Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt has already established its rank as being the most popular component as a natural exfoliant and its use as a bath salt. It is not only popular in bathing products but also in beauty products. Epsom salt is also called magnesium sulfate, which is similar in appearance to table salt but tastes entirely different.
Although there are several alternatives or substitutes for Epsom salts, it is important for you to pick the alternative that suits or addresses your needs. Another thing to consider is the manner of application or method on how you will be using the alternative. It does not mean that all of the alternatives to Epsom salt can be used in the same manner as the others.
This might not even be shocking as an alternative considering the relatively similar benefits it can offer in contrast with Epsom salt. Sea salt is popular for its therapeutic properties and is a natural health-enhancing mineral. It is also known to help stimulate circulation, relieve stiffness in the joints, ease muscle cramps, and even aid in back pain or arthritis.
Aside from the health benefits, it can deliver, it is in no doubt the most common cleansing element for your skin, even in ancient times. Sea salt greatly works as a natural solution to scaly and dry skin and even helps in curing other skin ailments. Now, although sea salt can be considered as an alternative, there are certain differences in its composition and use.
Epsom salt and sea salt may both have the word ‘salt’ in them but make no mistake; there are some differences you may want to familiarize yourself with. Epsom salt is composed of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen, while sea salt’s active ingredient is sodium chloride, a mixture not present in Epsom salt. The similar crystalline-like structure and other properties are what made Epsom salt attain the name ‘salt.’
Sea salt and Epsom salt may look the same but the structure and compositions of the two are different. Though both of these can be used in the bath, sea salt is more absorbent and tends to be easier to combine with essential oils and other elements and mixtures. Epsom salt, on the other hand, has a more resilient structure making it harder to bond with other components compared to the latter.
Baking soda has been widely used for its therapeutic purposes and as well as a remedy to some skin ailments and even sore muscles. The most common use of baking soda is being added to cleaning products for the removal of bacterias, odors, acidity, and even used for oral hygiene. Aside from this, baking soda can also help in certain skin conditions such as yeast, fungal infections, eczema, and more.
While baking soda is considered as an alternative to Epsom salt, don’t have it mistaken with baking powder, it is entirely a different thing. There are also a couple of reasons why you would want to use or start using baking soda in your baths. You are already aware and familiar with the benefit of baking soda to the skin, but it also helps in detoxifying your body.
Detoxifying your body with the use of baking soda doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be specific about it. Just adding a specific amount in your bath will do just fine. This helps in drawing out and removing impurities and toxins from the skin while boosting your immune system. While it is considered to be a substitute for Epsom salts, it can be the perfect combination for soothing sore muscles and as a pain reliever.
However, even though baking soda offers a variety of benefits and uses, it is essential to talk to your doctor or physician before performing or even experimenting on utilizing this product. There might be instances that may lead to some major problems like having an underlying condition or even a developed complication in using baking soda in the long-term or overuse.
Apple Cider Vinegar
As an alternative to Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar is more likely to be involved in helping your hair and scalp. Though it’s universally known for its medicinal use and purposes, apple cider vinegar also provides protection to the skin from viruses, infections, and other possible hazards. It promotes healthy skin restoration and pH balance in protecting the outermost layer of the skin.
Similar to other Epsom salt alternatives, apple cider vinegar offers a unique approach in providing its benefits. It helps restore the pH of your skin, don’t be concerned about having acidic skin; it’s natural; it should be slightly acidic to hold moisture. This is also a great way to eliminate dandruff by balancing the pH of your scalp and helps retain the moisture. In addition to this, it also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
If you didn’t know, apple cider vinegar also works as a natural exfoliant. It contains alpha-hydroxy acids that help in making your skin smoother, and of course, it helps eliminate bad body odor, either its foot odor or your sweaty pits. Apple cider vinegar would be a wonderful choice to try in resolving those issues. Now you might already be having plans to use this alternative to your next bathing session, but how do you exactly do it.
Using apple cider vinegar as an alternative to Epsom salt is relatively simple, and it’s not what you thought it would be, you don’t need gallons to feel the benefits it can offer. You might find recommendations of adding two or even three cups of apple cider to a hot bath but initially, you would want to start with a half cup if it’s your first time using or attempting to try if it’s really beneficial for you.
Once you have already tested its effects and the reaction of your skin by using a half cup of apple cider vinegar, you can then add a bit more the next time and just gauge the most beneficial measurement for you. Aside from this, you can also add some Epsom salt if you want to pump up the soothing benefit for your joints and sore muscles. You would want to soak for at least 30 minutes for your skin to adjust.
Oatmeal and Other Grains
This might be your first time reading about using oatmeal and other similar products to help soothe your irritated skin, but it’s a thing. Oatmeal paste is a well-known process in which you can mix a couple of tablespoons of oatmeal with enough water. You can then use it to gently scrub your skin to get rid of excessive oil, dirt, and other muck materials from your body.
If you are not familiar with this method, it has been widely used since ancient Roman times. They have been using oatmeal for skincare even without knowing the full benefits of the material. Nowadays, oatmeal has been widely diversified and used as a substance for various skincare products. This often includes lotions, soaps, and more.
There are several compounds that play in providing oatmeal its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties: Vitamin E, ferulic acid, and avenanthramides which are the main antioxidants in oats. There is also this thing called colloidal oatmeal where it is commonly used in the productions of lotions and other bath products.
Colloidal oatmeal provides water-binding polysaccharides that create a protective barrier to keep the skin from losing excess water. This helps as a buffering agent that keeps the skin a normal pH and also provides an antiviral activity that helps in skin rashes. Using colloidal oatmeal also helps in other allergic skin reactions and while we are discussing this in relevance to taking a bath, it also helps in greatly cleansing the skin because of the soap-like characteristics due to the presence of saponins.
Now, you might wonder if using oatmeal or are oatmeal baths safe? Yes, it is safe and undoubtedly offers some notable effective treatment. However, this is not the case for each and everyone. It is still possible that an individual may experience an allergic reaction to the oatmeal ingredient and its components. Allergic reactions such as itching, swelling, and redness in certain areas may be noticeable for some.
Though there is a possibility of having some allergic reaction, it can easily be resolved by following simple steps. If it occurs, you can just simply wash your skin with soap and water and discontinue using products containing oatmeal and other similar compounds. This is commonly observed in children, and it would be advisable to consult your child’s doctor or talk to a pediatrician on resolving the issue.
Aside from using oatmeal and other grain products, there are several products that use oatmeal that can be worth taking note of if you are interested. Different product variations would include bath products, face masks, face scrubs, face washes, lotion, moisturizers, shaving gels, and skin scrubs. You may already be familiar with some of these, but just in case, you may want to look at some of them.
Upon knowing these benefits, you may want to be specific on the oats that you will be purchasing. You would not want to go straight into your local grocery store and just buy the first oatmeal product that you see. The ideal type is oats that are free of flavorings, chemicals, sugars, and salts. These are also available at your local store but always check on the ingredients just to be sure.
In making your own oatmeal bath, first, grind the oats into a fine powder. You can use a blender or coffee grinder for this process. You will know it’s done when the grounded oats are easily dissolved in hot water. Now, in preparing your bath, you would want to have it at a warm temperature and then add a half-cup of oats into the bathtub. The volume of the oats varies depending on your preference, but you can add up to one and a half cups for soaking.
Once you are ready, kindly limit your bathing time to 15 minutes to avoid moisture loss from your skin. When done, gently pat your skin to dry and apply your preferred moisturizer after getting out of the bath but avoid scrubbing your skin as it may cause unwanted irritations.
This is perhaps the most popular alternative to Epsom salt in different aspects. Epsom salts are known to have relaxing properties that help sore muscles, joints, and limbs. Just like Epsom salts, essential oils can also offer these kinds of benefits and other factors that are found and experienced in using Epsom salts, though these mainly vary as it is entirely a different type of compound.
Now, essential oils are mainly compounds or a mixture of compounds extracted from plants. This is the reason why some of these contain aroma and other plant scents and flavors. The way or process the oils are made is usually through distillation or other mechanical methods. Once the extracts have been gathered from the plant materials, it is then combined with a carrier oil to create a product.
Essential oils do offer some diverse benefits to the body, not just primarily as an alternative to Epsom salts. Though essential oils are not meant for ingestion, there are types that mainly focus on the application to the skin. This way, the plant essence, and chemicals are absorbed and can still be enhanced by different types of applications.
The offered benefits of essential oils are not just limited to mere skin applications. It is also proven that the aromas from inhaling essential oils can enhance and stimulate the internal processes of the body. The scents provided by these essential oils play a role in settling emotions, behaviors, and even long-term memory. You can view this similarly when you happen to smell a specific scent and then remember or trigger certain memories and emotions.
Also, there are some mentioned benefits that essential oils can offer to the body. It’s also known to establish an effect when it comes to stress and anxiety. It’s been proven that an estimated 43% of people who happen to have stress and anxiety use aromatherapy in handling these kinds of experiences and situations. Although these claims are not entirely supported by modern clinical trials.
Among the popular essential oils in the market, peppermint and lavender oils are mostly used when it comes to reducing or relieving headaches and migraines. Though these are based mainly on case to case basis, it is proven and supported by many types of research and studies that this type of essential oil is indeed helpful in this type of situation.
It helps you sleep and aids in insomnia. Now, this is really something that you already know, essential oils and perhaps other products that offer aromatic benefits help in setting your sleeping pattern. If you haven’t been aware of this and might be experiencing some trouble sleeping, you might want to consider getting lavender oil for better sleep quality.
There are several clinical studies and researches that essential oils may help fight and reduce inflammatory conditions. Though these studies are mainly based on scientific research on mice and rats, there are very few that support that claim it will have the same effect on human trials. It is also known for its antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. The effects on these studies mainly depend on the type of plant or source the material came from.
Now, essential oils aren’t ideally the type that you would want to just drop into your bathtub or rub into your body while taking a shower. The best method of using essential oils would ideally be after your shower or bathing session. But aside from this, you might want to avoid using essential oils if you have scratches or broken skin as it may worsen and get more irritated.
In picking your essential oil of choice, you may want to do a patch test first before using or even purchasing those that you like. Because essential oils are concentrated extracts from plants and other materials, there might be a potential allergic reaction to your skin or mild irritation. The way to do this is to apply a small amount of the essential oil to your forearm and wait at least 24 hours to see if there’s any reaction or noticeable irritations.
Choosing the right essential oil for your needs doesn’t have to be difficult, but you generally would want to purchase a product with a reputation in terms of the quality they are offering and also the service just in case something unexpected happens. Always go with the product that offers great quality; what this means is to check the extraction and distillation process. Pick those that were processed through distillation or mechanical cold pressing to ensure you are getting the best quality.
If you want to purchase concentrated essential oils and plan to apply them to your body, you might want to have them diluted in a carrier oil. This can be performed or even requested from the store of purchase or dilute it depending on your preference.
How Do You Make Bath Bombs Without Epsom Salt or Citric Acid?
In case you’re wondering if it is possible to create bath bombs without Epsom salts or even citric acids, then the answer to that is yes. You can still make bath bombs even without these ingredients. In fact, you can even use some alternatives if you want to.
Bath Bombs Without Epsom Salt
If you want to make your own bath bomb product for personal use but don’t have access or any available Epsom salt, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. The most commonly used alternative for Epsom salt in making bath bombs are sea salt or Himalayan salt. These ingredients will allow you to still make your bath bomb without sacrificing too much of the quality. There are only a few differences in using these materials.
Pick and Measure Your Ingredients
(Measurements may differ depending on the number of bath bombs you wanted to make)
- ½ Cup Citric Acid
- 1 cup Baking Soda
- ¼ Cup Fine Grain (Himalayan or Sea Salt)
- 20-30 drops of Essential Oil (Depends on your personal preference)
- 1-3 drops of soap colorant (optional)
- Additives (optional)
Instructions and Process:
- Mix the essential oil with the soap colorant to properly incorporate the pigments with the oil.
- Place the cup of baking soda with the fine grain of either Himalayan or sea salt in a large mixing bowl and add the essential oil and mix it thoroughly.
- After everything is nicely mixed, add the citric acid and stir until it has that nice consistency. You can also add some additives if you are going to use one.
- Place the mixed ingredients in a mold and press it firmly.
- Once the bath bomb has already got that firm shape, you can already remove it and have it placed in a secure area for the drying process.
Bath Bombs Without Citric Acid
There might be a couple of reasons why you would want to remove citric acid from the picture in making bath bombs. But it is understandable; it might be due to some unavailability issues, the component being expensive, or even known and unknown allergies or irritations may occur. Nonetheless, you will still be able to produce quality bath bombs even without the use of citric acid.
Another factor that is worth taking note of when it comes to making bath bombs without citric acid is it’s safe for kids. Ideally, they are the ones with the most sensitive skin and may happen to have some allergies and complications with exposure to citric acid. It is best to know these things before making a purchase or trying out new bathing products.
Now, making bath bombs without citric acid doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more difficult to make. The main purpose of citric acid in bath bombs is that it stabilizes and hardens the bath bombs. Bath bombs without citric acid tend to be softer and can crumble easily compared to those with citric acid. You need to be extra careful in handling these types of bath bombs. They are also not advisable for commercial purposes.
We will be providing you with simple steps in making your own bath bombs without citric acid. Keep in mind that these are just our approaches and may change depending on your own preference.
Pick and Measure Your Ingredients
(Measurements may differ depending on the number of bath bombs you wanted to make)
- 2 cups of Baking Soda
- ⅛ cup of Almond Oil (carrier oil – can be changed depending on your preference)
- 3 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp of Essential Oils (Optional / Personal Preference)
- 1-3 drops of Soap Colorant (optional)
- Additives (Optional – You can use flower petals or other debris that appeals to you in creating your bath bombs)
Instructions and Process:
- Mix the essential oil of your choice with the carrier oil, in this case, the almond oil and the soap colorant if you will be using one. This makes it easier to incorporate and disperse the oils and pigments.
- Place the baking soda in a large mixing bowl with the carrier oil (with the essential oil and colorant) and blend until it’s thoroughly mixed.
- After mixing the baking soda and the carrier oil, add the apple cider vinegar one tablespoon at a time while mixing it with the rest of the ingredients.
- Once everything is thoroughly mixed, you can now add additives if you plan on using one.
- After everything is nicely mixed and already has the right consistency, you can now place the mixture into your mold.
- Press the mold firmly together and gently tap and carefully lift one part of the mold to remove the bath bomb from the other half.
Ideally, the drying time of the bath bomb is not necessary as you can already use it immediately. Keep in mind that bomb bombs without citric acid are softer and tend to break easily, so handle them with care.