Using essential oils in your bath can add aromatic pleasure and help set the mood for an enjoyable experience. Some essential oils can be very calming, like those with floral or woody aromas. Other oils can offer an uplifting effect, like citrus or minty notes. Blending the aromas you like best can create a complex mix of multiple essential oils that play a symphony of scents during bath time.
When enjoying essential oils in the bath, it is important to understand how to do it safely. Essential oils are not soluble in water, so just drizzling a few drops into the bath is not a good idea. The essential oils will not dissipate with this method, and you could land a part of your skin on an undiluted blob of essential oil. This could easily cause irritation, especially combined with hot water, which opens the pores to increase absorption. With that being said, you need to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil first. Then, the carrier oil can be poured into the bath, or mixed with salts or other dry ingredients.
Use Carrier Oils
Carrier oils offer added benefits to the skin. There are a variety of carrier oils that are excellent to choose for blending and adding essential oils in a bath. Grapeseed, jojoba, and sweet almond are light and absorb easily. Hemp seed and pumpkin seed oil are good choices for dry skin, eczema, or psoriasis. Rosehip carrier oil offers a fine aroma and is good for dry or aging skin.
Plan to use about 1 ounce of carrier oil per bath. This is equal to 2 Tablespoons. In one ounce of carrier oil, you can add 7 drops of essential oil. I like to mix up a blend of essential oil in a carrier oil that is good for about 4 baths.
Here is how to blend essential oils with a carrier oil.
- First, you need a glass container with an air tight lid. I like 4-6 ounce amber jars best. This will give you 4 delightful baths.
- In a 4-6 ounce container, drop 28 drops of essential oil. Read below to pick which essential oils are best for your bath.
- If you have used more than one type of essential oil, put the lid on the jar and give it a shake to blend the essential oils.
- Next, add the carrier oil. Put the lid on, and give it a shake. Sniff test to make sure you like the aroma 😉
Which essential oils should you pick for your bath oil blend?
First, lets talk about which essential oils you should not put in a bath. This would include hot oils that are known skin or mucus membrane irritants. Common oils to avoid include: cinnamon, clove, oregano, thyme, hyssop, bay, lemongrass, citronella, and peppermint.
Some essential oils that are a great choice include: lavender, chamomile, sweet orange, Virginia cedarwood, geranium, lemon balm, neroli, or petitgrain. If you have an unusual essential oil plant species you are unsure about, research its contraindications before use. Essential oils can also be blended to create a more complex aroma.
Skin Patch Test
Especially for those with sensitive skin, test a small area like the inside crook of your elbow, before submerging your whole body in your essential oil bath blend. Click here to read how to skin patch test: How to Skin Patch Test.
Here are some bath blend ideas:
- To relax the mind and the muscles, combine: 4 drops of lavender, 2 drops of spearmint, and 1 drop of Virginia cedarwood per ounce of carrier oil.
- To have a meditative bath: mix 2 drops of lavender, 2 drops of patchouli, 2 drops of clary sage, and 1 drop of German chamomile with one once of carrier oil.
- For an uplifting experience: combine 2 drop of sweet oranges, 1 drop of lemon balm, 1 drop of petitgrain, 2 drops of geranium, and 1 drop of Virginia cedarwood per once of carrier oil.
I like to take the essential oil / carrier oil blends I have made and pour them onto salts to make bath salts. You can use pink Himalayan, Epsom, or sea salts. Simply add 1 ounce of blended oil to two ounces of salt. Here is a recipe idea:
Lavender Bath Salts
- 1 twelve ounce glass jar with sealing lid
- 6 ounces of pink Himalayan salt
- 3 ounces of jojoba oil
- 20 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2 ounces of dried lavender herb (optional)
Instructions: First, add about 6 ounces (3 Tbsp) of salt to your glass jar. Separately, mix your lavender essential oil with the jojoba oil in a small glass jar. Then, pour it over the salt. Optional, add dried lavender herb. Adults, add about 1/4 cup to a bath. Discontinue use if any irritation occurs.
Want to scrub?
Click here for some very easy bath scrub recipes: Easy Body Scrub Recipes.
Want to float in rose petals, chamomile buds, or other herbs?
Click here for some luxurious herbal bath recipes: Easy Home Spa Bath Recipes.
Children, Pregnant Mom’s to be, and People with Medical Conditions:
- Children: With children under the age of 3, avoid essential oils in the bath. Toddlers and above: choose gentle essential oils such as lavender or German chamomile, and blend at a higher dilution comparable to adult body weight. For example, with a 75 pound child, add about 3 drops of lavender to one ounce of carrier oil. Certain essential oils are inappropriate for young children. Always discontinue use if displeasure or irritation occurs.
- Pregnant Ladies: Use half the amount of essential oil in a recipe. For every ounce of carrier oil, add about 3 drops of essential oil. Certain essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy. Choose gentle oils such as lavender, German chamomile, and neroli.
- Medical Conditions: It is always better to be safe than sorry. For those with questions related to medical conditions or medications, consult with an expert before using herbs and essential oils.
I think a lot of contemplation happens in bathtubs. It does for me. Nothing like a hot bath to ease the tension and think about what’s going to happen next.
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC), NAHA and AIA Professional Member, LMT:
Post Updated: 1/4/19