These simple essential-oil bath-time recipes transform ordinary water into a spa soak—no appointment necessary

After a frigid afternoon run or a high-stress day at work, nothing beats a warm bath to restore your body and mind. But instead of sitting in a tub of no-frills H2O (bor-ing!), design an aromatherapy experience by adding essential oils.

We stirred up a trio of sensual soaks using a few drops of plant- and herb-based concentrations, as well as mineral-rich compounds like Epsom salt. Cue up some soft music and get ready to relieve whatever ails you.

Before Sticking a Toe in the Tub

  • Buy only high-quality oils from established companies at your local health-food store or online.                        

  • Wait until the tub is filled before adding oils; pouring them into running water will make them evaporate quickly.

  • Mix essential oils with a carrier oil, such as almond or aloe vera, or even shampoo. This not only dilutes the oils (full strength may be harsh on skin) but also helps disperse them evenly throughout bath water.

  • Get the all-clear from your doctor if you’re pregnant or have heart problems or high blood pressure.

Bath Recipe #1: Muscle Marinade

The anti-inflammatory properties in chamomile and marjoram make them ideal for comforting sore, tired muscles and joints after a run or other intense exercise. Epsom salt is old school but effective in easing aches and pains.

Ingredients:

5–10 drops chamomile or marjoram oil

2 Tbsp. carrier oil

1 c. Epsom salt

Directions:

1. Fill tub with warm water.

2. Add the blended essential and carrier oils and Epsom salt (make sure salt dissolves).

3. Soak for 10 to 20 minutes.

Bath Recipe #2: Stress Soak

Turn off the overhead brights, light a candle and climb into your tub scented with one of these calming oils and mineral-rich salt.

Ingredients:

5–10 drops lavender or sandalwood oil

2 Tbsp. carrier oil

2 Tbsp. sea salt

Directions:

1. Fill tub with warm water.

2. Add the blended essential and carrier oils and salt (make sure salt dissolves).

3. Soak for 10 to 20 minutes.

Bath Recipe #3: Chill Chaser

Citrusy orange and spicy ginger make a warming bath soak that smells good enough to eat.

Ingredients:

5 drops sweet orange oil

2 drops ginger oil                       

2 Tbsp. carrier oil

Directions:

1. Fill tub with warm water.

2. Add the blended essential and carrier oils.

3. Soak for 10 to 20 minutes.