How to Safely Use Essential Oils in Your Bath Water
By Caryn Gehlmann
An aromatherapy bath can be so relaxing, but you need to know what you’re doing so you don’t harm your skin! Recently, one of our community partners, Celia Cantry, asked me: Can you put essential oils directly in your bath water or do you need to always mix them with something else first?
Great question! Essential oils in your bath are lovely. But it can easily turn unpleasant if you put them directly in the water.
Watch my latest Q&A with Caryn video to learn more about safely mixing essential oils in bath water.
So always, always disperse the essential oils first, before mixing them into your bath.
Essential oils aren’t water soluble so pouring them directly into a bath can result in a film of undiluted essential oils sitting on top. The key is to disperse or mix the essential oils into another substance before you add them to the water.
Here are 3 substances you probably already have in your home that you can use to disperse the essential oils before using in the bath:
You can disperse your essential oils in with Epsom Salts. Mix 10-15 essential oils per cup of Epsom Salts, then add to the tub after you have immersed yourself. Stir well.
Whole Milk, Half-n-Half, Whipping Cream
Make sure to use whole milk, not skim milk or nut milk as they do not have enough lipids. Or use heavy whipping cream for a dreamy milk bath but make sure it’s real whipping cream not cool whip! The essential oils love the lipid molecules of the whipping cream and you only need to use about one tablespoon with 5-20 drops of essential oils.
Carrier Oil Body Rub
Although you can use a carrier oil to disperse your essential oils in the bath, the danger of using a vegetable oil like Olive Oil or Fractionated Coconut is they can make your bathtub slippery. So you may want to take your blend of carrier oils and essential oils and rub it on your body. This is especially great for achy shoulder muscles! After you’ve rubbed it on then step into the bath. This will provide the lovely aromatherapy experience but should be a little less slippery.
Dilution is critical anytime your skin comes into contact with essential oils. We recommend a 1-4% dilution rate, so this means 5-20 drops of essential oil per ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) of your chosen bath base.
There are also some essential oils that you should not use in the bath:
If you’re looking for DIY bath recipes, type the word “bath” in the search bar of our e3 blog and you’ll get plenty of fun ideas to try. If you’d like some further information on blending oils, check out The Art & Science of Blending Essential Oils. It’s yours, free for downloading immediately.
And don’t forget we love to hear your questions! Please reach out to us and let us know what essential oil questions are on your mind.