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Jolene Hart is a certified health coach and author of the Eat Pretty book series, which focuses on yummy, whole foods that help you feel healthier and prettier inside and out. She’s also a big fan of adding simple kitchen ingredients to a bath that can make your skin glow and feel amazing all over. Who knew that all that stuff in your fridge and pantry can make for a super-luxurious bath? 

Jolene turns to kitchen ingredients whenever her bath needs a boost. She shares, I love Himalayan salt in my bath, and I’ve used both baking soda and oats to soothe my son’s eczema. I’m also a fan of using tea in the bath when I want something extra special.” 

She also sings the praises of food-grade ingredients because they tend to be extremely gentle for sensitive skin.

Natural, food-grade products are typically very gentle and supportive of skin health and the integrity of your skin barrier,” Jolene says. Plus they often have specific therapeutic properties that can help you resolve dry skin, itchiness, rough patches, and more. Many of these products have long histories of use in the bath and are safe even on sensitive skin.” 

And the big bonus? Kitchen ingredients are free add-ins for a bath. 

So, if you want to keep your bath au naturel and provide a lift to your skin and general wellbeing, look no further than Jolene’s seven must-have kitchen ingredients for baths. 

1. Milk

Cleopatra was rumored to take baths in milk, and Jolene says that she was onto something. Naturally-occurring lactic acid in milk helps you achieve silky-smooth skin with its gentle exfoliating properties,” she says. Lactic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) often touted in anti-aging products. The fat in milk will also moisturize skin, even as your bath soak helps to hydrate it. Add 3 to 4 cups of milk to your bath and stir to disperse.” 

2. Salt

There are tons of culinary salts out there, and they each carry benefits for your bath. Jolene shares that unrefined salts like sea salt, Himalayan salt, and Epsom salt typically have greater benefits than table salt thanks to their additional trace mineral content that can be easily absorbed into the skin. They contain minerals like zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and copper, which as Jolene says, relax muscles, increase circulation, support detox functions, relieve pain, and prepare you for sleep.” 

Simply add 1 cup of salt to your bath and stir until it dissolves. 

3. Apple Cider Vinegar 

We’ve been hearing a lot about the health bonuses provided by apple cider vinegar, and it can be used in a bath, too. Jolene says, Apple cider vinegar is highly supportive of a healthy skin barrier, thanks to its acidic pH.” She recommends adding a half to 1 cup to a bath and adds that its scent will likely dissipate as you soak. 

4. Olive Oil 

Jolene says that you can skip buying those pricey bath oils: It has the same moisturizing effect as adding plain olive oil to your bath,” she says. If you tend to feel dry after taking a bath, adding olive oil can counteract those effects with its high antioxidant content and vitamin E, which supports youthful skin and elasticity,” Jolene explains. She advises adding 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to your bath while the water is running to help it disperse (otherwise it can pool on top of the bath water) and be careful not to slip in your tub. 

5. Baking Soda 

Baking soda may not seem like a luxe product to add to your bath, but it can actually work wonders. This alkaline pantry essential is soothing to the skin and makes the water in your bath have a softer, more luxurious feel — it’s a must-try! Add about 1 cup and stir to dissolve,” Jolene says. 

6. Oats

Sure, you love your morning oatmeal, but what about adding those oats to your bath? Jolene says, Beta glucans in oats are well-known to be soothing and healing to the skin— even irritated, inflamed skin conditions like eczema. Use a high-powered blender or food processor to process oats into a fine powder, then add about 1/2 to 1 cup to your bath water and stir to incorporate.” 

7. Tea

If you’re all about taking a bath that makes you feel great and is aromatic, too, consider soaking in some tea. Jolene says that green tea has been shown to soothe skin and reduce redness associated with sun damage and has lots of antioxidants. She shares, I also love chamomile and lavender teas in the bath for their calming aromas and soothing skin benefits.” She says that for your bath, you’ll use more tea than you would for a single-serve brew. Try 1/4 cup,” she says. And for ease of use, be sure to contain loose leaf tea in a paper tea bag or tea ball so you won’t be picking petals off of your skin afterward. For maximum benefits, keep the tea in the bath while you soak rather than removing it after a few minutes as you would a drinkable tea.” Now that’s what we call steeping. 


Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.