How Do Bath Salts Work?

By Chris Sherwood

Introduction to Bath Salts

How Do Bath Salts Work?

Bath salts have been a standard in spa treatments both at home and in the spa itself. Bath salts have evolved to include brands that emit a host of soothing fragrances to add to the spalike experience. Not only are bath salts used for relaxation purposes, but they have also been shown to provide health benefits.


Most bath salts contain magnesium sulfate. When absorbed in bath water, these sulfates are absorbed into the body. Once inside the body the magnesium sulfate helps to flush out toxins and absorb nutrients. As the toxins are flushed out inflammation decreases, making the salts a potential anti-inflammatory.

Benefits for the Skin

Some bath salts contain phosphates. These phosphates work as exfoliants on the skin, helping remove dead skin and soften callouses. Using bath salts is a gentle way to naturally soften the skin. Bath salts containing sea salt may also help relieve symptoms of certain skin complications, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Hard Water Vs. Soft Water

Many households have excess amounts of calcium and magnesium in their water supply. This excess is commonly referred to as hard water. The problem occurs when the ions of the calcium and magnesium react with common bath soap to form soap scum. This scum can leave a film of grime on your body as you bathe. Adding bath salts to the water replaces the calcium and magnesium ions with sodium and potassium ions, preventing the build-up of soap scum on your tub and your body.


A newer addition to bath salts are essential oils. When introduced to bath water, the bath salts emit the scent from the oil. Soothing scents such as lavender, eucalyptus, vanilla and others can help react with the warm water to relax the senses and clear the mind.