The Luxury Bespoke Bath Soak – For 50p

There’s no big mystery to this post and it’s not rocket science – just simple mathematics and a couple of excellent, unfussy ingredients. I’m going to tell you how I make the most luxurious and effective bath soak for about fifty pence a go; a bath soak that genuinely relaxes me, helps me to sleep, relieves my aching muscles if I’ve been doing my stupid online workouts and that mentally transports me to somewhere exotic.

This soak is completely customisable but I’m going to give you a few options just to get you started. Perhaps you like a rose-scented bath or maybe you prefer a bit of frankincense to clear your mind and put you back on the level; whatever floats your boat, all of the versions below will make you feel as though you’re relaxing in a posh spa in one of those fluffy dressing gowns that’s always just too small to do up properly and so keeps flashing your paper knicker-clad fanjita to all and sundry.

I’m not posting this as a “thrifty lockdown beauty hack”, though it is that too; I’ve been banging on about this luxury bath soak for months and it’s time to set it in stone!

So, there are two elements to the luxury bath soak: the first is epsom salts and the second, good quality essential oils or a ready-made oil blend. Depending on the oils you choose (and how much you use) the price of a soak goes up, but if you stick to a beakerful of salts and a few drops of Tisserand oil you can keep it to around fifty pence or so.

The ingredients are top-notch, but the price is a fraction – a fraction! – of the ready-made stuff, because you buy the salts in bulk and add your own oils. Here we go then…


Using a whole beakerful of salts is the key here: I’ve done a lot of experimenting with epsom salt quantities and there’s no point pissing about with a couple of tablespoons of the stuff. You’re not going to float about in that, are you? It would hardly make a difference to the water at all!

(Even though that’s the amount that lots of luxury brands seem to recommend using. Mainly because if you used the amount I think you need for it to be effective then it’d be half a tub and people would be up in arms, because the price per bath would be outrageous. For context, I use approximately 200g of epsom salts in my bath (knocks me out well and truly, I sleep like a baby!) but if I were to use that amount of – say – Aveda salts, it would cost me around £14/£15 a bath.)

So, a beakerful of salts – about 200g. It’s around two mugfuls, but I use one of those large plastic kids’ beakers and leave it in my gigantic tub of salts as a scoop. I buy my salts from Amazon for around twenty to twenty-five pounds for ten kilos and I most often order these* or these*, which are currently £14 for ten kilos which is a crazy-low price! Note that they are plain, unadulterated epsom salts – you don’t want perfume added, mainly because you’re going to add your own essential oils but also because most of the perfumed ones smell rank. (I’ve tried a lot!)


I usually use a couple of drops of Frankincense Oil* from Aromatherapy Associates (mixed with a carrier oil first) but if I’m feeling particularly treatsome then I throw in a capful of their Deep Relax Oil*. You’ll notice the high price point on both: Aromatherapy Associates oils don’t come cheap but I think that their blends are some of the best and most mind-transporting you can get.

Remember that you’re using a tiny bit, so cost per bath is kept low. But even if you use a couple of capfuls of the AA Oil and it does send your bath price soaring to a pound, or two pounds, then know that you’re quite literally having the Rolls Royce of bathing experiences. Epsom salts to soothe and calm and switch you off and the best oils that money can buy to sort your head out.

So, some options:

For the Ultimate Relaxation Station, Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax – find it online here*

To pretend you’re Marie Antoinette in her Versailles Beauty Bath, try Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose Absolute Oil, here*.

For the unwinding English Country Garden Experience, use a few drops of Tisserand’s Lavender Oil, online here*.

Tisserand are your best bet for keeping prices low and quality high – just a few drops needed and you’ve got an amazing soak for all of fifty pence! I tend to stick to rose, frankincense and lavender, mainly because I had a terrible experience with a eucalyptus and mint blend and my nethers have only just healed.

The Maths

10kg of epsom salts for (average price) £20 = 40p per 200g of salts + Few drops of Tisserand oil, approx 10p = 50p per soak.

The Method

Run the bath, pour in the salts, then the oils, mixed with a bit of almond oil (don’t put the oils in when the bath is running as I find that the water tends to make the scent fill the bathroom too early) and relax. Or, if you’re like me, spend three minutes twiddling your thumbs and then think of something you need to do and get out again.

What’s your favourite bath treat? I really look forward to my nightly soak, it’s a fundamental part of my daily routine – tell me if I’m missing out on any particular oils or scents!

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  1. Karen
    May 5, 2020 / 5:01 pm

    How I laughed when my tub arrived. I knew it was going to be big but thought it was still going to be about a third or a quarter of the size that it was when delivered. I obviously didn’t pay attention. Instead of oils I’ve tried them with some lovely Molton Brown bubble bath I was recently gifted and it has been heaven. I normally buy the other ones you mentioned but this is such good value. However, I am now trying to find a suitable and stylish decanter for some of the salts whilst the tub is now out in the garage. Normally, you can have a look in the charity shops for a lovely old decanter to make something special but alas having to currently improvise. Nevermind, needs must and these help me sleep which is just what’s needed in these stressful times. Thanks for the steer although I did feel sorry for the poor delivery man. I feel a soak coming on…..

    • May 5, 2020 / 8:33 pm

      Mine just stays in the huge plastic tub! Haha, it’s like a builders’ merchants…

  2. Rianna
    April 29, 2020 / 10:45 pm

    Thank you! I have been buying overpriced salts for so long! I purchased the tub which arrived today and plan to use with my collection of AA de-stress oils that I seem to have accumulated!

  3. K
    April 27, 2020 / 11:09 pm

    Does the salt dissolve? The only time I’ve tried salts in a bath they didn’t dissolve and I ended up sitting on a pile of spikey salt? Not the relaxation I was looking for!

    • April 28, 2020 / 7:02 am

      Yes, I dissolve them up with my hands at the bottom, sort of swish them about.

  4. Karolien
    April 25, 2020 / 7:57 pm

    Hi Ruth, do you always have to use almond oil (or another carrier oil) when using aromatherapy associates oil ? I have always used them pure so maybe I have been doing it wrong all this time ?

    • April 26, 2020 / 8:04 am

      I use them pure but all the advice says to mix with a carrier oil and I didn’t want to get shouted at by the world. If it works for you (does for me) then carry on! x

      • Eva
        May 21, 2020 / 2:27 pm

        You can also use milk instead of oil to avoid a greasy tub. It makes for a good emulsifier and is beneficial for the skin as well. I sometimes add green clay to the bath, looks a bit weird then but is great too.

      • August 10, 2020 / 10:00 am

        Hi Ruth, an idea is to disperse the essential oils evenly in your bath is to mix in a little unscented bubble bath or shower gel instead of the carrier oil, as oil and water obviously don’t mix. To be honest, though, it’s such a small amount of EO that it isn’t a major problem unless someone has very sensitive skin or bits! Also depends on the EO. Frankincense is relatively skin-gentle. Loving your blog, IG tv etc. Thanks x

  5. Jenny alden
    April 25, 2020 / 3:12 am

    I absolutely love having a bath and do so daily too. I’ve tried some fancy bath products and been largely disappointed so I’m really excited to try this. Thanks for the tip.

  6. Sarah
    April 24, 2020 / 9:38 pm

    When you say mixed with a bit of almond oil – is that the carrier oil? What proportions should be used? This sounds completely amazing. I hope bath salts counts as an essential purchase!

    • April 26, 2020 / 8:05 am

      Disclaimer: you don’t HAVE to, this is just the standard advice. I just drop them in straight (three or four drops) but didn’t want to give advice contrary to the standard! If I mix (sometimes I do, just for kicks) then about a teaspoon of carrier oil, not even. x

  7. Peony
    April 24, 2020 / 6:24 pm

    I like either a citrus oil or lavender and also sometimes put oatmeal powder or coconut milk powder in for softer skin afterwards.

  8. Hannah
    April 24, 2020 / 2:12 pm

    You slightly alluded to it when talking about choice of essential oil… but is this recipe ok for fellow cystitis sufferers? I’m sure an Oliverum bath contributed to my last attack!

    • April 24, 2020 / 2:36 pm

      I’m not sure about essential oils – I’ve often wondered about that actually! But for me there doesn’t seem to be any correlation. For certain the salts don’t seem to cause any problems… x

  9. April 24, 2020 / 2:03 pm

    Absolutely the same here: I look forward to a long relaxing bath all day and once I get in I can´t wait to get out again and get the things done I suddenly remembered need doing.

    Anne from Doctor Anne

  10. April 24, 2020 / 10:43 am

    These ingredients make me feel so curious! Thank you for sharing! I’ll check them out.

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