Essential Oil Bath Salt Gems – Christmas Edition

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Earlier this year I shared the unique twist I applied to my traditional bath salts recipe – Epsom Salt Gems.

bath salt gems made from Epsom salt

Well they are back for a special Christmas edition and I’ve given them a slightly different name, ‘Bath Salt Gems’ instead of ‘Epsom Salt Gems’.  It sounds a little nicer – don’t you think?

Anyway, the premise is you take a basic bath salts recipe, add water, mould into shapes, and allow to dry – ridiculously simple! When they are completely dry they become rock hard.  You can use different shapes, colours and essential oils to make a beautiful selection, perfect for gift-giving.


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Jazzing it up for Christmas!

For the Christmas edition I decided to make three batches of Christmas tree shaped gems:

Green gems with Cypress essential oil

White (natural colour) gems with Lavender essential oil

Red gems with Mint* essential oil  (I used Spearmint, but you can use whichever mint you prefer).

Then I mixed them all up together and made three gift bags of mixed bath salt gems.  When you use them you will have a blend of all three essential oils which smells quite lovely.

christmas tree shaped epsom salt gems in green, red and white

Why I chose this blend

  • Cypress essential oil has a fresh, clean aroma that’s energizing and refreshing.
  • Lavender essential oil promotes calm, relaxed feelings – perfect for a bath.
  • Spearmint’s sweet, refreshing and cleansing aroma promotes a fresh and invigorating atmosphere

If that sort of scent isn’t your style then feel free to use any of your favourite blends – the sky’s the limit.

If you are looking for some essential oil blend inspiration then I recommend Pinterest.  They have tonnes of essential oil diffuser blend recipes that you can adjust to fit this recipe.

xmas tree epsom salt gems with mould and wooden spoon

Safety First

* Mint – I’ve left this option open for you to use the mint essential oil of your choice.  Being Christmas, peppermint essential oil may seem like an obvious choice but it is not always suitable for a bath (it can give your private parts a bit of a tingle if you know what I mean), and I would definitely avoid it if you are giving these bath salt gems as a gift.  I used Spearmint essential oil for my bath salt gems, but I also recommend Patchouli essential oil which is probably the mildest of the minty scents.  It’s also great for those who may be not so fond of a strong mint smell.

Another word of warning, Cinnamon, Cassia and Clove essential oils are very popular Christmas scents but are unsuitable for the bath as they are prone to causing considerable skin sensitivity when used topically.  I suggest that you stick with the more calming Fir, Floral or Fruity essential oils when choosing a festive scent for your bath salt cakes.

Gather Your Supplies

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts lie at the heart of every good bath salts recipe due to the many uses and benefits they have for our well-being.

If you have the time, I recommend using Coloured Epsom Salts as the base for this recipe. These are Epsom salts that have been pre-coloured and allowed to dry which definitely helps you control the moisture content of this recipe. It also helps create a more even and consistent colouring of your salt gems.

coloured epsom salts with baking soda and xmas ice mould

Baking Soda

Baking soda (or bi-carb soda) is the glue that’s gonna hold these cute little gems together. When testing this recipe I made it both with and without the baking soda and twelve months later those gems without baking soda have crumbled back into salt while the ones with baking soda are still holding together perfectly.

If your baking soda is lumpy, sift it as you add it to your mixture.

Carrier Oil

As this recipe uses essential oils, I have included a carrier oil for dilution purposes. Essential oils should always be diluted, especially in the bath (where they have access to all sorts of nooks and crannies they might not ordinarily have).

Common carrier oils include fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil (beware of nut allergies if you are giving these bath salt gems as a gift), grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and the list goes on.

Essential Oils

As mentioned above I made three batches of Christmas tree shaped gems using the following essential oils:

Green gems with Cypress essential oil

White (natural colour) gems with Lavender essential oil

Red gems with Mint* essential oil  (I used Spearmint, but you can use whichever mint you prefer).

Then I mixed them all up together and made three gift bags of mixed bath salt gems.  When you use them you will have a blend of all three essential oils which smells quite lovely.

Water

To increase the storage longevity of your essential oil project, do not use water from the tap in the recipe.  This can lead to mould growth. Instead I recommend distilled, demineralised, or water that has been boiled and then cooled.  Alternatively rose water (also available from the supermarket) is a great idea (and will add to the beautiful scent of your bath salt gems).

epsom salt cake mix

Colouring

As mentioned above, consider using Coloured Epsom Salts in your bath salt gems recipe. But if that’s not possible, you can add colouring to your wet mixture. Just keep in mind that you may need to leave out some of the water to balance out your moisture content.

Soap colouring is preferable because it provides a stable and consistent colouring across all colours and will not fade.

However food colouring will also work perfectly well to colour Epsom salts. Just don’t leave them sitting out in the open for long periods as the colour and scent will fade.

I recommend using natural food colouring wherever and whenever you can.

Mixing Bowl & Spoon

You will require a mixing bowl and spoon to make this recipe. To be on the safe side, I recommend you use a non-plastic bowl and spoon for this activity as essential oils can quickly corrode some plastics. A glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl and a metal spoon is the way to go.

Silicone Ice Tray

A silicone mould is a must for this recipe as you are required to turn your salt gems out before they are dry (rather than leave them to dry in the mould). A light tap on the silicone with your finger should easily dislodge your gem.

Turning them out helps them to dry much faster and allows any excess oil and water to drain away. Leaving your salt gems to dry in the mould requires a much longer dry time (like a week!) and you run the risk of breaking them when trying to turn them out.

Your selected silicone mould should have small cavities (about an inch across) and should be less than an inch deep. This will give you the best results. I just love this pack of three candy moulds because they are just perfect for making my original Epsom Salt Gems as well as this cute Christmas edition!

Grease-Proof Paper Lined Tray

These Epsom salt gems need to stand for 48 hours to dry. You cannot touch them during this time as they are fragile when wet. Also some of the water and oil may leak out during the drying process. A baking tray or serving tray is the perfect solution as you can then pick them up and move them to a safe place to dry. The grease-proof paper allows for easy clean-up once your project is finished.

christmas tree shaped epsom salt gems in green, red and white

Want your Christmas Bath Salt Gems to look like mine?

I made three batches of bath salt gems in three different colours and scents using a Christmas tree shaped silicone ice tray.

The following recipe is the equivalent of one batch.

christmas tree shaped epsom salt gems in green, red and white

Christmas Bath Salt Gems

These festive-themed bath salt treats make the perfect essential oil home-made Christmas treat.
Prep Time 20 mins
Drying Time 2 d
Total Time 2 d 20 mins
Skill Level Intermediate
Category Bath and Body Recipes
Servings 20 Gems (approx)

Equipment

  • Glass, Ceramic or Metal Mixing Bowl and Spoon
  • Silicone Ice Tray
  • Tray lined with Grease-Proof Paper

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Cup Epsom Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Baking (Bi-Carb) Soda Sifted
  • 1 Tsp Carrier Oil
  • 20 Drops Essential Oil
  • 1-4 Drops Colouring Optional
  • 1-2 Tsp Water (Only add second teaspoon if necessary)

Instructions
 

  • Mix all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl. Your mixture should be wet, but not so wet that the salt starts to dissolve.
  • Spoon mixture into one mould cavity and press down with the back of a spoon. Turn out moulded mixture immediately onto paper-lined tray (start in the top left corner because once they are out you can't move them until they are dry).
  • Repeat process until all the mixture has been used. Allow gems to dry for 48 hours, turning after 24 hours (try to avoid handling them before then as they are fragile when wet).
  • Store them in a plastic zip lock bag or glass jar for colour and scent longevity or, if giving them as a gift, place them in a cellophane bag finished off with a pretty ribbon.
  • To use, drop a whole handful of bath salt gems into a bucket of water for a relaxing foot soak, or dissolve the entire batch in a warm bath.

Notes

To increase the storage longevity of your essential oil project, do not use water from the tap in the recipe.  Instead I recommend distilled, demineralised, or water that has been boiled and then cooled.
 
If your salt cake does not remove easily from your mould, your salt mixture is too dry. Add some more water and try again.
 
If your salt cake starts to sag or lose its shape after being removed from the mould, your salt mixture is too wet. Add some more salt and try again.
Tag Bath Salts, christmas

Troubleshooting Tips

If your salt cake does not remove easily from your mould, your salt mixture is too dry. Add some more water and try again.

If your salt cake starts to sag or lose its shape after being removed from the mould, your salt mixture is too wet. Add some more salt and try again.

xmas tree bath salt gems with candy canes

Enjoy!

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