Bath Teas Are the Natural DIY Way to Supercharge Your Evening Soak
Mix up your own blend to turn your tub into an at-home spa.
The wellness-boosting benefits of tea aren't just for your morning mug. Bath teas have become a popular way to bring the soothing, fragrant properties of herbs into your evening soak, a practice many of us are turning to more than ever to help soothe away stress. The 2021 Pinterest trend report notes that searches for "bath tea recipe" have surged 60% compared to the previous year as people increasingly incorporate herbal baths into their self-care routines.
"Given the year we've all had, I'm not surprised that more people want to soak in baths," says Militza Maury, a skincare herbalist and author of the book Natural Homemade Skin Care ($18, Amazon). "Baths are an age-old practice that's so restorative and healing for the body."
Maury, who has been concocting her own bath teas for years, notes that nearly any type of tea you drink can be used in a bath for a similar benefit. For example, you might brew some chamomile tea at night to wind down or sip a mug of matcha for a boost of energy. Incorporating those ingredients into a bath can replicate that effect on your body. "When you're soaking in an herb bath, your body relaxes, your pores open up, and you're able to absorb the nourishment of the tea," she says.
Unlike many store-bought bath bombs, bath teas feature natural herbs and soothing ingredients like oats and cocoa butter without other additives. "Especially when you're soaking in a bath and your pores are really open, you don't want to be drawing in chemicals or perfumes that aren't great for your body," Maury says. "Natural herbs allow you to enjoy those aromatics in a safe way."
Plus, bath teas are easy to whip up yourself using dried herbs or flowers and ingredients from your pantry. After mixing up your bath blend, you can either brew your bath tea separately or let it steep directly in the bathwater. Maury recommends using a French press ($20, Target) to create a very strong infusion, letting the tea steep for at least 15 minutes before adding it to your bath. Alternatively, you can pour your bath tea mixture into individual tea filter bags ($7, Amazon) and pop one into the tub as it fills. Let the water run hot at first while the bath tea brews, then add cool water to bring down the temperature to your liking before you step in, Maury suggests. And because the tea is contained in a bag or brewed ahead of time, you don't have messy debris to clean up once the tub empties.
Soothing Bath Tea Recipe
This is Maury's go-to bath tea recipe to soothe and nourish skin. You can find most of the dried flowers online, and many of them are also sold at grocery stores as loose teas. Cocoa butter is available online ($22, Amazon) and at some baking supplies stores. You only need about a 1/4-cup of this tea mixture for each bath, so you can store the rest in a cool, dry place until you're ready to use it.
What You Need:
- 1/4 cup oat flour (or rolled oats, blitzed in a food processor until fine)
- 1/4 cup each of dried calendula flowers, dried rose petals, dried lavender, and dried chamomile flowers
- 1 Tbsp. grated cocoa butter
- Empty tea bags or French press for brewing
Combine the oats, dried flowers, and cocoa butter, and store in an airtight container until you're ready for a bath. To brew separately, pour the loose tea into a French press and add hot water. Steep for 15-20 minutes, then add to bathwater. To steep directly in the tub, fill an empty tea bag with the mixture and place in bathtub. Run hot water first, then cool down as needed.
Bath teas are easy to customize according to your skin care needs, fragrance preferences, and mood. Try mixing in pantry ingredients such as dried herbs, honey, powdered milk, and more to make the recipe your own. Look to the teas you like to drink for inspiration, or add herbal teas (either bagged or loose-leaf) directly to your mix. Then start brewing to naturally give your bath a boost.