Vanilla bath salts are a vanilla-scented bath product that is commonly added to drawn baths and used as a soak. In most cases, vanilla bath salts are little more than Epsom salts or other soaking salts with added vanilla essences. They are popular around the world as a way to make a bath more relaxing.
Bath salts are generally marketed as skin-care products that soften and soothe skin while bathing. Bathers will add the salts to hot water as it runs, then wait for the salts to dissolve. Most salts carry mineral properties that many believe to be therapeutic. The goal of most vanilla bath salts is to combine the mineral benefits of salt with the aromatherapeutic benefits of vanilla.
Vanilla is a spice derived from certain orchid varieties. Its smell and flavor are internationally popular in products as diverse as ice cream, bourbon, and baking extract. In cosmetic and bath products, vanilla is renowned for its soothing, relaxing smell.
Some of the most expensive vanilla bath salts incorporate real vanilla pieces into the salt mixture. These salts are typically high-quality sea salts that have been infused with real vanilla oils, combined with vanilla beans and vanilla pods. One of the major properties of most salts is flavor intensification. It tends to absorb extracts and essences well. Bath salts that have been infused with vanilla usually smell remarkable in the jar, but that smell only intensifies as the salts dissolve and the scents are released into the bath water and its steam.
Imitation vanilla is more commonly used in bath salts. Vanilla-scented bath salts are generally quite popular and, as such, are available at a variety of price points. Some of the least expensive products are little more than ordinary bath salts with artificial vanilla flavoring added. These sorts of salts tend to carry the same aromatherapy benefits, but usually at a lower intensity. The salts will smell of vanilla, but that smell is lighter and does not always linger as much in the water as it would in a more naturally scented bath salt.
Vanilla bath salts can often be purchased on their own but may also come as a part of a vanilla bath set. Bath sets typically include vanilla lotion, bubble bath, bar soap, and shampoo. Most of the time, these sets are only artificially scented with vanilla. Real vanilla additives can be extremely expensive.
Homemade vanilla bath salts are generally easy to create, as well. Most of the time, all that is required is a quantity of Epsom salts or other soaking salts and a few teaspoons of vanilla extract or imitation vanilla flavoring. Salts left to sit for a few days in these extracts will come away smelling richly of the spice and can be an economical way of creating a spa-like atmosphere at home.