Add bath salts to your soaking bowl to soften your feet and to act as a gentle cleanser. When paired with essential oils, the salts will give off a delightfully soothing or invigorating aroma.
Here's a recipe for bath salts from Stephanie Taylor of Juniper Tree (510/647-3697), a Berkeley store that sells supplies to make bath and body products.
1. Place coarse sea salt (8 oz. makes enough for four foot soaks) in a large bowl. Sprinkle with essential oil (see below). Add 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil.
2. Stir to mix, then store in an airtight container. To use, put a small handful in a basin, add hot water, and let salts dissolve.
For 8 ounces of bath salts, add one of the following types or blends of essential oil (available at natural body product shops and health stores): Eucalyptus (revitalizing), 4-6 drops; Jasmine and rose (relaxing), 3-5 drops each; Lavender (relaxing), 6-10 drops; Rose and lavender (relaxing), 3-5 drops each.
To add color to your soak, blend in bath pigments or cosmetic-grade dye (often used in soapmaking; do not use food coloring ― it could stain your basin) from a craft store. Or stir in a small amount of rose petals or dried lavender buds.