Insider's Guide to Spas
Photography by Gilaxia


10 Perfect Bath Soaks & Soaps

Mary Bemis

Water is becoming more precious. When you take a bath, take it seriously.

Seaweed Mineral Bath |Earth Matters Apothecary

Earth Matters takes an interesting approach to self-care. Each product is uniquely designed to address the three body types—endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph—through organically “constitutionally” formulated products made with marine plants, herbs, essential oils, and medicinal clays. The aim here is to restore your elemental balance. A great way to begin is with this bath powder, rich in Dead Sea salts, algae, and ionized clay infused with constitutional aromatics.

Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil | Aromatherapy Associates

This exquisite bath oil is an uplifting blend of clary sage, frankincense, and cardamom. It makes for a calming and soothing bath (careful, you only need a capful). Created by the company’s co-founder, Geraldine Howard, who recently passed away, it was formulated at a time when she needed to find her own inner strength during her treatment for cancer. Ten percent of proceeds of this oil go to the Defense Against Cancer Foundation.

Mustard Bath | Dr. Singha

Always in my travel bag, this Mustard Bath is pure magic when you just want to soak in some serious essential-oil goodness. It’s a super-clearing blend of eucalyptus, rosemary, wintergreen, and thyme, and perfect when you’re feeling under the weather or when you need to rejuvenate. There’s just something about this mustard-seed bath that’s like no other.

Ginger Bath & Body Oil | Kerstin Florian

We wanted to linger longer than usual in this warming bath that features two distinct types of ginger, as well as coriander and other soothing essential oils in a nourishing sunflower-seed oil base. This top-notch bath and body oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that help alleviate soreness, arthritis, and cramps. Not to mention it’s super-moisturizing for the skin. Two capfuls will do it.

Lavender & Chamomile Milk Bath | A Wholesome Glow

We love the story behind this new brand created by Blake and Carmen Gendebein, owners and operators of Twin Mill Farms in New York. The couple recently debuted a “farm-to-bottle” product line inspired by their beloved dairy farm. Many of the ingredients come from the farm and community—like the lavender and chamomile found in this soothing milk bath.

Himalayan Salt Detox Bath | Saltability

An end-of-the-day favorite: Pour these pure Himalayan sea salts into your bath and allow yourself to relax for 30 minutes, soaking in the mineral-rich goodness. Your body will thank you.

Wildly Natural Seaweed Powder Bath | Seaweed Bath Company

If you’re looking for a good unscented bath soak, this is a nice option (though you’ll also find lavender and eucalyptus and peppermint options). The powder form is derived from hand-harvested brown seaweed from Maine, and includes argan oil and vitamin E among its skin-soothing ingredients.

Icelandic Moonflower Triple-Milled Plant Oils Soap |Red Flower

This bar gives soap a good name: long-lasting with an intoxicating aroma and a great feel to it, it’s loaded with luscious ingredients and plant oils like moonflower, rose absolute, palmarosa, and lavender. A  creamy, classic bar that goes the distance.

Grapefruit + Sea Salt Bar Soap | SoapGirl

Handcrafted in small batches out of Dallas, thus Himalayan pink salt bat lathers nicely and smells fresh, thanks to the uplifting citrus scent of pure essential grapefruit oil.

Rosehip + Nodding Thistle Soap | Drylands Wilds

We love the whimsical packaging of this line, but what’s in it is even better. This bar—a blend of olive, coconut, and castor oils—boasts red Moroccan clay and is topped with wild rose petals and nodding thistle.



Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis is editorial director of She is an award-winning spa journalist, honored with Folio's Top Women in Media Award, and the distinguished ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award. In 1997, she launched American Spa magazine, and in 2007, Mary co-founded Organic Spa magazine. A pioneer in the sustainable spa and beauty worlds, Mary is co-curator of Cosmoprof North America's Discover Green Pavilion. She sits on the board of Wellness Warrior, is a Global Wellness Day Advisor and a co-founder of the Washington Spa Alliance.