So, what is a bath bomb? And, why would you want to use one anyway? If you google “who created the bath bomb,” you will be directed to a famous cosmetic retail company that starts with the letter “L”. (Sadly, it’s not Lathering Lotus.) “L” declares that their co-founder created the bath bomb. If you dig deeper – a lot deeper, you can find references in the Merck Report, a practical journal of pharmacy as a profession and a business, to effervescent bath tablets being formulated as far back as 1902. The formula in the Merck report is even replete with a blend of natural fragrances. Pretty cool, right? Soaking in a bath in the early 1900s was a luxury and, consequently, I can see why the trend did not catch on at that time.
Fast forward 115 years, and the bath bomb has been perfected to provide a relaxing and aromatic bathing experience; sometimes the vibrant colors and effervescent fizzing and foaming create a work of art in the bath tub.
The basic composition of a bath bomb is pretty simple. It is a 2:1 ratio of baking soda to citric acid; this combination reacts when placed in water and produces sodium citrate and carbon dioxide when it hits the water – voilá, fizzing ensues. Manufacturers can include a myriad of other ingredients, but, generally speaking, they include: butters, oils, salts, foaming agents, emulsifiers, colorants, and fragrances. Once dissolved, these additional ingredients are released into the bath water.
Why use one of these fizzy delights? Well, in addition to just plain enjoyment, they can include skin-enhancing ingredients such as butters, oils, salts, and essential oils. After soaking in the tub with a dissolved bath bomb, you may discover that your skin feels replenished.
Are there any risks with using a bath bomb? Risks are pretty low, but keep in mind that you can have a sensitivity to just about anything. The culprits in bath bombs that could lead to skin irritation are typically citric acid, fragrances, essential oils, or foaming agents. Also, these are not for use on open cuts or wounds. And, freshly shaved legs are open wounds. It is also a good idea to use caution when exiting the tub as surfaces can get slippery due to oil residue. We use polysorbate 80 as an emulsifier to help with dispersion of oils, minimize tub staining, and help reduce slimy surfaces. You should still give the tub a rinse or scrub after using a bath bomb.
You can find bath bombs in a variety of colors, fragrances, and packed with skin-loving ingredients. Just pop one in the tub and relax as you enjoy its effervescent qualities, aromatherapy, and skin-nourishing benefits. And, really, they are just plain fun!
*reposted from 8/2/2017
Weicker, T. (Ed.). (1902). Merck’s report a practical journal of pharmacy as a profession and a business. New York, NY: Merck. Retrieved from https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015084678351;view=1up;seq=9
Jamie is a serendipitous soapmaker with a love for all things DIY, health, and wellness. She has a background as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Registered Yoga Teacher, and Professional Yoga Therapist. She lives with her husband, two daughters and her labradoodle near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.