In an era that values self care, the humble bath bomb has taken on the status of a bathroom staple. Places like Lush sell bath bombs that can turn your bathtub into a citrusy Japanese onsen, an ocean of blue, or even the star-filled galaxy. But why should they have all the fun when it comes to creating these magical little orbs? And why should they get all the say when it comes to what goes into your bath tub? We’ve found a great way to get involved with the process, and make your very own DIY bath bombs at home!
If you’ve been trapped inside with the same people, working from home and having to endure countless long zoom calls, or home-schooling on account of having toddler in a time when schools are closed a lot of the time, you may just need to relax a little. What better way than with a long, hot bath? Bath bombs are a fantastic way to enhance that experience.
New York City-based dermatologist, Hadley King, however, says that when it comes to allergens in store-bought bath bombs, “there aren’t any bath bombs that are completely risk-free”. That’s why A.C. Shilton, writing for the New York Times believes it’s better to make them yourself at home. You may already have some of the ingredients lying around!
“While the make-your-own approach allows you to avoid irritants, it also lets you add in beneficial ingredients,” writes Shilton. This recipe from the Be Spotted blog includes skin-healthy additions like colloidal oatmeal and shea butter, guaranteed to leave your skin feeling moisturised and soothed.
According to Be Spotted, oats contain zinc, “which gives them anti-inflammatory properties. This makes oats perfect for treating sensitive skin and might even help in dealing with acne. In fact, oats are so good in soothing irritated skin, they are often used for treating eczema, poison ivy rash and contact dermatitis”.
“Oats also contain beta-glucan, which creates a protective film on your skin that keeps the moisture in. It improves the skin’s natural barrier and helps in protecting your skin from chemicals, pollutants and other environmental influences”. No wonder they play such a big role in this recipe!
It’s important to patch test your ingredients – particularly any essential oils you’re using – if you have allergy-prone skin. Do this by applying a small amount to your forearm, and letting it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing. If in the next 48 hours you don’t notice any reactions, you’re good to go!
So how do you make your DIY bath bombs?
It make take some practice to get these looking cute – how neatly they form spheres depends a lot on the consistency of your mixture – but you won’t regret giving it a try!
- ¼ cup colloidal oatmeal, oat flour or ground rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons shea butter
- ½ cup Epsom salt
- ½ cup citric acid
- 1 cup baking soda
- around 20 drops jasmine essential oil
- which hazel or rose water (optional)
1. Mix your citric acid and baking soda together well. Use a sieve if you want to remove any lumps and bumps! Then add the colloidal oats, oat flour or ground rolled oats and mix again. Add the epsom salts and mix once more.
2. Now you can add rolled oats, flower petals, glitter, colour or anything else that tickles your fancy. Get creative here!
3. Melt two tablespoons of shea butter and add it to the dry mixture. Add your essential oil and mix everything super well. This may take a little time and patience.
4. According to Be Spotted, if you live in a high humidity area, your oatmeal bath bombs mixture may be done by now. (You can test this by taking a small amount of the mixture in your hand – wear gloves when working with citric acid* – squeezing the mixture, then letting go. “If it doesn’t crumble after a few seconds, your mixture is all done and you can start moulding”. More likely, however, you’ll find that your mixture needs a little more liquid in order to hold its shape well.
*You’ll want to wear rubber or latex gloves when working with citric acid, as it can irritate skin when not diluted with water.
5. It’s recommended you use witch hazel or rose water if you have them on hand, but ordinary water will work just fine. Add it slowly, preferably using a spray bottle to stop the mixture from fizzing! Finding the perfect consistency between wet and dry is important, because if your DIY bath bomb is too dry it’ll fall apart, and if it’s too wet it won’t fizz well when you toss it in the tub. Test the consistency using the above method frequently.
6. When your mixture holds together well, press them into the moulds of your choice. A meatball, ice cream or cookie scoop will work just fine. “After 2 – 3 minutes, you can loosen your hold. Start tapping the moulds lightly with your fingers or a spoon. The vibration you create will help release the bath bombs from the mould. Do this carefully so that you don’t ruin the shape of your bath bombs”.
7. Leave your DIY bath bombs to dry for a couple of days before dropping them into your bath and letting them work their magic! Store them in an airtight container or ziploc bag and they should be good to use for up to 6 months, depending on the self life of the ingredients you’ve used.
These DIY bath bombs are a great way to unwind after a long day, and they also make for lovely, thoughtful gifts – far more so when they’re homemade. So don’t keep them all to yourself! Share the joy with those you love.
If you want to spoil them even more, check out these other great DIY ideas from Be Spotted!