These bright and bubbly social-media stars might look good on camera, but what are they doing to your skin?
You’ve seen them exploding all over Instagram – quite literally! They’re brightly colored, full of sparkles, and promise to refresh your skin. But are these bath bomb ingredients all they’re cracked up to be?
The truth is, most commercial bath bombs are made to appeal to your senses instead of hydrating and nourishing your skin. Packed with fragrances and bursting with colors, it’s hard to tell if they’re personal hygiene products or candy.
Well, you certainly shouldn’t eat them – and you may not even want to bathe with them just yet! Here’s everything you need to know to keep your whole body safe during your home bath-bomb sessions.
Do Bath Bombs Affect Your pH Balance Down There?
Your vagina is a robust ecosystem of healthy bacteria. Like a rainforest, it masterfully maintains the right combination of conditions to keep itself healthy and thriving.
As excellent as it is at keeping you feeling clean and fresh, it can be a delicate balance. With the introduction of just one harmful microbe or fungus, you could be left with itchiness and discomfort for weeks.
Too Much Time in The Bath Could Cause an Unbalanced pH
Too much time in the bathtub can cause the natural acidity of your vagina to become more basic and can cause similar side effects that, over the years, have made doctors recommend against douching. Bath bomb ingredients may also affect your pH balance; a highly acidic vagina doesn’t usually lead to infection, but may have negative effects for fertility.
This can lead to bacterial vaginosis (BV), an overproduction of bacteria which is marked by a fishy odor, itching, and grey, white, or yellow discharge. It can also put you at a higher risk for infections like trichomoniasis (trich), and other STDs like HPV and HIV.
Set Your Timer
The best way to avoid infection and keep your vagina at a healthy pH is to limit your stay in the bathtub for 20-25 minutes and use naturally antibacterial and antifungal bath bomb ingredients.
Here’s a hot tip, too: Be sure to clean your tub before you settle in for a bubble bath to avoid infections.
Bath Bomb Ingredients to Avoid
Synthetic dyes are not only bad for you – they’re also bad for the environment and the workers involved in manufacturing them. After reading about the harmful effects of synthetic dyes, you may find it hard to believe that the FDA doesn’t regulate what goes into them. In fact, the FDA doesn’t even require manufacturers to list the ingredients that compose dyes on labels.
Synthetic dyes are often petroleum or coal tar based – both on our list of no-nos for ingredients in any product. Coal tar is a known carcinogen, increasing the risk for cancer in the lungs, kidneys, and prostate. Petroleum suffocates your pores.
Other harmful ingredients include:
- Benzene – a known carcinogen with a high risk of causing cancer, developmental, and reproductive harm
- Dibutyl phthalate – known to disrupt hormone balance and cause reproductive harm
Aldehydes – which have high instances of allergic reactions and immunotoxicity
Avoid soaking in a bathtub full of carcinogens. Switch to natural colored bath bomb ingredients, or bath bombs colored with fruit pigment instead.
Glitter & Shimmer
Have you ever wonder what glitter was made of? That sparkly looking shiny stuff is actually made of small squares of plastic.
Glitter and shimmer can cause tiny cuts on your skin, causing infection and irritation. When you snuggle up to relax in the bathtub, the last thing you want is to get microabrasions – especially in your most sensitive areas.
Furthermore, microplastic is a huge contributor to ocean plastic pollution. If glitter isn’t drifting out to sea to float eternally in the ocean waves, it could end up back in your water supply.
Parfum & Synthetic Fragrances
As is the case with synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances are not regulated or required to list their ingredients by the FDA. It’s absolutely wild to think about, considering what’s often in them.
Bath bombs with synthetic fragrances commonly contain:
- Talc – Recently linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer
- Limonene – Known to irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs
Benzyl benzoate – Associated with endocrine disruption and immunotoxicity, especially to the workers who produce it
This is just to name a few. In fact, one synthetic fragrance can be composed of hundreds of chemicals. That mystery scent of “cheery morning” or “mellow mood” is just not worth the risk.
Bath Bomb Ingredients to Enjoy
Natural Herb Remnants or ‘Debris’
If you love the look of a colorful bathtub, you have options. Instead of finding bath bombs with unnatural cotton candy colors, opt for the look of beautiful botanicals. Whether you seek out natural bath bomb ingredients or decide to DIY your bath bomb, you can find fruit pigmented or herbal options.
What’s more luxurious than relaxing in a sea of rose petals and rosemary? Not only are these herbs colorful and fragrant, they’re also safe – and may even nourish your skin. For example, rosemary contains antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Speaking of the benefits of herbs, essential oils could be what whisks you away to a realm of total relaxation. If fragrance is a necessary component of your bath bomb ingredient list, try using a diffuser in the bathroom with you.
Alternatively, find an essential oil that’s gentle and has nourishing properties, like rosemary or lavender. You can splash a drop or two right into your bath water. Both of these essential oils are antibacterial and antifungal. Lavender is also scientifically backed as an anxiety reducing agent.
Top of the Line Bath Bombs
Cruelty-free, vegan, made in the USA
Tatum & Shea only uses cruelty-free bath bomb ingredients that we trust. Their lavender scented fizzy bath bombs are spectacular when you need spa-style luxury in the comfort of your own home. Fruit pigmented with a light purple tint, these bath bombs won’t stain your bathtub like synthetic dyes often do. Get a gift set for you, a friend, or a family member.
Cruelty-free, vegan, organic
Get a taste of the juiciest bath bomb ingredients with Brubaker’s adorable pastry-style bath bombs. With a shea butter base, these cupcake-shaped bath bombs dissolve slowly and pamper your skin gently. Made by hand in Austria and Germany, you’ll find these lightly scented bath bomb ingredients to be enriching and nourishing.