DIY > store-bought.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

If there's been one saving grace to my sanity this past year while hunkering down in quarantine, it's been my bathtime. I live to fill up the tub, drop in a bath bomb, and soak myself silly until my extremities are pruny. There's nothing quite like the stress-melting comfort that a bath can bring, and adding enhancements, like the colorful, scented explosion from a bath bomb, makes it all the more fun.   

But according to Jana Blankenship, founder of Captain Blankenship Natural Products and author of Wild Beauty, store-bought bath bombs often include synthetic fragrances and colors that are not good for your skin, senses, or the environment. Enter DIY bath bombs. "Bath bombs are easy to make at home and you can change them up depending on what your skin and senses are craving," says Blankenship. "It's a great way to ensure no toxic ingredients are in your bath bomb. Plus, they make great gifts and are a fun crafting project to do at home."

So, what exactly is a bath bomb? 

A bath bomb is a mix of nourishing and therapeutic natural ingredients that are compacted into a mold and effervesce when you drop them into the water. The best part about DIY bath bombs is that they are customizable, meaning you can create many different variations with different scents, depending on your mood. 

Are DIY bath bombs safe?

Well, it depends on the components. According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, you should think of a bath bomb as you would think of any bath additive—the right ingredients can help hydrate and soothe the skin turning the bath into a therapeutic treatment, but the wrong ingredients can cause dryness and irritation. "Using the wrong combinations of ingredients, like fragrances and essential oils, can potentially disrupt the skin's acid mantle and lead to irritation," says Dr. Zeichner. If your skin is inflamed or hyper-sensitive to fragrance, he recommends avoiding those ingredients and replacing them with soothing additives like hydrating plant oils instead. 

How to make a DIY bath bomb

DIY Bath Bomb Recipes

1. Matcha & Lavender Bath Bomb

  • 1 bath bomb mold ($9; amazon.com)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sea salt or epsom salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp matcha
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1-2 tbsp witch hazel

2. Hot Cocoa Bath Bomb

  • 1 bath bomb mold
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sea salt or epsom salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 10 drops peru balsam essential oil, vanilla extract, or vanilla absolute
  • 1-2 tbsp witch hazel

3. Spirulina & Lemongrass Bath Bomb

  • 1 bath bomb mold
  • 1 cup baking soda 
  • 1/2 cup citric acid 
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sea salt or Epsom salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp spirulina
  • 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 1-2 tbsp witch hazel

4. Smell the Roses Bath Bomb

  • 1 bath bomb mold
  • 1 cup baking soda 
  • 1/2 cup citric acid 
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sea salt or Epsom salt
  • 2 tbsp sweet almond oil
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup powdered rose petals
  • 1-2 tbsp rose hydrosol witch hazel
  • optional: 10 drops rose geranium essential oil

Step-by-Step Tutorial 

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together (leaving out the liquid) in a small bowl using your fingers to break up clumps and evenly distribute oil. You want the mixture to have the consistency of damp sand and hold a shape for a few seconds when you mold. 
  2. Once it has achieved this consistency, slowly add and distribute the liquid with your fingers—you want to do this so the mixture doesn't dry out and hardens properly. Adding liquid can cause the mixture to fizz so you want to disperse it quickly. 
  3. Grease your bath molds lightly with oil. Now start filling the molds with mixture and tamp it down thoroughly with your fingers. This is the most time-consuming part of the process but also the most important. You want to make sure that the mixture is thoroughly packed in so it hardens properly. 
  4. Once you have filled the molds, let them sit 24 hours if possible and then remove the bombs from the molds. They should easily release, but if they don't, just tap lightly on the back of molds until they come out.