What to Know About Bath Bombs and Your Skin


Bath bombs are a fun “party in a bath” additive that is fizzy and fragrant and leaves a swirl of beautiful colors in the water. They are easy to find and can be bought anywhere from a dollar store to a local boutique. 

Kids and their parents love to create bath bombs at home as a fun activity and exciting alternative to slime. With just a quick search on social media, “bath bomb art” can be found, shared by users across all social platforms. 

While bath bombs may be pretty to look at, not all bath bombs are made the same, and many share common characteristics that make their safety for your skin questionable. Ingredients in bath bombs can irritate the skin, and even big brands selling bath bombs aren’t always totally honest about what’s going into their product. 

Read on to find out whether bath bombs are good for your skin or if you should stop using them altogether.

What Are Bath Bombs?

When bath bombs hit the water, they erupt due to their combination of carbon dioxide and concentration of sodium bicarbonate. As soon as they’re dropped in water, they begin to break down, fizz, create bubbles, and release an impressive array of colors, fragrances, and glitter used to make the bath bomb are released into the water until it eventually fizzles out. 

Even when bath bombs are created with natural ingredients, though, they can skin conditions like eczema are at an increased risk of the dyes, fragrances, and cool colors in bath bombs wreaking havoc on their skin.

Vaginal irritation: The vagina has a delicate ph balance, and common ingredients used in bath bombs can shift the vagina’s ph, leading to an infection. Additionally, the sensitive skin on your vulva can become irritated or itchy due to sitting in the bath with a bath bomb for too long. 

Hormone Disruption: The body has a delicate hormonal balance that may become disrupted by some questionable ingredients often included in bath bombs. If you enjoy using bath bombs, limit your use and try to avoid bath bombs with excess additives like glitter or overwhelming fragrances. 

Before using a bath bomb, consider performing soothe intense pain and itching from skin conditions like eczema. Alternatively, adding handfuls of goat milk soap to your bath will achieve the same results as an oatmeal bath and create a similar bathtime experience, but cleaning up afterward will certainly be less of a hassle. If your skin isn’t extremely sensitive, you may not need to give up bath bombs entirely. 

Follow these tips for safer use with bath bombs:

  • Review the ingredient list and avoid anything that can irritate your skin 
  • Do a patch test and rub the bath bomb against your elbow. If redness or irritation has not developed within 48 hours, the bath bomb may be safe to use. 
  • Limit your exposure to the potential allergens in bath bombs by limiting your time in the tub. 
  • Hop in the shower afterward and remove any residue from the bath bombs with lukewarm water. 
  • Limit using bath bombs to just a few times a week  

If skin irritation or redness develops after using a bath bomb, stop using the product immediately. Seek the advice of a medical professional if symptoms like redness or irritation persist for more than a few days. Alternatives to bath bombs like fragrant candles or relaxing music can create a soothing environment you can look forward to after a long day at work. You may also consider looking up one of the many recipes for bath bombs available online and creating your own with ingredients that you trust and won’t cause irritation to your skin.