I have an obsession with baths. Not just your regular old, run of the mill bath, but the elaborate, Instagram-worthy kind. My fellow bath lovers know that creating the perfect ambiance is almost as important as taking the actual bath. You know, break out the bathboard, set up your iPad or book, pour yourself a yummy drink, light a candle, and last but not least, drop in a fizzy, glittery, heavenly smelling bath bomb!
Since I take a bath almost every night involving the same elaborate ritual, I thought it might be a good idea to dig into bath safety, including the use of the beloved bath bomb.
Yup, you knew it was coming. As with all good things, there’s a safety risk involved with the bath bomb habit.
Take a look at the top bath bomb hazards:
Toxic Fragrances: Check for ingredients like “fragrance,” “fragrance oils,” “fragrance oil blend” or similar ones. Chemicals that make up “fragrances” are things like benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and phthalates, to name a few. These ingredients are linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, allergens, respiratory irritants, environmental toxins, hormone disruption, reproductive malformation, allergic reactions, liver and breast cancer, and diabetes. No wonder a slew of these “fragrances” have been listed on the EPA’s hazardous waste list.
UTI: If you’re spending more than a half an hour in the tub, all of the perfumes, possible skin allergens, dirt, and hot water can irritate your urethra and end in a UTI.
Yeast Infections: Since perfumed products disturb the good bacteria in the vagina, chemical fragrances that fall under the “fragrance” term on the ingredients list can disrupt the vagina’s natural pH balance causing irritation, inflammation, or a even a yeast infection, no matter your age.
Glitter: Most bath bombs contain glitter- I know, so pretty! But once the glitter runs down the drain, it won’t biodegrade. Remember, it’s made out of little pieces of plastic. Fortunately, popular brands have switched to lustres, which are vegetable-based. Either way, glitter and lustres don’t belong in the sensitive, pH balanced vagina.
Talc: Although this ingredient isn’t extremely popular in bath bombs, it’s been found in a few products of a well-known brand. Talc is very dangerous in a bath bomb because of it’s connection with ovarian cancer. The last thing a woman needs to be doing is soaking her lady-parts in talc! You can read more about talc and ovarian cancer here.
Don’t worry, there’s options!
After reading that stuff, I know I’m turned off, and frankly a bit scared. But don’t worry, there’s good news! I’ve found much safer bath bomb options without all of the harmful ingredients.
For a fragrance fix that doesn’t turn you into a human teabag, use your favourite scented candles, some incense, or an essential oil diffuser. You’ll still get that calming aroma without steeping yourself in a plethora of “fragrance” chemicals—and the soft light from the candles will set the mood for a relaxing bath! If bubbles are your thing, you can find natural recipes for making a bubble bath all over the internet. Here’s one from DIY Natural. It’s safe for your eyes, skin, and lady parts. Good-bye irritation, hello mountains of bubbles!
Essential oil blends are beautiful to add to your bath as well. We’ve got our favourites here.
You can try DIY!
If you altogether refuse to relinquish your bath bomb addiction (I get it, I was in love with them, too), at least seek out talc-free options and products scented with recognisable ingredients rather than “fragrances.” Or, if you’re up for a fun DIY, you can try making your own! There’s some great options here. Now you can feel good about soaking in a “clean and green” bath!
Author: Sydney Ziverts
Health & Nutrition Investigator
Sydney has a background in English, psychology, and the biological sciences giving her the ability to understand health topics from a holistic perspective. In her role as Health & Nutrition Investigator for ConsumerSafety.org, Sydney focuses on women’s health, and how products impact our wellbeing.