DIY LUXURY SCENTED BATH BOMB: RECIPE + TIPS ON HOW TO CUSTOMIZE IT DIY LUXURY SCENTED BATH BOMB: RECIPE + TIPS ON HOW TO CUSTOMIZE IT


DIY LUXURY SCENTED BATH BOMB: RECIPE + TIPS ON HOW TO CUSTOMIZE IT

June 02, 2020    
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IN ESSENCE...

  • A basic bath bomb can be made with just three primary ingredients: Baking Soda, Citric Acid, and a filler (such as Arrowroot Powder). When mixed, molded, dried, and added to warm bath water, the mixture dissolves and fizzes, releasing all its scents, colors, salts, and other bath bomb components.

  • The key to a successful bath bomb lies in achieving the right consistency. Too much moisture (or too little) in the form of oils, water, Witch Hazel, or other liquids can create difficulty in shaping the bath bomb or cause it to fizz too early.

  • Embellishing and personalizing your bath bomb with ingredients such as Botanical Extracts, Clays, Essential Oils, Fragrance Oils, or decorations can help create unique bath bombs suited to your own skin type, therapeutic needs, and aesthetics.


 

THE JOY OF MAKING A BATH BOMB

 

Perhaps the only thing more joyous than soaking in a luxurious scented bath is making your very own bath bombs! Not only does this creative venture help make elegant gifts for a loved one or a friend, it also allows you to personalize the bath bombs to your own unique needs and preferences.

In this article, we provide a base recipe for an easy DIY luxury scented bath bomb, and also show you how it can be modified with various ingredients to fit your preferences. Two example variations of the recipe (a relaxing Lavender & Peppermint bath bomb and a citrus-inspired Burst of Sunshine bath bomb) are also provided to inspire you to make your own fabulous bath bomb creations.



 

A BATH BOMB NEEDS THREE CORE INGREDIENTS

 

A bath bomb is composed of a sandy-like mixture of various dry and wet ingredients that has been shaped into a pristine-looking structure with the help of a mold. When added to a warm bath of water, it creates a delightful fizz and liberates its colors, scents, salts, and other nourishing additives to make a wonderful at-home spa experience. At its core, a basic bath bomb only needs three key ingredients:

  • Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) - A kitchen staple used in bread, cakes, cookies, and sweets, baking soda is also an essential ingredient in bath bombs. When mixed with water, it creates a base solution that has a pH higher than 7 (typically around 8.0).
  • Citric Acid - As a cosmetic ingredient, citric acid is used to help preserve or reduce the pH levels of various skincare and body care formulations. When added to water, it creates an acidic solution (with a pH of about 3.0), and counters the rise in pH caused by baking soda.
  • Filler - A powder, or combination of powders, that is used to weaken the effect of baking soda and citric acid in water and create a longer-lasting fizz. If a filling agent is not used, the bath bomb may dissolve too rapidly and fizz only for a short amount of time. Examples of bath bomb fillers include cornstarch, arrowroot powder, and salts.

When all three of these ingredients are successfully combined and added to the bath, a chemical reaction takes place. Our base (baking soda) reacts with our acid (citric acid) to release bubbles of carbon dioxide, which is responsible for the characteristic fizzing action of bath bombs.



 

MAKING YOUR OWN LUXURY SCENTED BATH BOMB: RECIPE WITH ESSENTIAL TIPS

 

Creating a perfect luxury bath bomb does require some trial and error, especially when it comes to achieving the correct texture that will not eventually crack, dent, or flatten. The consistency that should be aimed for is somewhat like snow or slightly wet sand; it should not be too wet (like dough) nor too dry that it crumbles when put together.

You will need the following basic equipment to create your bath bomb:

  • One mixing bowl (for your dry ingredients)
  • One glass jar (for your wet ingredients)
  • A whisk, spoon, or fork (for mixing)
  • A spray or spritz bottle with Witch Hazel Distillate (for wetting)
  • A bath bomb mold of your choice (for shaping)
  • A tray lined with a baking sheet or parchment paper (for drying)
  • Gloves (for safety and mixing, particularly if dyes are used)
  • Measuring cups and spoons

A proper bath bomb mold is crucial to help pack in enough of the bath bomb mixture to hold in its compact shape. A stainless steel or silicone mold is recommended. If you do not have a mold, try using a cookie cutter, a muffin tin, a cup, or even an ice cream scoop.

The following basic recipe outlines how to make a simple bath bomb. A good practice is to halve or even quarter the recipe and do a small batch first to see if any adjustments are needed.

INGREDIENTS MEASURE
Citric Acid 1 cup
Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) 2 cups
Arrowroot Powder 1 cup
Bath Salts of your choice 1 cup
Botanical Oils or Butters 2 tbsp.
Essential Oils or Fragrance Oils 10 - 20 drops of Essential Oil OR 1 tsp. of Fragrance Oil
Spray Bottle with Witch Hazel Distillate As needed
Colorant As needed
 

Instructions:

  1. Into your mixing bowl, add in all the dry ingredients. Combine well with a whisk.
  2. Into your glass jar, add in all your wet ingredients (including liquid colorants or solubilizers if using them). Swirl or stir to combine.
  3. Very slowly, pour in your wet ingredients to your mixing bowl. Only add in a little bit at a time, each time mixing with the whisk. A little fizzing may happen at this point. If needed, use your hands to mix further and ensure the mixture and coloring is even with no lumps.
  4. If the mixture is too dry, spray the bath bomb mixture with a bit of Witch Hazel Distillate.
  5. Test the bath bomb consistency by squeezing a little bit of the mixture in the palm of your hand and releasing it into the bowl. Does the mixture stay compact and in shape or does it crumble and disintegrate? If it's the former, the mixture is ready to mold. If it's the latter, spray a little Witch Hazel Distillate and try again.
  6. Fill your bath bomb mold with the mixture a little at a time using some pressure. Filling methods and the amount of exact pressure needed can differ from mold to mold, so some practice may be required here.
  7. Gently release the bath bomb from the mold and place it on your tray. Allow to dry for 24-48 hours.
  8. Store in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid (or seal with plastic wrap) if not used.

Tips:

  • Avoid the temptation to add in too many carrier oils, liquids, or Witch Hazel Distillate, as it can make your bath bomb difficult to shape or cause it to deform once it starts to dry.
  • The amount of colorant added will depend on your desired shade; the more that is used, the deeper or brighter the resulting bath bomb will be. Colors may also be impacted by your other bath bomb's ingredients, such as your oils or botanical extracts. If a liquid colorant is used, remember that it will modify the amount the water needed to achieve the correct bath bomb consistency.
  • If your bath bombs are breaking, try using a smaller mold. The smaller a bath bomb is, the easier it can be to mold and keep its shape. For bigger bath bombs, the addition of White Kaolin Clay can help make a bath bomb stronger.
  • Lightly tapping on the outside of your mold using your finger or the back of a spoon can help with its release.
  • Bath salts can sometimes draw in water from the surrounding air, especially in an environment with high humidity. This in turn can reduce the fizzing action of your bath bomb. If this is the case, simply eliminate the salts in the bath bomb recipe and add in your wet ingredients while continually testing the consistency of the mixture.
  • Keep in mind that the amount of moisture added to the recipe, the type of ingredients used, how the bath bombs are stored, and the level of humidity in your environment can all impact the final consistency and success of your bath bomb!


 

GETTING CREATIVE: HOW TO MODIFY THE BASE BATH BOMB RECIPE

 

Customizing your bath bomb recipe is an endless way to get creative or even make your own unique formulations. There are many other ingredients or additives you can use to make luxurious, creative, nourishing, or fun-filled bath bombs:

 

Bath Salts

Sea Salt, Dead Sea Salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, and other types of bath salts can be added to bath bombs to provide detoxing, cleansing, exfoliating, or hydrating benefits as they dissolve in warm bathwater. Mineral-rich salts such as Dead Sea Salt can also help soothe muscle pain or soreness as well as reduce fatigue or skin irritation. To use in a bath bomb, simply combine with the rest of your dry ingredients.

Recommended Usage For Bath Bombs: Up to 20-25%.

 

Botanical Extracts & Fruit Extracts

Natural extracts and other raw materials derived from plant or fruit sources are an excellent way to incorporate enriching benefits to your bath bomb. They can also add a unique twist and often make bath bombs more marketable. Apart from the vitamins, minerals, and other skin-enhancing nutrients these extracts deliver, they also provide a means of tinting your bath bombs with gorgeous hues without resorting to synthetic dyes. For example, try Rosehip or Grape Seed Botanical Extracts to achieve a beautiful pinkish or reddish hue, Olive Leaf or Banaba Leaf Botanical Extracts for green, and Bilberry Liquid Extract for a splendid lavender-purple hue.

Both liquid and powdered extracts can be incorporated along with your wet or dry ingredients, respectively.

Recommended Usage For Bath Bombs: Can differ from extract to extract, but typically used at 0.25-5%.

 

Carrier Oils & Plant Butters

Plant oils and butter are wonderful at fortifying your bath bomb with soothing and hydrating fatty acids and other nutrients, helping the skin feel soft and nourished. Commonly used oils in bath bombs include lighter oils such as Sweet Almond and Grape Seed Carrier Oil as well as denser oils such as Avocado and Coconut Carrier Oil. Olive Squalane is another excellent replenishing emollient that can be used in bath bombs.

Plant and fruit butter such as Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Mango Butter are also popular ingredients in bath bombs. To use, simply melt using gentle heat on the stove, allow to cool back down to room temperature, and add it along with your wet ingredients.

Recommended Usage For Bath Bombs: 5-20%.

 

Clays

Clays can add excellent nourishing, oil-absorbing, and skin-polishing properties to your bath bombs while also helping them harden and stay strong. White Kaolin Clay (also known as White Cosmetic Clay) can be added to gently detox and soothe all skin types or even rectify a bath bomb mixture that is too moist. Colored clays such as French Clay and Multani Mitti (Fullers Earth) Clay can also be used as natural colorants to add shades of cream, yellow, pink, red, or green to your bath bomb.

Recommended Usage For Bath Bombs: Add about a quarter or a third of a cup of clay to the above base recipe with the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk.

 

Colorants

Any skin-safe colorant can be potentially used in a bath bomb, although food coloring is not recommended as they can stain skin and bathtubs. Non-toxic, cosmetic-grade, and FDA approved colorants and soap dyes are more ideal. Commonly used dyes include Mica powders and oxides which can be added directly to your dry ingredients. Liquid water-based colorants such as NDA's Nature Tint colors should be incorporated into your wet ingredients. Nature Tint colors are great for bath bombs as they are easy to use, only a few drops are needed, and multiple colors can be mixed to create a brand new shade.

Keep in mind that more muted colors in bath bombs can also be achieved naturally; see our sections on 'Clays' and 'Botanical & Fruit Extracts'. This can add an elegant touch and are great for all-natural bath bombs.

Recommended Usage For Bath Bombs: As needed to achieve the desired shade and in line with the manufacturer's instructions.

 

Decorations

Dried flowers, dried herbs, confetti, micas, and glitter often adorn bath bombs for an elegant or fun-filled aesthetic touch. A handful of rose petals, lavender buds, lemon zest, or a sprig of dried rosemary are just some examples of natural items that can be used for decoration. Simply sprinkle onto the mold (or onto a working surface if using an open mold such as a cookie-cutter) before filling in your bath bomb mixture.

Recommended Usage For Bath Bombs: As needed.

 

Essential Oils & Fragrance Oils

Aside from adding enchanting or invigorating scents to your bath experience, essential oils in bath bombs can provide aromatherapy benefits as well as deeply nourish the skin. Pick and choose essential oils or essential oil blends depending on the mood or beneficial properties you would like your bath bomb to have. For a bath bomb that helps provide therapeutic relief from colds, coughs, or an inflamed throat, oils with expectorant properties such as Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Tea Tree are useful. For a soothing bath bomb, aim for relaxing aromas such as Lavender, Ylang Ylang, or Chamomile Roman. For a bath bomb that promotes exfoliation and improves the appearance of skin tone and texture, try skin-enhancing essential oils such as Juniper Berry, Grapefruit, and Litesea Cubeba (May Chang).

The use of carrier oil in our recipe helps the essential oils disperse in the bathwater rather than adhering to the skin. Adding a solubilizer such as a Polysorbate-20 will also allow the essential oils to mix in the water.

Fragrance oils are also very popular in bath bombs as they are more cost-effective and offer an endless range of inspiring or delightful scents.

Recommended Usage For Bath Bombs: 0.25 - 5%. It is important to keep the maximum dermal concentrations of each essential oil used in mind to avoid skin irritations.

 

Solubilizers

Polysorbates including Polysorbate 20 and Polysorbate 80 can be added to bath bomb mixtures to help Essential Oils, Fragrance Oils, and even Carrier Oils mix with water. This solubilizing action helps spread aromas and oils through the bathwater instead of floating to the top and/or adhering to the skin which can cause skin sensitivities.

Polysorbates can also be used as a wetting agent for your mixture in place of Witch Hazel Distillate. They can also help form a gentle 'foaming' effect with your bath bombs which some individuals may prefer. In addition to this, solubilizers can also improve the dispersion of certain colorants in the bath such as micas or naturally colored powder extracts.

Polysorbate 20 is recommended for Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils while Polysorbate 80 is recommended for botanical oils and butter to help prevent making the bathtub slippery. Keep in mind that you may need to use less of other wetting agents such as Carrier Oils or Witch Hazel Distillate to achieve the correct bath bomb consistency.

Recommended Usage For Bath Bombs: With Polysorbate 20, add at a ratio of 1:1 of solubilizer to oils to your wet ingredients and mix before adding to your dry ingredients. With Polysorbate 80, add at a ratio of 1:2 of solubilizer to carrier oils and once again, mix first before incorporating into your bath bomb mixture.

 

Surfactants

Gentle surfactants such as Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (also called 'Baby Foam') are ideal for bath bombs as they can add a rich, moisturizing, velvety, cleansing lather without being excessively harsh or drying.

Recommended Usage For Bath Bombs: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate can be incorporated at 3%-20% into the final formulation by crushing the chips and adding to your dry ingredients.

 

Check out the below variations to see how you can get creative with your bath bombs!



 

LAVENDER & PEPPERMINT AROMATHERAPY BATH BOMB - RECIPE VARIATION # 1

 

This uplifting aromatherapy bath bomb makes use of calming Lavender, refreshing Peppermint, and detoxifying Dead Sea Salt for a truly luxurious bath experience. The use of NDA's Bilberry Liquid Extract naturally imbues the final result with an exquisite lavender or pastel purple shade.

INGREDIENTS MEASURE
Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) 2 cups
Citric Acid 1 cup
Arrowroot Powder 1 cup
Dead Sea Salt (Fine) 1 cup
Sweet Almond Oil 1 - 1.5 tbsp.
Bilberry Liquid Extract 1 tsp.
Lavender Essential Oil 10 drops
Peppermint Essential Oil 5 drops
Spray Bottle with Witch Hazel Distillate As needed
Dried Lavender Flowers or Peppermint Leaves As needed
 

Instructions: Use the basic recipe outlined above to create your bath bomb. Before filling your mixture, sprinkle a few of the dried flowers or peppermint leaves first to the base of your mold.



 

BURST OF SUNSHINE BATH BOMB - RECIPE VARIATION # 2

 

This rejuvenating bath bomb uses NDA's Nature Tint colorants to easily add a citrus-inspired yellow hue along with a cheerful fragrance with top notes of floral, muguet, orange, lemon, lime, and more. Pineapple (Ananas Comosus) Fruit Extract adds a luxury tropical touch to this recipe while also contributing to its scent and aiding in skin exfoliation.

INGREDIENTS MEASURE
Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) 2 cups
Citric Acid 1 cup
Arrowroot Powder 1 cup
Pineapple Powder Fruit Extract 1/2 tsp.
Coconut Oil 2 tbsp.
Citrus Mist Fragrance Oil 1 tsp.
Nature Tint Colorant - Lemon Yellow 1-3 drops
Spray Bottle with Witch Hazel Distillate As needed
Lemon or Orange Zest As needed
 

Instructions: Use the basic recipe outlined above to create your bath bomb. Before filling your mixture, first, sprinkle a handful of lemon or orange zest to the base of your mold.



 

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS

 

When creating DIY products, it is imperative to prevent the transmission of infection. This can be done by ensuring proper handwashing. It is important to use sterile gloves, a hairnet, or a face mask to provide the necessary protection when using ingredients such as dry powders.

Sterilize everything with which your bath bomb mixture will come into contact; have a spray bottle of alcohol ready with clean sterile jars and towels at hand.

Pay close attention when heating any mixtures that include oil, as the oil can rapidly overheat. This is especially true for small amounts of oil, which can overheat in seconds. Never leave oil unattended on the stove. If called away from the stove, be sure to remove the pan from the heat.

Keep young children and pets out of the way.

After each use, clean all equipment in boiling water, rinse well, and dry. It is best to use these utensils only for making cosmetics and to avoid preparing or storing food in them due to the possibility of cross-contamination.

As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, the mentioned ingredients and recipes are for external use only. It is imperative to research the maximum usage rates and dermal limits for each ingredient incorporated by consulting your supplier. Certain dyes, fragrances, cornstarch, and witch hazel may trigger allergies or skin irritations. Heart patients must follow the advice of their physician before taking baths in which magnesium is used.

Consult a medical practitioner before using these ingredients or recipes for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use them without the medical advice of a physician.

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, skin disorders, bleeding disorders, hormone-related ailments, and conditions of the heart, liver, or kidney. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using any cosmetic ingredient or recipe, a skin patch test is always advised to determine any sensitivities or adverse reactions. These products must never be used near the inner nose and ears or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.



IMPORTANT: All New Directions Aromatics (NDA) products are for external use only unless otherwise indicated. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or under the care of a medical practitioner. Please refer to our policies for further details, and our disclaimer below.

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