Bath time is so much more enjoyable when vibrantly fragranced products are involved. Whether it’s for therapeutic purposes, like infusing the water with essential oils or Epsom salts, or whether it is just to add a bit of luxury to your bath routine; bath products are the ultimate ingredients for the ideal “me-time”.
But what’s your best option? Today, we look at bath bombs vs. bubble bath.
What are Bath Bombs?
If you’ve yet to indulge in a bath bomb and are wondering what they are and what they bring to the table in terms of improving the quality of your bathing experience, here’s the low-down:
- Bath bombs are single-purpose spherical bathing products that are heavily-scented and often contain products to improve physical and mental well-being, such as essential oils or moisturising properties. Otherwise, they are generally considered a luxury item designed to add a bit of pizazz to your bathing time.
- Bath bombs are typically made from baking soda (or bicarb), citric acid, colouring, and scents typically composed of fragranced essential oils.
- Bath bombs were invented in 1989 by the co-founder of the cosmetics company, Lush: a woman called Mo Constantine, and were inspired by the Alka Seltzer effect.
- Due to the chemicals within the product, a bath bomb will fizz when greeted with warm water and cause a fragrant, colourful effect to your bath.
What is Bubble Bath?
Bubble bath has been a popular addition to many households’ evening routine for decades. Bubble bath (sometimes known as bath foam) has a more extensive history than bath bombs:
- Bubble bath dates back to circa the 1930s, and was initially created to help encourage children to embrace bath-time.
- Nowadays, bubble bath can come in the form of liquid/gel, bars, tablets, or grains.
- The bubbling effect is created by adding a product containing foaming surfactants to water, and airing it by ‘agitation’ (such as adding pouring warm water to the mixture.)
- Generally, the purpose bubble bath serves is to add a little joy and glamour to your bathing experience. Often bubble bath products will contain ingredients that have a calming effect, a skin cleansing or moisturising effect, or aid in muscle therapy.
Bath Bombs vs Bubble Bath: Which is Better?
This can be a tough shout, and no doubt each product has its devotees. Here we look at the pros and cons of each, and decipher who is the clear winner here: bath bombs or bubble bath.
Bath Bombs – Pros
1. Skin-health properties
Many bath bombs nowadays do more than just rub some funk on your bath-time experience, as many bath bombs contain ingredients designed to improve the health and feel of your skin.
Some of those ingredients include: shea butter, Epsom salts, essential oils, lavender, and other products designed to leave your skin soft, moisturised, soothed, and cleansed.
2. Eco-friendly & cruelty-free ingredients
Typically most bath bombs contain ethical and non-animal components, meaning no cruelty is behind the product, so it can be enjoyed without any harm or environmental damage being part of the creation.
3. Improves mental health
Many bath bombs include essential oils. which provide an aromatherapeutic effect, meaning you can enjoy your evening soak and elevate your mood, detox, and/or relieve stress, thus improving your mental health.
4. Good fun
The fizzing effect, the fragrance, and the colours involved in a bath bomb create a fun bath experience for everyone of all ages.
5. Less packaging/plastic-use
Many bath bombs come in little-to-no packaging, meaning less plastic or potential pollution is involved in their consumption. Because they are fully-perishable, bath bombs have less of a carbon imprint than other bath products.
Bath Bombs – Cons
1. Instantly perishable
Because they are singular-use, they can only be enjoyed on one occasion, unlike other products, such as bath foam, which provides product for more than one experience. Regular bath bomb consumption can be costly!
2. They can be messy
Many bath bombs are made with rich colouring, meaning they can leave quite the clean-up requirement after bath-time.
3. They can be a bad idea for people with skin sensitivities
This can include disorders such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as general skin sensitivity. It is advised to seek advice from your GP or a dermatologist before using a bath bomb, if you’re concerned it may upset your skin. Certain chemicals within bath bombs may also imbalance women’s pH levels too.
4. They have a short(ish) lifespan
Bath bombs are generally considered something of a fresh product, meaning they need to be used fairly soon after purchasing.
They won’t decompose or become unsafe or unpleasant, but because of the oxidising properties within bath bombs, after a while, they may lose their aroma and fizziness. The average lifespan of a (well-made) fresh bath bomb is twenty-one days.
Bubble Bath – Pros
A bottle of bubble bath will last you longer than an individual bath bomb, or even a pack of bath bombs.
2. More gentle on the skin
You’re at less risk to skin irritation when using bath foam than you would using a bath bomb.
3. Won’t stain the bathtub
Although bubble bath contains colourants, they’re often less potent than those within a typical bath bomb, meaning less cleaning is required, post-bath, and less chance of any stains around the inside of the tub.
4. More cost-effective
Because bubble bath comes in a bottle that contains usually no less than a litre of liquid, this will provide you more bath-time fun than a bath bomb, which is a single-use product. Meaning your money goes further with bubble bath.
5. Less potent aroma
Bath bomb aromas can often be quite powerful, particularly in small, badly-ventilated spaces, whereas bubble bath’s fragrances are typically much more subtle.
Bubble Bath – Cons
1. Less wow-factor!
There’s no doubt about it, a good bath bomb creates instantaneous joy. While a bubble bath can bring pleasure, relaxation, or happiness, they’re somewhat lacking in the fun department (in comparison to a bath bomb.)
2. More plastic
Generally, most bubble bath bottles are made of plastic; and while plastic is a recyclable resource, it is still part of an unsustainable industry.
3. Feminine health issues
Like bath bombs, heavily-fragranced products can upset women’s intimate health. When purchasing either bubble bath or bath bombs, look for organic options that are less-harsh in chemicals. And avoid using these products daily to allow your system a break.
4. Less health & wellbeing properties
While bubble baths are relaxing, and often include muscle therapy or mood enhancing aromas, they have less health benefits than bath bombs.
5. They can encourage UTIs
Particularly in women. There are typically more chemicals in bubble bath than in bath bombs, so when these chemicals are exposed to our urethras, they can cause a urinary tract infection.
Again, avoiding too much contact with these products will lessen the risk of any issues with your personal water works!