The science behind bathbombs

Every Saturday morning SMU political science major Chloe Canton picks out a bath bomb from her collection at home. She pops one into the tub to help ease her muscles and relax after a long week.

Coming in a variety of colors and scents, bath bombs have become the newest bath time craze.

These fizzy soaps can be found from Neiman Marcus to Whole foods. Prices usually range from $3 to $8. People buy them for the fizz, but what is in them that causes this fun reaction?

SMU premed student Chanel Johnson said the bath bombs would have some sort of baking soda type chemical in them so that when it hits the water, it will react and send off CO2.

“AKA the bubbles,” she said.

Ingredients in bath bombs, such as Epsom salts, can be good for skin and muscles. Johnson also said that the bombs are easy on your skin since they usually have Epsom salts, which are a key muscle relaxant.

In the water, Epsom salts breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. Once dissolved, your body absorbs the solution, which can help relax muscles and loosen joints.

Lavender oil is a beneficial essential oil that is commonly added to bath bombs. It is known to help relax the body. Also, the oil helps skin become more smooth and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Known benefits include, skin regeneration, reducing sun spots, and shrinking scars. Amy Wechsler, Dermatologist, says it works well with all skin types.

Canton said, “I think bath bombs not only make your skin and muscles feel great, but they are even more fun to use.”

Although bath bombs can be relatively inexpensive, there have been some that have sold for $50 thousand, which were encrusted in gold. For a cheaper option, they are easily made at home for a more affordable price.

Use this recipe to follow along with the how-to video above:

Ingredients:

– 8 oz. of baking soda

– 4 oz. of citric acid

– 4 oz. of corn starch

– 4 oz. of Epsom salt

– ¾ tsp. of water

– 2 tsp. essential oil

– 1 tsp almond oil

– A few drops of food coloring

– Round, plastic molds

– Whisk

– Bowl and cup for mixing

Directions:

Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. This includes the citric acid, corn starch, Epsom salts and baking soda. Whisk together.

Step 2: Combine the wet ingredients in a separate, small bowl. The water, essential oil, almond oil and food coloring should be well mixed.

Step 3: Mix together both bowls. Make sure to pour the wet ingredients into the bowl slowly so that the combination does not react. They will clump together to form a thick mixture.

Step 4: Pack the mixture into the mold. Start with one half of the mold and pack tightly. Then, repeat with the second half.

Step 5: Press together both halves of the mold. It is important to add some extra mixture on top of one of the halves to make sure they are packed tightly.

Step 6: Let the mixture dry in the mold for a few minutes. Carefully remove the bath bombs and let dry. Before use, let them dry for at least 24 hours.

 

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