Are Your Bath Bombs Safe? The Toxic Ingredients You Should Look for

Sore from a workout? Bath bomb.

Have a stressful day at work? Bath bomb.

Having boy problems? Bath bomb… with a glass of wine.

Whatever the need, bath bombs are the go-to for relaxation, stress relief, and self-care.

But how safe are your bath bombs?

“The fact is, much of what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. And unlike food, which has an opportunity to filter out the things that don’t belong through our digestive system, our skin doesn’t quite work in the same way. Just think about how nicotine and birth control patches work.”

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

This is why we need to be mindful of what we’re putting on our skin, and- what we’re soaking ourselves in.

In this post, I’ll list the harmful ingredients commonly used in bath bombs (with credible sources, feel free to click highlighted (pink) words to direct you to them).

I’ve also included a list of my 5 favorite bath bombs that don’t have ANY of these harmful ingredients.

Harmful Ingredients/Things to Avoid:


Most products will have an ingredient labeled “fragrance” to call for the sum total of all chemicals used to make the scent? The FDA doesn’t require companies to disclose what each of those ingredients are.

This is referred to as a “trade secret”.

In fact, some “fragrance” components have even been listed on the EPA’s hazardous waste list.

The most common “fragrance” chemicals are:

  • Benzene derivatives: linked to hormone disruption and reproductive malformation
  • Aldehydes: respiratory allergies, liver disease, embryo toxicity, diabetes/hypertension, sclerosing peritonitis, cerebral ischemia/neurodegenerative diseases, and other aging-associated diseases.
  • Phthalates: have been found to decrease hormone levels and sperm quality as well as being linked to obesity, ovarian aging, and some forms of cancer.
  • Talc: Has been associated with an elevated risk of ovarian cancer.

You guys… what the hell? Can you believe this stuff isn’t regulated??

“Artificial fragrance is cheaper than naturally derived ingredients that impart scent such as essential oils. If naturally derived scents were used, then they would be mentioned and would also drive up the price of the product.” [Forbes]

That’s why it’s best to opt for a fragrance free bath bomb. So you know exactly what you’re soaking yourself into.

Yes, we love to have our baths looking like a pink paradise, but unfortunately, artificial coloring is toxic.

Most artificial colors and dyes in beauty products are made from petroleum byproducts or from coal tar. 

Some have even been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children as well as neuron damage and brain cancer. [Forbes]

Make sure the label says “no artificial coloring” or “natural colorant” (meaning the color comes from the actual ingredients. For example: The plant Himalayan rhubarb root naturally gives off a bronze/yellow tint in products)

Although glitter isn’t necessarily harmful to your health (well actually, it can be if it enters your private canals), I wanna note that it is harmful to the environment.

“Glitter is made of tiny plastic particles, and has been added to the list of dangerous sources of ocean plastic pollution. Like microbeads, the glitter we send down the drain is polluting our oceans and ultimately winding up in our food supply.” [National Geographic]

If glitter is a must, try opting for a bath bomb that has biodegradable glitter (yes, those exist!).

  • Boric acid: strong evidence says it can act as a hormone disruptor (& can cause developmental and reproductive health issues). In fact, this ingredient is banned for use in cosmetics in Canada and Japan.
  • Parabens: (specifically look out for butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben): known to disrupt hormone function, and can increase risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity [Elle]

Whew, chile. I know that’s a lot to look out for.

Which is why I rounded up my favorite bath bombs to keep you safe! You know I got you girl.

You can find my top 5 bath bombs [HERE]. Feel free to scroll through the intro 😉

Thanks so much for reading! If you think a friend would find all this information useful, feel free to share 🙂

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    December 13, 2019 at 8:15 am

    OMG! Tell me why I JUST used a Lush bath bomb and was so excited for something cruelty free and vegan. Ughhhhh never again! Thank you for this!!

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