Taking a bath has long been viewed as having health benefits. Whether it helps you relieve stress after a long workday or aids in easing sore muscles after a difficult workout, the value of soaking in warm water has proven to do wonders for the human body. One recent study even revealed that a hot bath can have similar benefits as exercise. So go ahead and climb in the tub!
With more and more people enjoying bathtime as a relaxation activity, some companies have promoted products to enhance the experience. One such product is the “bath bomb,” a compact mold of dried ingredients that fizz with color and soothing aromas once they are added to a tub full of water. Not only do bath bombs make bath time more fun, they have also allowed for eye-catching Pinterest pins and Instagram posts to wow the Internet.
But as pretty as a tub bursting with every color of the rainbow may be, there’s a hidden ugly truth to the nature of bath bombs. Many of these products contain harmful ingredients that may make you want to steer clear of the tub altogether.
Healthy Vaginal PH
A slew of good bacteria exist to keep the vagina at a healthy 4 – 4.5 on the pH scale. When the manufactured perfumes and dyes from bath bombs get added to the water you’re relaxing in, however, there’s a likely chance that they will upset the bacteria in their efforts to maintain this already delicate pH balance.
Once the pH balance is thrown out of whack, women have an increased risk of developing a slew of infections like vaginosis, urinary tract infections, and even cystitis. It’s better for your vaginal health to soak in unscented bathwater.
Here are a few of the ways bath bombs could be secretly hurting you, and how you can make your own DIY versions without the additives.
1. Synthetic Scents May Be Toxic
“Fragrance” is a common ingredient on bath bomb packaging. in reality, some fragrances can contain as many as 3,000 unlisted toxins that can prove detrimental to your health, immediately or down the road.
When using bath bombs, these unnatural scents can be absorbed by the bloodstream, putting you at risk for health conditions and diseases, including serious ones like diabetes and breast cancer. They’re especially hazardous for pregnant women and children as they’ve been linked to the development of ADHD and autism in children.
If you’re in need of products that have aromatherapy benefits, look for ones that contain essential oils or other organic ingredients instead. These are likely to be much safer than the synthetic “fragrances” found in some products.
2. Talcum Powder May Cause Ovarian Cancer
Made from the mineral talc, this powder is found in many common cosmetic products. Until recently it has been considered safe, but studies are now surfacing that connect talcum powder with ovarian cancer. It is speculated that the fine powder may cause tumors to form in the ovaries if its particles migrate into the body through the vaginal cavity.
Studies going back as far as the 1970s have suggested there was a connection, but women haven’t filed talcum powder lawsuits until the past few years. To lower your risk of coming into contact with this possibly carcinogenic substance, be sure to thoroughly check your bath bomb’s ingredients.
3. Bath Bomb Glitter Is an Environmental Hazard
If you’re environmentally conscious, you should know that the glitter found in some bath bombs is essentially micro-plastic that can’t be broken down by the environment. Although it doesn’t pose as a direct personal health threat, it negatively affects the aquatic species that ingest these non-biodegradable materials.
And as many of us learned in elementary school, it may one day affect those of us who are higher up on the food chain, since these animals make up a large part of our diets. But of course, even if it doesn’t hurt you in the long run, protecting wildlife for its own sake is a good enough reason to avoid a glittery bath.
Check the Ingredients – Or Make Your Own
It’s obvious that bath bombs are both eye-catching and entertaining for those of us who love our bath time. But as the health risks above point out, it may be best to stick to a good old-fashioned bubble bath instead.
If you’re still itching to see those swirls of color in your tub however, try this DIY bath bomb recipe from Popular Science made with natural ingredients that won’t pose a risk to your health or the environment. Not only will you still be able to capture the perfect bath time Instagram, but your body will thank you for choosing a safer option.