Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Who's Who In Making Bath Products At Home

With the tutorials in progress (I have to make them covertly so family doesn't know what I'm making them for Christmas) I thought I would write a post detailing the star ingredients for making bath products at home.

Everything I am listing I have used and though you do not need all of the different Butters and oils I tested with, there are some ingredients you cannot make these products without.

I will also list online retailers where you can purchase the products from. I have a few resources in Canada and one main retailer in the US.

The Basics

Bicarbonate Soda (Baking Soda)

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 If you are a baker or have ever baked think of Baking Soda in this case as your Flour. The Baking Soda is what gives your bath products body and stability. Baking Soda is a white, crystalline powder that is an alkali and produces carbon dioxide when mixed with an acid.

Benefits: It is a good relaxer for tired, sore muscles as well as helping to heal minor skin irritation such as sun and windburn. It is a gentle exfoliate and helps to remove buildup on hair. A natural deodorant and skin softener Baking Soda really is multipurpose.

Citric Acid

While dry citric acid is not active but, once combined with baking soda and dissolved in water a reaction occurs to form sodium citrate and carbon dioxide. You don't really notice the sodium citrate but, the carbon dioxide is released and the gas creates the fantastic fizzing commonly associated with Bath Bombs and why there are often refereed to as "Fizzies". This breaks up the bath bomb and releases the oils and fragrance into the bath water.

Benefits: Helps Bath Melts and truffles break apart in your bath more quickly so that you don't need the water to be super hot to melt them.

Kaolin Clay

The clay is often used in mineral makeup because of its matte finish and the slip it creates. It is a fine powder with a natural colour. I use Kaolin Clay in most of my Bath Products because I love the silky texture it gives to the bath water and it turn my skin. It also help add to the strength and structure of the bath product itself, especially in my moisturizing bath bombs where the oils can be quite heavy. The kaolin makes the mixture rock hard when dry, yet does not compromise the fizz once in the bath water.

Benefits: Kaolin is perfect for sensitive skin, it can stimulate cellular regeneration and has been used in dermatology to help heal acne, scaring, burns, psoriasis and eczema. Because of its antiseptic nature is is great at helping to purify the skin, leaving it healthy and radiant. It produces bath water that has a lovely silky texture and slip to it.

Seaweed/Kelp Powder

image from New Directions Aromatics

 Has a vibrant green colour but, does dry a more earth green.If you want your product to stay that vibrant green colour make sure to add some green mica to the mixture to maintain the desired colour. The powder does have quite a pungent odor, it doesn't bother me but some may take offense to it. I like to add ginger to my Detox Bath Bombs and I find this helps round the scent a bit.

Benefits: The Powder is a powerful detoxifier, drawing toxins and impurities from the skin. It contains Vitamins (including B12 and Vitamin E), minerals, amino acid and other nutrients. It helps to stimulate the body's metabolism and circulation giving a healthy glow to the skin.Seaweed powder is suitable for all skin types and contains fatty acids to combat skin inflammation and irritation.

Epsom Salt

image from

I like to use Epsom Salt in my Detox Bath Bombs as well as an embellishment  on top. If I have extra Bath Bomb mixture left over that's not enough to fill a mold, I like to add few tablespoons of Epsom salt to the mixture for a fizzy bath salt.

Benefits: Epsom Salt isn't really a salt its actually a compound of magnesium sulfate. It is said to have anti-inflammatory properties and when absorbed through the skin draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system and can reduce swelling, bruising and relax sore muscles. It is also a mild exfoliate.  

Dead Sea Salt

image from New Directions Aromatics

I like to use this salt the same as I would Epsom Salt. It also makes a great Moisturizing Bath Salt with the Epsom Salt.

Benefits: Dead sea salt has a greater concentration of minerals than any other salt, more than 10 times the amount. It helps to regulate fluid levels in the body, helps circulation relieving sore muscles and joints.

Pink Himalayan Salt

image from Bramble Berry

Himalayan salt gets it full name from the pink colour it is known by. It is protected from pollution and impurities since its formations was 200 million years ago, therefor it is considered the purest salt available. It is a beautiful topping to any Bath Product and is a fantastic addition to any bath due to is exfoliating and moisturizing nature.

Benefits: Rich in over 80 minerals and trace elements, the most notable being calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron.

Sweet Almond Oil

This oil is great for making Bath Bombs, it makes it more simple than having to melt butters down. It doesn't have much if any scent which makes it ideal when working with Fragrances that are not strong or clash easily with others.You can also easily find this products in health and drug stores. If you can only afford to purchase one oil or butter or just want to try out making Bath Products to see if it is for you, then I suggest using Sweet Almond Oil. Easy to find, easy to use and very versatile. Substitute this oil for any recommended oil or butter in any of my recipes, just make sure to use the same measurement.

Benefits: An excellent emollient it is know for its ability to soften and re-condition the skin. It makes a great massage oil and is suitable for any Bath Products.

Jojoba oil

This product is actually a liquid wax produced by the seed of the Jojoba plant. Native to Sothern California, Sothern Arizona and North West (no not that North West)  Mexico, jojoba oil is one of the more expensive oils due to the amount of nuts it takes to produce the oil. The oil is very resistant to oxidization and has a very long shelf life, which makes it great for bath products.

Benefits:  Jojoba oil closely resembles the sebum produced by our skin making it an oil that easily absorbs. It can help with acne, clogged pores, skin roughness, flaking and fine lines. Try to purchase an oil that is a golden colour, the paler the oils colour the more refined it is--- and the less of the natural benefits you will have.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa Butter is solid and I mean Rock Hard Solid at room temperature. Think of working with this product, like working with chocolate. It smells like chocolate and needs the same gentle melting like chocolate as well. I like to microwave it on 30 second bursts stirring in between. It usually takes about two minutes. You can also melt in a double boiler. If you want to make classic Lush Products than you are going to need Cocoa Butter, it is found in about 90% of Lush bath products. You can get a light Cocoa butter (shown) and also a dark Cocoa Butter that has a darker brown colour and looks more like chocolate.

Benefits: Amazing scent! Contains natural antioxidants, it is said to provide a barrier that helps to keep and restore moisture to your skin.It can help firm the skin and is great for women who are pregnant to help combat stretchmarks.

Shea Butter

This Shea Butter can be found here

Shea Butter has a much softer texture than Cocoa Butter it is also found in a lot of Lush Products. The Shea Butter I have is unrefined so has a slight nutty colour and aroma to it. You can also get refined Shea butter that is white with no scent. Even though it is softer that the Cocoa Butter you will still need to melt in the same way.

Benefits: It will melt on contact of skin which makes it great for lotion and massage bars. Hailed for it protecting and emollient properties, rich in cinnamon acid it also protects the skin from harmful UV rays.

Mango Butter

The softest of the Butters yet Mango Butter is the key ingredient in You've Been Mangoed Lush's amazing Bath Melt. The butter melts very easily but, still does require some melting to work with. Mango Butter is expelled from the fruits kernel, the butter is a pale white with little to no scent.

Benefits: has the same properties as both other butter with the added addition of being suitable to use straight due to its easy melting properties.


  1. Thank you for posting!! I have been waiting very patiently for your ingredient list!!! Everything you made looks wonderful!!!
    Thanks again!!

    1. Thanks for your patients Julie! Its been a pretty big learning curve going from blogging to filming and editing youtube videos--- all for the first time. But, its totally worth it. I'm having a great the and the fact that you like them is an amazing feeling. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  2. Hello, Meg!
    I am a retired, late 60's woman who is learning to make soap and skin products. I'm keeping it simple and relaxing. Wow! I love love love your posts and videos. They are so down to earth and contain great explanations. I am guardian of a man who happens to love chocolate. He also loves taking a bath. I guess you know which recipe I will use for him in the tub. So cute! He won't believe it! Thanks so much. Marlene of Soapinmylife. Sorry. I didn't understand the "comment as". I'm not very good on the computer.

  3. Hello Meg., thank you for sharing your video re Chocolate ice cream bubble bath truffle. I have never made anything like this before, I followed the video to the TTTTT I used the ingredients and measurement exactly.
    I managed to get 7 small ice cream scoups out of the batch, you managed 13 plus a small one!!!! how come? did you use twice as much for the batch you made? Still happy with the results, going to make more, :)

    1. Marjorie, Thanks for your lovely comment. I did not double my batch, all I can think is that our scoop sizes must have been different.

    2. When I went to Publix, there were three sizes on the shelf "Medium", "Small" and "Mini". So, I think you are right about the scoop sizes...

      Do you ever use Cream of Tartar? I bought some but am uncertain what it is supposed to do in bath bombs?

  4. These are absolutely wonderful!! I am going tp try and male them!! If I dont want bubbles, do I jave to use the SLSA? What is the shelf life?

  5. These are absolutely wonderful!! I am going tp try and male them!! If I dont want bubbles, do I jave to use the SLSA? What is the shelf life?

  6. Hi Meg, just watched your UTube for the chocolate bubble bath truffle. If I did not want to make chocolate what could I substitute for the 5 tbs of cocoa powder? I love your site!

  7. Thank you... Great work gathering this amazing info, it is of great help :)

  8. Thank you... Great work gathering this amazing info, it is of great help :)

  9. Much obliged to you so much Love your blog..
    bath bombs


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