How To Create A DIY Bubble Bath + 6 Ways To Make Your Soak Extra Soothing
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
A good, long bath can melt away stress from a particularly demanding day. If you're lucky enough to have a bathtub in your home or apartment, perhaps you're pulling out all the stops for a relaxing soak: candles, music, crystals, as well all the soothing bath products you can get your hands on—be it a handful of Epsom salts, a bath bomb, or a bottle of bubble bath.
Although, there's some bad news with that last one: Traditional bubble baths can be filled with harsh soaps and drying ingredients. To truly run a soothing soak, may we suggest creating your own?
Here's how to DIY your own bubble bath for whenever you feel like some serious R&R. Bonus: It takes just five minutes or less.
How to make a DIY bubble bath.
The key to a stellar bubble bath is a formula that helps the skin retain moisture rather than stripping it dry. You're (most likely) soaking for a long while, so you'll want ingredients that soothe and hydrate the skin the longer you sit, no?
There are plenty of optional add-ins to try (more on that later), but according to Jana Blankenship, product formulator and founder of the natural beauty brand Captain Blankenship, here's all that you'll need for the most basic bubble bath:
- 1 cup liquid Castile soap (it's a super-gentle solution made from plant-based oils). Just make sure you keep the soap out of your eyes once you're in the tub—Castile soap will sting.
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or another non-GMO vegetable glycerin of your choice. Vegetable glycerins are ultrahydrating for the skin, and one study found that adding them to a warm water bath improved the skin's moisture levels and helped protect against irritation.
To make your sudsy bath soap, simply mix all the ingredients together in a measuring cup before pouring into a glass bottle with a lid. And there you have it—bath-time bubbles in no time at all.
Then when you're ready to slide into a bubble bath, just shake the bottle before pouring in order to disperse the ingredients, says Blankenship. Then pour capful after capful into your running bath until you've reached your personal bubble quota. "I typically use ⅛ to ¼ cup," she notes.
6 ways to elevate the experience.
As promised, here are some optional ingredients to elevate the experience even further. Feel free to mix and match as you see fit:
- Essential oils: Blankenship suggests using 15 drops of essential oils to give your soak an invigorating aroma. Her favorites are lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, balsam fir, and rose geranium, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand, here. You may also want to start with a few drops and work your way up; because you'll be soaking for some time, you want to make sure the essential oils won't irritate your skin.
- Honey: "Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it can attract and retain moisture in your skin," Blankenship notes. She recommends adding 2 Tbsp. to the concoction for some extra skin soothing.
- Epsom salts: Those with tired, aching muscles, perhaps add ½ cup of Epsom salts to the blend. These magnesium-rich minerals have a ton of health benefits, from helping to relieve cramps to strengthening the skin barrier. That said, it's no surprise integrative medicine doctor Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., is also a fan of an Epsom salt soak. She's previously told us, "I recommend Epsom salt for muscle aches, anxiety, and to help patients relax and sleep better." Adding them to your bubble bath, it seems, is a no-brainer.
- Coconut milk: In addition to coconut milk's skin-healthy benefits (it's rich in vitamin E and has an impressive fatty acid profile for moisturizing the skin), it adds a creaminess to the bath that makes it feel rich and decadent. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp. of organic coconut milk, says Blankenship, for a truly sensorial experience.
- Spirulina: "Add 1 tsp. spirulina for a beautiful, blue-green-hued bath," says Blankenship. It's more visually appealing than anything, but studies have found that the algae can help the skin retain moisture.
- Egg whites: It may sound strange, but stay with us, here. Eggs are rich in amino acids that can nourish and moisturize the skin1. Adding a single egg white can also help your bubbles keep their shape—similar to how whipping a bowl of whites will eventually form peaks.
Two basic ingredients, a handful of add-ons, and you've got yourself quite the relaxing soak. But before slipping into your DIY bubble bath, mind Blankenship's final tip: "Add the soap slowly into the tub. We all know how quickly suds can get out of control!" Unless you're hoping for a mountain of bubbles up to the rim, then by all means, brew your bath, light a candle (or three), and sink into a heavenly soak.
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Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.