The Label Game: How Bath Bomb Marketers Make a Splash
A Bath Bomb can be a wonderful way to bring some fun into the tub for your little ones. When dropped in water, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and citric acid mix and create a reaction that generates carbon dioxide in the form of lots of tiny bubbles. It can seem magical for kids and can be a great way to encourage them to hop into the tub for bath time.
The science behind bath bombs is relatively simple – what creates complexity and confusion are the other ingredients often added to these otherwise pure and simple products. And guess who wants to add in all the extra ingredients – clever marketers trying to differentiate their bath bombs! Too often, ridiculously vibrant dyes and colorants, artificial fragrances and synthetic glitters are used. Even more concerning, some include tiny hidden toys that are choking hazards!
When we created our Dabble & Dollop bath bombs, I knew that the most important feature would be their simplicity – natural formulations with soft hues from natural clays and natural scents. We avoided the following harmful ingredients that are used by many other bath bomb brands today:
Artificial Dyes: Many bath bombs contain FD&C or D&C colors which are synthetic, made from petroleum derivatives and may cause allergies in your children. These kind of dyes are quickly and easily absorbed into the skin and body. If your child has ADHD or asthma, chances are you’ve already been told to avoid Red Dye 40 in your food, for good reason! In 2021, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment cited scientific literature that synthetic food dyes can impact neurobehavior in some children.
Artificial Fragrance/Essential Oils: Bath bombs can have high fragrance loads and essential oils. Many fragrances and essential oils contain allergens so it is very important to carefully read the label for any allergens. You will see our Dabble & Dollop Droplets are squeaky clean! Glitter: Many bath bombs also contain glitter, tiny pieces of plastic that won’t biodegrade once they was down your drain. Marketers love how they look though. Small bits of plastic glitter is not something you want to get in your child’s eyes during bath time. Once inside the eye, a tiny piece of glitter can scratch and possibly damage the eye, or the skin under the eye lid. Avoid bath bombs that use glitter.
Hidden Toys: Bath bombs alone are so fun and mesmerizing for kids so I will never understand why marketers thought it was a great idea to hide a choking-hazard toy inside them! Brands that place a toy inside of bath bombs are required to label their product as a CHOKING HAZARD. This is not because they might be a choking hazard – it is because they ARE a choking hazard. Avoid bath bombs that have toys hidden inside.
The key takeaway is that simplicity is the key ingredient for a great natural bath bomb for your kids. In addition to avoiding the harmful ingredients above, one of the best choices you can make for your child is giving them a child-appropriate sized bath bomb. Some bath bombs are ridiculously large- nearly 4” in diameter. As kids love to sit and play in the tub for an extended period of time, a smaller bath bomb makes more sense. Bath bombs are typically a pH of 9, which is not ideal for skin. Water is a pH of 7, so once dissolved in a tub of water there is little concern of the overall pH being too high however reducing the size of the bath bomb can only be helpful and a much smarter choice for your children.