These oatmeal bath bombs can help soothe dry skin and eczema. Ground oats, shea butter and essential oil create a nourishing and relaxing bath experience.
This post, to be honest, should have been finished quite a few weeks ago. Right around early spring after all those long winter months when your skin is at it's ashy itchy height. Needless to say that this time we're in right now has thrown things off around here quite a bit. Turns out having three kids at home 24/7 is no joke 😉
But, hey, is there ever a wrong time for soothing, nourishing, wonderfully relaxing bath bombs? Not in my books 🙂
The ingredients for these oatmeal bath bombs were specifically chosen for their ability to soothe dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. They have the same skin benefits as a traditional oatmeal bath only a little bit fancier 😉 Bath bombs are a great way to add a little pezas to your bath time and kids love them.
How to Make Oatmeal Bath Bombs with Shea Butter
Making bath bombs is a lot like baking: you measure, you sift, you combine the wet and dry ingredients separately and at the end kneed them into a “dough“.
The consistency of that „dough“ or mixture is key though if you want to get that perfectly round and smooth bath bomb. It needs to be wet enough to hold it’s shape when squeezed together, but not too wet or else it will form unsightly bumps.
Another thing that can sometimes be tricky especially with round bath bombs is the drying process since they tend to loose their nice ball shape. Oftentimes the bottom flattens. To prevent this I like to dry bath bombs in two phases: first removing one half of the mold and giving time to dry and then the other.
If you want to know more about bath bomb making, Q & A and troubleshooting I’ve written an entire blog post about it.
This oatmeal bath bomb recipe is pretty straight forward however and easy enough even for beginners.
Key Ingredients used in these Oatmeal Bath Bombs
Baking Soda and Citric Acid
These two ingredients make up the bulk of the bath bomb mixture. When mixed together baking soda and citric acid will set off a fizzing reaction when immersed in water.
Ground Oats are very nourishing and moisturizing for the skin. They're well known for their ability to soothe itchy skin and inflammation thanks to a substance called avenanthramides that is solely found in oats. They can also gently cleanse the skin due to small amounts of saponins.
Colloidal oatmeal is a term used to describe whole oats (including the bran) that have been very finely ground and sifted to ensure a very fine particle size. Which is very important if used to make lotions or creams.
For our purposes we will simply grind the oats in a coffee grinder or food processor. Since they will dissolve in the bath water I’m not concerned about the particle size being a little less fine.
Shea butter has many wonderful skin benefits. Full of moisturizing fats and skin loving vitamins. It's a relatively soft butter that absorbs into the skin at a slow speed. This makes it especially valuable for irritated skin since it will create a protective barrier on the skin for a long time. All the while nourishing and healing the skin.
Shea butter has anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties. And has shown to be effective to reduce redness and irritation associated with eczema.
Chamomile and Lavender Essential Oils
Roman chamomile essential oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that promote healthy, smooth skin and can ease irritation and itchiness . It has been used as a natural remedy for eczema, wounds, burns and skin irritations.
Lavender essential oil has similar properties as chamomile essential oil: it can help soothe eczema and other dry skin conditions, it's anti-inflammatory and can promote skin healing. These two oils together form a dream team when it comes to soothing itchy skin.
Polysorbate 80 is an emulsifier and solubilizer it helps disperse oil more evenly in the bath water instead of pooling on top. It also prevents micas and other colorants from clinging to the side of the tub and leaving a ring around your bath tub. Polysorbate 80 is considered safe and is often used in food items, if you wish to use a natural alternative you could try liquid sunflower lecithin (some folks report similar results with it).
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Let me show you some images of the bath bomb making process before we dive into the recipe:
- Baking Soda: 1 cup / 10 oz / 285 g
- Citric Acid: ½ cup+2 Tbsp / 5 oz / 143 g
- Colloidal Oatmeal (or Ground Oats): 2 Tbsp
- Kaolin Clay (substitute: Cornstarch or Cream of Tartar): 1 Tbsp
- Shea Butter: 1 oz / 28 g
- Polysorbate 80: 1 tsp
- Chamomile Essential Oil: 5 - 10 drops
- Lavender Essential Oil: 5 - 10 drops
- Witch Hazel
- Chamomile Flowers dried: a handful
- Blue Cornflower Petal dried: a handful
- Fine sifter
- Medium sized bowl
- Spray bottle
- Christmas ornaments
- Gloves and mask (optional)
- Through a fine sifter measure and sift baking soda and citric acid
- Grind rolled oatmeal in a coffee grinder or food processor to fine powder (if you're using already made colloidal oatmeal, proceed to step 3)
- Add ground oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal
- Add kaolin clay (cream of tartar or cornstarch)
- Whisk all dry ingredients until combined
- In a small heat resistant bowl melt shea butter in the microwave on 15 second burst or in a water bath on low heat
- Let cool for 5 minutes
- Add polysorbate 80 and essential oils to melted shea butter and stir
- Add shea butter mixture to dry ingredients and combine very well using your hands or a whisk
- Check consistency of mixture: when squeezed in your fist it should hold it's shape firmly
- If mixture doesn't hold it's shape spray with 5 spritzes of witch hazel, combine and test again
- If mixture has right consistency place a few chamomile flowers, lavender buds and oatmeal flakes in one bath bomb mold half
- Gently without disrupting dried flowers too much pile bath bomb mixture on top
- Tap it down slightly (don't pack it in too much)
- Loosely pile up more mixture on top
- Repeat on other side without the dried flowers
- Line both bath bomb mold halves up and press them together gently until they interlock
- Wipe off one excess on the outside
- Wait 2 minutes and remove one half of the mold
- Let bath bomb dry resting in the remaining half of mold
- After 2-3 hours remove the other half
- Gently place bath bomb on a sheet of bubble wrap
- Let dry for 12-24 hours
- Package in an airtight container, small plastic bag or use mold as packaging
- Use up within 6 months