Bath Bombs and pH

Let's talk about bath bombs and pH.

But first, a brief summary of our previous blog post on the importance of pH and skincare.

Our skin's pH is acidic and ranges from 4-7. Increases in pH can lead to disturbances that result in weakened barrier function, reduced antimicrobial defense, and increases in enzymes that reduce the efforts of ceramide-generating enzymes. We don't want this as ceramides help fortify the elasticity and firmness of our skin.

It has also been observed that certain skin conditions (certain types of eczema, dermatitis, acne, dryness, and more) have been linked, but not limited, to elevated pH levels in the skin. 

All in all, it's worth keeping a close eye on the pH of products we use on our skin and hair.

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Ever had sour candy? That tart, sour, sugary stuff it's coated with is more than likely citric acid. 

One of the main ingredients in our bath bombs is citric acid and as the name implies, it is acidic in nature. I did a simple at home experiment to observe the impact of our Ginger Lime bath bomb on the pH of bath water. It's important to note that while this bath bomb is appx 7.5oz, 4 ounces is the actual bath bomb with citric acid and the remainder is the bubble bar frosting. It is also important to note that our water is typically hard, however, we use hard water softeners.

The starting pH of my plain bath water was 7.45 (basic/alkaline).

After letting the bath bomb completely dissolve, the pH of the bath water was reduced to 6.63 (acidic).

The pH was reduced by 0.82 with essentially 4oz of bath bomb with about 45grams citric acid in it. 

Given that water can have a pH as high as 8.5, one of these bath bombs more than likely would not reduce the pH of very hard water to an acidic state, but it could definitely reduce the pH. Another thing to note is that many of us use hard water softeners which helps reduce the pH of our water.

There are several variables that can impact the results - 

A few that that come to mind are: 

  • How much citric acid is in the bath bomb?
  • How many bath bombs are being used for one bath?
  • How much bath water is being used?
  • What is the starting pH of the bath water? 

As such, this experiment is to demonstrate that bath bombs can reduce the pH of bath water and bring it closer to the natural pH of our skin which ranges from pH 4-7. 

So what am I saying? You can add number 5 to the list of benefits below.

Some of the most commonly known benefits of using bath bombs are:

  1. They help promote relaxation
  2. They deliver ingredients to your bath water that leaves your skin moisturized, soft, supple, and hydrated
  3. They offer mild cleansing (we use a mild surfactant in our BBs)
  4. They have fragrances that can have positive effects on your mood
  5. By decreasing the pH of bath water, bath bombs may help support the skins barrier function, antimicrobial defense, decrease enzymes that reduce the efforts of ceramide-generating enzymes, soothe and calm the skin. Yes, I said it.

But what about that bombs and skin irritation? More to come on that.

What are your thoughts on bath bombs and pH?

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