I enjoy taking a bath as much as the next person (like, what, once a year?), and I respect people’s right to bathe in whatever way feels right to them—but it’s time to speak out against a long-standing myth regarding what goes in the tub and what absolutely should not, and bath bombs don’t deserve to be anywhere near your precious body.
Bath time, a phrase that should only really be uttered around small children too young to fend for themselves, is popular again amongst adults, served up as self-care and a way to erase the world around you, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. (Although this is hardly new; brands have been on this shit for decades.) Indeed, baths are pleasant: a warm soak never did anyone any harm—but contaminating a perfectly good bath with a mini explosion of colorful gunk is counterintuitive to those whose ultimate goal is a clean body and a clean conscience.
On Wednesday, WWD reported that “Baths are certainly having a moment,” adding that “baths are not only a decompression space, but a time of creative expression, colored by Lush bath bombs and bedecked with ambient props such as flowers, crystals and candles.” Here we can unlock some of the bath bombs’ appeal: They’re for Instagram! They’re colorful and they fizzle and turn your bath into a science experiment. And yet, none of that negates the fact that bath bombs were a mistake and are totally gross.
Bath bombs are of dubious purpose and character: Are they soap? Are they confetti? Either way, they make baths borderline unbearable to sit in. That shit sticks to your leg, clouds the water—forget about dunking your head underneath the surface for a moment of luxury. In no way, shape, or form does introducing a bath bomb into your bathing routine feel hygienic; it turns your tub into a hot, tacky swamp. Bath bombs commit the worst possible offense to the bath-taker: leave you dirtier, and cutting short your reclining time by requiring you to take a shower afterwards, in order to really clean your entire body of any soap suds or grime.
Bath bombs may be enjoying a new boost in the relevancy because people now Instagram from the bath; the hashtag #bathtime has over 5 million posts associated with it. But reframing bath time as an aesthetic choice rather than a functional one allows brands to get away with developing more shit you don’t need to get clean. Don’t fall for it. Bath time is your time. Fight back against the idea that bath bombs will take you anywhere but a land of suds and misery.