relaxing bubble bath

Relax And Unwind With These Brilliant Bath Additives

Published 4th June 2021
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Struggling to let your hair down after a long day? Or maybe your aching muscles are crying out for some TLC? Whatever your reasons for turning to your bathtub to help you relax, there's a huge range of bath additives that can transform your soaking experience from sub-par to sensational. From fizzing bath bombs that are simply bursting with fragrant scents to sumptuous bath salts that’ll make you feel like a brand new person, bath additives will soon be your new bathroom necessity.

Before we jump straight into our top six bath additives that’ll leave you reaching for your loofah, we take a look at the various kinds of fizzers, salts, and soaks available to help you discover which pampering product is most suitable for you. With bath crystals, bubble bath, bath oils, and bath bombs to explore, there’s so many attractive options, but which one will provide you with the most relaxing bathing experience? Luckily, we’re here to help make your next bath night memorable!

What are the different types of bath additives?

selection of bath additives

If you rarely pamper yourself or often prefer a speedy shower to an hour-long bubble bath, you might be missing out on the enormous variety of bath additives on the market. We check out the most popular picks for popping into your bath, as well as some of their pros and cons, to make choosing the right additive effortless for bubble bath newbies and pamper pros alike.

Bath bombs - One of the most popular types of bath additives, bath bombs are available in an outstanding variety of shapes, sizes, and scents to ensure there’s a fizzy treat fit for your special soak. From relaxing lavender creations to fruity, mood-boosting scents, and even fanciful fragrances that’ll put you in a romantic state of mind, you can snap up bath bombs for every occasion. Plus, they’re incredibly easy to use, simply remove any plastic packaging and pop them into your bubble bath. They’ll softly fizz away while you kick back and relax in the hot, soapy water.

Bath salts/bath crystals - Commonly made from magnesium sulphate (also known as epsom salts) or sea salt, bath salts are water-soluble, pulverised minerals and can be effective for treating a generous range of ailments including muscle pain, stiffness, anxiety and stress, and even dry and itchy skin conditions. Once your bathtub is filled up with enough warm water, the bath salts dissolve quickly, adding a range of sought-after minerals to your bath water. Despite the many health purported benefits of this bath additive, it’s recommended that anyone suffering from heart disease or diabetes consult with their doctor before introducing bath salts into their self-care routine.

Bubble bath - The ultimate bathtub must-have, bubble bath, as the name suggests, creates an abundance of frothy bubbles that you can sink into. Some bubble bath solutions and soaks are even designed to alleviate aching muscles or help you drift off to sleep after your bath. It’s the perfect bath additive if you’re looking for a luxurious experience that’s also wonderfully affordable. After all, is there anything more likely to de-stress you than slipping into a hot bubble bath? We don’t think so!

Bath oils - Mixing your bath water with a dedicated bath oil can help all the goodness contained within the solution to penetrate deep into your skin tissue. Unlike using an essential oil on your skin after your bath, bath oils can be much more effective for the aforementioned reason. Using bath oils can also dilate your blood vessels which helps to improve your blood circulation, and fend off joint stiffness to make you feel revitalised. Despite this list of pros, bath oils can leave behind a slick residue which will require cleaning post-bath to prevent your tub from becoming a slippery health hazard.

Can bath additives cause skin irritation?

arm irritation

Sadly, yes. Some bath additives (most commonly bath bombs) can contain irritating ingredients that can not only aggravate sensitive skin and cause itchiness, but also negatively affect the delicate pH balance of some women’s vaginas. These ingredients can disrupt healthy bacteria that’s found in this intimate area, resulting in irritation or even yeast infections in worse case scenarios. However, there’s many steps you can take to help you avoid these unpleasant side effects without sacrificing your weekly dose of bathtub bliss.

If you have sensitive skin or you’re shopping for a loved one with sensitive skin, you should pay extra attention to the list of ingredients in any bath additives you pick up. Opting for bath and body goodies that include natural ingredients that are gentle on your skin (like coconut oil and cocoa butter) instead of products with strong scents and dyes can help to keep your skin feeling fantastic post-bath. To soothe irritated skin after taking a bath, we suggest using a calming moisturiser that’s packed with aloe vera, green tea, or shea oil. These ingredients are designed to protect and soothe your skin, so they're often hailed as bathroom essentials for those with sensitive skin.

OnBuy’s top six bath additives for a sumptuous soak

selection of bath additives

Now you know a little more about how each type of bath additive can make you feel revitalised, it’s time to check out some of the top-rated bathtime treats on the market. With luscious bath oils, invigorating epsom salt, and bubbling bath bombs making it into our exclusive list, these hand-picked goodies can cater to every stressed-out shopper. So, why not dive in and discover your new go-to for achieving plenty of rest and relaxation while soaking in the tub?

Variety is the spice of life - and bathtimes! | Epsom Bath Salts Gift Box - 30 x 35g Scented Sachets

epsom salts

Pros: 30 different scents to explore, affordable, makes a great gift, flushes toxins, long-lasting

Cons: Added fragrance may cause irritation, some coloured concoctions may alter bath water colour

Designed to send you off into a deep and restful sleep after your bath, this variety pack of scented epsom salt is packed with natural goodness and a host of health benefits, too. Alongside encouraging your body to switch off after a long day, epsom salt is chock-full with Magnesium which is essential for several important body functions, including keeping your blood pressure steady, maintaining a stable heart rhythm, and ensuring your bones are strong. Epsom salt also contains sulphate which plays a vital role in removing toxins from your body by cleansing the liver and helps to create proteins in both your joints and brain tissue.

To use these snazzy bath salts yourself, simply dissolve the appropriate quantity of your chosen scent into your bath and wait to join them once they’ve completely dissolved. This pack contains 30 x 35g sachets, each boasting their own sublime scent, so you’ll have a huge range to choose from that’s sure to last for weeks or even months. 

This collection also makes a thoughtful gift for a coworker who struggles to catch some z’s or for a loved one who enjoys nothing more than taking a rejuvenating bath. With so many scents to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone packed into this gorgeous gift box. However, due to the added fragrance, these beautiful bath crystals may cause skin irritation, so it’s worth making sure that the receiver of this gift box doesn’t have sensitive skin.

Feel rejuvenated with a splash of bath oil | Fenjal Classic Creme Bath Oil - 200ml

bath cream oil

Pros: Kind to your purse, enriches skin with essential oils, leaves skin feeling softer, neutral pH

Cons: Small 200ml bottle, can leave a slippery residue behind in your tub

If you want to step out of the bathtub feeling sensual and sexy, then you can’t go wrong with this blissful bath oil from Fenjal. The classic concoction is creamy and enriching as it’s overflowing with nourishing essential oils that’ll leave your skin feeling softer. Plus, thanks to the neutral pH, you won’t need to worry about this solution causing intimate irritation as it’s not overly acidic or alkaline. To get the most out of this Fenjal creation, all you need to do is add one capful to running water. The running water will help to spread the solution throughout your bath water for effortless full-body nourishment.

Despite these fabulous advantages, due to the oily nature of this bath additive, it can leave behind a slippery residue which can be dangerous. It’s therefore recommended that you clean your tub after using this product which some people may find time-consuming or annoying compared to other additives that leave no trace behind. It’s also worth mentioning that this bottle contains just 200ml of bath oil, meaning it’s unlikely to last if you like to end every day with a relaxing bath. However, if baths are more of an occasional indulgence, this creamy bath oil might just be the added touch of bathtime luxury you’ve been looking for.

Ease your mind with this detoxifying salt | Innovative Naturopathics Crystal Himalayan Salt - 500g

Himalayan bath salt

Pros: Large bag of bath crystals, rich in trace minerals, free from additives, ultra-affordable, vegan-friendly

Cons: May make skin feel dry if not washed off properly, coarse salt takes longer to dissolve

Another crystal creation, this generous pack of himalayan salt (as the name suggests) contains 500g of coarse pink salt from the Himalayan mountains. Ideal for cooks and bath-fanatics alike, these therapeutic bath salts are suitable for bringing your favourite recipes to life in the kitchen and helping you to loosen up in the bathroom. Immediately identifiable due to the distinct rose pink colour, these vegan-friendly bath crystals are filled with all kinds of important minerals. The high mineral content contains over 80 individual minerals that each do their bit to keep you looking and feeling fantastic. 

Unlike regular epsom salt that can contain small amounts of mercury and other toxins, this himalayan alternative has been safely stored away from man-made pollutants, hence the premium, gourmet title. To ensure it’s ready to be used in your home, the pure crystals are professionally hand-picked in Pakistan using traditional tools, stone ground, and then shipped off to the UK. To use as detoxifying bath salt and not table salt, place approximately one cup of the rose pink crystals into a full bathtub and soak for a minimum of 20 minutes for the best results. Thanks to the wonderfully affordable price tag, it’s not hard to understand why these premium pink bath crystals are so popular.

Pamper yourself with these fizzing treats | 21pk Bee Beautiful Bath Bombs Set - Mixed Scents

bee bath bomb set

Pros: Includes 21 bath bombs, seven irresistible scents, reduced-waste packaging, cruelty-free

Cons: Contains potentially-irritating fragrance, coloured bath bombs can leave unsightly residue

The go-to choice for anyone that desires a spot of bathtime bliss without the premium price tag, you can’t go wrong with this super-affordable set of scented bath bombs. Within this charming set, you’ll find 21 individual bath bombs in a range of tempting scents, including banana, strawberry, chocolate, and honey. By focusing on tasty scents that remind us of edible treats that are always packed with flavour, you can sink into a bath that smells as delicious as it feels. This is because each pastel-coloured bath bomb contains a combination of essential oils as well as deeply nourishing almond oil and rich honey extracts to ensure your skin feels incredible once you've had your fill of R&R.

Ideal for any eco-warriors, this set of Bee Beautiful calming bath bombs comes in reduced-waste packaging and is classified as cruelty-free for your peace of mind. This brand also prides themselves on their use of natural ingredients to create only the most high-quality bath additives. However, these bath bombs do contain perfume in order to make them even more ‘scent-sational’, so it’s worth taking this into account if you have particularly sensitive skin that’s prone to irritation. Despite this minor downside, these beautifully-presented bath bombs are sure to last you weeks, months, or even years depending on how frequently you get to run yourself an inviting hot bath.

For a blissful bubble bath | Neal's Yard Remedies Organic Aromatic Foaming Bath - 200ml

organic foaming bath

Pros: Features a skin-conditioning herbal infusion, perfect for bubble bath-lovers

Cons: On the more expensive side, contains just 200ml of bubble bath

Some of the most relaxing baths are undoubtedly the result of a dose of fragrant bubble bath - and this foaming bath from Neal’s Yard is just one of the calming concoctions you should try out! Although this compact bottle contains just 200ml of organic foaming bubble bath and it’s one of the priciest products in our top six bath additives, it’s been specially designed to soothe your stressed-out body and send your worries away. It features an aromatherapeutic blend of organic lavender, Spanish marjoram, and geranium essential oils which all help to make you feel invigorated and calmer after your bubble bath. 

Containing no potentially-irritating parabens, colours, or fragrances, you can rely on this sumptuous bath soak to leave your skin feeling refreshed without aggravating your intimate area. Most importantly, the aromatic herbal concoction is revitalising without feeling overpowering, allowing you to spend hours soaking up the skin-conditioning benefits of this foaming bath. The glass bottle can even be upcycled and used throughout your home as a vase for flowers or outdoor lighting by filling them with some fairy string lights. Alternatively, the whole bottle can be easily recycled, so you won’t need to worry about throwing away single-use packaging.

The mineral-packed pick for the health-conscious | Hexeal Magnesium Flakes - 10kg

magnesium flakes

Pros: Huge 10kg pack sure to last, bursting with minerals, perfect for boosting your well-being

Cons: Bulky pack isn’t ideal for gift-giving, hefty size can be difficult to use, pricier bathtime product

Bought to you from the incredible waters of the Dead Sea, these magnesium flakes are perfect for giving you a new lease of life. Every litre of water from the Dead Sea contains 170g of Magnesium Chloride which is then evaporated down to create a 33% concentration by solar-powered pans. To obtain the purest form of these minerals, the water goes through further dehydration and flaking processes to leave you with just Magnesium Chloride flakes. As the sole ingredient in this pure 10kg pack of bath flakes, Magnesium Chloride helps to maintain your skin’s delicate balance and promote joint and muscle health, as well as encouraging you to relax.

While these Hexeal Magnesium Flakes have an abundance of benefits designed to alleviate your mind and body, the generous size of this pack can make it difficult to use. Plus, the plain and unattractive packing alongside the more expensive price tag also renders this bath additive widely unsuitable to be given as a gift. However, it can be used as both a foot soak and a body soak in the same way as other bath salts. Simply add the appropriate amount of these magnesium flakes to your tub and allow them to gently dissolve in the warm water. Step in, relax, and let the minerals do their job.

Don’t forget those optional bathtime additives!

bath additives

Once you’ve selected the perfect bath additive to ease those daily stresses and strains away, creating the ultimate bathing experience may require a few more additions. Regardless of whether that’s a compelling book that you simply can’t put down or a glass of your favourite vino and some scented candles, these small touches can make a big difference to the overall ambiance when you’re trying to unwind. You could even treat yourself to a tasty takeaway while you rejuvenate under the bubbles!

Recent trends to aid bathroom relaxation also includes adding a touch of greenery around your tub using a range of houseplants. In fact, these leafy home ornaments can even have an array of helpful health benefits (as explained in our comprehensive houseplant blog), so relaxing in a bathtub surrounded by these gorgeous green additions could have some extra feel-good advantages, too! 

Whichever blissful bath additive you decide to drop into your tub, it’s sure to give you a new lease of life! Ready to relax? 

The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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