The Bath Bomb: Instagram’s Favorite Bathing Toy

The Bath Bomb: Instagram’s Favorite Bathing Toy

Among all kinds of other bizarre things in the news lately, John Mayer recorded a song on his Instagram Stories and you guessed it, it was about bath bombs. It’s a playful joke, sure, but a well-produced one that doesn’t sound that different from his other soft rock mega hit songs. And Mayer’s enthusiasm isn’t even that much of an outlier. Suddenly, bath bombs are fizzing in tubs all over Instagram and other social media platforms. According to Google, searches for the term “bath bomb” have risen 123 percent annually since 2015. 

Bath bombs were invented in 1989 when British beauty entrepreneur Mo Constantine, inspired by the fizzing action of an Alka-Seltzer tab, started messing around with formulas that could plop into bath water. She and her husband eventually founded Lush, where they stacked bath bombs in crates, like tangerines at a grocery store.

Lush makes a ton of other stuff, like some Strat-approved conditioner, but the dissolving baseball-size orbs, typically made of citric acid, baking soda, Epsom salts, and then oils and scents, took off on a life of their own. John Mayer’s song was devoted specifically to the brand’s the Big Sleep Jelly Bomb, which turns bathwater into a frothy, Shrek-like green.

Like unicorn lattes and pool floaties, bath bombs come off as perfectly designed for Instagram. They’re fun, but they’re even more photogenic, even if they predate social media. “Bath bombs are sooo trendy right now,” confirms Sapphire Rayne, a 24-year-old Canadian who’s racked up 115,000 followers since founding her bath-bomb test-drive account (@lush4lush) a year ago. (She now does this full-time, getting requests from international brands to promote their products on her feed.) “They’ve become huge because of social media, especially [the interest in] ASMR,” internet speak for a sensory turn-on. “I get random messages from people saying my videos help them calm down from high-stress situations.”

Bubbly Belle, another top bath bomb company located in Sarasota, Florida, is similar to Lush being that they produce and sell bath bombs, but the major difference is that Bubbly Belle puts rings in their bath bombs. Not just any kind of ring, but rings of all different styles and colors that are sure to surprise anyone once they float to the top of your bath water. 

Bubbly Belle is a small company but has grown immensely over the past 2 years with their customer base continuing to grow and the adding of new products such as their own essential oils. As of right now Bubbly Belle only ships within the United States, but plans to expand internationally as well.

Plenty of bath bombs out there are little more than spheres of salts and food dyes and essential oils, but with help from some so-called Bath Influencers like Rayne, @lushdolly, “solitary witch” and “bath lover” @toxicbitchcraft, we rounded up a handful of the ones worth knowing.

Head over to Bubbly Belle to order some of our one-of-a-kind bath bombs.

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