As the festive period is fast approaching us, there surely is nothing better after a freezing day to take a relaxing hot bubble bath! I have wanted to write a blog post on this for a while now and I am happy I have finally managed to do this!
This is quite a personal topic for me, a few years back I suffered a lot from Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), for three straight years I was coming in and out of A&E with doctors giving me the same response and prescribing me lots of antibiotics. The effects of UTI left my body feeling very weak and the strong dose of antibiotics that I was taking over a period of 3 years had a lot of negative repercussions on my body. Despite the physical effect I suffered mentally also, I didn’t know what was wrong with me and why I was getting so many UTI’s. Surely there was a deeper problem that the doctors could not figure out? I was drinking gallons of cranberry juice and nothing was helping. Now looking back on this time, I understand where I was going wrong. See, for those of you who know me well I love bath products and skincare! Every week without fail I would have a hot long bath filled with my choice of bath bombs for that week. What I didn’t realise was that overtime the chemicals in these products literally clogged me up and after a severe medical intervention I stopped using bath bombs for a very long time. I now make my own ones which are also available online.
So, what are the dangers of these fizzy wonders we all love?
They contain complex colourings and fragrances that fizz and dissolve to create colours in your bathwater.
Synthetic scents are one of the most toxic ingredients in bath products. In Dr Axe’s article: Are Bath Bombs Safe? He mentions that the National Academy of Sciences states that 95% of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (this is a crude oil). What I recommend is to read the label and be aware of ingredients like ‘fragrance’, ‘fragrance oils’, and ‘fragrance oil blend’. These phrases are legal-catch all terms for a combination of about 3,000 toxic fragrance ingredients that are not on the label! These mixtures have been linked to cancer and environmental toxicants.
A Slovenian study in 2013 found that your skin can absorb toxic dyes through recently shaven skin and mucous membranes. The dyes are absorbed directly into your blood stream as opposed to being broken down in the gut or detoxed through the liver. Common dyes have been shown to cause allergy-like reactions and some are contaminated with cancer-causing substances.
Common skin allergens and other ingredients in bubble baths and bath bombs that encounter the genital areas can trigger UTI’s. The unitary tract is sterile, but bacteria may rise. In an article published in the US National Library of Medicine titled ‘Recurrent Unitary Tract Infections Management in Women’ expressly states that ‘skin allergens introduced to the genital area, such as bath liquids, bath oils, vaginal creams and lotions, deodorant sprays or soaps are better avoided as they could alter the vaginal flora and ultimately result in UTI’s’.
Chemical fragrances that are fit under the ‘fragrance’ term can also disrupt the vagina’s natural Ph balance, increasing the risk of vaginal yeast infections.
What about boric acid? This ingredient is used in some shop bought and home-made bath bomb recipes. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption found strong evidence that boric acid acts as a hormone disruptor in humans. It has been banned for cosmetic use in Canada and Japan. Canadian health officials say that overexposure to boric acid could cause developmental and reproductive health effects.
Now that I have stopped using shop bought bath bombs, I haven’t suffered from UTI’s for about 2 and a half years. And I can’t describe what an impact this has had on my general physical and mental wellbeing! But that does not mean that I have stopped using bath bombs all together, I make my own fizz without the artificial dyes and hormone-disrupting chemicals that are available to buy online! These are made with moisturising oils to leave your skin feeling supple and soft and contain essential oils not fragrances.
I have not written this blog post to promote my own bath bombs that I sell but to raise awareness of the chemicals and the ingredients that are affecting women’s health without a lot of us realising it! Making the switch to chemical free, organic and handmade products is a whole life style change that takes time and I am sharing with you through Light Up Skincare alternatives products that can be used.
What bath bombs, if any, do you currently use?