There's nothing I enjoy more than getting into a nice warm bath after a long day. Stress seems to melt away, and I can enjoy at least a few minutes of uninterrupted bliss with my favorite book (and hey, maybe even a cocktail) before I have to get back to reality. And what better way to up the relaxation factor even further than with some bubbles?
But not just any bubbles, it turns out. "Traditional bubble bath, like soap, is an alkaline substance, with a pH around 9.5, while normal skin has an acidic pH, around 5," says Lauren E. Adams, M.D., a dermatologist with White Plains Hospital Physician Associates who's board-certified in lifestyle medicine. "Elevation of the skin's pH can lead to disruption of the microbiome, dry skin, eczema, inflammation, and even fine lines and wrinkles."
Plus, if you're prone to yeast infections, or if you're a woman in general, many bubble baths can be particularly problematic. "The vagina also normally has an acidic pH, around 4, and disruption of this balance with alkaline soaps, bubble baths, or douching can lead to infections like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and urinary tract infections." None of which sound relaxing.
"Looking for 'pH balanced' products is a good idea for bubble baths and all cleansers," says Adams. Also consider products with ingredients that can help hydrate and soothe the skin, such as oatmeal and skin-friendly oils, she adds. Additionally, bubble bath products scented with natural essential oils can up the therapeutic factor (promoting relaxation, soothing muscles, boosting mood) while helping you avoid harsh artificial fragrances, which might actually mess with your hormones.
Happily, several companies are now creating bubble baths with gentle, natural ingredients that keep your skin (and vagina) top of mind. Here, we've rounded up six of the best natural bubble baths that will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and certainly not itchy.
(Pro tip: Whenever you take a bath, don't stay in the tub much longer than 15 to 30 minutes, otherwise you'll dry out your skin.)
Queen V Pop the Bubbly Bubble Bath
Every single product from Queen V was created to support a healthy, balanced vagina or alleviate female-specific conditions like menstrual cramps. And we're all about it. Their Pop the Bubbly Bubble Bath is pH-balanced, hydrates and soothes skin with green tea and chamomile, and is naturally scented with mango extract and essential oils.
Buy online at Queen V
Alaffia Everyday Shea Fair Trade Shea Butter Bubble Bath
If you're sensitive to all fragrance (even natural fragrances from essential oils), this unscented bubble bath is your best bet. And even if you're not, you can add a couple of drops of your own essential oils to create a custom aromatherapy blend. Made with unrefined shea butter, this bubble bath will leave your skin feeling soft and supple, not stripped of moisture.
Buy online at Alaffia
EO Serenity Bubble Bath, Eucalyptus Arnica
Sore muscles? Low energy? We've got the pH-balanced bubble bath for you. Invigorating eucalyptus and arnica put the pep back in your step while soothing sore muscles after a tough workout or long day on your feet. Plus, EO's signature herbal blend of aloe, calendula, chamomile, and white tea botanicals supports healthy skin. Want something more relaxing? EO also makes a French Lavender scent.
Buy online at EO Products
Origins Ginger Float Cream Bubble Bath
For anyone who's wondered what it's like to immerse your entire body in a chai latte, this is probably the closest you'll get. A potent combination of warming ginger, clove, cardamom, and citrus tantalizes the senses as it relaxes your muscles and boosts mood. This foamy, not overly bubbly bath is free of all synthetic fragrances.
Buy online at Origins
The Honest Company Sweet Almond Bubble Bath
This pH-balanced bubble bath is free of synthetic fragrances and packs an extra-moisturizing punch thanks to jojoba and sweet almond oil, both of which contain skin-nourishing vitamin E. Aloe and chamomile help further calm and hydrate skin. Bonus: This one's tear-free and good enough for babies.
Buy online at Honest