You don’t have to be a new mom to earn the right to treat yourself special on a regular basis. But if you do happen to be a mom (like me), you have all the more reason to try to sneak aside some well-deserved time to yourself to do nothing else but relax and unwind—and don’t forget to take some calming deep breaths while you are at it.
For the stressed-out mamas of the world (find me a mom who isn’t!), a relaxing vanilla bubble bath recipe is just the place to start, preferably with a glass of red wine if you can get your hands on one and enjoy it before the kiddos start calling for you.
How To Make Your Own Bubble Bath
While most of us love the idea of slipping into and enjoying the peacefulness of a hot bubble bath, let’s be honest: it’s simply not in the cards for the majority of us. Even just thinking about lying in the tub and staring at the walls, all in an attempt to relax, starts to stress me out. There is simply too much to be done!
And while I’m at it, the kids are probably tearing down the house! If I’m going to get a solid chunk of 10 minutes to myself, I might as well use it wisely, which is why a shower is simply a more efficient use of my time.
I can even be in and out of a shower in just a couple of minutes, leaving the rest of my sanity-saving time to do other important things like brush my teeth (and maybe even my hair!)—potentially even without my cranky, croupy toddler peering around the curtain at me the whole time.
Gifting a bottle of my tried and true honey vanilla bubble bath recipe to a mom friend in need (or anyone for that matter) is an invitation for her to take the time needed to relax, even if it means leaving the baby a few more minutes longer in the crib. It makes the perfect gift for the holidays or even a birthday. And it’s also so easy to make!
Here's how it works:
Almond oil is high in essential fatty acids, which help dissolve excess oil on the skin and improve skin tone [source]. It’s loaded with retinoids that increase cell turnover and make skin appear younger. It's also gentle enough for most skin types, so you don't have to worry about it causing breakouts or irritation.
Honey is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture to the skin and locks it in. Plus, it has well-known antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and it's packed with antioxidants [source].
Liquid Hand or Body Soap
This is where the bubbles come from! Obviously, you'll want to avoid castile soap, since it produces a lackluster bubble. But aside from that, any natural shampoo, bodywash, or even bubble bath should work.
Not only are egg whites nourishing for skin, but they can also help boost your bubble bath's foaming action. If you're vegan or opposed to adding eggs to your bath, feel free to leave it out.
Vanilla has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties [source]. Plus, real vanilla extract makes your bubble bath smell uh-mazing.
Honey Vanilla Bubble Bath Recipe
- ½ cup light almond oil
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup mild liquid hand or body soap (don't use castile soap!)
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and pour ¼ to ½ cup under running water. You can keep any excess in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I will be honest: My first attempt at concocting a bubble bath recipe a couple of years ago was a total bomb. The secret ingredient, it turns out, is the egg white! It helps to create bigger bubbles (although they’re still not huge) that last longer.
Give the water some splishing and splashing to activate the soapy-ness and take that nice, deep breath (followed by a hearty sip of wine). Time to do some relaxing!
What's the best soap for homemade bubble bath?
Some people say you can’t make your own bubble bath, while others swear you can. And of those folks that say homemade bubble bath is doable, most recommend castile soap as a base. But here’s the thing: anyone who has ever used castile soap knows that it makes for a seriously lackluster bubble bath.
To get real bubbles, you usually need to use a commercial soap that contains real foaming agents.
The best thing to do is choose a gentle body wash since it's made for skin, and you can rest easy knowing it doesn’t have anything super harsh in it. I like Honest Shampoo + Body Wash (not sponsored or anything—I’m just a fan) because it bubbles beautifully and doesn’t have any scary ingredients. But the brand isn’t really important. Just make sure it works for your skin.
No matter what, don't expect shampoo or body wash to bubble exactly like the bubble bath you're used to. Natural soap doesn't contain the foaming chemicals that traditional bubble bath does—and that's a good thing.
Homemade Bubble Bath FAQs
Can I make this ahead of time to give as gifts?
Yes, with a couple of substitutions: leave out the egg white, since it spoils quickly, and use vanilla essential oil in place of vanilla extract (because vanilla extract is mostly alcohol, which may affect the bubble bath texture over time). Include a note to shake before each use and to use within 1–2 months.
Can I use coconut oil in place of almond oil?
Since it often solidifies at room temperature, regular coconut oil might not work in this recipe. If you have a tree nut allergy, try using either fractionated coconut oil, which stays liquid at room temperature, or jojoba oil.
I'm vegan. What can I use in place of the honey?
Feel free just to leave it out entirely!
Can I use dish soap for my DIY bubble bath?
I wouldn't recommend it, since dish soap can be drying and not suitable for sensitive skin below the belt.
Will the heat cook the egg white?
Hot water straight from the tap shouldn't be hot enough to cook egg whites. But if the thought of adding egg whites to your bubble bath recipe grosses you out, you can always leave them out, and it won't hurt anything.
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Honey Vanilla Bubble Bath Recipe
- Small mixing bowl
- Lidded glass jar (for storing any leftover bubble bath)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Pour ¼ to ½ cup under running water.
- Keep any excess in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow's medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Photos by Ana-Maria Stanciu501