If only there was a silver bullet for the perfect bath. Something absolutely pure that infused the bath with emollients and natural fragrance. Something that didn’t have sneaky toxic ingredients (like parabens and synthetic fragrance) and didn’t cost a fortune. Oh, wait, there is! Homemade bath bonbons, and you can easily make them with kitchen cabinet ingredients.
Like many kids, my daughters have sensitive skin. I spent ridiculous amounts of money on very expensive all-natural bath products for them—money that was going down the drain since my youngest daughter was still a mess of itchiness post-bath. So we threw open the kitchen cabinets and started playing around with coconut oil, cream, honey and other ingredients known for their salubrious effect on skin. My daughters think this is intriguingly gross (slimy! sticky! lumpy!) and hence, they adore it. So it’s become part of our nighttime routine: We mix up a batch of homemade bath goop, the girls soak, and then step out of the bath like soft, glowing, little goddesses.
And then there was the bonbon bonus. I started noticing that my hands were exceedingly soft after their bath. Of course, I needed to ditch my commercial bath products too. So I took the plunge and started playing around with a few bath concoctions of my own. Here is my favorite formula.
9 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (see note)
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons baking soda
3 tablespoons sea salt
3 drops ylang ylang pure essential oil (optional)
Since coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees F, the temperature of your oil will make a difference in the method you use. Coconut oil does not need to be refrigerated, but once you make the bonbons keep them there so that they don’t melt. You can’t start with refrigerated coconut oil because it is very hard, so start with room temperature.
If your room temperature is above 76 degrees, the oil will be liquid—you will need to stir in the ingredients and then pour the mix into an ice cube tray, mini muffin tin, or similar receptacle. Then refrigerate until hardened, remove (you may need to briefly set the container in warm water to release the bonbons) and store in a jar in the fridge.
If your room temperature is below 76 degrees, the coconut oil will be softly solid (as opposed to hard solid like straight from the refrigerator). You can mix the ingredients and then scoop by rounded tablespoon onto a baking sheet or plate to chill in the fridge. Once hardened, remove (you may need to set the sheet or plate in shallow warm water to release the bonbons, or line the sheet with wax paper first) and store in a jar in the fridge.
Dissolve one or two bonbons in your bath, get soft. Makes 12 bonbons.
Note: Coconut oil is commonly used in food, but has been used as a skin moisturizer for centuries by people living in the tropics. Studies show that it imparts significant improvement in skin hydration and increases skin surface lipid levels. Buy virgin coconut oil, which is unrefined, and if you can find it select a fair trade brand. Coconut oil is available in health food stores and some supermarkets.
By Melissa Breyer, Senior Producer, Care2 Green Living