I think these sparkly bath bombs make a pretty cool holiday gift. Scented with ancient frankincense and myrrh essential oils, and sparkled up with some eye catching gold mica, these bath bombs would be right at home in a manger (though moreso in a bath).

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Bath bombs are really just a dry version of the baking soda (the base) and vinegar (the acid) volcano we all made as kids. We swap the vinegar for citric acid, and then we’ve got a solid lump that’ll go all Krakatoa on us when it gets wet (ideally in the tub, and not before).

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To amp up the luxury factor of these bath bombs, we’ll blend in some skin softening oils along with the essential oils. I’d recommend doing this before you add both the base (baking soda) and the acid (citric acid) to your mixture as the oils can trigger the fizzing if both are present, which we don’t want.

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You’ll want a big bowl, a spray bottle, a big spoon, and a mould or two for this project. I’ve found that bath bombs don’t perform terribly well in very intricate moulds, and I usually just use a quarter cup measuring cup as my mould, but a spherical one would be a great choice, too.

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The trick with a bath bomb is to use the mister to hydrate the mixture just enough that the crystals in the mix (the salt and the acid) will start to dissolve a bit and then fuse together as they dry, but just that much. Any more any the mixture will react with itself, and you’ll either have a volcano in a bowl, or you’ll find your bath bombs sadly swollen and misshapen after their supposed drying time.

You'll know you've added enough liquid to the powder when you can squeeze a handful of it together and it holds its shape.

You’ll know you’ve added enough liquid to the powder when you can squeeze a handful of it together and it holds its shape.

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Once you’ve got a perfectly hydrated mix, pack it into your mold, tap them out of the mold, and let them dry for a day or two. Now you’ve got a perfect gift! These bath bombs also pair beautifully with my matching lotion.

Gold, Frankincense, & Myrrh Bath Bombs

1 cup baking soda
2/3 cup Epsom salts
½ tsp gold mica
40 drops frankincense essential oil
10 drops myrrh essential oil
1 tbsp Turkey red oil

½ cup citric acid

Mister filled with witch hazel (water is also ok if you don’t have witch hazel)

Blend the baking soda, epsom salts, mica, essential oils, and Turkey Red Oil together in a food processor and transfer to a large, wide bowl.

Stir in the citric acid, ensuring everything is thoroughly mixed.

Now it’s time to add just enough liquid to get the mixture to hold together in a mold. Not too much, though, or it will react in the bowl/mold, not in your bath. That’s why we’re using a mister (it’ll spread the moisture better) and witch hazel (for some reason the reaction isn’t as vigorous when you use witch hazel, plus they dry faster, apparently).

So, spread your mixture out in your bowl so you have as much surface area as possible, and spritz. Then quickly stir thoroughly. Repeat until you can grab a clump of the mixture and it will hold together after a firm squeeze.

Once the mixture will hold together, pack it into a mold of your choice (I like a ¼ cup measuring cup), and then tap it out onto a sheet of wax paper. Let dry overnight, turning once.

To use, drop in a hot bath and enjoy! This recipe will make about eight ¼ cup bath bombs.

I chose Turkey Red Oil because it self-emulsifies in water, meaning no weird floating blobs of oil in your tub, or oil slicks afterwards. If you don’t have it feel free to substitute any liquid carrier oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, safflower, or olive.

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