Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 3-4 full bath bombs or 7-8 half bath bombs
Lavender is not something you usually associate with New Zealand, so it comes to a surprise to many to hear that there are several dozen commercial lavender growing farms here in New Zealand, some with tens of thousands of plants. Sadly, I have to admit I yet have to visit one. Nevertheless, I wanted to make these fragrant bath bombs with NZ grown lavender essential oil and flowers, and was delighted to find out that my favourite supplier (Pure Nature) stocks both.
The following tutorial uses NZ grown lavender essential oil and flowers, as well as locally produced olive oil. In addition, you will need baking soda and citric acid, the two key ingredients in bath bombs, polysorbate 80, which helps disperse the oils in water, and violet mica to colour the bath bombs, if you wish.
According to Valerie Ann Worwood, in Aromatherapy for the Soul, lavender brings comfort, acceptance and emotional balance. It is caring, cherishing and nurturing, and lifts the spirit in times of worry and despair. Perfect for a soothing bath!
ONE: Using the standard 2:1 formula, add two cups of baking soda and one cup of citric acid to a bowl.
TWO: Add 20 ml of olive oil and 10 ml of lavender essential oil. I used a locally produced olive oil, which I bought at the Coatesville Market. The farmers market is open every first Sunday of the month, except in January. The lavender essential oil I used is also from New Zealand and it is grown in the fertile Canterbury Plains on the South Island. You can buy it from Pure Nature.
Next, put on disposable gloves to protect your hands and nails, and using your hands, mix everything and break up any clumps.
THREE: In a small measuring beaker or container, measure out 20 ml of polysorbate 80. Add 1/4 teaspoon of violet mica. I used magic mica violet from Pure Nature, which gave me the perfect shade of lavender colour I was after for these bath bombs.
Stir well until the you have a smooth liquid-like paste. Polysorbate 80 will help disperse the olive oil in the bath water, instead of having it float at the surface of the water, but will also prevent a mica ring forming in your bath. Mica won’t stain your bath tub, but it’s still annoying to have to wipe it off the sides.
Once you’ve combined the mica with the polysorbate 80, pour it into your bath bomb mixture.
FOUR: Add your dried lavender flowers and mix well. I find that using your hands works best, so wear gloves! You can use lavender from your garden, or alternatively you can purchase dried New Zealand lavender flowers from Pure Nature.
Mix everything. If necessary, spritz some water or witch hazel until you reach the right consistency. It should still be powdery, but if you squeeze some mixture in your hand, it should hold its shape.
FIVE: Scoop the bath bomb mixture into your half mold and press firmly to compact. You can either leave them as half bath bombs or you can press two halves together to form a full bath bomb.
SIX: Let them dry in their molds for a few hours, then gently tap to remove them from their molds. Place them on a baking sheet and leave to harden completely overnight in a dry, warm place. I like using my hot water cupboard for this, because it’s the driest place in the house.
New Zealand Lavender Bath Bombs
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1 cup citric acid
- 20 ml New Zealand boutique olive oil
- 20 ml polysorbate 80
- 10 ml New Zealand lavender essential oil
- 1/2 teaspoon magic violet mica
- 1/4 cup dried New Zealand lavender flowers
- Combine the baking soda and citric acid in a bowl.
- Add the olive oil and lavender essential oil and, wearing gloves, mix well with your hands, breaking up any clumps.
- In a small beaker or container, measure out the polysorbate 80 and add the mica. Stir well to a liquid paste and add to the bath bomb mixture.
- Add the lavender flowers and mix, using your hands, until the colour is evenly dispersed throughout.
- Scoop the bath bomb mixture into the half molds and firmly press to compact. Either leave them as half bombs, or press two halves together to form full bath bombs.
- Let them dry for a few hours, then tap to remove them from the mold. Leave to harden completely overnight.