By now, you’ve seen bath bombs — those colorful balls that dissolve in water releasing a rainbow of swirls in your tub — all over Instagram. They come infused with calming scents, essential oils, specks of shimmer, and even cannabis. While the dissolving process is strangely soothing, the hype likely has more to do with their shareability on social media. Seriously, just search #bathbomb on the ‘gram and you’ll be met with over one million posts to scroll through.
But if you’re looking for a more practical approach to self-care (or maybe, like me, you would rather read stressful news reports than take a long soak in your apartment's old tub), you may want to consider shower bombs. Similar to bath bombs, the tablets release essential oils when they make contact with water; the difference being that they are designed to be placed on the floor of your shower where they set off a steam that fills the surrounding area.
The resulting experience can be compared to using an aromatherapy diffuser, as the air becomes filled with a blend of oils that are inhaled, stimulating the olfactory system to trigger changes in the mind and body. I recently tried the Eucalyptus and Sage Luxe Aromatherapy Shower Tablets by Ulta, and my nasal passages were quickly cleared up. (Eucalyptus and sage are often used for respiratory problems and have been shown to relieve congestion.) The fragrant fog was also relaxing, almost like a small-scale sauna in my bathroom.
The best part, though: You don’t have to carve out 30 minutes to soak. Next time you want to release some steam, simply add a shower bomb to your normal morning or evening routine. In addition to Ulta’s shower tablets (which are available in two scents), Bath & Body Works has a collection of six steamers, Rinse Bath & Body Co. has a collection of five, and Level Naturals currently offers three.