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A History of the Bath Bomb

Love #bathart? We do too!

Go back 30 years to the invention of the bath bomb by Lush co-founder and product inventor Mo Constantine, and it’s clear that these balls of fizzing fun have come a long way from their humble beginnings: from Butterball, a creamy bath bomb full of skin-softening cocoa butter, to The Experimenter, an explosion of color and innovation.

The bath bomb was born when Mo wanted something to turn an ordinary bath into a luxurious event without irritating delicate skin. She says, “I wanted to be able to introduce things to the bath which you wouldn’t normally be able to, such as peels, petals, butters and essential oils; lovely ingredients which would be beneficial to the skin.”

Even back then, Mo couldn’t have guessed how her simple creation might take off and, eventually, evolve.

The rebirth of #bathart

Over the 20 years that bath bombs filled our homes (and our tubs), customers began to share their love of the swirling, hypnotic colors across social media. Bath art was now a thing and it showed no signs of stopping. Enter: Jack Constantine, Mo’s son, with a brand new generation of multilayered, kaleidoscopic bath bombs.

“Every time we formulate new products there has to be a benefit to them, but we also want to make bath time a bit more interesting,'' says Jack. Aside from treating the skin to an abundance of rich butters and oils, bath bombs were now creating a unique ambience in your bathroom with a burst of fragrance and color.

Our team still presses our bath bombs by hand to give them a signature look and feel.

Hand pressing bath bombs

A little like an art installation unfolding within your very own bath tub, Jack’s multilayered creations would paint a unique canvas every time. They’re all about experimentation, pushing boundaries and often contain a playful twist like popping candy or a vibrant, plastic-free luster. “All of this creates a worldwide collaborative art project in which customers join in, creating their own interpretation using water as their canvas and bath bombs as their paint, photographing and sharing with the world,” Jack explains.

Of course, they still have wonderful effect on the skin, but these bath bombs also create quite the spectacle, encouraging us to pause and luxuriate in the moment.

Not long after multilayered bath bombs graced our tubs, jelly bombs took us to the next step on our bath art journey. Unleashing fountains of skin-nourishing jelly, these new bath bombs featured sodium alginate, a fine white powder derived from mineral-rich seaweed. As soon as it hits the water, it instantly transforms into skin-conditioning jelly to leave skin incredibly soft. From Secret Arts, a mysterious black bath bomb that dissolves into supernatural jelly to the mellowness of The Big Sleep full of calming lavender oil, this range is all about entertainment and innovation, all while nourishing the skin.

From 1989 to 2019

Fast forward to today, and we’re still that “bath bomb shop”, where you’ll find a bigger, more versatile selection of bath bombs than anywhere else. On March 29, 2019, we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of our invention with our biggest bath bomb launch ever. More than 50 brand new bath bombs will be available with a few old scents making a comeback (Blackberry, Yuzu & Cocoa, Geo Phyzz or Calavera, anyone?) to a few new ones that are sure to be a hit in your tub!

Now that we’ve got nearly 100 bath bombs to choose from, check out the entire collection online (new, seasonal and year-round) or use our bath bomb finder to pick a new fave. If you’re heading to your local store, you might notice that things are a little different. We’ve gotten ourselves into a fabulously fizzy pickle and we’ve got more bath bombs than most of our stores can fit. So, each Lush location will feature a locally-curated selection of bath bombs, as chosen by the staff you know and love!

It might also mean that your standby year-round faves (like Butterball or Avobath) will be taking a little vacation from your local store shelves for a while—but you can still find them online.

Once the new bath bombs have made their worldwide debut on March 29, your local store will be making weekly posts on their Facebook pages to let you know which bombs you’ll find in-store that week. Follow along for exciting updates and let them know what you’d like to see next time you visit!