Are Bath Bombs Cosmetics? Help to Understand the Classification

It can sometimes be a little unclear where bath bombs can be considered cosmetics and therefore be subject to regulation under the FDA’s cosmetic guidelines. So let’s take a closer look and try to understand if bath bombs are considered cosmetics or not.

Are bath bombs considered cosmetics?

A bath bomb is considered a cosmetic according to FDA classification that any product used for cleansing falls under the definition of cosmetic in that it is applied to the human body for cleansing or beautifying purposes.

If you want to sell bath bombs and don’t want a visit from the FDA, despite the confusion, play safe and get approval to sell cosmetics

But are bath bombs soap?

The FDA do not class soap as a cosmetic, however, which falls outside of the statement and is regulated by Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The classification is despite the fact that of course, soap is applied to the human body for cleansing purposes. Go figure!

This is where it gets a little tricky. As stated, the FDA claims that any product used for cleansing falls under the definition of cosmetic, and yet they do not define soap as a cosmetic. This is because soap products are actually regulated by a different authority: the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 

In short, a bath bomb is not soap, and is not intended to be used as soap, but rather as a product that can as aesthetic and aromatic value to your bath. Furthermore, because bath bombs often include oils, herbs, or other natural products to benefit the skin, they do fall under the category of cosmetics.

Bath bombs are composed of a combination of dry ingredients that are packed tightly together to form a shape, usually a sphere. When a bath bomb is placed in water, the dry ingredients will react with the liquid and dissolve, fizz, bubble, or any combination of the three. They are often colorful and contain pleasant scents with the intent to make bath time more entertaining.

You are probably asking if a bath bomb is classified as a cosmetic because you are considering starting a bath bomb business and selling them after making DIY Bath bombs at home.

What are bath bombs used for?

Bath bombs, like their name would suggest, are used in the bathtub. They come in a variety of shades and aromas so that you can personalize your bath and make it more suited to your tastes.

Some bath bombs might even contain essential oils or other ingredients that can be beneficial to both your physical and mental health.

However, there is a considerable amount of confusion regarding how to define bath bombs, particularly when it comes to product regulations and distribution policies. In short, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tends to categorize personal hygiene products as either a drug, a cosmetic, or both, and has different guidelines in place for producers of each.

Are all bath bombs regulated by FDA cosmetic guidelines?

One of the best things about bath bombs is that they are fairly easy to make at home. The basic ingredients of bath bombs are baking soda and citric acid, so the contents are not only accessible, but safe to use in your home.

If you’re making bath bombs and using them in your own bath (i.e. not selling them), you don’t need to worry about following FDA rules.

However, you should still make sure that you are being safe and choosing bath bomb ingredients that won’t harm you. There are countless online resources for how to make your own simple bath bombs, but keep in mind that the homemade version will be more for the fizz and less for the cosmetic value.

In regard to the market, all bath bombs that contain ingredients that are designed to provide a benefit other than colorful and nice-smelling bath water are considered to have cosmetic value and therefore must follow the FDA’s regulations regarding the sale and distribution of cosmetic products.

This is good, since you can be assured that the bath bomb you purchase is made with clean ingredients in a safe environment.

Can I sell my homemade bath bombs?

If you’re passionate about making bath bombs and are considering starting your own small business to sell them, you will need to make sure that you are following all the necessary laws and regulations so that you don’t get in trouble with a federal agency. So, while you can certainly make and sell bath bombs, you need to follow the rules.

Do your research and find out what is required in order for you to lawfully market and sell your homemade bath bombs. The FDA website is easy to navigate and they’re definitely the most dependable source of information in regard to selling cosmetics. One of the things they will require from you is that your bath bombs are labeled accurately in terms of size, weight, and ingredients.

The FDA will also make sure that any bath bomb being sold on the market is not making any false claims in their advertisements. In short, if a bath bomb claims to soothe eczema, but all it really does is turn the bathwater purple, that would be against FDA cosmetic guidelines and you would not be allowed to sell that product. 

Final Thoughts

Bath bombs are considered cosmetics and are therefore subject to the rules and regulations put in place by the FDA regarding the manufacturing and sale of bath bombs. Different countries will have different authorities overseeing this process but take note that wherever you are in the world, whether you’re looking to purchase or sell bath bombs, they are cosmetics and therefore must adhere to specific guidelines.


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