child reaching for a pink body scrub for bath time


Valentine’s Activity: Make Your Own Soaps And Scrubs For A Family Spa

Feb 9, 2021

With everyone stuck inside together, I wanted to make Valentine's feel a little special for the fam. 

And that's how we came up with the idea: an indoor spa, with all the fixings — like bath scrubs, bubbles, bath bombs and oils. 

Depending on the age of your kids, you might find that they like making the self-care concoctions even more than sitting around with their feet up. If that’s the case, turn your creations into Valentine’s Day gifts or enjoy your creations solo at bath time.

And if you're more interested in setting the stage for your spa, or don’t have the time or desire to create your own body products, don’t sweat it. Instead, consider supporting local businesses during Black History Month like these wonderful handmade skin and body care lines by Black Canadian mompreneurs: Body Made for Love and Rub of Luv.

Click to jump to:

Before we begin, note that all of these activities are non-toxic and kid-friendly.

The fizzy bath bombs need to be made in the kitchen at least a day before your spa day while the other recipes can be made same day.

I have also ordered the recipes in order of application. Soak in bubble bath and/or fizzy bath bombs first, followed by a gentle exfoliating scrub. After drying your skin, apply the body oil you created either as a moisturizer or use for a short massage. (This is also a great time to deep condition your hair, apply a pedicure or try out a new face mask — the options are endless!)

what you'll need to make bubble bath, bath bombs, scrubs and oils

Materials can be found at your local grocery, health food store, dollar store and craft store. I used jars and glasses from the dollar store, but you can reuse containers, mason jars or recycled bottles to store your creations.

Homemade Bubble Bath

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup liquid castile or body soap
  • 1/4 cup vegetable glycerine 
  • 8 to 10 drops essential oil
  • 1 egg white (optional)
  • 3 to 4 drops food or soap colouring (optional — any colour will do)

child helping to mix the bubble bath

How It's Made:

  1. Mix ingredients together slowly in a bowl and pour into a clear plastic bottle or container. This nice soak will go from being bubbly to a milky colour and has great effects on the skin.
  2. Optional egg whites are also great for the skin and create longer lasting bubbles, while vegetable glycerin is a moisturizing agent — you can use either one or both.
  3. Food colouring gives the water a fun colour, and a nice bottle adds a finishing touch.

Fizzy Mini Bath Bombs

What You'll Need:

  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup 
citric acid 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 10 drops essential oil 
  • dried rose or calendula (optional)
heart-shaped ice cube tray, cookie cutters or mold

packing the mixture into a heart-shaped tray to make bath bombs

How It's Made:

  1. Whisk baking soda and citric acid together in a large bowl.
  2. Melt coconut oil until it is liquid then stir into dry mix with essential oils.
  3. Add optional flower petals.
  4. Gently pack the mixture into the ice cube tray and allow to dry for 24 hours before use.
  5. Note: You can double this recipe to make larger ones. With mini ones, I'll throw four in at a time for a bath and foot soak.

Looking for Valentine's Day cards? Let Gary the Unicorn and friends help your family celebrate with these super sweet greetings.

Body & Foot Scrub

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup 
olive oil
  • 8 to 10 drops essential oil
  • food or soap colouring (optional — any colour will do)

mixing the scrub with peach colouring

How It's Made:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add optional colouring and stir until colour is even.
  3. Transfer to a decorative jar or container.

Brown Sugar Scrub

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt
1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 to 10 drops essential oil

child mixing the brown sugar scrub

How It's Made:

  1. Mix sugar and oil together first until sugar is fully coated with oil.
  2. Sprinkle Epsom salt in on top and stir in loosely.
  3. Apply essential oils.
  4. Transfer to a decorative jar or container.

Moisturizing Body & Massage Oil

What You'll Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond, coconut or jojoba oil
  • 10 to 20 drops essential oil

How It's Made:

  1. Pour oil into decorative bottle or jar.
  2. Add essential oils.
  3. Apply liberally to body, hands and/or feet.

Get festive for Valentine's Day by turning those toilet paper rolls into a colourful heart garland.

Turn Your Home Into a Mini Spa

Now that you’ve created your homemade body products, the time has come to set the stage for your at-home spa.

heart sign that says

Here are some ideas for how to get started:

  • Clean and decorate the area of your home you have designated your spa.
  • Use clean flat buckets or large mixing bowls for a foot soak filled with warm water (I used a baby bath).
  • Prepare hot towels — they can be used to soothe sore shoulders or drape over feet and legs. 
  • Wear bathrobes or comfortable clothes.
  • Have your bubble bath, fizzy bath bombs, scrubs and oils at the ready.
  • Play relaxing background music.
  • Enjoy magazines and books.
  • Have snacks, treats and fancy drinks.

I recommend using a comfortable area in your home and doing a foot soak, mini massage and pedicure together, but since this is your own family spa, you can gear the relaxing activities to your spa guests' needs. Depending on the age of your little ones, this spa day may take an hour. Or if you're adventurous, a day-long activity broken up into stages.

mother and child having a foot soak together

If you’re a solo parent, like me, you might decide to take turns. Use the first part of spa time to work on things together, making the scrubs and soaps with your little one. Follow that up by giving them the chance to have a fun bath or foot soak, and then end with a fancy snack for the two of you to enjoy together.

At nap time, turn off the phone, go into the bath and luxuriate in the beautiful self-care concoctions you have created. Fill the bathroom with relaxing binaural beats and pour yourself a glass of something nice, while you exfoliate your winter skin and breathe a little sigh of "Happy Valentine’s Day to me." You deserve it.

Article Author Ella Cooper
Ella Cooper

Read more from Ella here.

Ella Cooper is a writer, photographer, producer, facilitator, multidisciplinary artist and solo mum by choice. She has a MeD in arts education, received the Tiffany’s Hometown Hero Award in 2020 and is currently developing a new BIPOC children’s series.

Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.