Can I just say I have never had more fun testing a recipe for you? I mean, I’m a mom, so showers are optional some days. (Thank goodness for dry shampoo!) Anyway, when I tested this homemade body wash, I convinced myself that it was my JOB to shower. It was one I took seriously, especially after one too many mishaps with my favorite shampoo bar and my tried-and-true coconut oil body bar.
You see, they look identical, which is fine if you mix them up and shave your legs with the shampoo bar. But grabbing the body bar by mistake and washing your hair? Yeah, that doesn’t end well.
My solution? This simple natural body wash recipe – it creates a rich, bubbly lather, moisturizes while cleansing, and most importantly, can’t be confused with a shampoo bar. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients, shall we?
DIY Body Wash Ingredients
There are three basic components to this homemade body wash: a cleanser and two moisturizers that promote lather.
Liquid Castile Soap
Made from pure olive, coconut and/or hemp oil, castile soap is incredibly gentle – many with sensitive skin use it exclusively. I prefer this brand.
Contrary to what you might expect, honey adds moisture and lather without being at all sticky. It’s equally loved by all skin types for its infusion of nutrients: Vitamins B, C, E & K, beta-carotene, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese. In this recipe it also thickens the mixture and increases the suds factor.
I’ve tested this DIY body wash with raw honey, store-bought honey that was kind of runny, and store-bought honey that was super thick. They all worked beautifully.
Soap can be drying, so it’s important to add a natural moisturizer such as olive, avocado, or almond oil to this recipe to replenish skin’s moisture. Coconut oil that is solid at room temperature is not a good option because it tends to separate, but fractionated coconut oil will work.
Essential Oil (Optional)
Although completely optional, essential oils can be a nice addition. I especially like adding peppermint essential oil for a “Wake Up Body Wash” formula, and lavender and vanilla make a sweet bedtime bath recipe for children. Here are some specific suggestions based on requests I’ve received.
Babies & Children
- 30-60 drops lavender essential oil (Lavandula augustifolia)
– OR –
- 30-60 German chamomile essential oil (Matricaria chamomilla L) or Roman chamomile essential oil (Chamaemelum nobile)
– OR –
- 15 – 30 drops vanilla absolute diluted in jojoba oil and 15-30 drops lavender essential oil
- 30-60 drops peppermint essential oil (Mentha x piperita) or rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)*
* Peppermint and rosemary essential oils are both very strong, so I recommend starting with 30 and testing before adding more. Also, they are not generally recommended for use with children under the age of six. To make a wake-up wash that is kiddo safe, use spearmint essential oil instead. Click here to learn more about using essential oils safely with children.
- 7-15 drops tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), 7-15 drops frankincense essential oil (Boswellia serrata), and 7-15 drops lavender essential oil
- 15-30 drops vanilla absolute diluted in jojoba oil, 10-20 drops cedarwood essential oil (Cedrus atlantica)), and 3-6 drops ylang ylang essential oil (Cananga odorata)
Note: If you’re using Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile soap or another essential oil-infused soap, you’ll want to reduce (or eliminate) the number of essential oil drops used in the recipe so that it’s not overpowering (and potentially irritating to skin.)
DIY Homemade Body Wash Recipe
- bowl or blender
- mixing spoon
- squeeze-top soap dispenser
- ⅓ cup liquid castile soap (where to buy castile soap)
- ⅓ cup honey, preferably raw (where to buy honey)
- ⅓ cup carrier oil such as olive, jojoba, refined avocado, fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil (where to buy olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, and almond oil)
- 30-60 drops essential oil, optional. I usually don’t add anything because the body wash already has a light, honey scent. (If I do something kid-friendly, like sweet orange, vanilla, lavender, this sweet dreams blend, or this nighty night blend.)
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined, or place ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly.
- Pour into a squeeze-top or pump-top soap dispenser.
- Shake well before using.
- Shake 2-3 times before use. This recipe will separate after awhile but all you need to do is shake a few times and you’re good to go. Easy peasy.
- Add body wash to a soft natural sponge, loofah sponge or washcloth and use like you would any body wash.
Frequently Asked Questions
I tried it and noticed two things. It wouldn’t lather and it left a weird film on my skin. Maybe it would work if the amount of glycerin was reduced.
Want more skin care recipes?
Here are a few of my favorites:
Sugar scrub recipe – Sugar contains naturally occurring glycolic acid, which dissolves old, dead skin and makes exfoliating easy. I love the warm vanilla scent of this sugar cookie version.
Honey face wash – This simple cleanser clarifies and nourishes while promoting cell renewal and hydration. It rinses away clean, leaving behind soft, moisturized skin.
Foaming Hand Soap – Undiluted castile soap easily clogs soap dispensers, so I asked the lovely people at Dr. Bronner’s if they could suggest some guidelines for safely using their product in a foaming hand soap recipe. You’ll find their recommendations in the article.
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