Making your own creamy body wash is a fantastic natural alternative to conventional body wash which often contains harsh chemicals. Homemade body wash is also much gentler than bar soap and will not dry out your skin. Add your favorite essential oils to customize the scent! This DIY recipe is easy and quick to make and works for your entire family.
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I have made my DIY body wash recipe for my whole family for quite a while now. It’s natural, it cleanses and it moisturizes and is perfect for all skin types, even sensitive skin. Not to mention, it saves $$$$. Making your own body wash is fun because you can customize scents with different castile soaps and essential oils. This recipe contains not only raw honey but also jojoba oil which helps to replenish the skin helping it to stay healthy and soft!
Why Make Your Own Body Wash?
- To avoid chemicals. Shower gel is filled with them!
- To save money.
- To clean as well as moisturize and heal dry skin.
Most body washes contain a bevy of harmful chemicals like sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, triclosan, and artificial fragrances. All of these chemicals are irritating not only to your skin but irritating to your hormones and even your organs!
As I like to say “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin”! Many of these harmful chemicals go directly into the blood stream. Over time they can build up and cause health issues.
Making your own body care products is just too EASY and FUN to continue to subject yourself to harmful chemicals-in my opinion. So, let’s get started!!
Ingredients in Homemade Body Wash:
Castile Soap is a highly concentrated liquid soap, like 3x more concentrated then a regular body wash! This is why we use it in recipes like this, so we can dilute it with other nourishing ingredients. Be sure to never use it straight, it can burn! I like to use THIS brand because it is 90% organic, 70% fair trade and contains no preservatives, fragrances or foaming agents. Plus, it comes in lots of different scents!
Raw Honey is an excellent natural ingredient to use on your skin. It is very hydrating and encourages your skin to retain moisture as well. I wrote a post on cleansing with honey which has turned out to be one of my favorite and easiest ways to gently cleanse your skin. Honey also helps create lather in this homemade body wash. You can also use manuka honey in this recipe especially if you’re using it on your face or experiencing body breakouts. Manuka honey is a powerful (but still gentle) addition to skin care because of it’s medicinal and healing qualities.
Jojoba Oil is an excellent oil for any skin type but you can use whatever nourishing oil you have on hand. Sweet Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Hazelnut Oil and Hemp Seed Oil are also excellent. I do not recommend using coconut oil or butters because they will solidify and eventually not mix with the soap or honey.
Pure Essential Oils are optional and dependent on what type of castile soap you use. I typically use lavender castile soap and like to add Geranium Essential Oil because it encourages your skin to slough off dead skin cells, relieves water retention and revs up circulation. However, you can also get unscented castile soap if you’d like to create your own scent with essential oils.
Vitamin E is excellent for the skin and added to many skin care products where anti aging is needed. It also helps to stabilize your body wash.
More Homemade Body Care Recipes:
- Healing Heel Balm
- Body Lotion
- Cellulite Smoothing Body Cream
- Firming Body Oil
- Homemade Body Splash
- Vegan Vaseline
What You Need to Make Body Wash Recipe:
- 4 TBSP Castile soap (find it HERE or HERE)
- 4 tbsp. Raw Honey (find it HERE)
- 4 tbsp. Jojoba Oil (find it HERE)
- 3 tsp. Vitamin E Oil (find it HERE)
- 30 drops Essential Oils *optional*
- 8 ounce glass pump bottle
DIY Body Wash
Making your own natural body wash is a fantastic natural alternative to conventional body wash that often contain harsh chemicals. It's also much gentler than bar soap and will not dry out your skin. Add you favorite essential oils to customize the scent This DIY recipe is easy to make and works for your entire family.
- 4 TBSP Castile soap
- 4 tbsp. Raw Honey
- 4 tbsp. Jojoba Oil
- 3 tsp. Vitamin E Oil
- 30 drops Essential Oils *optional*
- 8 ounce glass pump
- Medium sized funnel
Simply, add all ingredients to an 8 ounce pump bottle, and shake!
Shake before each use. It might separate for a couple of days, after that mine stays mixed.
All of these ingredients are very rich. They are so yummy to the skin. It doesn't take but a couple pumps to be effective. Don't be fooled by the lack of lather.
Because we're using all natural ingredients, this cleanser will not suds up. It does leave your skin feeling very cleansed though. However, you can use it in a foaming soap dispenser but even that will not give you many bubbles.
Essential Oils Suggestions:
Lavender essential oil is my go-to but I also enjoy an essential oil blend of ylang ylang and lavender oil. Citrus oils like bergamot and lemon pair well with this duo as well. Tea tree oil is great for body acne since it has powerful antibacterial properties. Peppermint and rosemary essential oils have a cooling effect. Essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties which is a great property to add to homemade body wash.
It all depends on the scent of Castile soap you choose.
I like to get my essential oils from Plant Therapy. They are affordable, have organic options and free shipping. I also get essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. They also have high quality oils at affordable pricing.
A Word on Castile Soap
Castile soap is very concentrated and can burn delicate areas. I researched many, many DIY body wash recipes and found that the proportions I use are common. However, if you think you might be sensitive, I would reduce the castile soap by half. You can always add more.
I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap because it is organic and easy to find. My local grocery store carries it. You can get it in a variety of scents as well. One of my favorites is Sweet Almond. I love mixing orange essential oil and lavender with the sweet almond soap. It makes a light and invigorating scent that is wonderful for a body wash as well!
If you are worried about the high pH of castile soap, I think you’ll find this article by Lisa Bronner, the daughter of Dr. Bronner, extremely helpful.
You can also get (very affordable) castile soap at my ingredient shop of choice, Mountain Rose Herbs. You’ll have to add your scents through essential oils because their’s is plain.
Do You Need A Preservative in Your DIY Body Wash?
You do not need a preservative with this homemade body wash recipe since we are not adding water or water based ingredients like rose water or Aloe Vera Gel. Honey can stay good for years – in fact, unspoiled honey has been found in Egyptian tombs. The two other ingredients, castile soap and oil, also have long shelf lives. However, the shelf life is 1 month maybe 2 tops which is why we want to make this recipe in small batches.
I hope you enjoyed my natural body wash recipe! Just a few simple ingredients can make so many natural products that will help transform your beauty routine!
Remember, becoming chemical free is easier than you think. You won’t break the bank and you’ll end up with the most decadent beauty products on the block! Plus, don’t get in a hurry! Enjoy the process of making better choices for your body! You’re doing a great thing for yourself.
Could you please check your measurements? I’d like to try this recipe, but there’s no way 3 cups of water, etc. can turn into 4.5 oz. Sounds like a great recipe! – M. McCarty
I thought the same thing 🙂 I’m sure she meant 45 oz.
Oh geez, brain fog struck again! I don’t know where 4.5 oz. cam from! It’s more like 30 ounces! Thanks for letting me know!!
I understand very well; I’m a grandmother and I see what my sons and their wives have to deal with every day! Thank you for your efforts!
Ha! It’s a whirlwind when you have young ones! My mother only had me so with 2 we are all confused!
better yet, make your own aloevera gel. nothing more simple! grab an aloevera leaf, peel back one side with a vegatable pealer and scoop out the insides straight into a food processor. Blitz briefly and viola! Aloevera jel. (lasts up to 5 days, refrigerated)
Is the coconut oil fractionated or the solid form that melts at warm tempatures?
I used the coconut oil that melts at warm temps. You could use fractionated coconut oil though.
Do you use glass or plastic bottles for storage?
For storage I would use glass. In the shower I use plastic just because I would hate to drop it and it shatter. Glass is always better though. Thanks!
What is the expiry on this?
I would say this would last about 3 months. I don’t suggest you make any in advance-mixing oil and water can cause bacteria growth after time. There are no preservatives in this recipe. Thanks!
Do you melt the coconut oil before mixing it? How does the entire mixture remain in liquid form using the solid coconut oil?
Jennifer-I don’t melt the coconut oil. Just throw it in the blender. Because the percentage of coconut oil to other ingredients is low, your body wash won’t solidify!
Thanks for sharing! I would love to make this, but I don’t have guar gum. Do you think it would be too liquid without the thickener?
Patty-It will be very watery, but if you can put it in a pump it might be ok. You could make it, then if it’s too watery add guar gum-You can purchase it at most grocery stores around the baking aisle, by the flour-Or my online links. You can also use xanthan gum if that’s easier. They both thicken. Thanks!
Hi Jenni. So thrilled to find your site! I want to make everything you’ve posted so far. I would like to use the Sweet Almond castile soap with orange and lavender essential oils. How many drops of each do you use? Thanks for sharing.
Cynthia, I would do 10 drops of orange and 10 drops of lavender! It will smell so good!! Thanks!
I don’t care for the smell of lavender…could I use Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild and substitute with any essential oil I prefer…or say, the insides of a vanilla bean?
Alyssa, Absolutely! I love Dr. Bronner’s soaps-there are so many wonderful smells-Substitue any oil you prefer though! Thanks!
Just ran out of my bought body wash, I can’t wait to make my own tomorrow with no chemicals. wish me luck 😀
Thank you so much for your recipe.
Kimberly-Good luck! It’s fun and easy-you’ll do great!
Jennifer, this sounds great and I can’t wait to try it! I was wondering if youthink I could sub sweet almond oil or jojoba oil for the olive oil; or what other kind of oil could be subbed?
Brittney-Yes you can! Both would be great subs!
What size pump bottle does this recipe fit in?
Martha-this recipe makes about 24 ounces. I end up putting it in a smaller pump and storing the rest. Thanks!
I just made some. It did make 32 ounces. Do you recommend I store it in the fridge until I can finish using one bottle at a time?
Martha-I make huge batches and I don’t. I’ve never had an issue. It’s totally up to you though.
Hello! First off I just want to say that I really enjoy reading your website and finding new recipes to make. I just tried making your body wash though and it’s extremely watery! I was so bummed that it didn’t turn out! I’m hoping that maybe you’d have some tips for me. I did use guar gum but it hasn’t thickened at all. The only thing that I can think of, is that maybe I used a runnier aloe vera. Any helpful hints would be greatly appreciated! Thanks:)
Kelly-Shoot! My aloe is very runny so that’s not it. You can throw the whole thing back into the blender and add another tsp. of guar gum. I have found that more blending with the guar gum seems to thicken it up. You will have a lot of froth but that will go away in a day or so.
I would first blend it for about 40 seconds, see if it thickens, then add another tsp. of guar gum and blend for another 40 seconds. That should do it.
This recipe sounds great! Have you tried it without the water?
Tonya-Yes, without the water the castile soap burns sensitive areas. I’ve found no way to not dilute castile soap. Thanks!
Could I add some raw honey to this recipe? If so, how much would you recommend?
Patty-I have tried this and I couldn’t get it to properly mix but it would be a great addition! I would add a couple of tablespoons!
I’ve made this before but I don’t remember there being 3 cups of water. Is this right?
Also, I see that the citric acid is new. Would ascorbic acid do the same thing?
Nancy! Yes, the 3 cups is as usual. Citric Acid is new. It’s a pH balancer which will help your cleanser be more nourishing for the skin. I don’t believe ascorbic acid will work the same as citric acid.
My two batches also turned out very watery.. I used distilled water and followed the recipe to the letter. With your recommendation to the other person who had a watery batch, I’m thinking my blender isn’t as high of quality?… I’m wondering if I needed to blend more considering I don’t have a Vitamix or equivalent. Looking forward to your response as I do not feel super confident in trying to troubleshoot with my limited experience in homemade skincare. 🙂
Hi Jenna! The blender might be the problem. I have a vitamix. It wouldn’t hurt to keep blending and experiment with the guar gum. I blend for about 40 seconds and that gets it really creamy. You might do a whole minute and then evaluate. You can always blend longer, as long as you don’t add the soap, it’s no big deal and won’t hurt your cleanser!
I want to try this recipe , but as I read the reviews, many people said it turns out watery. Can I use less water? How much? Thanks!
Iris-The only way to make this recipe less watery is to add more guar gum. I would add a teaspoon at a time, blending in between. Thanks!
I’m planning to make this recipe. My only problem is that from where I live I can’t buy Neodfend. I clicked on your link though to read about Neodefend and read this:
‘…Therefore, the use of NeoDefend and L-Ascorbic Acid and Citric Acid in the same cosmetic formulations should be avoided….’
But in this recipe you use both.
I hope I can find a preservative but maybe I do’nt need one if I make a small batch?
Hi Bianca! Yes, I just discovered that these 2 ingredients should not be use together. I will be fixing my cleanser posts! You don’t need a preservative if you make only enough to use within 2 weeks. Otherwise, a preservative is a must. There’s nothing special about neodefend except that it’s more natural. Maybe you could google “natural preservatives for skin care”.
Hope this helps!!
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Hi Jenni! I just made a batch of this today for my two daughters and myself. They both wanted cherry/vanilla scented, and I wanted to play with mine. They are thrilled with theirs! This leaves the skin feeling well-cleansed, but also smooth and silky, and it’s so luxurious to use! I found that I did need a second teaspoon of guar gum, and that made it just the right thickness. Hint: I’ve learned that if you mix the guar gum with enough glycerin to make a smooth, slightly-runny paste, it will blend without all those lumps. I think the glycerin also adds a very nice texture. Is there any contraindication to using glycerin with the other ingredients?
Laine-Oh good!! About glycerin-I don’t think so. The only thing about glycerin is that it leaves a sticky film if you use too much. You’d know if you used too much.
Funny thing, I remember that about glycerin – because my mom used rosewater and glycerin on her face when I was a little girl, and I remember her always feeling sticky! Used for this purpose, though, in this big a batch, it’s not nearly enough to cause that feeling. Thanks again… we all love it!
Hi Jenni – I was just researching NeoDefend and found that it should not be used along with citric acid as this can accelerate the production of benzene, a carcinogen. I noticed that your Lavender Body Wash contains both ingredients and wanted to (respectfully) alert you.
” citric acid may accelerate the production of benzene. Therefore, the use of NeoDefend and L-Ascorbic Acid and Citric Acid in the same cosmetic formulations should be avoided.”
Mary-Thank you for leaving this article. I will change these recipes!
I use an almost identical recipe for a body wash too! It’s great! Just a little tip, if you can’t get makeup brushes clean, squirt a little of this on them! Takes the most stubborn makeup out of my brushes!