Making your own body wash can be as easy as using just two simple ingredients: liquid Castile soap and an oil. If water counts, then that’s a third ingredient. That’s it, that’s all there is to this easy DIY body wash recipe. Anyone can do it.
Out with the chemicals
Since I started staying at home this year, to work on the health of my two eczema warriors, my goal has been to keep a chemical free home. In all aspects, from diet and topical creams to personal care and cleaning around the house.
Proud to say we’re managing it well so far. Apart from the few products made from all-natural ingredients that we buy from companies with great philosophies, most other cleaning necessities are homemade. Check out our DIY dishwashing liquid (for hand washing the dishes), and DIY laundry soap powder and softener.
Our standard for personal care products, as well as products for cleaning around the house is this: Don’t put on your skin what you won’t put into your mouth.
Because some substances that manage to cross the skin barrier will end up in the bloodstream, much quicker than food that you ingest which has to go through the long digestion process. This is especially so for eczema warriors, who already have compromised skin barrier.
Eczema is an internal health issue, manifested on the skin. The body is using the skin, a non vital organ, to tell us that some imbalance is happening from within. It could be an overworked immune system, leaky gut, allergic reaction, tired elimination organs like liver and kidneys, etc.
So we do not want to load the body further, by putting chemicals on the skin, which the body has to detox. Hence, anything homemade is always the best, as we know exactly what goes into making it, and we have absolute control over it.
Liquid Castile soap
A liquid Castile soap is made of plant oils like olive oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, etc. Castile soap made from these oils is very different from using the oils themselves, as these have gone through the saponification process.
In saponification, potassium hydroxide is added to the oils to react chemically with the triglycerides, forming glycerol and a fatty acid salt, which is the liquid ‘soap’. This soap has cleansing properties as it helps water to better lift off and remove grease and dirt from our skin, hair and whatever we are washing. More information can be found here: pubs.acs.org.
A pure Castile soap only contains the plant oils and the hydroxide (which would have completely reacted, with none remaining by the end of the saponification process). No chemical additives.
Oil of your choice (coconut, olive, etc.)
Using oils will create a smooth texture to your body wash, nourish your skin, as well as increase the lathering effect of the soap. Different oils have different properties, so knowing them and experimenting with them will help you find the homemade body wash that you absolutely love.
Coconut oil contributes to a bubbly lather, but some people find it too drying on their skin, though I simply love it, and this is the oil that I finally settled on for this recipe. Olive oil is another great option as it nourishes and conditions your skin without stripping it of moisture. You could also use any of the more luxurious oils like jojoba oil or grape seed oil.
To a cup of body wash, use about 30 to 40 drops of your favourite essential oil, if the liquid Castile soap that you are using is unscented. But if you bought the scented version (like me, I use the lavender scented Dr Bronner’s liquid Castile soap), then it is not necessary to add any essential oil, unless you choose to make the scent stronger.
Vitamin E oil
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps us fight damage from free radicals. It protects our skin from over exposure to the sun, and slows down the aging process like formation of wrinkles. This addition to your body wash can help with dry, flaky and itchy skin, so is beneficial to eczema warriors. More information can be found here: draxe.com.
My super easy DIY body wash recipe
I’m one who really likes to keep things simple. So for my super easy DIY body wash recipe, this is how it goes:
- 1 part liquid Castile soap
- 1 part oil (I use coconut oil, you can use any preferred oil or a combination of some)
- 1 part water
Combine everything in a foam pump dispenser, and whoa la! You got your perfect body wash.
Shake well before every use
The oil tend to separate from the soap and water when just left to sit there, so you got to give it a good shake each time you use it.
This is what you get from additive-free homemade stuff – no emulsifier to keep the ingredients mixed and perfectly textured, so… this is what I love about it too, no harsh and harmful chemicals that serve no purpose except for cosmetics, that actually do harm to our health than any good.
A foam pump is important for me, as it mixes air into the body wash as you pump it out onto your hand, so it saves on how much you use, a little goes a long way. It also helps the body wash to lather up and become all bubbly, which is what our brain has been conditioned (by the commercial products) into thinking – that a bubbly shower is a clean one.
Customise it your own way
My choice of coconut oil is because I love the smell of it, and it feels smooth and nourishing on my skin, though many people find it drying when used on its own. Olive oil is not so drying, but has less lathering effect. Maybe a combination of both would work perfectly for you, or you may have your own favourite like jojoba oil, grape seed oil, etc.
It’s perfectly fine whichever concoction of oils you prefer, as long as the total amount of oil used stays at 1 part. If you find this recipe too runny (especially if you’re using a regular soap dispenser instead of a foam pump), and prefer a thicker version, then try increasing the liquid Castile soap, and reducing the water content a bit.
Note: Dr Bronner does have a ready-made body wash that is great too, which I do use when I run out of the ingredients for this recipe. You may want to check it out in this other post.
I hope this simple DIY body wash recipe inspires you to make your own everything, and adopt a lifestyle of natural and green cleaning, around the house and on the human beings inside, big and small. So… shower away to a cleaner, happier and healthier you!