I always crack up at those chewing gum commercials that ask, “Feeling dirty?” And their answer to cleaning up is to pop a piece of gum in your mouth. Sparkling teeth, yes. Sparkling clean body…not so much.
So how about getting an all-over clean feeling with a little homemade body wash? I swear it’s simple – not nearly as simple as popping in a piece of gum – but the results will surely make you more presentable.
If you have simplified your personal products, you’re probably wondering why a bar of soap won’t cut it. It will. But some of us just like a little something we can squirt on a washrag or a bath pouf to scrub-a-dub-dub with. Oh yeah, and it takes only a few minutes to make this liquid body wash – that’s far less time than it takes me to make bar soap.
With this combination of ingredients, this moisturizing body wash is gentle enough to use on your face, and also makes a rich lathering shave soap. (In fact, I recently took this on a camping trip and used it as facial cleanser, body wash, and shaving foam. It really cut down on the amount of toiletries I had to pack!)
Ingredients you’ll need
Honey – Honey is the secret ingredient in this recipe. We recently published an article about honey’s amazing benefits for the body, inside and out. Honey helps your skin retain moisture and elasticity without drying it out. This makes honey perfect for mature, dry, itchy, or damaged skin. It can also help speed the healing of blemished skin. Instead of making the body wash sticky, honey just makes it nice and smooth. Be sure to use raw, unfiltered honey.
Liquid castile soap – Using a pure liquid castile soap will ensure your body wash has enough suds, without the addition of any chemical foaming agents. Feel free to use scented or unscented castile soap. If using scented castile soap you can omit the essential oils, or go ahead and add them for their therapeutic benefits. (Note: Peppermint castile soap may be a little uncomfortably tingly on sensitive areas for some.)
Oil – Adding an oil that is easily absorbed by the skin makes this body wash extra moisturizing. Jojoba and grapeseed oil are two of my favorites. You may even find you don’t need to apply additional moisturizer after using the body wash.
Vitamin E oil – Vitamin E is repairing and moisturizing. This ingredient is an antioxidant and can help elongate the shelf life of homemade personal care products. Perfect as an addition to products during the summer or winter months when our skin may be more stressed from extreme temperatures and weather.
Essential oils – Many essential oils are perfect for troublesome skin conditions. Some of them soothe, repair, heal, disinfect, or deodorize skin. See suggestions at the end of the article for beneficial essential oils to use in your body wash.
Moisturizing Honey Body Wash
- ⅔ cup liquid castile soap (find it here)
- ¼ cup raw, unfiltered honey (find it here)
- 2 teaspoons oil – grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond, sesame, or olive (find it here)
- 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil (find it here)
- 50 – 60 drops essential oils (find 100% pure essential oils here) – see suggestions below
Measure out all ingredients and combine in a bottle with a squirt top, shaking to mix. Shake gently before each use. To use, squirt onto a washcloth, bath pouf, or directly onto body.
Since this recipe doesn’t contain water, it has a long shelf life of up to a year.
Essential oils for skin
When making your body wash, keep your particular skin type in mind and find a scent you enjoy. If you’re using this body wash for your baby, you may want to omit the essential oils altogether, or just add a few drops of chamomile or lavender essential oil. If children will be using the body wash, use half the suggested amount of essential oils.
My current favorite scent combination is 45 drops of lavender and 15 drops of geranium essential oil. This creates a sweet floral body wash that reminds me of summer flower beds. Use a single essential oil or have fun blending a few. Here are some suggestions:
Chamomile (German and Roman) - Great for dry and sensitive skin, acne, eczema, and dermatitis.
Geranium - Great for oily complexions, acne, mature skin, eczema, dermatitis, and other problematic skin conditions. It also brightens and revitalizes dull skin.
Grapefruit – This essential oil tones the skin and is extremely cleansing for oily skin. If using the amount suggested in the above recipe, there is no phototoxic concern.
Lavender – Very gentle and good for all skin types, including very sensitive skin. Perfect for mature skin, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Effective in soothing itchy skin.
Palmarosa - Stimulates new cell growth, moisturizes skin, and regulates oil production. This makes it a valuable essential oil for use in any DIY skin products.
Patchouli - Antimicrobial, astringent, fungicidal, and deodorant. Great for acne, cracked and chapped skin, eczema, oily skin, and mature skin.
Peppermint – Since peppermint is very strong, use only half the amount recommended in the recipe (or less). Cooling, refreshing, and stimulating. Has astringent properties, making it perfect for acneic skin. (Note: Avoid during first 4 months of pregnancy.)
Rosemary - Rosemary is stimulating and restorative. Useful for acne, eczema, and dermatitis. (Note: Avoid during pregnancy. Do not use if you are epileptic or have high blood pressure.)
Sandalwood – Useful for acne, dry, cracked, and chapped skin. Also great for wrinkles and mature skin.
Sweet orange - One of the only citrus essential oils that is not phototoxic, sweet orange is helpful for dull or oily skin.
Tea tree - This antibacterial oil can be nicely blended with others like lavender and peppermint. May be useful for acne, oily skin, rashes, and inflamed skin. Using too much may actually create a drying effect. You may need to experiment a little to find the right amount for your skin.
Ylang ylang – Great for general skin care, irritated skin, oily skin, or acne. Since this oil is a strong scent, add a few drops at a time until the desired aroma is achieved. (You will need much less than the amount suggested in the above recipe.)
Make it your own
Don’t limit yourself to the essential oils or ingredients recommended in this recipe.
Experiment with your favorite ingredients, and be sure to let us know how it turns out!