Ever since I was a kid, I have had sensitive skin. I couldn’t use lotions or even laundry detergent that contained perfumes or fragrances of any kind. Over the years if I could not find a product that was fragrance-free then I just used whatever was the least irritating for my skin. I never thought that I could make my own bath and beauty products but recently, with a little research, I have been able to try out a few ways to save my skin! Some of the recipes have worked and some….not so much.
The first success that I want to share is the body wash that I made. I used liquid castile soap as the base which is made from a combination of organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils along with pure essential oils. I know it sounds weird that the soap is made from oils. I was hesitant at first, it definitely has some getting used to. After my first attempt at the soap, I felt very greasy afterward but after a few adjustments to the recipe, I got it right.
- 1 c filtered water
- 1/4 c liquid castile soap
- 1 tsp vegetable glycerin
- 12-15 drops of essential oils (optional)
Directions: Mix all ingredients together by adding each one directly into a squeeze bottle. Mix gently by tilting the bottle from side to side. Use this soap just like any other liquid soap. It lathers up nicely when used with a bath pouf.
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The brand of castile soap that I like to use is Dr. Bonner and it comes in several different scents: unscented/baby, almond, citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, rose, tea tree, and lavender. If you prefer a different scent, you can use the unscented and add 12-15 drops of your favorite essential oils.
I’ve been using this wash now for about six months and I will never go back to using commercial soaps. In fact, one day I forgot that I needed more soap and got into the shower. When I realized that I didn’t have my soap I reached out and grabbed an old bottle of Bath & Body Works wash. As soon as I stepped out of the shower I started itching and had to take another shower with the castile soap. I had been dealing with the itch and irritation for so many years that I didn’t even notice it wasn’t normal!
UPDATE: Over the years I have had several readers ask questions and make comments about how they changed the recipe. Here are a few key points that I think could be helpful to others.
- This recipe is very thin and watery. One reader added equal amounts of xanthun gum and glycerin to thicken it up. Another reader added some oatmeal powder (oats ground up very fine).
- Another reader suggested using a foaming soap dispenser instead of the squeeze bottle. I tried it, and it works perfectly! I have added links to dispensers on Amazon below.
- A reader asked if you have to use filtered water. If you have hard water or get your water from a well, filtered water will be best. Using filtered water also can eliminate contaminants that may cause bacteria or mold growth.
- Can food glycerin be substituted for vegetable glycerin? Yes, both will work.
- What can be used instead of glycerin? I use glycerin because it adds moisture to your skin and it also serves as a preservative. Vitamin E oil would be a good substitute.