Are you tired of the price of body washes? Does the list of ingredients on those pricy packages horrify you? If you want to be sure of what you are putting on your body, save money, and have a little fun at the same time, have a go at making your own body wash. The suggested methods given here are not exact, so you can tweak the ingredients and amounts to create the perfect product for you and your family.
Liquid castile soap, such as Dr Bonner, or castile soap flakes form the base of most homemade body washes. Castile soap contains olive oil to moisturize the skin. You can also use your favorite bar soap as a body wash base. If you really want to start from scratch, you can forget the soap and start with a natural butter. You won’t get a great lather without a soap base, but you will get the cleansing and moisturizing effects you want.
To make a very basic body wash, half-fill a container with liquid castile soap and top up with distilled water. This will produce a rather thin body wash. To thicken your product add a teaspoon of xanthan gum, guar gum, or glycerin to 1 ½ Cups of liquid soap. You can also use a grated bar of your favorite soap, or four ounces of soap flakes, to a gallon of water. Melt the ingredients gently over a low heat while stirring. Leave the mix overnight before blending well and storing.
Why stop at a plain body wash when there are so many other scrumptious additions to personalize your product? A tablespoon of oatmeal added to the wash will feed your skin and give a mild exfoliating effect. If you long for a really rich moisturizing body wash there are a variety of oils or butters you can put into your recipe. Jojoba oil comes close to matching our own body oil and is readily absorbed. Apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, and almond oil are all deeply nourishing and well absorbed. Wheat germ oil is particularly moisturizing for dry, aging skin, but it does have quite a strong smell and perishes quickly. Shea butter and coconut butter are also moisturizing additions you can use. Add a teaspoon of citric acid to prevent any bacterial growth if you are making a large batch of body wash. Large amounts of oil or butter will sometimes have difficulty melding with the water content in your body wash. If you find this is the case, purchase some emulsifying wax and melt a few spoonfuls into your oil before mixing with the water.
You don’t need to use plain distilled water in your body wash. You can also add interesting perfumes with differing mood effects by changing the water you use. If you have a flourishing herb or flower garden, choose your favorite and make a tea infusion to use instead of plain water. Here are some possible suggestions:
- Lavender – soothing and cheering.
- Rosemary – invigorating. Don’t use rosemary if you are pregnant however.
- Calendula- soothing and anti-inflammatory.
- Rose – calming. Good for sensitive skin.
- Peppermint – cooling, uplifting and refreshing.
- Lemon – uplifting, invigorating, and cleansing (use lemon zest to make an infusion).
- Orange or Mandarin – cheerful and uplifting (use the zest).
Essential oils can add a wonderful scent to your body wash, and quality oils will also impart their beautifying or medicinal properties to the wash. If you have made your own essential oil perfume, you can also add a few drops of this to your body wash to enhance the overall effect of your favorite scent.
Personalize your body wash in any way you like, and experiment until you have it just the way you like it. Why not have several washes available to suit your mood, or make a favorite for each member of the family? Making your own body wash is a great way to save money while using ingredients you know are good for you.