Britta’s Natural & Nourishing Body Wash

Brittas Body Wash

It’s been almost TWO YEARS since I did this post about how to make your own His & Hers Homemade Body Wash. It was a very popular post at the time so when my daughter proposed doing an update with a homemade body wash formula SHE recently came up with I thought it was a GREAT idea! I think you’ll agree. Take it away Britta……

A couple of days ago, I went to my local health food store to pick up a bottle of my favorite body wash. It’s a big bottle, but it also has a big price tag. I must take after my mother, because upon returning home from the store I found myself wondering if I could make something similar.

I took a look at the ingredients list on the bottle:

Neem Leaf Extract, Handcrafted Shea Butter Soap, Virgin Coconut Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lavender Essential Oil

My thought process went something like this:
Neem leaf extract… what is that? Okay… Shea butter soap, bet I can find that somewhere. Virgin coconut oil, already have that! Coca-mido…propyl… Bee-tane? Um… moving on… okay, Lavender EO, got that too!

 

neem plant

Some intensive online research revealed that Neem is a tropical evergreen tree native to India and Pakistan. Many parts of the neem tree were traditionally used in ayurvedic remedies to fight viruses and bacteria, and also as treatment for skin diseases, burns and inflammatory diseases. If “ayurvedic” sounds familiar, it’s because it is the same Indian medical tradition that brought us the practice of oil pulling! Neem sounded like a great addition to me, so when I was shopping for supplies I picked up a bottle of neem leaf extract. However, if you don’t have access to this, the body wash will be fine without it.

diy body wash

The other mystery ingredient, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, turns out to be a surfactant added to many soaps and shampoos to aid in lathering. I didn’t really want to special order this stuff just to make some body wash, so I did a search for natural lathering agents. I found out that clay can also be used as a lathering agent in soaps, so I decided to incorporate some of the Bentonite clay I already had on hand into my “formula.” Not only does the clay lend a creamy texture to the body wash, it has TONS of other benefits as well, which you can read about in this previous post.

diy body wash

Britta’s Natural & Nourishing Body Wash

diy body wash

Directions:

To make the body wash, start by roughly chopping one half of a bar of shea butter soap.

diy body wash

Blend it to a fine powder.

diy body wash

Add the soap and the distilled water to a large pot over medium high heat until the soap is melted (this part takes a while).

diy body wash

After the soap has melted, add the coconut oil.

diy body wash

Once that has melted, it’s time to add the clay. I would recommend adding some water to the clay to make a paste, and then adding the paste to the pot. This step makes it easier to incorporate.

After making sure that everything is melted and mixed well, remove the pot from the heat and pour the soap mixture into your containers. As the soap cools, the elements will start to separate, so just give it a stir every once in a while.

diy body wash

Once your containers are cool to the touch, add the neem extract and lavender EO. For each of my standard-sized mason jars, I added 10 drops of neem extract and 15 drops of lavender EO. The neem extract smells pretty weird, so the extra lavender really helps. :-)

diy body wash

And that’s all there is to it! I’m really pleased with how this body wash experiment turned out. It makes my skin sooo soft, and I know that all of the ingredients I used are natural and beneficial for my skin. I hope you like it too!

 

Brittas Body Wash 2

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Comments

  1. Missy says

    Love this recipe. I need to get done of thSt clay…I’m guessing at a health food store?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Emily says

      You can get it at the health food store (that’s where I got mine), Amazon.com, or the Redmond clay website :) It’s also amazing for facials–the best stuff I’ve found.

  2. Aimee says

    Thanks for this great recipe! Can you tell us the cost savings with making this homemade one vs. the price/amount of the store-bought one? Thank you!

    • Britta says

      Aimee, the only things I had to buy to make this was the Shea butter soap ($5) and the bottle of Neem ($10). I used half of the bar of soap, and a fraction of the bottle of Neem to make around 64oz of body wash. So by my rough calculations, I spent around $3 for 64oz, and the product this is based on is $10 for 32oz. :-) Hope that helps!

    • Britta says

      You could use regular Shea butter, but you might want to incorporate some other type of natural soap to get the sudsy quality. :-)

  3. Jan says

    I have shea oil (liquid, not the solid butter). Could I use some of that and maybe decrease the amount of water? What is the consistency of this mixture?
    I like the idea of adding the clay.
    Thanks!

  4. nancy says

    Thanks for this idea, and your clear instructions. What size (oz) is your “standard ” mason jar please. I have cases of mason jars in many standard sizes.

    • Britta says

      These jars are 16oz. If you use this size, you might need more than 3 to hold all the body wash. I showed 3 because that was all I had on hand. :-)

  5. Jean says

    This may be a pretty dumb question… how do you use it. Scoop it out of the container or can it go into a pump and pump it out. Scooping I would be leery of because of using hands and maybe contaminating it. Also I would need plastic, wouldn’t want glass in the shower. Different subject ame principle, homemade toothpaste. Just dip a wet toothbrush in it? Any ideas.

    Thanks

    • donna says

      Look for plastic that has a 1 in the recycle logo, and the letters pet underneath that logo. That is the only plastic that is safe to use with products containing essential oils.

    • Britta says

      You could definitely put this into a pump bottle! I just used Mason jars because I had them on hand. :-)

  6. Janette says

    Hi Jean,

    If your using a powdered toothpaste you could put it in an empty spice jar and just sprinkle it on your brush. I feel the same way about putting my hands or dipping a tooth brush into something! Every time I see someone use a Chapstick/gloss that is applied with a finger I just cringe!

  7. Kelsey says

    I recently made a batch of lotion bars using coconut oil/shea butter/beeswax (recipe from Jillee of course!), and spent days trying to get the oily sheen out of all of my kitchen supplies. I would love to try this, but worry about adding my blender to the list of things that will taste like shea butter for weeks. Is there anything you use in particular to break down heavy oils afterward? My dish soap doesn’t seem to cut it. (This concoction looks fantastic–I am itching to try it!).

    • Shannon says

      I recommend hand washing all of the equipment, and then running them through the dishwasher.

      I have made my own bar soap for years, and if you have ever done that, you know that the equipment is a greasy mess afterward. This seems to be the best way I have found.

      BUT…..be sure to wipe as much of the greasiness off with a papertowel, then hand wash with soap. THEN put in the dishwasher. Greasy/oily bowls/spoons directly into the dishwasher will create a greasy, slimy film all over the inside of your dishwasher, or any other dishes you have in there.

      • Andrea Rayna says

        Could you use plain rubbing alcohol to clean it? I’ve found it very helpful in cutting any oily residue on “stuff”. In a pinch I have been known to put a pump of antibacterial gel on a papertowel and wipe things down with that that are oily.

      • Jess says

        You can also search thrift stores for a blender that is only used for these products…I found one (and a stick blender) at a goodwill outlet where they sell things by the pound… The blender had no lid but it came out to $3, so I use a plate for a lid…works great!

      • Kelly Moore says

        If it a regular blender you can use a mason jar just screw the blades to the jar. Be sure to use your rubber seal.

    • Cally says

      I make homemade goats milk soap and have found the easiest way to cleanup all the oils is to wash with a little homemade powdered laundry detergent. I sprinkle it over, around and through all my oily utensils and bowls dry scrubing them first. The dry soap soaks up most of the oil. Then I use supper hot water to rinse. Works like a charm!!

    • Shirley says

      I bought cheap kitchen items (blender, food processor, spatulas, etc) at yard sales to use specifically for my homemade beauty & laundry items. I don’t worry about my beauty items getting into my food. And Cally, I like your idea of using mt homemade laundry detergent for cleaning my cheap kitchen items. I will try it next time. Thanks!

    • CTY says

      If you plan on doing lots of these kind of DIY recipes you may want to thrift a blender/food processor to use for such projects.

    • Susan says

      Dawn DW liquid seems to be the ‘go to’ for greasy, oily stuff. I’d wipe it down, handwash with Dawn and hot water and THEN DW.

  8. donna says

    I make my own body wash using liquid castile, shea butter, and eo’s. I keep it from separating by using xangthan gum. I love the idea of adding bentonite clay! And it’s not very expensive at my local health food store. Will be adding clay to my shopping list for my next trip.

    • Patti says

      Hi, just wondering what your liquid soap to shea butter ratio is. I tried to eyeball it once and ended up having to throw the whole thing away. Never tried it again but have wanted to.

      • donna says

        I use about 12 ounces of liquid castile to about 4 ounces shea, but the importance is really the xangthan gum used correctly to bind the water, soap, and oils and keep them from separating. A small packet is available at some wal-mart stores for $0.25 each, or a big bag at some health food stores fir around $15.00.

      • donna says

        I also use the same amount of drops of eo’s in my body wash (per ounce) – I think that is what you were looking for. Sorry about that….

    • Britta says

      Yep! I would also give it a good shake each time before you use it, just to make sure everything is mixed well in case it has separated a bit. :-)

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