It’s been almost two years since I did a post about how to make your own Homemade Body Wash with a bar of soap. 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:
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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!
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.
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.
Britta’s Natural & Nourishing Body Wash
- 6 cups distilled water
- ½ bar of shea butter soap
- ½ cup coconut oil (I use Tropical Traditions)
- 1 Tbsp. Bentonite clay
- Neem oil
- Lavender essential oil
To make the body wash, start by roughly chopping one half of a bar of shea butter soap.
Blend it to a fine powder.
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).
After the soap has melted, add the coconut oil.
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.
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. :-)
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!