How to Make an All-Natural Moisturizing Body Wash with Essential Oils Posted on 31 Aug 10:29
My legs itched. That, and the skin of my back was noticeably dry and flaky. Living with dry skin was not only uncomfortable, it was also a little embarrassing. I had done enough research to understand that the chemicals in my over-the-counter body washes were probably harming my skin and I could even feel the skin becoming drier and drier as I tested different options. Finally, I decided to look into natural alternatives. I realized that, if I was going to find something that worked, it might just have to be something personalized to work for me.
I’d have to do some research. I’d have to experiment and I’d have to listen to my body. I’d have to take responsibility for my own health.
The journey was well worth the climb. I’ve consolidated my findings for you here.
- Essential Oils - There are many essential oils very well-suited to addressing troublesome skin care issues. Each essential oil will have one or more distinct functions. Essential oils have been used as a natural alternative to harsher chemicals for thousands of years and have been known to work with the body to promote healing. They can help to disinfect, deodorize, soothe, and repair the skin. LEARN MORE about which essential oils might work best for you at the end of this article. (You can find pure essential oils and blends HERE.)
- Honey - Honey is the secret ingredient when it comes to skin care. It is perfect for dry, itchy, damaged, or mature skin because it helps to retain moisture and elasticity in the skin. It also has amazing benefits for the body, both inside and out, and even promotes healing of blemished skin. Surprisingly, it is not nearly as sticky as one might expect and even feels (and smells!) very good on the skin. Be sure to use raw, unfiltered honey.
- Liquid Castile Soap - Liquid castile soap is the perfect fit for this recipe because it allows you to get your lather on without the addition of any nasty chemical foaming agents. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soaps work really well here. All the ingredients are organic and you have a wide range of options to choose from. I’ve been using primarily their Baby Unscented soap because it’s easiest on the skin. Other options like Lavender or Eucalyptus may be somewhat harsher on dry skin, but they add yummy scents if your skin can handle it! IMPORTANT: If you do decide to use a scented soap, don’t let this stop you from still including essential oils. The essential oils add a necessary therapeutic benefit - you will feel the difference if they are omitted.
- Oil - Look for oils that are easily absorbed into the skin. Some popular options are jojoba, rosehip, or grapeseed oil, but I’ve had really good luck with olive oil and many people swear by coconut oil, too. The trick here is to experiment. You’ll find what works best for you. All the ingredients here are natural, so there’s nothing to be afraid of! Have fun, and listen to your body. You may even find that, with the right blend, you won’t even need to use a moisturizer after cleaning with the body wash!
- Vitamin E Oil - Vitamin E is important for a number of reasons. It is particularly soothing to stressed skin, especially during extremes in temperature or weather. It is a natural moisturizer, is repairing to the skin, and can help to extend the shelf life of natural products like the one you’ll be creating.
- ⅔ cup liquid castile soap
- ¼ cup raw, unfiltered honey
- 2 teaspoons of oil (olive, coconut, sesame, jojoba, rosehip, grapeseed, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
- 50-60 drops essential oils (see suggestions below)
Measure out and combine all ingredients in a bottle with a disc or flip top. Shake and shake until it is visually apparent that all ingredients have been fully combined. (You’ll want to shake gently again before each use.) Pour onto a washcloth, loofah or directly onto your body.
*This natural body wash should hold with a shelf life of up to about one year.
THE ESSENTIAL OILS
So what about those essential oils? How to know which ones to use? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Do your best to find pure essential oils. To get the most benefit from the essential oils, you want to find a brand that offers pure essential oils (often called therapeutic grade oils) as opposed to synthetic blends created simply for fragrance purposes. (Healing Solutions does a great job of presenting quality essential oils and blends with a commitment to transparency and quality in both service and product.)
- Some companies offer a wide variety of essential oils in small droppers. I’d recommend starting here so that you can sample multiple kinds of oils affordably before settling in on a type or blend that works best for you.
- This is your body. Essential oils are a natural product. When you find the right one(s), you’ll know it. Others may feel a bit tingly or harsh on the skin. No need to worry - simply try a different oil or blend.
- Go easy on the essential oils if you’re using this body wash on small children or infants. In fact, if you’re using the wash for a baby, you might consider steering clear of the essential oils altogether. Or else add just a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oils.
- Blend, blend, blend! Don’t hesitate to mix a few different essential oils. Each one will have a unique effect on the health of your skin (and body) so finding that perfect blend can be very rewarding, and a lot of fun, too!
Here is a short list of different types you might consider, along with the primary benefits that they’ve become known for:
- Chamomile (German or Roman) - Works great for sensitive or dry skin. Also good for skin with acne, eczema, or dermatitis.
- Geranium - A very fragrant oil. Typically used for oily complexions. It helps to brighten and revitalize dull skin. Also good for mature skin, acne, eczema, dermatitis, and other problematic skin issues.
- Lavender - Tends to be good for all skin types, especially dry or sensitive skin. An especially gentle and soothing essential oil. Good for mature skin. Perfect for skin with acne, eczema, psoriasis, or even just itchiness.
- Palmarosa - Helps to moisturize the skin and regulate oil production. Good for most skin types. Also believed to stimulate new cell growth.
- Patchouli - Another great all-around oil. It is antimicrobial, astringent, fungicidal, and deodorant. Great for acne, oily skin, cracked and chapped skin, eczema, and mature skin.
- Peppermint - One of the obvious stand-outs. When you use this oil, you’ll feel it! Very rejuvenating, cooling, and stimulating to the skin. Astringent and perfect for skin with acne. Because it is so strong, you should start with half the recommended amount (or less). NOTE: Avoid during the first four months of pregnancy.
- Rosemary - A stimulating oil, and restorative. Perfect for skin with acne, eczema, or dermatitis. NOTE: Avoid during pregnancy and do not use if you have high blood pressure, or are epileptic.
- Sandalwood - A soothing aroma for most people. Useful for cracked and chapped skin, dry skin, skin with acne. Also good for wrinkles and mature skin.
- Sweet orange - One of the only citrus essential oils that is not phototoxic, this oil is safe to use and helpful for dull or oily skin types.
- Tea tree - Too much of this oil may cause a drying effect, but it can be blended with other oils like lavender or peppermint to create a wonderful effect on the skin and may be a good option for oily or inflamed skin as well as skin with acne or rashes.
- Ylang ylang - Very much like peppermint, you will likely want to start small with this oil. It is very fragrant, though, and a great option for general skin care. Also good for oily or irritated skin and acne.
Since using this homemade body wash, I have noticed phenomenal improvement in the quality of my skin. The dry, flaky skin and the itchiness have become a thing of the past. My skin is more elastic, noticeably more hydrated, and I’ve received numerous compliments about the way my skin smells! (Go figure that!)
Just as importantly, I feel reassured and confident knowing that every ingredient in my daily body wash is specifically beneficial to the health of my skin and body. Please don’t hesitate to leave comments if you have any questions and I’ll do my very best to respond to them.
Now it’s your turn! Go and make this little recipe your own. Have fun and don’t limit yourself. Enjoy the process of experimentation. Listen to your body, then let us know all about your successes in the comments below!