I recently came across a number of articles about going all natural at home. This isn’t a new topic by any means, and truth be told I have for years used items such as vinegar and baking soda (for cleaning and deodorizing my home) to cut down on the number of chemicals I purchase, use, and inflict upon our lovely earth. However, recently the articles are talking less about cleaning your counters and more about all natural home remedies for cleaning your body. This caught my attention! I have sensitive skin that is all at once dry and oily. I have, for years, had issues with finding soaps and scrubs that don’t cause one or the other issue to become exacerbated while attempting to cure the other. There are a few body washes on the market which I love and work well…but I like variety as well as trying new things.
Alright…I was hooked on the idea of all natural body wash and so I began to research. It turns out there are really only two base recipes for home made soap/washes out there. There is Castile Soap (the original soap brought to Europe by the crusaders in the 11th century), and Glycerin based soaps (made and processed in the mid 1800’s). Both of these soaps work wonderfully, but both require specialized ingredients (lye for castile soap and special melt-able glycerin strips for basic glycerin soaps). I was considering picking up both of these items to try my hand at each soap recipe (as I thought I could test out which one I liked better), when I started to have second thoughts. Castile soap is known for it’s wonderfully moisturizing qualities because of its use of olive oil…but Lye, the other main ingredient, can be dangerous to work with. It can burn your skin, your clothes (one article advised mixing the water and lye outside to avoid possibly blowing up your kitchen…Yikes!). Once mixed and cured (4-6wks), the lye is neutralized and is perfectly safe…but I was no longer in love with the idea of working with it. As for Glycerin…it can be naturally derived from animal and plant fats, but some of the soap making kits use synthetic (I have no idea how they make this). In addition the ingredient list for glycerin contains words I can’t pronounce…which means I can’t rightfully say it’s exactly “all natural,” or “preservative free.”
Slightly frustrated I decided I not only wanted to make “home made body wash,” I wanted it to be made of things anyone could find in their kitchen. I wanted my ingredients list to be all natural and free of preservatives. Long story short I considered all the things I liked about the various recipes I found and came up with one of my own.
Warning: After using this body wash you may find your skin is happily clean, fresh looking and luxuriously moisturized!
1 Cup Boiling Water
1 Pkg Gelatin
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tbls Baking Soda
1.5 Tbls Powdered Non-fat Milk
Essential Oil of your choice for Fragrance and Aromatherapy
Tools: Squeeze bottle for storage, measuring cups, mixing bowl, whisk.
Have everything needed before you start (this project doesn’t take long).
Start by mixing the gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. Mix until all gelatin is dissolved – this is going to be the binder for the body wash. The great thing about gelatin – it’s simply broken down collagen! That’s right, the fancy ingredient in beauty products these days can be found in your local baking isle. In addition, the two high tech processes manufacturers use to make gelatin are boiling and drying…it doesn’t get any more natural than that!
A silicone whisk and Pyrex measuring pitchers works great for this recipe. After the gelatin is completely mixed put it into the fridge to cool down while you mix up the rest of the ingredients.
Next measure out 1/2 cup olive oil. This is the original all natural, safe, hypoallergenic moisturizer
(the main ingredient in Castile Soap).
Add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. The baking soda is a universal ingredient in many home-made shampoos and body washes because it debrides and cleanses. The non-fat dried milk is simply vitamin D and vitamin A- two super awesome healthy skin ingredients.
Once the dried milk is whisked in and dissolved add the fragrance/aromatherapy oil to the mixture and whisk to combine. I used DoTerra oil because it is 100% all natural and safe to have on the skin as well as safe if consumed (that’s right, if the kids or the dogs get into your home-made soap and eat it…you are safe!).
Next combine the oil with the gelatin, whisk ingredients together and place in the fridge. As the body wash cools the ingredients will begin to separate if left unattended. Take the body wash out of the fridge and whisk every 15min until it is the consistency of soft soap. It took me three whisking sessions to get the right consistency.
Finally pour your new lovely creamy body wash into a squeeze bottle with a cap and place in your shower for immediate use.
Notes about this body wash. It is similar to Cetaphil soap, it doesn’t foam or suds up. Instead place a small amount in your hand and rub mixture into skin vigorously. The act of rubbing will allow the baking soda to remove dead skin, odor and bacteria that is naturally occurring on the skin. As well as rubbing the vitamins and oil into the freshly exfoliated skin.