Moisturizing Homemade Body Wash (Only 4 Ingredients)

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This Homemade Body Wash Recipe is proof that you can make your own personal care products without an advanced degree in beauty product formulation.

Whether you’re looking for a more natural bathroom experience or you’re a way too busy frugalista crunchy mom, you’re going to love this recipe.

homemade body wash in bottle with towels and citrus fruits

I’ve always loved the idea of making my own skin care products, but what I don’t like is the idea of spending numerous hours and taking out a second mortgage to buy specialty raw materials, most of which will likely go to waste. But this body wash recipe is different.

Seriously, this natural body wash recipe is so great, you’ll likely never go back to buying body wash or using soap in the bath or shower again. It’s a simple recipe that truly anyone can make and you can customize it with your favorite essential oils for a truly luxurious bath or shower experience.

So join me in saying yes to this creamy body wash and no to toxic fragrances and harsh chemicals.

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Why Is This Body Wash Great?

It’s Frugal: Like many other DIY recipes (like my Homemade Lip Scrub), this DIY Shower Gel is a great way to have healthy natural products that are safe for the whole family without breaking the bank. The ingredients are inexpensive and last a long time (so you don’t waste buy buying them in bulk).

It’s Customizable: You can make whatever scent you like–easily.

Have Control Over Ingredients: You’re the boss about what raw ingredients you choose. Easily use only natural (and organic if you choose) ingredients and stinky in more than one way artificial fragrances.

Good for the Environment: You can reuse your dispenser, so there’s a lot less waste.

No Grating Needed: A lot of homemade body washes call for grating a bar of soap. I personally don’t like grating soap. A food processor makes it a lot easier but you can totally skip that when you make a homemade body wash with castile soap like this one.

What Skin Type Does This Work For?

This body wash is great for all skin types including for sensitive skin. Castile soap works for dry skin as well as oily skin–and everything in between.

What Container Works Best?

There are lots of options, and you could use glass (a mason jar is super cute for this, especially with a pump top), but plastic containers are best for the shower, for obvious reasons.

Typical liquid soap dispenser bottles like these are handy, but they’re harder to clean. You can get tube replacements which take care of that problem, however.

I Recommend
Shampoo Bottles with Pumps, 32oz

Shampoo Bottles with Pumps, 32oz

These pump bottles are great for DIY projects like this Body Wash, or Hair Gel, Hand Soap, Lotion, and more.

This type of flip-top bottle is great since it’s plastic but without the cleaning problem that pump bottles have.

I Recommend
Squeezable 8 Ounce Plastic Containers (10 Pack)

Squeezable 8 Ounce Plastic Containers (10 Pack)

These BPA-free Plastic Squeezable Bottles are a great kid and bath-safe option for many DIY personal care products.

How to Customize Your Body Wash

Really you can use any essential oil you like to customize this homemade body wash recipe with your favorite scents. Just make sure to use pure essential oils as many on the market are adulterated. Here’s a post about how to make sure your essential oils are pure.

Tea tree oil and peppermint oil are particularly invigorating as are citrus oils, while lavender, patchouli, and sandalwood are soothing. In addition, tea tree is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Of course there are so many other oils with associated benefits–have fun and try a bunch!

One of my personal favorite combinations is bergamot and peppermint. I discovered this combination at a convention years ago, and I’ve loved it ever since.

Ingredients and Their Benefits

This DIY body wash recipe only has a few simple ingredients that come together so easily.

castile soap: for cleaning. Castile is known to be a very gentle cleanser that’s good for all skin types.
shea butter (or olive oil): for moisturizing
aloe vera gel: for moisturizing
guar gum or xanthan gum: – for thickening. Gums increase the stability of the wash and prevent water loss and the separation of liquid.
essential oils: for customizing scent and added benefits.

Is Castile Soap pH Balanced for Your Skin?

The base of this body wash is castile soap that has a pH of around 8 or 9.

I’ve been concerned in the past about using soap on skin. Skin’s pH is about 5.0 or so–and as such, using anything too basic (with a high pH) can be a bit of a shocker to your skin.

Yes, your skin is acidic and if you’ve heard the term “acid mantle” that’s part of where this term comes from. Your acid mantle is a protective layer on your skin that protects your skin from dehydration, infection, and environmental assaults like dirt and pollution. Your skin’s sebum is broken down by bacteria on your skin resulting in that acidity.

Apparently it’s ideal to use products around 6 or even 5.5 to hit that “sweet spot” of a pH that’s really good for your skin.

While that might be best, it turns out that it isn’t crucial for a few reasons:

  • Your skin can bounce right back from the higher pH ingredients since it’s always regenerating.
  • Other unexpected things can disrupt the acid mantle like washing with plain water (who would have thought?), alkaline or acid cleansers.

Most importantly, whether you are using bar soap, hand soap, or shower gel, choose products with healthy non-toxic ingredients. And this creamy homemade body wash is a great way to do just that.

More Natural DIY Personal Care Products

If you like this recipe, you’ll love these other homemade personal care products too!

Jojoba Face Wash – make this and find out why washing your face with oil makes so much sense
Rose Water Spray – a lovely part of a non-toxic beauty routine
“The Best” Eye Makeup Remover – this works so well you’re guaranteed to love it
Easy Homemade Deodorant – works great for so many people
Simple Nourishing Hand and Body Lotion – keep your hands and body soft with this easy to make creamy lotion
Nourishing Sugar Scrub – for baby smooth skin all over your body–without the high price
Homemade Shea Butter Lotion – so nourishing and non-greasy!

Recipe Notes

1.  I used guar gum, but one reader used xanthan gum and said 1 teaspoon worked well for her.  1 teaspoon guar gum made the mixture overly thick which is why the measurements for each are different in the recipe card. 

2.  You can buy most of these ingredients at Starwest Botanicals or at Amazon using the links in the recipe card and post.

3.  For the essential oils, you can read this series to find out why I went with the company that I did.  For more information on how I chose this company, see my series, “Which Essential Oils Company is ‘Best'”, or go to the end of the series here.

homemade body wash in glass jar with a cork top on a towel with citrus fruits
homemade body wash in bottle with towels and citrus fruits

Homemade Body Wash

This Homemade Body Wash is made of castile soap, is all natural, moisturizing, and super simple to make. Great for removing toxins from your home and for gifting too!
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Makes: 0.75 cup wash



  • Melt shea butter (if using) over low heat.
  • Add aloe vera gel and warm together with the shea butter (or olive oil).
  • Add gum and stir well with a whisk.
  • Add the castile soap.  Mix well.  I found I had to mix with my immersion blender or in a blender to get the gum completely distributed.  It's not completely necessary, but makes for a more consistent wash.  After blending, your wash will be quite foamy but it will settle in a few hours.
  • After the mixture has cooled, add vitamin E and essential oils (if using).
  • Pour into container of choice using a funnel to prevent spilling.


I personally use guar gum, but one reader used xanthan gum and said 1 teaspoon worked well for her.  
1 teaspoon guar gum makes the mixture overly thick which is why the measurements for each are different in the recipe card. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholenewmom or tag #wholenewmom!

What do you use in the shower–soap or body wash?

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  1. Castile soap has potassium hydroxide in it and is very bad for your skin apparently! One thing I was wondering is there legit a soap base or cleaner that can be mixed with this recipe at all

    1. Hi Mirranda – can you tell me where you’ve seen this information / why you’ve read that it’s bad? Thanks!