Over the last couple decades, body wash (also referred to as shower gel) has become increasingly popular and even preferred by many people over traditional bar soap. There’s just something luxurious and self-indulgent about lathering up with a loofah with body wash on your skin rather than a tired, old bar of basic soap, right?
Well, if you buy commercial body wash, you might be getting a whole lot more than you bargained for in terms of chemicals and artificial ingredients. Here’s a look at what’s actually in popular body wash products and how you can take a more natural approach by making your own body wash at home.
Common Body Wash Ingredients
Body washes are often marketed as gentle products with soothing ingredients that come from the earth. However, lots of commercial products actually contain harsh ingredients that you probably wouldn’t welcome on your skin if you knew they were there.
For example, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a common body wash ingredient that helps the product to foam but that can also irritate skin, disrupt hormones, and help other chemicals penetrate the skin. Propylene glycol is a common ingredient that has been linked to respiratory, organ, and immune system issues. To provide antibacterial and antifungal properties, body washes often contain triclosan, which has been restricted for use in multiple countries.
Research has been mixed on the issue of parabens and whether they have health consequences, so many people choose to be “better safe than sorry” and avoid them in body wash and other hygiene products Meanwhile, fragrance, is a scarily vague ingredient that is almost always artificial when listed this way and could contain dozens of chemical compounds that you aren’t even aware of.
DIY Body Wash Recipes
If you love the concept of body wash but what to know exactly what’s in it without leaving anything up to chance, you might consider making your own DIY body wash at home. Here are a couple recipes to try if you’re feeling curious or inspired.
Lemon and Eucalyptus Body Wash
Honey provides an element of soothing while eucalyptus and lemon are invigorating to wake your senses up in the morning. It’s also made with coconut oil and vitamin E for a nourishing treat for your daily routine.
- ½ liquid castile soap
- ¼ cup raw honey
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vitamin E oil
- 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- Melt coconut oil in the microwave on 50% heat
- Add the honey, vitamin E, and oils
- Then add the castile soap
- Stir everything gently and then transfer to a bottle
- Shake before using and finish the container within three months
Olive, Honey, and Vanilla Body Wash
For luxurious skin that feels touchable and inviting, here’s another homemade body wash recipe to try. It uses ultra-hydrating extra virgin olive oil as the carrier oil and can last for several months once you’ve made a batch.
- 1/3 cup liquid castile soap
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- About 30 drops of vanilla essential oil
- Combine all ingredients into a blender until smooth
- Pour the mixture into a soap dispenser
- Shake the mixture well before using because it will separate between uses
- Apply the body wash to a loofah and enjoy in the shower