Title header showing a woman with sudsy body puff in shower

How to Make Easy, Cheap Body Wash

Homemade Body Wash is easy to make! And it will save you money!

Somewhere around age 50, I realized that soap was no longer an option because it was drying my once oily skin. So, I started buying body wash. They worked fine but I was concerned about the ingredients and I had no idea what they were. I decided to make my own with ingredients that I knew were safe and healthy for my skin.  I needed a body wash that worked and it had to be easy and cheap.

Which body wash is easy AND cheap?

I began making my own body wash and found out that there are a lot of different recipes out there. All of the ones I tried were good, but many of them had ingredients that I normally don’t have on hand. Some recipes took a lot of time. Worse than being time-consuming, sometimes, the combination didn’t really work effectively.

Skin needs oils

 Skin needs an additional protective layer of oil, even if you classify yourself as “oily”.  Most of us need help keeping our skin moisturized as we age but even if you are young, you may think that adding oil will only cause problems, like clogging pores or making your skin feel tacky or greasy. But, there’s an easy solution.

It all boils down to using the right oils for your type of skin. If you use the correct kind of oil for your skin type, it can actually balance the level of oil your body is producing. The other factor in choosing the right kind of oil is the climate you live in. A cold, dry climate will require a balance of heavier oils in order for your skin to be protected. A tropical climate allows for the use of a larger percentage of light oils that can be easily absorbed into the skin.

What kind of oils are best for bodywashes?

  1. olive oil is a thick oil that is good for aging or scaly skin, or a climate that is dry. (Seasonally dry counts as dry too.)
  2. Almond oil is thin oil that is absorbed quickly. Good for warm, humid climates or for slightly dry skin.
  3. Apricot kernal oil is also thin and is easily absorbed. Good for warm, humid climates or mildly dry skin. (or for hot summers)

Skin needs cleaning

I experimented with different combinations in order to find a body wash that not only cleaned with a rich lather, but it added a really thin layer of oil that could be absorbed into the skin without clogging pores The “soapy” part could not defeat the purpose of finding a moinsturizing recipe, and it had to be healthy ingredients with no additives.

After a lot of experimenting with different oils and different percentages of ingredients, I finally narrowed it down to just a few ingredients that left me clean and moisturized. No more dry, itchy skin. Best of all, it’s simple and it works! You may end up wishing that you had discovered oil-based body washes a long time ago. 

Basically, you simply mix castile soap, oil, and honey in equal parts. Here is the detailed proportions that work for my skin type and my climate. (I live in a sub-tropical environment.)

The ultimate, easy, cheap body wash recipe!

Find a pretty jar and put your homemade body wash in it!
  • 1/3 cup pure castile soap
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1-2 tbls glycerine for suds (optional)
  • essential oils for scent (optional)

Pour the ingredients into a jar and shake it! (You will need to shake it every time you use it.) Is that easy, or what?  Let me tell you, this stuff works!

Making your own body wash is just one way to make your home a place of refuge. You will enjoy reading more about that in this post: How to Make Your Home a Place of Refuge

Variations of ingredients for body wash explained

The best oils for bodywash

The variations are where you get to customize the combination that best suits you and your situation. Depending on the season, I vary the percentages of the different oils in that 1/3 cup. For example, in the winter, I will use more extra virgin olive oil and a smaller amount of almond oil. In the summer, I reverse that percentage and use less olive oil, and the rest is almond oil and apricot kernel oil. The amount of raw honey and castile remain the same.

A note about almond or apricot kernel oil: store it in the fridge once it has been opened. Oils that are this good for you can go rancid. I use just oil on my face in the evenings, so I will put only a tablespoon or so at a time in a dropper jar that is in my bathroom. 

Suds are a beautiful thing when you use body wash

If you have hard water, the amount of suggested glycerine is a must if you want a sudsy wash. If you have soft water, you may not need it at all. I love suds and feel that I am not getting clean without it. Some folks understand that they are not necessary in order to get clean. But, I grew up with suds, so, I need suds!

Scents for body wash

Adding scents is strictly optional. If you prefer a scent that is not the smell of castile, then you can add essential oils. I know only what I personally like, so I will share with you my own preferences. Your preferences will probably be great too.

  • orange + clove=winter scent. I use about 20 drops of orange and 7 drops of cloves
  • lavender + ylang ylang=girly scent. I use about 20 drops of ylang ylang and 10 drops of lavender.

How to preserve body wash

Non-toxic preservative for body wash

This is an easy, easy fix. Things can go south really fast-even if it has honey which is supposed to keep things from growing mold. Simply add 4-5 drops of tea tree oil. Since tea tree oil has a pretty strong scent, you may want to increase the other essential oils to cover the smell. Just a few drops of that potent essential oil and it will preserve the bottle of body wash!

Where to buy the ingredients for homemade body wash

There are a few direct sales companies that sell essential oils and they are of very good quality. My personal choice for a source that sells essential oils is Mountain Rose Herbs.  https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/ They have a good quality for a good price. They also sell liquid castile soap and glycerine.

I highly recommend that you buy your RAW honey from somewhere near you in order to get local honey. Be sure that it’s raw. Sometimes, honey from big box stores or grocery stores are not raw or they may not be completely 100% honey. Try to buy honey from a supplier near you. There is a distributor of goods for farmer’s markets near where I live. I just call ahead and ask for them to set aside a quart or two of orange blossom honey. I live where orange groves still exist!

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How to store body wash

Glass is best

I found a couple of pretty glass salad oil jars at Goodwill (a second-hand store) for next to nothing. They look so pretty and look nice in the bathroom. Who says they have to be for just the kitchen? I highly recommend that you use glass jars. I also recommend that you do not make more than what you can use within two months or so. It may keep for longer, but it’s best to start over with clean jars and fresh ingredients to ensure that your ingredients are not harming your delicate skin.

One cup of this lasts me about 2 months. We have hard, well water, so if your water is soft, it may last longer. Use a body puff or body sponge to make a little go a long way.

Note: I don’t use it on my face or hair.

Homemade body wash is easy to make. And did I mention, it will save you money! It’s good for you too. And, it is super quick and easy.

A photo of the author, Deborah Schreffler

Debbie Schreffler

Veteran Homeschooler, avid gardener, and proud grandma

I believe that you can design a peaceful lifestyle while you homeschool, complete with a garden if you want, and meals that will make the best memories you ever could imagine!

I homeschooled seven kids through high school, starting them all with a lot of planned, hands-on activities. Then, I centered subjects around the activities. That gave them lots of room for their natural curiosity to be satisfied as they learned about God’s world.

Let me help you teach kids, grow food, and stay calm!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.Mat 6:33 CSB

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