“Soap and water and common sense are the best disinfectants.” So said Sir William Osler (one of the founders of the renowned John Hopkins Hospital). Today, of course we know he was exactly right; the act of scrubbing our hands for 20 seconds with soap and water is proven to prevent the spread of germs: protecting us, our loved ones, and the other citizens in our communities. But we also know that one of the side effects of using so much soap or hand sanitizer is that it can be drying to the skin. Fortunately, our herbal allies give us ways to create an effective hand and body soap that is also incredibly hydrating, because obviously we want to be safe while keeping our skin happy and supple.
I wanted a foaming hand and body wash for its ease of use, and one that would work to clean and hydrate my dry skin at the same time. As with so many body care products, I discovered that the best way to get exactly what I want at the best price was to make it myself.
How to Make Easy Foaming Hand and Body Soap
Organic, non-GMO verified castile soap is the scrubbing base for this easy body wash recipe, which I’ve combined with herbal hydrosols that add botanical support and fragrance. I formulated the hydrating elements of this foaming soap with rosehip seed oil in mind because of its light texture and powerhouse moisturizing benefits. This universally loved oil brings essential fatty acids and skin-supporting vitamins to the recipe. Alternatively, you can use deeply moisturizing chia seed oil. Chia seed oil benefits all skin types and adds a lush, silky texture. Chia seed oil can also be a good cost saving alternative. For drier skin like mine, I’ve also added an extra moisturizing boost of pomegranate seed oil.
You will need to put your soap into a foaming soap bottle with a pump. I encourage you to reuse one you’ve purchased in the past! Alternatively, these bottles are readily available in stores.
Foaming Hand and Body Soap
Makes about 12 oz.
- 1/2 cup ylang ylang hydrosol
- 1/2 cup rose hydrosol
- 1/4 cup castile soap
- 1/4 cup organic rosehip seed oil or organic chia seed oil
- 1 Tbsp. organic pomegranate seed oil (optional, for drier skin)
- 2 tsp. non-GMO verified aloe vera gel
- 1/4 tsp. non-GMO verified vitamin E oil
- 15 drops organic clary sage essential oil
- 5 drops organic vetiver essential oil
- Pour all the ingredients together in a 250ml foaming soap bottle with a pump.
- Put the lid on and gently shake to combine.
How to Use Your Homemade Hand and Body Wash
According to the CDC, for most effective washing, we should wet our hands or body, and then turn off the tap or step out of the water to apply soap. This works particularly well with foaming soaps because the foam washes away easily. So, get wet, lather up, and then rinse afterwards.
- Some people enjoy dry brushing before bathing. This involves brushing skin with a dry, exfoliating brush in order to bring blood flow and scrub off dead skin.
- When you include oils in any kind of bathing routine, be mindful when stepping out of the tub of shower. Surfaces can become more slick than usual.
- Give the bottle a gentle shake before each use to recombine ingredients.
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