A couple weeks ago I mentioned having made body wash and hand soap, and was holding off to make cute labels before I shared the recipes. Well, I’m trying to backtrack and tie up loose ends with things I’ve mentioned but not followed up on in posts, so today was the day to share! (Have the shower gel label almost done…stay tuned!)
If you’ve been following along, you know that I have become increasingly interested in coconut oil and its benefits, particularly how it can help my skin issues (see the whipped coconut oil post for more on that). I’ve whipped it for lotion, and though after a couple weeks our cold weather caused it to solidify again, I really like it. My legs aren’t nearly as itchy anymore, it absorbs quickly, and overall works well! I also made shaving cream with coconut oil. This stuff feels amazing to the touch, and works (in my opinion) better than straight coconut oil (though you can shave that way, too). Either option gums up in the razor more than a typical shave cream or shower gel, but it washes out. I find the addition of shea butter helps the razor “glide” better, and therefore it’s a better option for those…other…areas, than straight coconut oil.
In order to keep everything natural that I use for body care in the shower, I also made a homemade shower gel. I found several options on Pinterest, but decided on a combination of three recipes from this site. I decided that my skin was both dry and maybe a little sensitive, and I also based my ingredients on fragrance preference (there are essential oils in all the recipes, and they differ based on skin care needs). And of course, I wanted it to include coconut oil. I decided to try:
When I went to the health food store in town to get the essential oils, I discovered there were two types of chamomile (who knew?). I smelled both to decide which I liked the best. I already had Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap from years ago (I used it to make cleaners and they last so long I still have a ton left!). It had darkened over time, and wasn’t the best smelling, but after doing some digging online, I learned that it shouldn’t really go bad. Eventually I may replace it so that my shower gel smells better, but in all reality no smell remains after rinsing (and what smell there is is pretty mild), so I don’t know that it’s worth the extra cost.
|Liquid Castile Soap – Source|
(As I searched for a photo I discovered that there are several formulas of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, so you could get it fragranced with tea tree, peppermint, almond, and other essential oils…and maybe skip adding them yourself.)
I used an empty Wen shampoo bottle for my homemade shower gel. It doesn’t lather a lot, but I was surprised (because it’s not a thick “gel” but more watery) that on my loofah it does, in fact, lather. I’ve been very happy with it!
|My homemade liquid soap (making a new label for it)|
The handsoap was another story. This required some cooking, several hours to sit (and occasionally stir), and for the time involvement didn’t make much (filled two Bath & Body handsoap bottles). (Recipe is here…I used the “lathering” one with water, sugar, coconut oil and grated Ivory soap.) Typically I buy the big (generic) refill handsoap from Wal Mart, and use it in a Pampered Chef Suds Pump, like this:
|Pampered Chef Suds Pump|
I’m able to use only a tad of soap and then dilute it with water to create a foam in the Suds Pump. A large refill soap lasts us a LONG time. It’s mostly water, so it’s not harsh on our skin, and it saves money, especially considering that I’m home full time with up to six kids! We do a lot of hand washing! The homemade soap didn’t work in the Suds Pump (clogged the mechanism), though it did say on the original website that you can put it in a foaming soap bottle if you want foam. (I haven’t tried any other foaming bottles.) I decided that while the soap itself was probably great, it wasn’t worth the time and effort. I just wasn’t going to gain (or save) anything.
Other than the handsoap, though, I’ve been really happy with my homemade coconut oil concoctions, am continually using coconut oil in more and more ways!