I’ve got to be honest—winter is not my favorite time of year. But since I’ve been making my own cleaning and beauty products, my skin is faring much better than in past winters.
While bar soap can leave you feeling itchy and flaky all over after you shower, this nourishing citrus body wash (like this version with coconut oil and honey) will create a great lather without drying out your skin.
Homemade body wash is a wonderful alternative to store-bought products, as it is free of harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances. Making your own homemade body wash allows you to pick and choose the ingredients to your liking, ensuring that your skin receives all the nourishment it needs. To make homemade body wash, you can use castile soap, essential oils, and carrier oils, to name a few. Making your own homemade body wash also means you can save money and reduce your environmental impact by using reusable containers.
To make your homemade body wash, start by mixing together your chosen ingredients in a container. You can experiment with different combinations of oils and scents until you find the perfect formula for your skin. Once you have mixed your ingredients together, simply transfer the mixture to a reusable container and use it in the shower like you would any other body wash. Homemade body wash is an excellent option for those with sensitive skin or anyone who wants to avoid harsh chemicals in their personal care products. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a luxurious and nourishing homemade body wash that will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and refreshed.
Here’s one of my favourite recipes:
How to make a citrus body wash
Sometimes, I use castile soap on its own, but I need extra moisturizing and hydrating power for the dry chill of winter. So, I combine this body wash with fractionated coconut oil and other moisturizing ingredients to leave my skin feeling soft and smooth.
Grab a pretty pump jar and these ingredients, and you’ll have a fresh-smelling citrus body wash that moisturizes while it cleanses.
All you need for this recipe is castile soap (I used citrus, but most of the varieties will work here), fractionated coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, and citrus essential oils.
Each ingredient has a distinct purpose:
Jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties [source], which is why it is used to treat many different skin conditions [source]. It’s readily absorbed into the skin without clogging pores.
Vitamin E oil is rich in antioxidants and has moisturizing and anti-aging properties that boost skin elasticity and collagen production [source].
Fractionated coconut oil, unlike regular coconut oil, has been treated to separate out the different components of the whole oil, while maintaining its benefits for use in skin and beauty products.
I’ve used it here because it does not solidify at room temperature but moisturizes as well as the unrefined oil. It’s also a carrier oil for essential oils. Another carrier oil, such as almond, olive, or grapeseed, could be used instead.
Vegetable glycerin adds extra moisturizing benefits. It helps draw moisture to the top layer of skin and helps prevent dryness. (If you can’t find it, it’s perfectly fine to leave it out.)
And citrus essential oils give this body wash a refreshing and revitalizing fragrance that will definitely help you feel awake and alive in the morning. Citrus oils can make skin more sensitive to the sun [source], so if you’re worried about phototoxicity, you can lather up with extra sunscreen, plan to use after sun exposure instead, or swap in other essential oils.
Besides orange, lemon, and grapefruit, any oils will do. But I’m a fan of:
To make body wash, simply stir everything together and pour it into a clean bottle. I like using a pump top bottle in glass or plastic because it’s much easier to use in the shower than fumbling with a screw-top lid. The citrus body wash is concentrated, so a little bit is all you need for a rich lather.
How long does this homemade body wash last?
I would try to use it within 2–3 months. Since it will most likely be living in your shower and it doesn’t contain preservatives, if any moisture gets into the bottle, it can encourage bacterial growth. To keep mold to a minimum, make a fresh batch every couple of months.
What are some essential oils I can use in my homemade body wash?
You can use a variety of essential oils in your homemade body wash, such as sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, lavender essential oil, sweet orange essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and more.
Can I use castile soap in my homemade body wash?
Yes, you can use castile soap in your homemade body wash. It is a popular and gentle ingredient that can help cleanse and moisturize your skin.
Is homemade body wash suitable for sensitive skin?
Yes, homemade body wash can be suitable for sensitive skin. You can use ingredients like castile soap, avocado oil, vegetable glycerin, and sweet almond oil to make a gentle and moisturizing body wash that is suitable for sensitive skin.
My body wash solidified over time. What did I do wrong?
For starters, make sure you’re using fractionated coconut oil as opposed to regular coconut oil. Fractionated coconut oil stays liquid at cooler temperatures and won’t cause your body wash to thicken.
If you did, and you still notice it thickening, just add more castile soap and give everything a good stir. That should loosen it up.
If you notice any texture changes happening over a long period of time, I recommend tossing it out and making a fresh batch. Like I mentioned earlier, water can work its way into the bottle and cause issues, so you definitely don’t want to keep it forever. Just be safe and make another batch, halving the recipe, if needed, so that you can use it up more quickly.
How can I keep my body wash from separating?
Most homemade recipes will separate over time. While you can use an emulsifier if you like (lecithin is a great option), I’m fine with just shaking the bottle every time I use it.
How do you make antibacterial body wash?
Just add some essential oils with antibacterial properties [source], such as cinnamon, tea tree, or clove, either in addition to or in place of the citrus essential oils.
What are some ingredients I can use to make my homemade body wash moisturizing?
You can use ingredients like avocado oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and olive oil to make your homemade body wash moisturizing. Additionally, you can add vitamin E oil, honey, and aloe vera gel to help nourish and hydrate your skin.
Can I use grapeseed oil in my homemade body wash?
Yes, you can use grapeseed oil in your homemade body wash. It is a lightweight and non-greasy oil that can help moisturize and soothe your skin.
What is the difference between natural body wash and commercial body wash?
Natural body wash is made with natural and often organic ingredients, whereas commercial body wash is made with synthetic ingredients and can contain harsh chemicals. Natural body wash is generally gentler and more nourishing for your skin.
How can I make a creamy homemade body wash?
You can make a creamy homemade body wash by adding ingredients like shea butter, sweet almond oil, and vegetable glycerin. These ingredients can help create a rich and moisturizing lather.
Can I use my homemade body wash as a face wash?
You can use your homemade body wash as a face wash if the ingredients are gentle and suitable for your skin type. However, it is generally recommended to use a separate face wash that is formulated specifically for your facial skin.
Ready to replace the other cleansers in your bath and body arsenal?
Homemade Citrus Body Wash
- Small bowl or measuring cup
- Pump bottle
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons castile soap
- 2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil almond, olive, or grapeseed can be substituted
- 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin optional
- 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
- 1 tablespoon Vitamin E oil
- 20–40 drops citrus essential oil(s) sweet orange, lemon, and/or grapefruit
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup and stir well.
- Transfer to a glass jar with a pump. Shake well before each use.
- Citrus essential oils can cause skin to be more sensitive to the sun. Use caution (and extra sunscreen) if you'll be heading out into the sun.
- My recycled glass bottle with a pump top is from Rail 19, but this one is similar. Use caution with glass bottles in the bath and shower.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.487
I made this for my daughter and granddaughter for Christmas. They said it is rather runny. What can I do about this? Thanks!
Ashley T says
This body wash was moisturizing! I have normal skin, not so dry but I always need one layer of lotion to keep me comfortable. As a test Ive been without lotion since yesterday and my skin is comfortable! Not feeling dry, itchy or ashy like I normally do without lotion. As for the smell, my skin smells like the glycerine. Could be worse. Could have lingering fragrances and detergents with god knows what chemicals! Still feeling nice and clean.
I made this tonight as written except that I used Lavender and Eucalyptus essential oils because it’s still September and warm out and I know I’ll be in the sun. It lathered a lot and feels silky smooth on my skin … not drying at all. I did put it in a glass dispenser, but like others, I’m a little leery of keeping glass in my shower. I may have to relocated it to a little cabinet I have right outside of the shower. Thanks for the recipe!
I made this exactly as written and mine solidified. I noticed a couple other comments about this happening. I tried to warm it but that didn’t help. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!!
I had the same issue! I’m wondering if you found a solution….
I don’t know if this will help but I dilute my castle soap with equal parts water( example 1/2 cup soap 1/2 cup water) and then add the rest of the ingredients. Sent this so still is a little too strong for me this was my solution and It helps the mixture not solidified. It can look like that separates but I shake it right up and everything is back to normal with him when I’m ready to use it. Try that maybe it’ll help.
David Vespie says
When making products at home with water be careful that bacteria does not setup since this can happen after day 3 of the products with water. There are all natural preservatives to keep this from happening. Also if you will had a emulsifier for combining water and oil you will not have to shake the product up before each use as it will combine the water and the oils together.
I have a recipe for a face wash with water and soap and have never had a issues
Did you use fractionated coconut oil?
I made this exactly how the recipe calls for it to be made, except I substituted citrus oils for lavender and frankincense, and it lathered beautifully in the shower! Only problem was that it solidified. What do I do now?
Same issue – I did use the citrus oils but it solidified. Did you find any solutions that worked?
Phoebe Higgins says
Made this recipe and when I went to used it a couple days later, it had solidified. I made it a second time, and used it right after I made it. Totally loved it – lathered great,smelled amazing. However, it has solidified again. The only modification I made to the recipe was using avocado oil instead of jojoba. Would this have caused it? Or is there a trick to re-liquidfying it (I tried a little warm water – no-go)?
Shirley Palmer says
Can you put color in it? If so, what can you use?
Does this recipe separate?
Suzanne Colbath says
Tanya, any recipe should separate. I just always give it a good shake right before I use it.
Mine separated, how do I prevent this?
S Skelton says
I made this recipe and left out the vegetable glycerin and the jajoba oil because I didn’t have it. I added a little more FCO and vitamin E oil to make up for the jajoba oil. Well it solidified. Why is that? What can I do?
Why are glass bottles called for to store the body wash rather then clean plastic?
Pam Ferguson says
Citrus oils are caustic to plastic. It would “eat through” after a while..
hi there,,,i made your body wash for my self & daughter. it smells like summer & looks like a bottle of sunshine. & it lathers up really good also. am makin more for a friend she will get hooked..lol thx for the recipe!!
Angie Goldman says
How long can I keep this batch?
How much does one batch make? :) looks like a beautiful recipe! Can’t wait to try! :D
I just made this. I used 1 tbs fco and 1 tbs almond oil. For the orange I used citrus bliss, 20 drops. I might try balance next time for a grounding blend or even use that for the hubby. I washed my hands with it to make sure it worked okay and that I did not have a reaction. So far smooth hands only. :)
I have a question about the essential oil. Is it okay to use mandarin instead of orange?
Stephanie Gerber says
Sure, that would be perfect!
How long does this last without going sour?
Denise Passero says
Just made this recipe and I LOVE it. I switched up the oils but I would use the citrus oils to help energize me in the morning. I would go with a lavender or calming oil for use before bed. It lathers beautifully. Great recipe and I love that there is no sugar or honey in it. I found several others that called for sugar or honey and you cannot use those near your private area.
Love, love, love this recipie!!! So does my skin! Im just not so sure about a glass bottle in the shower…..Im a bit clumbsy. Add slippery soap to that, and im an accident waiting to happen lol. I just repurposed an old shower gel bottle. Easy peasy.
Denise Passero says
I repurposed an lavender old hand cleaner bottle for mine. I am with you on the glass in the shower. I am a little too clumsy for that. LOL
Vicky T says
Beautiful recipe. If I use almond oil instead of the coconut oil, do i still need the jajoba oil? Thanks.
This looks fab, but I have a stupid question…. how is fractionated coconut oil different from regular coconut oil? I’m not sure we get the fractionated kind here in the UK, at least not as far as i have noticed.
Lindsey Johnson says
Not a stupid question at all! The difference is that the coconut oil has been processed in a way that changes it. It’s still coconut oil, but it won’t solidify at room temperature. It’s mainly used as a carrier oil. If you can’t find it in the UK, you can use any other kind of oil – olive, grapeseed, almond, etc.