With cooler temps comes the arrival of dry skin. When the heat turns on and begins pumping out that warm, dry air, you might start to develop those uncomfortable, itchy patches on your legs and arms. The first defense is often internal, so make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
Then you can make changes externally by replacing any harsh soaps and cleansers with more gentle versions to avoid stripping away your body’s natural oils. This homemade moisture-rich body wash includes both sunflower oil and shea butter to create a super soothing treat for your skin.
Moisturizing Shea Butter Body Wash
I’ll admit that it’s been a while since making my last batch of body wash. The honey coconut oil version was amazing, but I found myself too distracted to make more. With so many new things to try, it’s sometimes hard to force yourself to go back and make a recipe again, you know?
But making your own body wash is totally worth it. You only need three ingredients, and it literally takes less than 5 minutes. Then you’ll ask yourself, why was I so lazy about this for so long?
Here’s what makes this body wash so soothing:
Unlike other soaps that are made with harsh cleansers, castile soap is made from saponified oils. That means it won’t strip skin of moisture or leave it feeling parched and flaky.
Considered a “dry” oil, sunflower oil is quickly absorbed into the skin, so you get much-needed moisture without feeling greasy. It contains natural vitamin E, which acts as a healing antioxidant [source].
Shea butter softens skin and helps replenish your body’s moisture barrier, thanks to a high concentration of essential fatty acids, vitamins A and E, and carotene [source].
How to Make Your Own Body Wash
- 1/2 cup shea butter
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1 cup liquid Castile soap (This time, I used soap I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs; it seems to foam up more when mixing than the Dr. Bronner’s that I typically use.)
- 16-ounce pump dispenser (mine is from Rail19)
Just like with the honey coconut oil body wash, you’re basically using 1 cup of soap to 1 cup of moisturizing ingredients—in this case, shea butter and sunflower oil—so there’s room to substitute or mix and match. And if your soap dispenser is smaller, just cut the total amount in half but maintain the same ratio of ingredients.
The body wash is creamy but lathers nicely (very important to me), and you can feel the oils staying on your skin, creating a protective layer against the elements. A perfect skin soother for colder temps!
Your skin may not see much light during the winter when you’re all bundled up, so it can be easy to forget to moisturize, especially if you’re like me and go straight from the shower to the quickest warm clothes you can find. But it’s still important to exfoliate, so I usually dry brush or use a body scrub in the shower because I’m too cold to stand outside and do it beforehand. Then, don’t forget to slather on a rich moisturizer as soon as you get out.
Why does my body wash solidify after a while?
Colder temperatures can cause the shea butter to solidify and separate from the other ingredients. To fix this, just place the bottle under warm running water for a few minutes (a convenient spot is on the floor of the shower where you won’t kick it) and let the heat from the water melt the oil. Then give it a good shake before using.
Alternatively, you can use shea oil in place of the shea butter.
Will this body wash make me break out?
I haven’t experienced any skin issues from using homemade body wash, but your skin may be different. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts, make a smaller batch and do a skin patch test on an inconspicuous area before applying it to your entire body.
Can I add honey to this recipe?
Sure! Just be forewarned, honey has a tendency to separate from oil-based body products. So you’ll probably need to give everything a good shake before each use.
Can I use other oils in place of the sunflower oil?
Of course. Feel free to choose any oil you like that is liquid at room temperature. My favorites are jojoba, sweet almond, and sesame oil, which have excellent moisturizing and anti-inflammatory effects that protect and nourish the skin barrier [source].
What can I do to give my body wash more lather?
Try adding more castile soap or even a different brand of castile soap.
How long will this product last?
Since water has a tendency to get inside the bottle over time, it’s best to use your body wash within 6–8 weeks.
How can I make body wash without castile soap?
We recommend castile soap because it’s all-natural and made from oils, making it ideal for dry, irritated skin. If you can’t get your hands on castile soap or you don’t like the way it lathers, you can always purchase a non-toxic body wash product and add your own oils to it.
Soothing Shea Butter Body Wash
- Liquid pump dispenser
- 1/2 cup shea butter
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1 cup Castile soap
- Melt shea butter over low heat. I usually heat a few inches of water in a saucepan on low heat and put the butter in a heat-resistant measuring cup. Place the cup in the warm water until melted, then remove carefully.
- Add Castile soap, sunflower oil, and melted shea butter to the soap dispenser.
- Replace the cap and gently swirl the contents around to combine. Don't shake, or you'll activate the soap and get a bunch of bubbles!
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.550
Mine did the same thing. Any suggestions on how to fix this?
Hello, I have read your all the body wash instructions. There is lot pimples on my skin and i have use many products. My skin is oily. Waiting your reply!
Hey, Castile soap and it did not work and then I try just using less shave butter by half the recipe of Shea butter but everything else the same and got the same solidifying result!
I just made this and when it was just finished it was soo perfect it lathered really nicely and really creamy as well however when I went to actually use it in the shower the next night it had all solidified !!! How do you keep this from happening?? I loved this app much and I don’t want to waste everything that I used in it but I can’t get it out of the pump now!?
Did you ever get an answer for this? It was aggravating!
You can always use liquid Shea butter to make this recipe. After reading your comment that’s what I am going to use.
Hi: Does liquid shea butter worked? I will try this in a few days. Hope it works,
It solidify so in a cooler temperature. You can warm it by setting it in some warm water. Next time whip up the Shea butter until nice and creamy with a little sunflower oil then add your Castile soap and mix. Should stay more creamy to flow out of pump.
Try adding 1/2 a Tbsp of glycerin it totally fixed this problem for me. I started with 1/2 a Tbsp & then added more according to how I wanted it but that solved it for me!
Question: Do you think you could add 1/2 cup of honey to this also? Or maybe like 1/4 cup?
* Also I don’t have sunflower oil so could I do a mix (to equal 1/2 cup) of my fave oils? I was thinking Jojoba & Sweet Almond maybe!
Any scent recommendations? I’m thinking lavender & rosemary!
I used this recipe and the consistency was perfect but it has very little lather. Is there anything to help that without thinning it?
Any trouble with this separating?
Im worried the sunflower oil might be too heavy overall for my skin. What would be a lighter substitute? Glycerin maybe?
May I ask….why you choose sunflower oil in your DIY shower wash. Is sunflower oil a better choice than Sweet Almond or Jojoba oil? Just curious. Thank you
Sunflower oil has cleansing properties
Sabrina G. says
This HEALED the eczema on my hands!! I use it as a hand wash. Within a few days of use my eczema that’d been persisting over a month was starting to recover where prescription medication couldn’t do anything.
If it solidifies too much, yes its probably because its cooler but you can add more soap to counter balance it. I added more soap gradually about 1 tablespoon at a time and mixed each time to make sure I didn’t thin it out too much.
I bought my Pure Unrefined Raw Shea Butter from Amazon. You can type in the ASIN (B00NMOJSUY) and it will pull up the page of the item I personally purchased.
How did you get yours to not solidified so much I tried adding more Castile soap and it still solidified after adding almost another cup!
Higher liquid oil ratio … I also added some aloe vera gel.
I’m having an issue with the shea butter solidifying in the body wash. Is this just due to colder weather? I’ve never had shea butter solidify in my body washes… but i’ve also never used 1/2 a cup in one. Let me know what you think!
Ms. Jae says
I used that much as well and the shea butter became solidified and when it came out it was really thick and grainy feeling…but when I didnt put as much shea butter it doesn’t solidify at all and the wash and thin and not thick and creamy like I want, HELLLLPPPP USSSS SOMEONE!!
I had the same exact issue! I really wanted this to work since I love shea butter for my daughters eczema!
Exactly at first I tried adding more Castile soap and it did not work and then I try just using less shave butter by half the recipe of Shea butter but everything else the same and got the same solidifying result!
Glycerin is THE KEY to not having it solidify. I just made 2 other soap recipes and had this issue. I started with like 1/2 Tbsp & added more if it still solidified. You can’t really add too much (I mean you can but not unless you add like a whole cup.) It’s water soluble as well so it won’t seperate or change anything about it except make it even more moisturizing!
I recommend NOW Vegetable Glycerin off Amazon. It’s non gmo & a good price! Good luck beauties!
maybe a stupid question but where to you buy shea butter?
I found mine at a local natural health store and grocery.
I bought one off Amazon from Sky Organics. Type in “Sky Organics Raw Shea Butter ” and it’ll pop up! It’s fantastic & 16oz is under $15! It lasts forever too. :)