The average person washes their hands more than ten times a day. Unfortunately, commercial hand soaps often contain ingredients that can irritate the skin, leaving you with dry, rough hands. When you’re washing your hands that many times during the day, why not treat them to a soothing, DIY natural soap that is free from harsh chemicals and other ingredients that may dry skin and that is simple to make.
DIY Natural Soap vs. Commercial Soaps
Commercial hand soap often contains ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate, which helps make the soap frothy but also can dry and irritate skin. Synthetic dyes in both liquid and bar soaps as well as lye, sometimes found in bar soaps, dry skin out and can cause redness and irritation. You can make safe, effective hand soap at home that won’t dry or irritate your skin and it will even smell amazing. Why go commercial when a natural alternative is so simple to make?
DIY Natural Soap: Ingredients
Homemade hand soap doesn’t actually require a recipe. Think of it more as an ingredient list and a few guidelines that can be tweaked as needed, which means easy customization — you get exactly what you want without compromises. DIY natural soap is a bit thinner than commercial soaps, but it gets the job done and your hands will be clean as well as soft and free from chemicals
Basic ingredients for DIY hand soap include:
- Distilled water
- Liquid Castile soap
- Essential oils
You may also want to include vitamin E oil as a nourishing agent.
Distilled water is inexpensive, typically less than one dollar for a gallon. Find gallons of distilled water in your grocery store aisle next to the gallons of regular drinking water. Liquid Castile soap is a common ingredient in many DIY home cleaning agents. Look for an organic brand that is scent-free. You can buy liquid Castile soap that already contains aromatic essential oils such as lavender and tea tree oil; however, if you opt for the unscented it allows you to create the exact hand soap scent you want. Liquid Castile soap is easy to find online and in the cleaning or organic section of your local grocery store, Target or Walgreens.
Essential oils get their own section because they’re the ingredient in natural DIY hand soap that makes it so amazing. In the last decade, essential oils have grown exponentially in popularity. Used in aromatherapy, skin care, hair care and for various health benefits, essential oils are a go-to component for many natural personal care and cleaning products. You can find essential oils at your local health food market as well as many national retail chains and in the organic sections of many grocery stores.
Note: undiluted essential oils applied directly to skin may cause irritation.
Adding a carrier oil, like almond oil, along with the essential oils to your homemade hand soap helps protect the skin and allows for the best topical distribution of the essential oil. Jojoba oil, grapeseed oil and coconut oil are other carrier oils that work great in natural DIY hand soap.
Essential oils to add to the natural soap include:
- Peppermint oil
- Lemon oil (naturally antibacterial)
- Tea tree oil
- Blood orange
Easy DIY Natural Soap
A mason jar or another jar with a lid is a good container for blending the soap’s ingredients. To make your DIY natural soap:
- Pour about 2/3 cup distilled water into the jar (or container).
- Add 2/3 cup liquid, unscented Castile soap.
- Add 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil (almond, jojoba, grapeseed or coconut).
- Add 1 tablespoon of vitamin E oil (optional).
- Add about 15 to 20 drops of an essential oil. Pick your favorite.
- Cover with the lid and shake to combine the ingredients.
Pour your DIY natural soap into a soap dispenser and use as you would any commercial-type soap. Play around with different essential oils and create your ultimate DIY natural soap. Homemade eco-friendly hand soaps also make ideal gifts for friends and loved ones.