Washing hair every day is a hygienic norm these days, but back in the day people only washed their hair once a month. My grandmother only shampooed her hair once every week, and her hair was beautiful. But then commercialization kicked in and we were gimmicked into washing our hair every day — regardless of the effects of chemicals on our hair and scalp.
There’s been a shift in hair maintenance over the last few years, and more people are skipping shampoo. I actually only wash my hair every other day now, but I know people who only wash it once a week. It’s all based on how oily and fine your hair is, or even how much you sweat throughout the day. If you run a marathon, it’s still a good idea to use shampoo!
As I’ve transitioned into the no “poo” movement, I started to wonder about the chemical components of body wash. I’ve always struggled with soap and body wash because I have overly sensitive skin. I can’t even use a loofah. In fact, there are many big brands that my doctor recommends I avoid for the sake of my skin.
So if shampoo is so hard on our hair, what’s daily washing with chemicals actually doing to our skin?
Bad Stuff in Body Wash
There are similar products used in shampoo and body wash that are known skin irritants or even carcinogenic. Here are some of the bad ones:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Found in the majority of personal care products, sodium lauryl sulfate is a known lung, skin and eye irritant.
- Phthalates: Often used in moisturizers and cosmetics, phthalates have been linked to breast cancer.
- Propylene Glycol: Repeated exposure increases your risk for contact and irritant dermatitis.
After learning this, I decided that there was no reason to keep looking for a doctor-approved store bought brand of body wash. It’s time to make my own organic, skin-safe body wash.
- 1 pint mason jar: Consider this your mixing bowl.
- Coconut fatty acid/oil: Coconut oil is a bit magical. It helps clean and condition your skin, plus I like to cook with it. Can’t beat multi-use magic.
- 2 cups unscented castile soap
- 1 cup water
- 20 drops of your favorite essential oil — remember to pair it with a complementary scent if you added a different type of oil to the water.
- 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
- Shake bottle for your end product
If you need guidance on essential oils, try starting with basic scent pairs like vanilla with lavender or sage with rosemary. You don’t have to buy multiple expensive bottles because it can get pricey fast. Simply buy half-ounce trial sizes until you find the scents that work for you.
Tip: Run a skin test if you’ve never used essential oils before adding them to your body wash. Add a drop of essential oil in a shot glass of water and apply it to your skin. Some people develop contact dermatitis from essential oils because the distillation of the herb is so intense. Before you use it across your body, make sure you won’t have a reaction.
Combine all ingredients into the mason jar. Screw the lid back on and gently shake the jar. Vigorous shaking will make a thicker lather than you want. If you do make a bit of foam, though, don’t worry. It doesn’t hurt the finished body lotion
Grab your funnel and squeeze bottle and add the contents of the mason jar to the bottle.
Tip: Don’t be tempted to use a mixing bowl with a blender or any sort of mixer. The more bubbles you make, the harder it’ll be to get your body wash into the squeeze bottle. Coconut oil body wash is low lather, but don’t take the chance.
This body wash won’t foam like a store-bought body wash, but it will make your skin soft and clean. Don’t be afraid to try new combinations of essential oils. Enjoy!
What about you? Have you ever made your own homemade body wash? Post in the comments and let us know!