DIY: Chemical Free Moisturizing Body Wash


It’s hard to find to chemical, toxin free body wash out there right now. It seems like all mainstream body washes are chalked full of sulfates, fragrances, dyes, parabens and a whole host of other chemicals. After learning about all the possible scary side effects (including cancer) – I decided to make my own. This is such an affordable option (bonus: because it was not my 1st concern) and is totally organic, natural, biodegradable and free of any harmful ingredients. Plus, you can recycle and reuse your old glass bottles.

(This recipe is for a quart size bottle)

I choose to make my body wash extra moisturizing, as I get really dry skin in the winter. You could simply just add your doTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils to the Dr. Bronner’s Organic Unscented Castile Soap , but I went a step further. Adding almond oil and coconut oil to my mixture made it extra creamy and moisturizing. It feels so luxurious on the skin!

Please feel free to use whatever essential oils are your favorites. My combination turned out beautifully. If you are making this for babies, I would use the lavender oil by itself as it is very gentle and calming.

You will need:

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Unscented Castile Soap

(You can get from Amazon, Target or Whole Foods)

Organic Sweet Almond Oil


Essential Oil(s) of your Choice

1 Glass container (quart size)

Funnel and Measuring Cups

Add 2 cups of Unscented Castile Soap

Add 1 cup of Almond Oil

Measure out 1 cup coconut oil and melt in microwave or stove top

Add to the rest of the liquid

Add your essential oils. Shake well, which will make all your ingredients incorporate.

Add a cute label then lather and rinse!

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69 Responses to “DIY: Chemical Free Moisturizing Body Wash”

  1. Beth February 7, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    I have a quick question- I use the trader joe’s coconut all the time. Once it is mixed in, does it stay in liquid form or solidify?

    This sounds lovely, by the way.


    • Mary Crimmins February 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Hi Beth,
      Once you shake it up it will not solidify. However, I did add it to a bath the other night and it did. It was like bathing with cottage cheese ha! A better option for a bath and shower wash would be to use fractionated coconut oil, which already has the proteins taken out so it will never solidify. Good luck!

  2. Katie February 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    Hey Mary! I’ve got this on my list to make this week, but I’m wondering now that you’ve been using this soap for a little while, is there anything you’d do differently? More/less/different oils, more/less/different essential oils? Just curious!

    • Mary Crimmins February 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      Hi Katie,

      The only thing I would do different is add a little more essential oil. Since you are using coconut oil it tends to have that coconut smell, and the oils didn’t come through as strong as I would like. Otherwise, I am loving it!

  3. Patty March 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Hi Mary! I love your DIY bodywash. I am very lazy about slathering on lotion after my shower. So I was looking for an extra moisturizing bodywash online, and came across your recipe. I really want to give it a try, but do you find it moisturizing enough? Or is it too moisturizing? Have you had any breakouts from this bodywash? Thanks.

    • Mary Crimmins March 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      I agree. I think the body wash is perfect for moisturizing, but not leaving you feeling greasy. You could even rub more coconut oil on after you get out of the shower if it is not enough. However, it feel liks a perfect blend. Let me know how you like it.

    • Mary Crimmins March 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      I agree. I think the body wash is perfect for moisturizing, but not leaving you feeling greasy. You could even rub more coconut oil on after you get out of the shower if it is not enough. However, it feels like a perfect blend. Let me know how you like it.

  4. Paige March 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    Hi there,

    I’ve been wanting the make this body wash for some time now. I have all of the ingredients, but I can’t seem to find a quart-size glass container. Where did you find yours?


    • Alisa October 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      I don’t know what Mary does, but I usually just repurpose an old vinegar bottle or juice bottle. Take the label off and voila! You have a fabulous glass bottle.

  5. Bogey April 3, 2013 at 4:56 am #

    Hi Mary! This sounds great! Just wondering, what is the shelf life of something like this? Thanks!

    • Mary Crimmins April 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      To be honest, I’m not sure. I know that it will last as long as your coconut oil would. So at least a year and probably longer. Hope that helps!

  6. Rebecca April 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    I’m absolutely in love with this body wash! But I was curious what the shelf-life is? Thanks!

    • Rebecca April 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      And then I just read the comment above mine, so never mind! Question answered :)

      • Mary Crimmins April 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

        Great! Glad you got it answered!

        • karen April 12, 2013 at 10:13 am #

          hello, can you substitute almond oil? thnx

          • Mary Crimmins April 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

            You definitely could. You could try Vitamin E Oil if you like.

  7. Bre April 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    I’m excited to try this out! I’d be sharing with my husband though, and he gets kinda picky about what he wants out of his grooming products. Is there something I could add that would work as an exfoliant? Any suggestions on more “manly” (whatever that means) smelling essential oils? Thank you!

    • Mary Crimmins April 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      Thanks for asking Bre. I would use the Balance instead. It would be great for men and women but has a more masculine/woodsy smell. As far as the exfoliant goes, you could use ground oatmeal, sugar, epsom salt or cornmeal. Hope that helps! Good luck, let me know how it turns out.

  8. Ginger May 12, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    From reading the comments above it sounds like the essential oils are just for smell. Do I have the correct? Can you make this without EO if you like the coconut smell? Also, I’ve never used coconut oil, does it have a strong coconut smell or is it more mild? I’m really looking forward to trying this thanks for sharing.

  9. Tam June 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Can I dilute this to use in a foam dispenser? If so, how much water should I use to dilute it?

    • Mary Crimmins June 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      I am not sure about that. I have never attempted that. I would just experiment and see what you can find out. Sorry I can’t be more help. Let us know if you find something out. Thanks!

  10. Lisa Kippur June 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    I noticed that my boyfriends gel soap was running out and he has extremely sensitive skin. I think this recipe is awesome, I can’t wait to give him this, he will love it, thanks so much for a great recipe!

    • Mary Crimmins June 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Thanks so much for trying Lisa. Hope your boyfriend loves it!

  11. Anne June 19, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    Hi, great recipe I will have to try it! I was just wondering since this recipe contains oils does it matter if I store the body wash in plastic bottles or would it react with the oils?

    • Mary Crimmins June 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      If you are using BPA free plastic, you should be fine. However glass is my 1st choice. The oils will leech out petro chemicals from the plastic and you don’t want that going in your skin. If possible, glass is best. Thanks Anne!

  12. Marcia June 23, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I have all the ingredients on hand, except the sweet almond oil, but I have grapeseed oil, so I think I will substitute with that. I think that using just lime essential oil would be great, because then you would have a coconut-lime scent, which is especially nice for summer. I have done this with salt scrub: coconut oil, sea salt and lime essential oil. It makes a very nice scent.

    • Mary Crimmins June 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      That sounds divine. I love the idea of doing coconut lime. You are right, it will be perfect for summer. Let me know how it turns out!

      • Marcia June 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

        I made the bodywash last night and it turned out great! Love the coconut lime scent and the way it left my skin feeling. Thanks for the recipe, Mary!

        • Mary Crimmins June 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

          Yay! So glad it turned out!

        • Parker March 23, 2014 at 1:42 am #

          Any chance you remember how many drops of like essential oil you put in?

  13. Sav June 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe! How long does this keep for?

  14. Natalie Blanco July 4, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    First of all let me say, thank you Mary! I’ve been using Burt’s Bees Radiance body wash for the last 5 years or so and I just found out that they discontinued it. Every other body wash/soap that I tried caused me to be dry, itchy, and turn red around my neck except the Radiance one (even the other Burt’s Body washes at least dried me out). I’ve recently changed almost all of my personal products to all natural homemade (after learning why all that horrible stuff out there was irritating my body). I had not found a body wash replacement that looked good and had ingrdients that I liked until I saw yours. I tried it on my hands so far when I was rinsing out the Pyrex cup I made it in and they feel so clean but not dry. Your body wash has the same color and consistency as the Burt’s Bees so it won’t be hard to switch but it’s even better because it smells exactly like I want it to (vanilla/almond/orange). Thank you again and I can’t wait to shower later this morning so I can enjoy it. :)

    • Mary Crimmins July 16, 2013 at 1:45 am #

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear that you are loving the body wash. It has become my favorite item in the shower! It is so crazy once you find out what is in all those commercial beauty products. Glad that you found something that can replace your Burt’s Bees. Thanks for sharing :)

  15. Polly August 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Thanks so much for the body wash idea. It really leaves my skin feeling smooth as well as clean.

    A funny note–I mixed up a batch during the heat wave last week, using only coconut oil since I don’t have almond oil on hand. It dispensed nicely from my pump bottle. I used it this morning, and was confused to find had become a creamy lump. Expeller pressed coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, silly! I’ll be adding some EVO and more soap this evening, and I’m looking forward to using my new creation. Thanks again!

  16. Jo August 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    This sounds great! I’v just started making my own things and made a liquid soap body wash (grated organic pomegranate soup in water, 1oz of soap to 1 cup of hot water, thickens as it cools in case anyone wants a go!) but I found it a bit drying so I think I could warm it up again and add the oils to make it more silky and moisturizing (great as I’m really lazy when it comes to body lotion!), can’t wait to give it a go!

  17. Eriykah August 11, 2013 at 6:06 am #

    I am so glad I found this article. Most of the “recipes” I see add water and essential oils, and so are too watery, causing the kids to use too much of it. I came across your mixture and it sounds perfect. I don’t know why it hasn’t occurred to me before to use oil instead of water. Coincidentally, I use coconut and sweet almond oil for an after shower body oil. I leave a bottle next to the shower. As soon as I get out, I slather it on, dripping wet. It helps seal the water into the skin. Also when I do it this way, I don’t have to towel dry. Haven’t towel dried after a shower in over two years. However, my kids are not good at oiling their skin, which is a problem because my seven year old has eczema and needs to keep her skin moisturized at all times. I’m hoping this will help. Thank you again and God bless.

    • Dawn August 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

      Like the sound of coconut and oil for after shower, would you share this recipe please?

  18. Dawn August 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Hi, am new to the diy thing, live the sound of this recipe, but can you use peppermint castille liquid as a base with the coconut, or would it be drying? :D

  19. Marian August 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Dawn, I used liquid peppermint castille soap because I couldn’t find “unscented” and it was drying. Also, the peppermint was so strong it made my skin tingle and my eyes burn. (I followed the exact measurements in the recipe.) I won’t use peppermint as a base again. Lesson learned. ;)

    • jessi August 31, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      SAME HERE.

  20. Joye August 30, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Mary – I love the way this recipe sounds, but have heard that most DIY body washes are not very lathering/sudsy. Those sites say to add vegetable glycerin to the body wash – do you know if that would work with this body wash? How much does it lather? Thanks so much! Joye

    • jessi August 31, 2013 at 7:17 pm #


  21. jessi August 31, 2013 at 7:14 pm #


  22. Karen September 8, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    Hi Mary, This is a fabulous recipe – I made it last night and have used it last night and today.. I only had 1/2 cup almond oil, so for the extra cup I added 1/4 cup extra coconut oil, and 2 T Castor oil which is just slightly short of the total oil…(I was concerned more would make it too sticky.) It’s wonderful and rich, but I noticed today it got very thick. I had to try and get it out of all the bottles I’d poured it into, and now have it in 1 cup sized food containers. (It’s about as thick as cake icing!) I’m amazed, just from this small variation. Today I got a 4 oz bottle of jojoba oil and blended it into it with a hand blender as it wouldn’t melt – it’s slightly better, but still can’t get it into the pump bottles. It’s possible adding water would work, but what about bacteria? Any thoughts?
    Do you have any recipes for shampoo/rinse? I’ve seen some with the same Castile soap but have heard that can leave a film..

  23. Karen September 8, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    PS I meant to say for the missing 1/2 cup of almond oil (not “cup”)

  24. Mary September 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Love this body wash, but have 2 problems. First, it does not foam very well, but I can get past that. The second problem is much more serious. Our tub drain started to slow down, and when my husband went to clean it out, he found that the coconut oil had solidified when it hit the cold pipes, and made a terrible clog. Took him all day to clean it out using various methods. He literally had to dig it out, then run really hot water down, and still had a terrible time. We almost had to call a plumber! So, beware!

    • Marcia September 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      Yep! Sorry to say, I have had the same problem with the drain clogging. I did find a good remedy for unclogging the drain, but do not want to continue having the problem. Pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain. The recipe didn’t say how much of each, so I just dumped a bunch down. Follow with 3 cups of boiling water. I would repeat the process if it doesn’t work the first time, maybe with more of the boiling water. The other problem I have had is that it leaves my shower with a lot of dirty soap scum, and I am having to clean it constantly. I’m very disappointed with both of these issues, because I love the soap and the way it makes my skin feel. I haven’t had any issues with the lathering; I actually get a wonderful, luxurious lather. But, I use one of those nylon bath cloths, which is pretty similar to a bath puff, but like an extra long wash cloth. I think that makes all the difference with the lathering. I am going to try omitting the coconut oil in this recipe and just using grapeseed oil instead, and see if that solves the drain clog and the soap scum problem.

  25. Stephanie September 16, 2013 at 3:49 am #

    I am so glad I came across this recipe. I love love love this! My skin is so awkward in that it breaks out at times but is also very very dry. This body wash is so soft and soothing. Doesn’t break me out and my skin feels amazingggggg…. (seriously… I needed all those g’s to express how wonderful my skin feels). I poured some of it into a smaller bottle for a handwash too. My hands generally get dry and painful, and now they feel amazinggggg too (once again all those g’s were needed). Thank you for being so generous with this recipe! ;)

    • Mary Crimmins September 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      Awesome! So glad that you love it. It is my favorite :)

  26. Karen Evasiuk October 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Has anyone tried using liquid coconut premium oil instead? Would this help with drainage problems? I just bought some Natures Way Liquid coconut premium oil today and I was going to try that in the recipie instead.

  27. Romona October 22, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    I just love this! I didn’t have a quart size jar so I just used a Filippo Berio EVOO bottle, which is a pint. I made half the recipe and used what I had on hand. I used Dr. Teals Olive oil Bath and Body Treatment Oil instead of Almond Oil and no Essential Oils since I didn’t have any. I also used Lavendar Castile Soap. It’s such a creamy lather. I will use this from now on. I’m never using store bought body wash again!

  28. Marcia November 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Since I had the problems with the coconut oil clogging my drains, I have come up with this recipe, which does not contain any coconut oil. It lathers really well with a bath puff or nylon bath cloth and leaves my skin feeling moisturized. Since it contains aloe vera gel inner fillet, which is supposed to be refrigerated after opening, I store it in the refrigerator. This is the aloe vera gel that is meant for consumption, and since this is not being used for that purpose, refrigeration may not be necessary, but I prefer to err on the side of caution. The bottle says to comsume within 5-6 months after opening, so this bodywash should keep for quite a while in the fridge. I just put a little bit in a plastic container and take it in the shower with me. You could do this the night before, if you do not want it to be cold.

    Moisturizing Bodywash

    1 cup Dr. Bronner’s unscented liquid castile soap
    1/2 cup aloe vera gel-inner fillet
    1/2 cup grapeseed oil
    2 T vegetable glycerin
    120 drops essential oils

    To make liquid handsoap, I use a similar recipe, but I leave out the aloe and just use more grapeseed oil. So it is 1 cup Dr. Bronner’s and 1 cup grapeseed oil. I tried using the original bodywash recipe for the liquid handsoap, and although I did not have the same drain-clogging problem that I did in the shower, it did solidify in the soap dispenser and would not come out. Hope these recipes help some of you that were having a drain clogging problem.

  29. Nicole November 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    I made this last night and I love it; however, the oils have separated from the soap. Is there a way to prevent this from happen?

  30. cathedralrng November 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this informative blog about Chemical Free Moisturizers. it s very nice and useful.

  31. Reina November 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    i want to make this but with fractionated coconut oil….would i still use the same amount?

  32. Debbie November 22, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    I really want to try this body wash do you think it would be good for a shampoo as well?

  33. Kristin March 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    Just found your blog…Love and following now. Question…if I use fractionated coconut oil is it he same amount as “coconut oil” solid? Thank you!

    • Mary Crimmins March 16, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Hey Kristin,
      Fractionated coconut oil stays liquid all the time whereas, you have to melt regular coconut oil and then as long as it stays warm it stays liquid. Hope that helps!

  34. Lauren April 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    I made this last night using fractionated coconut oil. Used it right away and loved it! This morning it was thick and goopy. :( . Couldn’t even get it out of the bottle! Should I add more Castile? Or oils?

    • Mary Crimmins April 7, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      oh no! I haven’t had that happen before. Hmm…a few suggestions…try shaking it, running it under warm water, maybe it’s sitting in too cold of a spot?, you can try adding a bit more castille soap to see if it helps or add in some water. So sorry that’s happening :(

  35. Nicole April 9, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

    I was just wondering if you experience the clogged drain problem? I have been searching for a DIY natural body wash and yours is the only one I really want to try, but an afraid of the drain issue. If so, do you think using coconut milk instead of the oil would help/work? Thanks for the recipe as I can’t wait to try it ;)

    • Mary Crimmins April 11, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      I love that idea of using coconut milk. Try it out! You can also try adding a little water to the mix to thin it out. Hope that helps!!

  36. Marcia April 10, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    I have been making my own bodywash for about a year. I tried the recipe with the coconut oil, but had a horrible problem with the drain clogging. I posted on here about that a number of months ago. I also posted a revised recipe, which didn’t clog the drain, was very moisturizing and lathered exceptionally well. However, it had to be refrigerated, because it contained aloe vera gel inner-inner fillet, and it was very runny. Well, after many months of experimenting, I have come up with a better recipe, so here it is:

    Moisturizing Liquid Hand and Body Soap
    ( makes approx. 2 cups)

    1/2 cup Dr. Bronner’s unscented liquid castile soap
    ¼ cup vegetable glycerin
    distilled water
    1 tsp xanthan gum
    2 T melted shea or mango butter
    120 drops essential oils

    Put the xanthan gum in a liquid measuring cup. Add a small amount of the vegetable glycerin and stir to mix well. Then gradually mix in the remainder of glycerin. Put the castile soap in a large glass 4 cup measuring cup. (You can use a 2 cup, but it really makes a mess when you stir it.) Stir in the shea or mango butter and the essential oils. Add distilled water, almost, but not quite to the two cup line. (minus about ¼ cup) Gradually stir in the mixture of glycerin and xanthan gum, mixing in a little at a time.

    For Lavender-Patchouli add 72 drops of lavender essential oil and 48 drops of patchouli essential oil. The ratio for these scents is 6 drops of lavender-4 drops patchouli. The rule of thumb when scenting shampoo or soap is 30-60 drops per 8 fluid oz.

    Geranium and lemon (60/60) makes a nice scent for the kitchen. I use this same recipe for liquid hand soap.

    • Marcia April 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

      BTW, in reference to my previous post, I want to add that you do need to use a bath puff or nylon or nylon/polyester body cloth. I have never tried this recipe with a regular washcloth. For people who don’t like that scratchy feel, I just recently found one at Target that is made with polyester and nylon. It is very soft and also lathers well.

      • Nicole April 11, 2014 at 12:26 am #

        Thank you! I will have to give this a try ;)

  37. Courtney April 15, 2014 at 1:39 am #

    Hi, Mary! I am trying to ‘natural-fy’ and simplify a lot of products that I use around the house and I have been searching high and low for natural DIY for body wash. Needless to say, I am thoroughly excited to try this recipe! I saw in the comment section for this recipe you suggested using fractionated coconut oil. I was wondering if you had a link or supplier where you have purchased your fractionated coconut oil?

    Thank you for your time and the great recipe!

    - Courtney

    • Mary Crimmins April 17, 2014 at 2:04 am #

      Hey Courtney! Oh that’s so awesome you found me! I think you’ll love this recipe. I buy my fractionated coconut oil from doterra’s website:
      It’s really reasonable and best to use for a recipe like this because regular coconut oil hardens.
      Let me know if you have any other questions!


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