It’s been a while since I posted a recipe, and I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed taking pictures and doctoring them up with titles! This was a fun way to get back into that :)
Last winter Grace’s hands got SOOO dry and irritated. They would crack and burn and get red and cause a lot of pain and discomfort for her. She’s an avid hand washer which I really appreciate, but I was feeling so bad for her tender hands throughout the winter months!
I avoid antibacterial products like the plague. They are unnecessary and cause more problems than they solve. I could go on and on about this issue, but basically our skin is protected by good bacteria and antibacterial soaps and gels kill not only the transient (bad) bacteria that could harm us, but they also kill the resident (good) bacteria that protect us. This leaves us vulnerable and it also contributes to the problem of antibiotic-resistent bacteria because. I could go on, but I’ll spare you.
SO. We don’t use antibacterial soap for hand washing, instead I usually purchase a run-of-the-mill honey almond hand soap from Target. It was cheap and generic and NOT antibacterial. I figured it was pretty mild, but the dry hands around these parts would beg to differ!
A long time ago Andy and I watched a documentary about Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and my eyes were opened to the benefits of gentle, natural soaps. Since then I’ve grabbed a few bottles of his famous castile soap and I’ve even played around with making my own hand soap with it.
Usually it would be too watery when I tried to make foam soap, so I switched to using it straight up in a regular soap pump, but it has a thin consistency, so it would shoot out of the pump and splash people. Annoying.
I let my whole “hand made soap” project fall to the wayside because it was simply inconvenient.
After getting into essential oils and seeing people post recipes for their own hand soap concoctions, I decided to give homemade hand soap another try.
This is the recipe I’ve been using and I really like it! I first tried it with olive oil and that worked fine, but I didn’t like seeing a layer of greenish gold oil floating on top of each bottle, so I tried fractionated coconut oil instead and I love it.
The best benefit has been Grace’s soft, smooth hands! She hasn’t had any dry skin or painful cracking since we started using this soap at the start of the winter season! YAY!
I recommend recycling other foam soap dispensers (from Bath and Body Works, etc) for your handmade foam soap, but you can also purchase these pumps from Amazon (Prime no less!) for $7.25.
Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap can be found at Target, Trader Joe’s, and I’m sure many other stores, but it’s also available on Amazon (Prime!) for $19.99. I know that price seems high, but it will last FOREVER. The link I included is for the unscented version. I used the peppermint soap in my recipe and there is also a lavender version. If you’re hesitant to drop a bunch of cash on a giant bottle, keep your eye out for small sample sizes at Target in their travel/sample size bins! I picked up a little bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile soap for $1.99 and because you only use 1/4 teaspoon per bottle of homemade foam soap, even the sample bottle will last a while!
Fractionated Coconut Oil is simply coconut oil that is always in a liquid state (vs traditional coconut oil that is solid at room temperature). I get mine on Amazon (shocker!) and it’s a Prime item that is currently $12.99.
Essential oils can be purchased at health food stores, but it’s really important to note that not all oils are created equal. Reputable companies like Young Living and DoTerra have stringent processes for farming and extracting their essential oils and therefore produce some of the finest oils available. I’m sure you probably know someone who is a representative for one of these companies and if not, I’m happy to be a resource for Young Living oils. Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll hook you up :)
For my recipe I used Lavender and Peppermint essential oils. I love the refreshing scent of peppermint and knew it would coordinate well with the peppermint castile soap. Lavender oil has incredible benefits and can be used to soothe burns, calm anxiety, aid sleep, treat acne, provide respiratory relief (asthma, allergies, etc), aid digestion and circulation, etc. It’s one of the most versatile oils and I also happen to enjoy the smell. The peppermint lavender combo is surprisingly pleasant!
**It’s worth noting that this soap can be made without using any essential oils. Choosing the peppermint or lavender castile soap will provide a mild scented hand soap on it’s own. Don’t let a lack of essential oil keep you from trying this hand soap if you’re suffering from dry, cracked hands!**
Ok, enough chit chat! Here’s the recipe….
- 8oz (1 cup) water
- 4 tsp castile soap
- ¼ tsp fractionated coconut oil (can sub olive oil)
- 3 drops reputable essential oil (I used 2 drops lavendar and 1 drop peppermint)
- Add all ingredients to a foam hand soap bottle, secure lid, and gently shake to combine.
- *I recommend making a triple batch and storing it in an airtight GLASS bottle*