Want to create your own DIY milk and honey body wash recipe? This easy step-by-step tutorial shows how to make creamy body wash that cleanses gently and makes the skin feel soft and refreshed. Made only 5 materials + essential oils, the moisturizing formula has a luscious, rich texture, ideal for soothing and nourishing dry skin.
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DIY creamy milk body wash
This DIY milk and honey body wash allows you to reap the benefits of a milk bath in the shower. And the body wash recipe is easy as can be! You just measure and mix and end up with a lovely homemade shower milk.
Aside from the simplicity, my favorite aspect of this natural body wash recipe is the rich, creamy texture. The milky shower gel lathers nicely and produces a hydrating, velvety wash. And your skin will feel soft, clean, and moisturized afterwards. You’ll love it!
Benefits of homemade milk and honey body wash
That stingy, dry feeling post-shower means our skin is properly cleansed, right? Yes, but not in a good way. It can be an indication of harsh surfactants, such as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate.
Many commercial body washes contain these surfactants because they’re cheap and potent foaming agents, which we have been trained to associate with cleansing power. But they also strip the skin of its natural lipids and fats, disrupting the skin barrier and causing dry, irritated, and itchy skin.
Not so this sulfate-free milk and honey body wash recipe! It’s formulated with a mild surfactant that cleanses gently. The body wash recipe also contains milk, honey, and jojoba oil, adding refatting qualities that replenish and protect the skin.
Curious to know what makes milk and honey such great skincare ingredients? Read ahead to learn more!
Skincare benefits of milk
Milk is loaded with vitamins (A, D, B6, B12), trace minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus), antioxidants and other essential nutrients that nourish and pamper the skin. Here’s a brief overview of the potential benefits of milk in skincare:
- Moisturizing: Milk is an excellent moisturizer. Vitamins A + D, biotin and milk lipids combat dryness and keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.
- Exfoliating: Milk contains lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that acts as a gentle exfoliator to slough off dead skin cells.
- Cleansing: Lactic acid also acts as a natural cleanser and helps clear out pores and wash off acne-causing bacteria. Exactly what we want in a natural body wash recipe!
- Anti-Aging: The proteins and vitamin D in milk are said to further skin elasticity, reduce fine lines, and boost collagen production, which helps to promote youthful skin.
Benefits of honey for the skin
Honey is an effective ingredient for homemade skincare preparations. Packaged with peptides, antioxidants, vitamins, and fatty acids, honey is a powerhouse of nutrients. Let’s discover what honey can do for your skin:
- Soothing: Honey soothes redness and irritation and helps alleviate chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Hydrating: As a natural humectant, honey draws moisture into the skin keeping your skin hydrated and supple.
- Anti-Acne: Honey also possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that calm acne and blemishes.
- Brightening: Honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase, which converts to hydrogen peroxide on the skin. Hydrogen peroxide has a mild skin-brightening effect.
Omit honey if you react allergically to honey, pollen, or other bee-related products.
Milk and honey body wash ingredients
The materials to make this moisturizing body wash recipe with milk and honey are pretty straight-forward:
- Cocamidopropyl betaine is the surfactant and gives the body wash its cleansing power. I share more info down in the FAQs, including other surfactants you can use.
- Plant oils replace the lipids that have been removed during cleansing. I used jojoba oil. Of course, you can opt for any other liquid carrier oil you have or like, e.g. fractionated coconut oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, etc.
- Milk powder is full of skin-loving nutrients and lends the body wash an incredibly rich, creamy texture. I used whole milk powder and listed other options below.
- Raw honey: A good-quality unpasteurized honey is perfect. While manuka honey may be a bit pricey for a rinse-off product, feel free to use it if you fancy a manuka honey body wash.
- Essential oils provide a natural scent and additional skincare benefits. You can find a few scent combinations in the next section.
- Preservative: I preserved my body wash recipe with Geogard ECT, a natural broad-spectrum preservative.
Essential oils for milk body wash
I love scented bath products and had fun coming up with these body wash essential oil blends. Left unscented, the body wash has a subtle milk and honey scent, which is lovely as well.
- Skin-soothing: 17 drops blue tansy + 12 drops manuka + 7 drops chamomile
- Sweet and dreamy: 20 drops vanilla oleoresin + 13 drops petitgrain + 7 drops patchouli
- Milky florals: 12 drops lavender + 8 drops palmarosa + 6 drops yuzu
- Orange spice: 15 drops sweet orange + 10 drops copaiba oleoresin + 5 drops cedarwood
- Muscle ease: 20 drops ravintsara + 10 drops lavender
And if you create your own blend, please don’t forget to drop a comment below – I’d love to hear all about it!
How to make milk and honey body wash
The creamy body wash recipe couldn’t be easier to put together, and the milk honey combo is a skincare classic. Here’s how to make creamy body wash with milk powder:
- Mix liquids. Put the cocamidopropyl betaine, jojoba oil, honey, and essential oils into a glass measuring cup or mixing bowl. Stir until the honey has dissolved, which takes 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture will look streaky at first and turn cloudy once the honey is dissolved properly.
- Dissolve milk powder. Next, add the milk powder and stir until the liquids and powder are well combined. At first, the body wash mixture will look lumpy, and it can take several hours for the milk powder to dissolve and get a thick and creamy body wash. The dissolving process will happen on its own, and you don’t have to do anything else.
- Preserve. Add the Geogard ECT and stir well to incorporate the preservative in the body wash mixture.
- Store. Transfer the milk body wash into a shower bottle. Optionally, decorate the bottle with a printable label.
How to make creamy body wash
This truly is the best creamy body wash recipe! The texture is so thick and luxurious. Milk powder is an amazing, all-natural thickening agent and creates a rich and creamy texture. Just look at the photos to see how viscous the milk body wash turned out.
In fact, milk powder works so well that you might end up with a creamy shower mouse rather than a liquid body wash. I made the first iteration of this DIY with 1/2 cup milk powder and ended up with a shower cream, which was still good to use, of course.
So, don’t be surprised if your Body wash turns out a little thicker than you’d expect.
Another thing to note is that body wash with milk powder doesn’t reach the final consistency right away, but the next day. Before adding more milk powder, let the body wash sit overnight to give the milk powder time to dissolve and absorb liquid.
And if you want to learn more ways on how to make body wash thicker, take a look at my rose body wash recipe and shower gel tutorial, where I show how to use salt, natural gums, and acids as thickeners.
Tips for packaging
Since the texture is so thick, it’s best to fill the creamy milk and honey body wash in a storage container with a wide opening. These 8 oz lotion bottles, these reusable 8 oz juice bottles or these 4 oz bottles are great options.
I don’t recommend pump bottles or soap dispensers, as the thick body wash could clog the pump mechanism.
You can download the printable body wash label at the end of the post. I recommend printing the label on waterproof vinyl sticker paper, so it’ll last in the shower.
How to use DIY creamy body wash
You use this Body wash with essential oils like you’d use any other shower gel or body wash:
- First, wet your body with warm water.
- Apply the body wash with your hands or a wet washcloth. Use a loofah if you want a little exfoliating action.
- Gently rub the product over your entire body.
- Rinse with warm water, making sure to get it all off the skin.
- Gently pat your body dry and follow up with a lotion, moisturizer, or body oil.
This thick milk and honey body wash is highly concentrated, so you’ll only need a little. A dime-sized amount is enough.
As I mentioned, this milk body wash is very gentle and not stripping. Some may find it slightly less effective after a sweaty workout, or to clean the underarms and groin area. If you want a product with more substantial cleansing power, try my DIY shower gel recipe.
Storage and shelf life
How to store DIY milk and body wash
Store the homemade creamy body wash tightly closed in a cool place out of direct sunlight. The shower enclosure is fine.
How long does homemade milk body wash last?
The shelf life of the milk and honey body wash recipe is 4 months.
Creamy body wash FAQ
What is cocamidopropyl betaine?
Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a surfactant (a type of cleanser) derived from coconut oil. Surfactants (surface active ingredient) lower the surface tension and make it possible to wash off dirt and grime.
CAPB has acquired a somewhat dubious reputation after being named “allergen of the year” by the American Contact Dermatitis Society in 2004. However, a study showed that the irritation isn’t caused by CAPB but impurities that develop during the manufacturing process.
High-quality cocamidopropyl betaine is free of these impurities and known as an extremely mild cleanser, even suitable for baby care. I also chose CAPB because it’s affordable and more readily available than other surfactants.
Can I use another surfactant?
Yes, you can swap cocamidopropyl betaine with cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, olivamidopropyl betaine, or coco glucoside, all of which are incredibly mild, sulfate-free surfactants.
Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine and disodium cocoamphodiacetate are a little harder to come by but work beautifully nonetheless.
What type of milk powder can I use?
Coconut milk powder is a good choice if you prefer a dairy-free body wash recipe. Skimmed milk powder is also an option but will be less refatting.
Just note that different milk powders will result in different textures. The Body wash you see in the pictures was made with whole milk powder.
Can I use fresh milk in Body wash?
No! Fresh milk will spoil within hours and ruin the creamy body wash. The same goes for coconut milk.
Can I use honey powder instead of raw honey?
Yes, 1 to 2 tbsp honey powder will do the trick. If you made Irena’s milk and honey bath bombs, you might have leftover honey powder. But readers told us that honey powder isn’t available everywhere, so I decided to incorporate real honey in this essential oil body wash recipe.
Why do I need a preservative?
Since the natural body wash formulation doesn’t contain any added water, you might be wondering why a preservative is needed. I’m in camp better-safe-than-sorry and want to eliminate any chance of spoilage.
A preservative extends the shelf life and ensures that our homemade milk body wash doesn’t become a feeding ground for yeast, mold, and bacteria.
However, you can opt to make the body wash recipe without a preservative, which will last for about 2 to 3 weeks.
Do I need to adjust the pH?
No, you don’t have to adjust the pH of this homemade milk body wash because the pH level clocks in at about 5 to 5.5, which is in harmony with the skin’s acid mantle.
Jojoba oil (and most other plant oils) is slightly acidic, with a pH ranging between 4.5 to 5. And the pH of cocamidopropyl betaine lies between 5-6. This pH level makes cocamidopropyl betaine such a gentle cleanser, and is another reason why I chose the surfactant for this creamy body wash recipe.
Milk & Honey Body Wash Label
Click the button to download free printable body wash labels!