Enhance your shower with a fragrant DIY rose body wash! The homemade shower gel is a mild body cleanser, suitable for dry and sensitive skin. This pH-balanced rose water body wash foams beautifully, has a rich lather and lush gel texture. The tutorial shows how to make natural body wash without castile soap.
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DIY rose body for wash without castile soap
This gentle DIY rose body wash will transform your shower! The DIY shower gel has a luscious gel texture and imparts an elegant rose fragrance. The skin cleanser is made with naturally-derived ingredients and only requires 15 minutes prep. My DIY body wash without honey is also vegan.
I formulated this gentle-cleansing DIY shower gel for people with sensitive skin, but it is suitable for any skin type. We often talk about sensitive skin with only the face in mind, but skin sensitivity affects other areas of the body, too.
This rosewater body wash is pH-balanced and will leave your skin feeling refreshed and lightly moisturised, not dry or irritated. The DIY body wash formula uses a blend of rose water, gentle surfactants, provitamin B 5 and rose absolute, which create a well-foaming, hydrating cleanser that rinses off easily.
Before showing you how to make body wash without castile soap, I want to highlight some of the ingredients.
And if you want another moisturizing body wash, try my milk and honey body wash recipe.
Ingredients for rose shower gel
Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine make the core of the DIY shower gel. Both products are surfactants, meaning they cleanse the skin by removing excess oil and dirt.
The products have excellent foaming qualities and act as mild, natural cleansers, ideal for those with skin sensitivity. Both are sulfate-free, fully biodegradable and ECOCERT-approved.
Plant-derived Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside is a gentle non-ionic surfactant that contributes great lather. Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside has a mildly acidic pH (5.5 to 6).
Cocamidopropyl Betaine is made from coconut oil and a very mild surfactant that helps to increase mildness and stabilises foam and lather. CAPB has a pH between 6 and 7.
Why use two surfactants?
Without going into too much detail, most shampoos and shower gels contain a primary surfactant and secondary or co-surfactant that complements the primary surfactant by enhancing its activity.
In this natural body wash formula, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside is the primary surfactant, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine the co-surfactant.
However, it’s possible to make a natural creamy body wash with Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside alone. Just note that foam and lather will be less prominent.
Where to buy Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside
- US: Formulator Sample Shop, Garden State Naturals, Make Your Own (only large unit size)
- UK: Naturally Thinking is the only UK shop I could find. The smallest unit size is 1l.
- Canada: Voyageur Soap & Candle Co., Windy Point Soap Making Supplies
- Australia: Aussie Soap Supplies,Escentials of Australia
These shops also sell Cocamidopropyl Betaine so you can buy both items in one order. CAPB is also available on Amazon. Please let me know in case you know other suppliers to add to this list.
Can I use another surfactant?
It’s best to prepare this all-natural body wash DIY with Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. While other surfactants are more widely available, they often have a higher pH, which would thwart the pH-balanced formula I’m suggesting.
What about castile soap?
I don’t recommend using castile soap to make this DIY body wash recipe. Read on to find out why.
Rosewater or rose hydrosol
Apart from adding a pleasant scent, rose water and rose hydrosol are a wonderful addition to DIY natural body wash. The floral water is said to have antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may tone and hydrate the skin.
And unlike essential oils, which can be irritating on very sensitive skin, every skin type can tolerate rose water. If you have no access to rose water, use distilled water instead.
I used my own rose-infused water, which has a soft pink colour.
Provitamin B5, also called d-panthenol, is a member of the vitamin B family and a key ingredient to keep your skin soft, moisturised, and healthy.
When provitamin B5 is absorbed through the skin, the provitamin converts into vitamin B5. This vitamin B5 has natural moisturising, soothing, healing and regenerating properties, making it an effective ingredient in formulations for sensitive and dry skin.
If you can’t find provitamin B5, use vitamin E oil instead.
Rose essential oil (optional)
Adding essential oils to body wash is optional, they are mainly used for fragrance. I scented my DIY foaming body wash with rose absolute. Rose absolute creates a rich floral smell and may aid with skin rejuvenation.
Another idea is to use diluted rose otto essential oil. Rose otto provides a mild rose fragrance and is even better for very sensitive skin. Pure rose essential oil is forbiddingly expensive. I don’t recommend using it in a wash-off product.
Alternatively, use lavender or chamomile essential oil. I also love the floral fragrance of Plant Therapy’s balance blend, which imparts a delicate aroma of lavender, palmarosa, rose and jasmine and others.
Other shower gel ingredients to make DIY rose body wash
We also need the following natural body wash ingredients to make shower gel at home:
- vegetable glycerin – Glycerin’s humectant qualities condition and help the skin retain moisture. The ingredient is also a solvent for the thickener, xanthan gum.
- fractionated coconut oil – A small amount fractionated coconut oil provides moisturisation. The oil is easily absorbed and helps to soften the skin for a silky, soft feel.
- xanthan gum – Xanthan gum, a natural thickening agent, is responsible for the lush gel texture of the DIY body wash. Without a thickener, the rose body wash would be too thin and wash down the drain.
- citric acid solution – I use a simple citric acid solution as a pH adjuster to ensure the correct pH of homemade body wash. I show how to make a citric acid solution and talk about the importance of pH balanced skincare at the end of the post.
- Optiphen Plus – Optiphen Plus is a natural, paraben-free broad-spectrum preservative. Preservatives are a must to protect water-containing products from microbial contamination.
- pink pitaya powder (optional) – Pink pitaya is sourced from the red dragon fruit and packed with vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants. I used the fruit powder to colour the shower gel naturally, but you can skip it.
How to make body wash without castile soap
How do you make homemade body wash gel? This natural body wash recipe without castile soap comes together in a few easy steps. Here’s how it happens:
Make the water phase
- Pour the rosewater into a beaker or tall jar. Set aside.
- Add the glycerin, xanthan gum, and pitaya powder into a separate beaker or jar.
- Using a mini mixer or milk frother, mix until the glycerin, xanthan gum and pitaya powder are well combined and the mixture looks uniform in colour. You may see tiny lumps of pitaya powder, but these will dissolve.
- Then pour the glycerin-xanthan gum mixture to the rose water and mix until blended. The mixture will thicken within 2 to 3 minutes.
Mix the surfactant phase
- Combine the Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, and fractionated coconut oil in a third beaker or jar. Stir slowly to combine.
Combine the two phases
- Pour the surfactant phase to the water phase and stir until homogenous, for 2 to 3 minutes. You may see a few suds and bubbles, which is fine.
- Finally, add the essential oil, provitamin B5, citric acid solution, and Optiphen Plus. Mix until incorporate and transfer the mixture into a pump dispenser or squeeze bottle.
How to thicken homemade body wash
How can I thicken my shower gel? DIY shower gel without a thickening agent is very water and inefficient as most of the product would simply wash down the drain. To increase the viscosity and lather, I thickened my easy natural body wash recipe with xanthan gum.
Here is how to thicken body wash with xanthan gum:
- Add the glycerin, xanthan gum, and pitaya powder into a small mixing bowl.
- Using a mini mixer or milk frother, mix until the ingredients are well combined.
- Then pour the glycerin-xanthan gum mixture to the rose hydrosol and mix until blended.
Xanthan gum thickens the moment it comes in contact with water. Dissolving in glycerin first makes it easier to disperse the xanthan gum in the rose water and helps to avoid clumps.
Skin health: The skin’s acid mantle
Before ending this post, I want to mention the connection between skin health and pH. Some will have you believe that pH balanced skincare is just a marketing gimmick and that the pH level of skincare products doesn’t matter. But that is not true.
Our skin is protected by the acid mantle, a thin protective film, which acts as a barrier between the skin and the outside world. It’s formed of a combination of sebum and sweat, and is slightly acidic, ideally at pH 5.5. However, the pH level can range between 4.5 to 6.5 depending on the products you’re using.
FYI, pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity. pH 7 is considered neutral (water), lower than 7 is deemed to be acidic (e.g. lemon juice), higher than 7 is alkaline (e.g. lye).
Why pH balanced skincare is important
Using pH balanced products that don’t disrupt your skin’s natural pH level is essential to maintain softness, suppleness, smoothness, and strength. The acid mantle also helps to retain the skin’s natural moisture levels and prevents transdermal water loss.
And even more importantly, the acid mantle provides resistance to infections. Harmful bacteria and microorganisms thrive in alkaline conditions.
Irritation, redness, dryness, breakouts and oiliness can all be signs of pH imbalance. In oily skin types, the skin tries to combat the pH imbalance by producing even more sebum, which can lead to clogged pores and acne. pH imbalance for sensitive skin often results in irritated, dry and itchy skin.
Why DIY body wash without castile soap?
Looking online, you will find many well-intentioned recipes for DIY body wash with castile soap. However, I decided to formulate a natural body wash without castile soap and here is why:
Soap is naturally alkaline with a pH of around 9-10. Using soap for cleansing is fine occasionally. But the constant use of soap and harsh cleansers can damage the skin barrier, making the skin prone to irritation, itching and dryness – especially in sensitive skin.
Some surfactants, such as Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine, are mildly acidic. They keep the acid mantle and moisture barrier intact. If you are suffering from dry skin and have only used soap so far, switch to mildly acidic surfactants and you may see an improvement.
It’s important to know that washing affects the acid mantle no matter what products you use. Usually, the skin’s pH returns to normal within 30 minutes to 2 after cleansing.
By using a DIY body wash that is close to the skin’s natural pH, we can keep the disruption of the acid mantle to a minimum and avoid the problems associated with alkaline products.
I hope you will enjoy this homemade rose body wash for sensitive skin and my DIY shower gel recipe aids your skincare needs.
DIY Rose Body Wash Label
Tab or click the button below to download your free printable rose body wash label!
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