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Bath time can be such a fun experience for kids and parents alike! There’s nothing better than lathering up with a foamy body wash. We like to make bath time memorable in our home by using this non-toxic homemade body wash for kids. It smells terrific thanks to essential oils and has just as many bubbles as the store-bought kind. You might just find yourself reaching for the kid’s bottle, and I wouldn’t blame you!

3 Reasons to Avoid Drugstore Body Wash

Manufacturers want just one thing, your money. They get people to purchase products that aren’t the best for them by making big claims. If you take a walk down the bath product aisle, you’ll see a lot of promises, including, “Changes the color of bathwater,” “Tear-free,” Smells like bubblegum,” and “Extra bubbles.” These claims may be valid but at the expense of your child’s skin and future health. Here are a few reasons to avoid drugstore body wash.

1. Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic fragrances are almost always in kid’s body wash. Everyone wants to smell nice, but the problem with synthetic fragrances is, well, they’re fake. The fragrance label is protected by the “Trade Secret” law, which means the FDA won’t require anyone to share what’s in their fragrance if they believe it will reveal their “secret” recipe. (1) Most companies request this status, so you never quite know what chemicals you’ve purchased.

2. Artificial Dyes

Artificial dyes are what make children’s body wash look so appealing. Artificial dyes, especially red dye 40, can cause behavioral problems in some children. (2) They may not be consuming bath wash, but the dye can still enter the system through minor cuts and abrasions. On a more practical note, certain colorants can stain carpets, tile, and tub surfaces. That’s not fun for parents!

3. Formaldehyde

A recent study by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that over half of all kids’ body washes contain formaldehyde. (3) Formaldehyde is carcinogenic, meaning it can cause cancer. It also causes skin irritations in some children, which is really just the body’s way of rejecting this toxin. Stay away from it!

Healthy Ingredients for Non-Toxic Body Wash

Safe and Gentle Homemade Body Wash For Kids Ingredients

In all honesty, you could get by using just two ingredients, castile soap, and water. That alone would create a homemade body wash that gets you clean, the natural way! If you enjoy extra bubbles and harnessing the power of essential oils, I’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know!

Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap: This is what I use as the base in all of my DIYs that need soap! Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap is vegetable-based and free from synthetic ingredients. It’s bio-degradable, making it great for the environment and your body! I recommend using Dr. Bronner’s brand because it’s high-quality. This brand carries a “baby” version of their soap, which is great for babies or kids with extra sensitive skin.

Distilled or Filtered Water: Regular tap water often includes toxins linked to congenital disabilities, obesity, and more! I recommend using distilled or filtered water if at all possible. Our family uses the Aquatru filtration system. It creates crisp, clean water without any additives.

Mama Z’s Oil Base or Carrier Oil: If you haven’t tried my oil base, you’re in for a treat! Mama Z’s Oil Base is a blend I created when pregnant with my oldest. It’s full of moisturizing oils that are wonderful for the skin. The recipe makes a huge batch, so you’ll have enough to last a while! If you don’t have time to make my oil base, you can use a carrier oil such as fractioned coconut, jojoba, sweet almond, or grapeseed oil.

Vegetable Glycerin: You don’t need sulfates to create luxurious bubbles! Vegetable glycerin thickens our mixture and makes suds that rival any store-bought brand.

Essential Oils: Essential oils are what give our all-natural recipe its scent! The great thing about EOs is that they do more than just smell good. You can create a custom blend that will benefit your child mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a light moisturizer. It’s very cooling to the skin, making aloe vera the perfect addition to a “Summer” body wash. Be sure to look for a brand that contains no fillers!

Best Combination of Essential Oils for Children

Using essential oils with children is very similar to using essential oils with adults; however, you should pay more attention to adequately dispersing & diluting the essential oils.

Here are some generally safe oils for children’s DIYs:

  • Cedarwood- Great for helping kids feel confident in social settings
  • Lavender– The ultimate calming oil, very soothing to the skin
  • German chamomile- Can help little ones fall asleep quickly
  • Roman chamomile– Great for regulating sleep patterns
  • Rosemary– Helps kids focus and is excellent at repelling lice
  • Citrus oils (lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc.) See the note about photosensitization below.

Some of my favorite EO blend variations to use with the homemade body wash include:

  • Joyful Blend – equal parts orange and vanilla
  • Awesome Body – equal parts orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon, and peppermint
  • Herb Garden Relaxation – equal parts peppermint and lavender
  • Sweet Sleep – equal parts Roman chamomile, lavender, and vetiver
  • Respiratory Support – equal parts eucalyptus, peppermint, Roman chamomile, and lavender

Whether I’m creating DIYs for kids or adults, I like to switch up the oils each time I make a new batch. This way, I’m not using the same oils. Keeping your essential oil combinations fresh maximizes the benefits and helps prevent sensitization.

Safety Note About Citrus Oils:

One of my kids’ favorite pastimes is playing outside. If I let them, they would be outdoors all day! I always try to limit the usage of citrus oils in their DIY products during the warmer months due to photosensitization.

Citrus oils can sometimes increase the photosensitivity of your skin. When you leave these essential oils on the skin and then expose it to the sun, you’re increasing the effect of UV rays, which can lead to sunburn and skin irritation. See a complete chart of citrus essential oils and their natural photosensitivity here.

To avoid this issue, you can choose other essential oils or just use products with citrus EOs at night. Alternatively, use the citrus essential oils specifically formulated to avoid photosensitivity.

How to Make Homemade Body Wash for Kids

My body wash is such an easy DIY! It’s a great recipe to make with your children. Here’s what you do.

Homemade Body Wash For Kids
  1. Add all the ingredients to the plastic container.
  2. Fill the remainder of the container with distilled water.
  3. Put the lid on and gently shake to blend.
  4. Shake again before each use.
  5. Apply with hands, washcloth, sponge, etc.
*The total amount of EOs used will vary based on skin sensitivity and age of the child. See our printable dilution chartfor guidance on EO amounts by age.

Step One: Add Ingredients

Homemade Kids Body Wash with Essential Oils Step 1

Add all the ingredients to a PET plastic bottle. These bottles work perfectly for slippery bathtubs.

Step Two: Add Water

Homemade Kids Body Wash with Essential Oils Step 2

Fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water. Put a lid on your container and gently shake to mix. Shake before every use to evenly disperse all ingredients.

  • Use this body wash as a shampoo too!
  • You may want to try my Detox Bath for Kids. It’s especially beneficial if your child is feeling under the weather.
  • If you like this DIY, try my Homemade Detangling Spray. It works wonders on my daughter’s hair!



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