Store-bought baby shampoos and body washes are available in natural, gentle formulas, but they're pretty expensive. They can also contain preservatives, chemicals and artificial fragrances that are harmful to baby's system. Making your own baby shampoo is an easy and inexpensive alternative. Although this recipe is not entirely tear-free, it is diluted enough to be very gentle and it's completely safe for baby's delicate skin.
The key components in this recipe are items you may already have on hand or can easily find at your local natural grocer. Gentle liquid Castile soap cleanses without drying, while aloe vera gel and jojoba oil add moisture. Alcohol-free witch hazel is also added to soothe and tone the skin. Read on for the simple DIY recipe you can make for bath time tonight!
1. Collect your ingredients.
- 2 Tbsp Aloe vera gel – You can use aloe gel straight from the leaf if it is available to you, but bottled aloe gel is fine as well. Look for brands that do not add dyes or preservatives to their product.
- 1 Tbsp Jojoba oil – Jojoba is known for its cleansing and moisturizing properties, so it’s used in many skincare applications. Sweet almond oil or calendula oil have similar benefits and can be used as a substitute.
- 1 Tbsp Witch hazel – Witch hazel is a gentle astringent and commonly used as a toner for adult skin. Adding just a small amount to your baby shampoo boosts your cleansing potential. Choose an alcohol-free witch hazel to keep it safe for baby.
- 4oz (½ cup) filtered water
- 2-3 drops each Lavender and tea tree essential oil (optional) – Lavender is a natural choice for baby washes because it is calming. Tea tree oil is another good option because of its antimicrobial properties.
- 2oz (¼ cup) Liquid Castile soap (an unscented variety, such as Dr. Bronner’s Mild) – This soap is a gentle cleanser on its own. Select a brand that does not have added dyes or perfumes.
2. Combine everything except the Castile soap.
In a small bowl, combine aloe vera gel, jojoba oil, witch hazel, water, and essential oils (if using). Use a whisk to gently mix, ensuring that the aloe gel is well distributed.
3. Add Castile soap.
Pour in the Castile soap and stir slowly to combine, so as not to create too many suds.
4. Pour into desired container.
Reuse an old shampoo bottle, or any type of bottle you choose. Small travel-sized bottles with a flip-top are ideal, and Mason jars work well for storing the excess shampoo for refills. This recipe yields about 8 ounces.
Photos © Cat DiStasio for Inhabitots