How to Make Homemade Shower Gel

Shower gel is something you can find in most drug and grocery stores, but it’s also fun to make your own at home and experiment with different recipes. There are several ways you can make homemade shower gels, including a basic version, a luxurious creamy version, and a thick sea salt version. The basis for most homemade shower gels is liquid castile soap, and from there you can add your favorite essential oils, carrier oils, and other ingredients to customize the scent and consistency of the gel.


  • ¾ cup (176 ml) liquid castile soap
  • ½ cup (118 ml) liquid honey
  • ¾ cup (176 ml) carrier oil
  • 15 drops essential oils
  • 2 tablespoons (27 g) shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) carrier oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable glycerin
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5 g) xanthan gum
  • ⅓ cup (78 ml) liquid castile soap
  • ⅓ cup (78 ml) warm water
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 6 tablespoons (88 ml) flower water
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) aloe vera gel
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) argan oil
  • 15 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 15 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 6 tablespoons (88 ml) liquid castile soap
Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Making a Basic Shower Gel

  1. 1
    Pour the castile soap and honey into a clean squeeze bottle. Insert a funnel into the mouth of the bottle to prevent spills when you pour. Cleaned out soap, shampoo, and other bottles with easy-pour lids are ideal for this. You can use any brand or scent of castile soap you like, including:
    • Pure (mild) unscented
    • Floral
    • Peppermint
    • Citrus
  2. 2
    Add the carrier oil. With the funnel still in the mouth of the bottle, pour in the carrier oil. Carrier oils are vegetable-based oils that are used to dilute essential oils, moisturize the skin, and prevent irritation. Popular ones you can use include:[1]
    • Sweet almond
    • Jojoba
    • Avocado
    • Argan
    • Sesame
    • Coconut
    • Olive
    • Grapeseed
  3. 3
    Add the essential oils. Essential oils are great for customizing the scent of your shower gel, and you can use any oil or combination of oils you like. For a stronger scent, add up to 50 drops of essential oil. You can also omit the oil if you'd prefer an unscented shower gel. Popular essential oils and combinations for shower gels scents include:
    • Lavender
    • Orange
    • Peppermint
    • Ylang ylang
    • Rosemary
    • Sweet orang and rose[2]
  4. 4
    Shake before using. Remove the funnel from the mouth of the bottle. Screw on the lid. Shake the bottle vigorously before each use to combine all the ingredients and distribute the essential oils evenly.[3]
  5. 5
    Use the gel in the shower in place of soap. Wet your skin in the shower or bath. Pour about a tablespoon (15 ml) of gel onto a wet shower sponge, cloth, pouf, or directly into your hand. Lather the gel and apply the soap to your body before rinsing.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Making a Thick and Creamy Shower Gel

  1. 1
    Melt the shea butter. Transfer the shea butter to a medium glass bowl. Fill a larger glass or metal bowl with 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) of boiling water. Place the smaller bowl with the shea butter into the boiling water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Stir the shea butter to break up clumps, and keep stirring until it’s completely liquid.[4]
  2. 2
    Add the oil and glycerin. Whisk the mixture briefly to incorporate all the ingredients. The oil and glycerine in the recipe will make the gel more moisturizing, and the glycerine will also help to dissolve the xanthan gum.[5]
    • You can use any carrier oil you like for this recipe, including jojoba, olive, and grapeseed. The
    • Vegetable glycerine is available at most drug stores, health food stores, and beauty supply shops.
  3. 3
    Sprinkle in the xanthan gum. Shake the powder over the liquid and let it sit for about a minute. As the mixture rests, the xanthan gum will absorb the liquid and start to thicken up.[6]
    • Xanthan gum is a plant-based additive that’s often used to stabilize and thicken foods. It’s available in the baking aisle in most grocery stores.
    • You can also substitute guar gum for the xanthan gum. Use half the amount of guar gum, as it can make the mixture too thick.
  4. 4
    Emulsify the mixture. Insert an immersion blender into the bowl and whiz the mixture for a minute. This will dissolve the xanthan gum in the glycerine, incorporate all the ingredients, and begin the thickening process.
    • If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse it for a minute.
  5. 5
    Add the remaining ingredients. Remove the immersion blender from the bowl and set it aside on a plate to catch drips. Pour in the castile soap, warm water from the tap, and the essential oils, if desired.[7]
    • Common essential oils to add to shower gels include ylang ylang, woody scents like cedar or spruce, and citrus oils.
    • For an even more hydrating soap, add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vitamin E oil to the mixture as well.[8]
  6. 6
    Blend the mixture. Insert the immersion blender back into the bowl. Whiz the mixture for one to two minutes, until the ingredients are fully incorporated. When the gel is ready, it will have a creamy consistency similar to that of body lotion.
  7. 7
    Transfer the creamy gel to a squeeze bottle and enjoy. Insert a funnel into the mouth of a clean soap or shampoo bottle. Pour the shower gel into the bottle, remove the funnel, and screw on the lid. Move the bottle to the shower and use the gel in place of soap to wash your body and hands.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Making a Sea Salt Shower Gel

  1. 1
    Dissolve the salt in the flower water. Pour the flower water into a large bowl. Sprinkle in the salt and let the mixture sit for about five minutes. Whisk the mixture a few times to help dissolve the salt. This will prevent the salt from making the shower gel chunky.
    • Flower water is also known as hydrosol, and there are many different types of flower waters you can use to make shower gel. Some of the most popular include rose and orange blossom water.
    • The salt is important in this recipe because it will help to thicken the shower gel.[9]
  2. 2
    Add the aloe, argan, and essential oils. Whisk the liquids to combine the ingredients and emulsify the mixture. You can substitute any essential oil or combination you like in place of the ylang ylang and rosemary, and can use any carrier oil in place of the argan.
    • Popular substitutions for argan oil include olive, apricot kernel, and sweet almond.
  3. 3
    Add the castile soap. Slowly pour the castile soap into the bowl with the other ingredients, whisking constantly as you pour. This will emulsify the liquids and help prevent the gel from clumping together.
    • Any liquid castile soap will do in this recipe, including unscented or scented varieties.
  4. 4
    Transfer the gel to a bottle. Insert a funnel into the mouth of a clean pourable bottle to prevent spills when you pour the gel. Shake the mixture before each use to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
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  • Christina Gibson

    Christina Gibson

    Jun 25, 2018

    "I love this site. I'm just starting to make my own soaps, and this site is so helpful."
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