Two recipes for homemade gels that respect your skin

Two recipes for homemade gels that respect your skin

Natural shower gels avoid the irritants of commercial gels. You can even make your gel at home, with your favorite fragrance.

Two recipes for homemade gels that respect your skin

Natural liquid soaps and commercial shower gels are made very differently. Both contain anionic surfactants, and in both cases, they are made from vegetable fats and oils such as coconut oil, but the process and the rest of the ingredients change.

Natural potassium soaps are made from vegetable oils and butters that are mixed and saponified with potassium hydroxide, producing a surfactant with an alkaline pH.

Today we have a wide variety of high-quality handcrafted liquid soaps that are made purely with natural and plant matter, since they are born from an ecological and environmentally friendly conscience.

Unlike natural liquid soaps, conventional commercial gels support synthetic substances such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), and other sulfates.

These have an excellent cleaning capacity and a low manufacturing cost, but they are irritating to the skin and are aggressive with the hair, because they alter the skin barrier causing congestion.

Additionally, commercial shower gels come in plastic containers that are difficult to recycle and end up in the environment.


There are products on the market with organic or natural certification that are more respectful with the skin and the environment. But you can also make your own gel, with surfactant ingredients from plants such as saponaria or substances such as sodium lauryl sulfoacetate or SLSA, used in natural cosmetics.

If you make your own gels, you can reuse containers and containers that you have at home to minimize the generation of waste. You can also find natural gels in bulk and take advantage of the containers as well.

If you keep all the ingredients separately, you can prepare the gel little by little, for one or two weeks, and avoid the use of preservatives. It is more work, but you get a fresher product and you can customize it with more variety of vegetable and essential oils until you find the one you like best.

Anyway, you can find a preservative used in natural cosmetics called cosgard, if you want to make more quantity and that it lasts a few months.

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Ingredients for 1 liter:

  • 100 g of crushed saponaria root
  • 1 l of mineral or bottled water
  • 8 g xanthan gum
  • 10 g of vegetable glycerin


  1. Bring the water and the saponaria to a boil for 20 minutes. You can add lavender, calendula, or mallow flowers to the cooking water. Control it, because when it boils it foams and can overflow.
  2. Let cool and strain into a bowl, first with a wire strainer and then with a coffee filter paper. Help yourself with a funnel.
  3. In a saucepan, mix the xanthan with the liquid glycerin and stir until it has the consistency of honey.
  4. Add this rubber as a thread, beating with a balloon whisk. Beat one minute, let stand three and beat another. The gel will form.
  5. With a funnel, pour it into a recycled and disinfected bottle of shampoo or gel, or an airtight container that allows you to dose. As it does not contain a preservative, you can use two containers and, while you use one, keep the other in the fridge. Use it in a week.
  6. You can add essential oils (lavender, ylang …).


Ingredients for 500 grams:

  • 440 g of mineral water
  • 30 g of SLSA (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate)
  • 15 g of vegetable glycerin
  • 10 g of vegetable oil to choose
  • 3 g (66 drops) of cosgard preservative or 5 g (190 drops) of lavender essential oil (optional)


  1. In a bowl, mix the glycerin and half of the mineral water.
  2. Add half of the SLSA by teaspoons and stir carefully. Then, with a balloon whisk, beat until you get a thick gel and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the water and beat. Then the rest of the SLSA and beat again until it is integrated.
  4. Add the vegetable oil and essential oil and beat until integrated.
  5. If you are going to use a preservative, do it now and stir. It will keep your gel safe for 3 months.


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