When going through the home and trying to eliminate all allergens, soap may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But it is one of the most commonly used objects in the home that can cause allergic reactions. For years my hands would randomly break out in hives, be red and sore, and just plain itchy. That all changed when I started to make my homemade hypoallergenic hand soap .
Using just 3 ingredients, you can make hypoallergenic hand soap that is gluten-free, nut-free, coconut-free, dye-free, chemical-free… basically this is about as gentle of soap that you can get!
That is the best thing about making your own hypoallergenic hand soap at home: You are in total control of all the ingredients.
Plus, it is quick and easy. In fact, this project will take you less than 10 minutes to put together! The longest part is waiting for the water to boil.
I’ve been making and using this soap for over 5 years now and my hands have been thanking me ever since.
This is a liquid soap that makes it perfect for in the bathroom and in the kitchen.
Hidden Soap Ingredients that Might Be Hurting You
I started to make my own hand soap when I realized that tree nuts and coconut were in almost every bottle of hand soap that I picked up. Tree nut allergies include (but are not limited to) almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, and Brazil Nuts. If you know you have these allergies, it is advised that you avoid ALL nuts as a similar reaction can occur in the body.
Coconut is used in most soaps as it is easy to acquire and cheap to include for moisturizing the skin. However, if you are like me and allergic, it can cause issues. Companies are sneaky in how they disclose the addition of coconut to products and it is often not labeled as such. For a full breakdown of the additional names of coconut, see this post here.
Nut and Tree Nut oils are very often added to soaps for their smell and (usually) helpful properties. If you are allergic to nuts, don’t add any in the essential oil part of this recipe. Ingredients like hazelnut or sweet almond oil are pretty easy to figure out, but did you know that argan is also derived from a nut? If you have a nut allergy, you might want to start avoiding Argan oil.
Another common allergen that is hiding in soaps are gluten and wheat. Used to stabilize and preserve products, gluten can be awful for someone with a wheat allergy or celiac disease. While some are labeled gluten free, you can never be too sure about cross contamination. However, by making your own homemade hypoallergenic hand soap, you know you are safe!
Homemade Hypoallergenic Hand Soap
Okay, so let’s begin by breaking down the ingredients for this recipe.
Olive Oil Castile
The original castile soap was made from olive oil. Today, most castile soaps on the market are made with a blend of nut oils, and even more commonly with coconut oil. Assume today that anything labeled castile is actually coconut, unless it states otherwise.
I use a pure olive oil castile soap as the base for my hypoallergenic soap making process. It is easy to acquire on Amazon at this link.
Not just for helping with the laundry! Borax is a naturally occurring salt and has been in use for hundreds of years. In fact, borax traveled along the ancient Silk Road back in the 8th century!
When added to soap, it aids in cleaning what ever it touches. Additionally, it has natural anti-fungal and anti-incest properties, making it extra helpful in the kitchen!
I use the brand name 20 Mule Team Borax, found in most grocery stores. You only need one teaspoon per 8-oz of castile so this will last you a LONG time! Or, you can add it to your normal laundry routine to help get your clothes cleaner.
This is used to help thin out the soap and get it to a consistency that you like. I tend to like my soaps a little more on the thin side so I add more water. However, your perfect soap can be any viscosity you like!
Essential Oil, Optional
A common source of skin irritation can come from the fragrance that is added to soaps. Unfortunately, soap manufacturers are not required to label where the fragrance stems from as it falls under the concept of a “trade secret”. While all ingredients are tested for safety with the FDA, allergens do not fall under this heading.
If you are very sensitive to smells, you don’t need to add any essential oil! This is just a small addition that adds no structure, form, or function to the hypoallergenic hand soap. It is added purely because you like how things smell.
When adding essential oils to your hypoallergenic hand soap, make sure that you are very careful about carrier oils. You want to avoid adding nuts or tree nuts into your soap! Read the labels and make sure you purchase and add only 100% pure essential oils to any soap you make.
Lemon and basil, peppermint, and vanilla are some of my favorite essential oils to add! However, you can make a recipe that suits your nose!
Hypoallergenic Hand Soap Recipe
Gluten free, Nut free, Tree nut free, Dye free, Chemical free, Top 14 allergen friendly
Makes approx. 2 cups finished hand soap, depending on how much water you add
- 8 oz. liquid castile soap, olive oil variety
- 1 teaspoon borax
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup boiling water
- 15 drops essential oils, optional
- Pour your olive oil castile into a heat safe mixing bowl.
- Add one level teaspoon of borax and mix well. You want to mix and mix until the two combine into a thick goopy paste. If you remember the 90s toy Gak (aka slime) you are looking for that consistency. See the picture for the visual!
- Now you add the boiling water and again mix well. The more water you add the thinner the viscosity you will create. I tend to like my soap a little on the thin side so I add close to half a cup of water.
- Finally, if you are using any essential oils, now is the time to add them, stirring well after each addition.
I hope that you enjoy this quick and easy hypoallergenic hand soap. If you make this, remember to tag me on Instagram @livingbeyondallergies and use the hashtag #livingbeyondallergies so I can see it! I love to share your creations!