If you’re reading this article, you’re probably well aware of the amazing benefits essential oils have.
Not only can they relieve skin troubles like acne and rosacea, but they can also have positive effects on your digestion, antibacterial properties, and can relieve symptoms of menopause and insomnia.
They can even alleviate anxiety and boost your mood.
With all these brilliant qualities, why not incorporate them into hand soap?
It’s not only the potential antibacterial properties that make essential oils a great base for hand soap, but the fact they’re a lot gentler than most hand soaps that are made of harsh chemicals that can actually dry out your hands.
Plus, making your own hand soaps with essential oils is cost-effective, and loads of fun!
Below, we’ll cover how to make your own handmade soap using essential oils and castile soap, and 25 of the best essential oil blends for hand soaps.
Table of Contents
How do essential oils work?
Essential oils are an umbrella term used to describe highly concentrated, steam-distilled, or cold-pressed extracts of pretty much any plant, such as seeds, flowers, fruit, leaves, stems and roots and are believed to improve both physical and psychological well-being.
For years, people have turned to aromatherapy, swearing by its ability to treat common ailments such as congestion, joint pain, and anxiety.
The most common way to use essential oils is to breathe them in or apply them to the skin. Some people swallow them, but you should always consult with a certified aromatherapist before you do this.
When applied to the skin, the oils are absorbed by the epidermis (the top layer of skin), and then move from the soft tissue to the bloodstream, are carried to the treatment areas, and then metabolized in the liver.
Those who inhale essential oils usually do so to experience their psychological effects, such as relieving stress.
When inhaling essential oils, people tend to choose oils with smells that have positive connotations that they associate with good memories.
This emotional response from certain scents can calm people down in times of stress, or revitalize them in times where their mood is low.
Can you add essential oils to liquid soap?
Yes, you can add essential oils to liquid soap! Not only can natural essential oils be a gentler alternative to the harsher chemicals found in most soaps, making your own soap using essential oils can be incredibly fun.
Making your own essential oil hand soap is about experimenting with your oils, and just having fun with combining your favorite scents and oils.
You of course need a good base to your essential oil hand soap, and the best option for this is a soap made from vegetable oils like castile.
It’s important to start with a soap that has no added fragrances and is a pure product with no other added petroleum products and chemicals.
Essential oils can react negatively to petroleum products and other chemicals, and this is why it’s best to start with a clean and simple product like Castille soap.
You also don’t need a lot of oils to make a beautifully scented hand soap.
What are the best essential oils for hand soap?
The best essential oils to use for hand soap are those based on your favorite scents. The best part of making a DIY essential oil project is having fun and mixing and blending oils to create your own unique blend.
However, it’s important to choose high-quality pure essential oils so you know you’re getting a pure product.
It’s also handy to make small batches so you can change your blends with the seasons, what essential oils you have at that moment, or if you’re making essential oil hand soaps for friends and family.
Let’s take a closer look at some essential oils perfect for hand soap.
Florals: Cistus, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Melissa (or lemon balm), Ylang Ylang.
Citrus: Bergamot, Citrus Fresh, Grapefruit, Jade Lemon, Lemon, Lemon Myrtle, Lime, Orange, Tangerine. You should always be cautious using citrus oils when going out into the sun.
Lemon Myrtle gives you that great lemon smell without the photosensitivity associated with citrus oils.
Herbs: Basil, Dill, Ginger, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage, Tea Tree, Thyme.
Woody and Earthy: Cypress, Fir, Patchouli, Pine, Spruce.
Fresh: Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Melrose, Raven.
Minit: Peppermint, Spearmint.
Benefits of floral essential oils
Of course, all the essential oils listed above have their benefits – but if we listed all of them we’d be here forever! So let’s take a closer look at the benefits of floral essential oils.
Lavender: You may be familiar with lavender’s ability to help you drift off to sleep, but lavender has plenty of other benefits too.
It is an essential oil derived from the lavender plant and can be taken orally, applied to the skin, or inhaled through aromatherapy.
It can benefit the skin in numerous ways, including lessening acne and reducing wrinkles. It can also be used to improve hair health and aid with digestion.
Ylang Ylang: An essential oil derived from the cananga tree, ylang ylang has been found to not only have psychological benefits such as reducing depression, alleviating anxiety and boosting mood, but physiological benefits such as lowering blood pressure, decreasing heart rate, and stimulating oil production in the skin and on the scalp. It is also known to repel flies.
Geranium: This essential oil is known to relieve acne, dermatitis and other inflammatory skin conditions. Studies have also found that geranium may fight off bacterial infections, thanks to its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
A study has also found that high concentrations of citronellol present in geranium essential oil inhibit nitric oxide production, reducing inflammation and cell death in the brain.
Therefore, geranium may be beneficial in treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease, all of which are associated with varying degrees of neuroinflammation.
Geranium may also be beneficial in treating shingles pain. Shingles often result in postherpetic neuralgia, and is an incredibly painful condition affecting the nerve fibers and skin that run along a nerve.
A study found that topical application of geranium oil significantly reduced this pain within minutes of being applied. These effects were only temporary however, and required reapplication.
Geranium oil is also known to be effective in treating menopausal symptoms as well as stress, anxiety, and depression.
Melissa (lemon balm): This essential oil is said to soothe symptoms of stress, help you relax, and boost your mood. It may also be used to reduce symptoms of anxiety such as nervousness.
Lemon balm may also help to boost cognitive function, alleviate insomnia and other sleep disorders.
You can also topically apply lemon balm when you notice a cold sore, and some researchers have found that using lemon balm cream may also help to prevent cold sore outbreaks, or at least reduce how frequently they occur.
Lemon balm also has a positive effect on digestion, so may be useful if you experience frequent abdominal pain and discomfort, or even nausea.
Some research has also found that lemon balm can be used to relieve menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Lemon balm may also be useful in relieving headaches, especially if the headaches are a result of stress. Its relaxing properties can help you unwind, release tension, and relax your muscles.
It’s thought that ingesting the herb can help to open up and relax tight blood vessels that can contribute to headaches.
Plus, lemon balm’s pain relieving properties can also be useful for relieving toothache.
Jasmine: Considered an aphrodisiac in some parts of the world (in India, jasmine flowers are often present in the newlyweds bedroom to inspire them on their wedding night), Jasmine oil can also relieve depression and reduce menopause symptoms.
Jasmine oil made from various species of the plant have also been found to have antibacterial qualities. Its antiseptic effects have been studied numerous times and found to fight various bacteria.
Cistus: The powerful combination of anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties make cistus a wonderful essential oil for soothing skin.
From sunburn to acne and even rosacea, this potent oil sinks into the epidermis to calm and soothe the affected area.
Not only does it relieve irritation and pain caused by certain skin troubles, but it will leave your skin looking smoother and more luminous.
Cistus also works extremely well in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Cistus’ astringent compounds contract the epidermis to leave skin looking more lifted and toned.
Using essential oils in the sun
A lot of people are curious about photosensitive essential oils, and if some of their favourite oils are, in fact, photosensitive.
This isn’t surprising, as many photos have circulated online of people using essential oils, only for their skin to burn and blister in the sun.
The scary thing is that these reactions could happen to anyone using essential oils, especially if they’re not aware of the proper ways to use these oils.
It’s a simple mistake anybody can make however, no matter what your experience with essential oils.
However, it’s less likely to happen if you know what essential oils are photosensitive, and how to use them.
So let’s take a look at photosensitive essential oils, the dangers, and how to use them.
It’s important to note that what brand of essential oils you use has nothing to do with photosensitivity. Any essential oil that is photosensitive and used incorrectly will cause burns and blisters.
Those photos you see online of people with nasty burns and blisters after using photosensitive essential oils are usually the result of applying a photosensitive oil to the skin and then later exposing the skin to UV rays.
This leads to severe burn and skin discoloration to the areas where essential oils were applied.
After using photosensitive essential oils you should avoid direct sunlight and UV rays for at least 12 hours after you’ve applied the oils to your skin.
The total amount of time you should avoid direct sunlight and UV rays will depend on the blend or single oil, so it’s important to do your research on the oils beforehand.
Some photosensitive essential oils will require you to stay away from direct sunlight and UV rays for up to 72 hours.
Information such as photosensitivity should be available when you buy a single essential oil or blends but if you’re in doubt, don’t use the oil or avoid the sun for at least 12 hours.
Some essential oils to look out for that that are photosensitive include:
- Angelica Root.
- Jade Lemon
Extra precaution should be taken with bergamot, lemon, lime, and orange. Sun may need to be avoided for up to 72 hours when using these.
25 essential oil hand soap blends
The below hand soap blends can be adjusted to your liking. The drop amounts have been limited to 10 per recipe to make them kind to hands.
Just combine these blends with a basic hand soap to create an essential oil scented hand soap that smells divine!
- 2 drops of Melissa + 2 drops of lavender + 6 drops of orange.
- 3 drops of lavender + 3 geranium + 4 drops of lime.
- 3 drops of rosemary + 3 drops of marjoram + 3 drops of basil.
- 3 drops of rosemary + 7 drops of peppermint.
- 3 drops of patchouli + 2 drops of grapefruit + 2 drops of lavender.
- 3 drops of cistus + 7 drops of spearmint.
- 3 drops of cedarwood + 3 drops of lavender + 4 drops of bergamot.
- 3 drops of lemongrass + 4 drops of cypress + 3 drops of lemon.
- 3 drops of eucalyptus + 3 drops of lemongrass + 4 drops of tangerine.
- 3 drops of basil + 3 drops of lemongrass +5 drops of spearmint.
- 4 drops of ylang ylang + 6 drops of spearmint.
- 4 drops of ylang ylang + 6 drops of citrus fresh.
- 5 drops Bergamot + 5 drops Tangerine
- 5 drops Lemon Myrtle + 3 drops Lemongrass + 2 drops Citrus Fresh
- 5 drops Bergamot + 2 drops Lavender + 3 drops Lemon
- 5 drops Jade Lemon + 5 drops Peppermint
- 5 drops Grapefruit + 5 drops Geranium
- 5 drops Lime + 5 drops Basil
- 5 drops Purification + 5 drops Lemon
- 5 drops Eucalyptus + 3 drops Lemon + 2 drops Spearmint
- 5 drops Tea Tree + 5 drops Citrus Fresh
- 5 drops Peppermint + 5 drops Tea Tree
- 5 drops Rosemary + 2 drops Lavender + 3 drops Lemon
- 5 drops Lavender + 5 drops Citrus Fresh
- 5 drops Eucalyptus + 3 drops Tea Tree + 2 drops Spearmint
How to make homemade essential oil hand soap
Put 2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap into your empty 8 oz soap dispenser. If you have a rather large dispenser you can use more soap.
Then select one of the essential blends above and add the oils to the dispenser.
Add fractionated coconut oil and vitamin E oil. This makes your hands silky smooth!
While this is an optional step, it gives the soap a moisturizing quality and you can substitute coconut oil for sweet almond oil or the carrier oil of your choice.
Fill the soap dispenser with filtered or distilled water, ensuring there is room for the pump parts. Distilled water gives you peace of mind that no bacteria or mold is going into the soap.
Secure the pump to the bottle and gently shake to mix everything together. You can use 1 or 2 pumps to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Viola! A beautifully scented, totally natural essential oil blend hand soap!
We’re sure you’ll love the instant gratification of being able to use this soap as soon as it’s ready. Plus, it’s a great use of all your essential oils!
More tips for making your own hand soaps
Do not add soap before you add water. This causes the soap to foam up inside the bottle, making it hard to add the proper amount of ingredients.
Remember to use unscented castile soap. If you only want the scent of your favorite essential oil blend, a scented castile soap will affect the overall scent of the soap.
However, if you want a regular soap without essential oils you can buy Dr Bronner’s castile soap. This scented soap is available in scents like peppermint, rose, tea tree oil, and citrus orange.
Meanwhile, Dr Bronner’s Unscented Baby Castile Soap doubles up on olive oil so your hands will be extra moisturized.
You can also add ½ teaspoon of olive oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, or another natural oil to scented soap to make it more moisturizing.