Confession: I don’t shower daily. I’ve never given my children nightly baths. Too much work, and do we really need to be that squeaky clean?
Turns out, my gut instinct is correct. Our skin’s natural oils form a protective barrier which neutralizes most bad bacteria and viruses. The good bacteria thrive in this environment.
This environment is called the acid mantle, but modern soaps, shampoos, lotions, and hand sanitizers strip our skin of the acid mantle, making us more inclined to infection. It can take 2-3 weeks for our skin to rebuild its protection.
Making all these products is for other posts, but today I’m going to show you an easy-to-make hand sanitizer. It does not contain rubbing alcohol, as that product destroys both good and bad bacteria, as well as drying out the skin.
I wince every time a childcare worker pulls out commercial hand sanitizer to plop a dollop in waiting children’s hands before snack time. The warnings on the name brand sanitizer should make anyone pause. “Stop use if irritation or rash appears”; “If swallowed, contact Poison Control.” And we put this on children’s hands before they hold and eat their snacks! Does this even sound like a natural product?!
More soothing and less disruptive to our skin’s pH is a homemade version, using aloe vera gel and essential oils. I use essential oils in my basic home cleaning recipes and in my personal care products. It makes sense to use their antibacterial properties in a hand sanitizer as well.
Ingredients for Hand Sanitizer
- 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 20 drops tea tree oil
- 8 ounces pure aloe vera gel
- several drops vitamin E to increase shelf life and soften hands
Directions for Hand Sanitizer
Mix all ingredients together well.
Ladle into small squirt bottles, recycled from other hand sanitizer bottles.
Take off the brand name label and put a smiley face sticker in its place. People just might ask you about it.
Since I only had a 2-oz bottle of sanitizer
to dump to reuse, I made ¼ of the above recipe. After rubbing it into my hands, they dried quickly with no sticky residue and still a soft feel ten minutes later. I’m loving the smell of it too!
I modified this recipe. The witch hazel I have in my cupboard is 14% rubbing alcohol. A search for alcohol-free witch hazel will bring up some brands, but I wanted to use only what I had on hand.
Rebekah is a Stay-at-home mom to two blessings, Katelyn (5 ½) and Elliot (3), with another on the way. Parenting is the current step God’s using to mold her into Christ-likeness, along with 11 years of marriage to her best friend. Her passions are homeschooling, homesteading, homemaking, from-scratch living, worship and discipleship, and most of all, glorifying God in everything she learns and attempts. Her family’s blog is just getting started over at Hallelu-Jah Homestead. She also teaches a local workshop called Waste Not, Want Not: Practical Ways to Free Up Your Budget and Live Intentionally, sharing the journey God has led her family on over the last few years.
Have you tried any non-toxic DIY personal products, or is there a natural brand that you trust?