How to make a natural showergel using surfactants

November 03, 2020

How to make a natural showergel using surfactants - Soap Making Supplies, Essential Oils, Fragrance Oils at Calgary, Alberta Soap and More the Learning Centre Inc in Canada

We love Formula Botanica they teach us how to become organic skincare formulators! Find them here  

Now that you’re ready to make your own natural shower gel, gather together the following ingredients from your formulation stash (or order them from the suggested suppliers listed at the bottom of this blog post):

Phase Ingredients Weight (grams)
A Vegetable glycerine 10.00
A Sclerotium Gum 1.00
A Xanthan Gum, Clear 1.00
B Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside 15.00
B Cocamidopropyl Betaine


B Decyl Glucoside 3.00
B Grapefruit essential oil 1.00
C Distilled water 42.90
C Orange hydrosol 10.00
C Aloe vera hydrosol 5.00
C Blue Spirulina Powder 0.10
E Preservative eco 1.00
    Total: 100.00


Follow our instructions step by step in order to make your own version of our colourful and uplifting grapefruit and blue spirulina shower gel.

  1. Blend Phase A

    Blend all Phase A ingredients together in a beaker or container.
    Blending these ingredients first will give the gums time to disperse in the glycerine while you weigh out the other ingredients. By blending the glycerine and gums, you are aiming for a smooth texture as this will prevent the gum from clumping.

  2. Blend Phase B

    Separately blend all the Phase B ingredients in a beaker or container. Blend all of the surfactants together in one beaker. Adding the essential oil at this stage means that the Caprylyl/Capryl glucoside can solubilise the essential oil. Stir slowly until there are no streaks in the liquid and wait for it to turn translucent.

  3. Blend Phase C

    Separately blend all the Phase C ingredients in a beaker or container. Weigh out your waters and add your Blue spirulina to let it dissolve fully.

  4. Begin assembling your shower gel

    Start by adding your Phase B ingredients to your Phase C blend slowly. Add the surfactants slowly and stir until fully combined. Make sure to stir all of the ingredients together well but do not stir too fast or your gel will begin to foam. Because of the pH of these surfactants, the colour will change to purple as you add them to the blend.

  5. Add Phase A to your overall blend

    Next add the Phase A ingredients to your overall blend. Slowly combine the waters with the gum/glycerine mix bit by bit and stir very slowly.

  6. Wait a moment

    Leave the ingredients to thicken slightly at this point

  7. Check and adjust the pH

    You are aiming for the blend to reach a pH of 5 to 5.5. Adjusting the pH will make the blend blue again and remember that preservative eco will lower the pH slightly. Stir until the blend is completely blue.

  8. Add the preservative

    Add Phase D, the preservative to your blend and stir.

  9. Check pH

    Check and adjust the pH as necessary. We are looking for a pH of 5 in your overall blend.

  10. Bottle and leave for 24 hours

    Transfer the gel to a bottle and leave it for 24 hours for the gel consistency to form completely and for the gel to become clear and bubble free.


  • If you have a solubiliser such as Symbiosolv Clear Plus, you can use that in Phase B. If you do, remember to adjust the water to make the formula up to 100 grams. We used Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside as a surfactant this time as it is great for solubilising small amounts of oils, but the choice is yours.
  • Try to work with a Xanthan gum that’s in a powder form, not the Xanthan that comes in little grains. We use this type of gum because the powder is easier to work with – the little grains take a long time to swell and can create blobs.
  • Using different gums in different ratios can affect the final viscosity. Don’t be put off by this and use it as an opportunity to experiment.
  • Always leave your shower gel formula to rest overnight or 24 hours before making any adjustments as it will take this long for it to settle.
  • Not all ingredients are compatible with each other so you may run into a situation where your gel breaks and you will need to do some research and experiment to find the problem.


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