Fun

DIY Shower Jelly

Stage two of my ongoing plan to beat Lush at its own game.

finishedtwo

I have a bit of an obsession with Lush, English purveyor of lovely soaps and delicious-smelling hair creams and glitter bombs for your bath. It’s become a problem, because while I cannot resist this stuff, RENT, Y’ALL. So I am systematically trying to figure out how to DIY all my favorite Lush products. Last time around I showed you how to make your own bath bomb, and today we’re gonna tackle something that I thought would be hard but which turned out to be so, so absurdly easy: DIY shower jellies, modeled after the ones I love but cannot afford.

Shower jelly is just a gelatinous form of shower gel. At room temperature, it falls somewhere between liquid shower gel and bar soap in terems of consistency—like Jell-O. You can use it as is, which makes showering more fun (I smush it into a loofah); you can chill it in the fridge if you like a more bracing shower experience (it feels REALLY COOL to loofah something cold onto your skin in hot water, trust); or you can freeze it if you prefer a more bar-soap-y feel.

This means it’s very malleable—you can use it as is, you can chill it in the fridge, or freeze it to become regular bar soap. It also makes a cool gift for a shower/bath fanatic like myself, though maybe some people would be offended if they were given soap. I can’t relate. Anyway, like I said, this one is super easy. Here’s what you’ll need:

ingredients

• At least two cartons of unsweetened gelatin or, for a vegan version, agar-agar, which you can buy at any Asian supermarket and at some health food stores. (My mom wouldn’t let me dip into her JARS PLURAL of agar-agar because she likes eating it. Pffff. )
• 1-1½ cups clear shower gel, body wash, or shampoo.
• 2–3 drops of food coloring.
• Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
• A saucepan (if you’re heating this on the stove) or a bowl (for the microwave).
• A wooden spoon or whisk.
• A small mixing bowl and a jar; OR, if you would prefer your soap to be in shapes rather than in a jar, silicone molds.

Optional:

• Jojoba oil (or whatever body oil you prefer) for extra moisturization.
• Body-safe essential oil to add fragrance.
• Extra bowls for each additional color of jelly you want to make.
• Body-safe glitter: Some of the Lush jellies contain glitter, which looks very pretty in the soap, but it has never really stayed on my skin.

Step One:

stepone

Boil some water on the stove or in the microwave (if you’re using the latter be sure your bowl is microwave-safe). The amount of water you’ll need depends on how much gelatin/agar-agar you’re using: Use the ratio provided on the box. I used one cup of water for every package of gelatin (and I used four packs of gelatin and four cups of water). When the water has reached a full, rolling boil, turn off the stove or take the bowl out of the microwave.

Step Two:

steptwo

Pour the gelatin/agar-agar into the water a little at a time, whisking until all the powder has completely dissolved before adding more (you shouldn’t be able to see any powder or chunks). Keep going till you’ve added all the powder and mixed it in thoroughly. It should look like this:

steptwomix

Step Three:

stepthree

Add the shower gel/body wash/shampoo and mix gently.

Step Four:

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Add the food coloring. If you chose to include body oil and/or essential oil(s), add those now too. Mix. (I used two bowls because I wanted to make two different colors of jelly.)

Step Five: If you’re using glitter, sprinkle it into your molds or bowl(s), and spread it around in there to distribute it evenly. Pour the liquid jelly into your molds/bowl(s).

Step Six: You’ll probably notice some air bubbles, which make soap dry weirdly and look less pretty. To get rid of them, spray the bubbles lightly with rubbing alcohol, or just scoop ’em out.

Step Seven:

stepfive

Step Eight: Stick the bowls/molds in the fridge and leave them alone for at least five hours so they can harden. (This is a perfect opportunity to rewatch a few episodes of The X-Files or catch up on the Rookie diaries.

Step Nine: Pull your fully jelled soap out of the refrigerator. If you used molds, pop the soap out of them, and now you’re done! If you didn’t use molds, crush the soap into small pies and put it in your jar(s). Now you’re done. This might be a fun time to take a shower, because you can wash of all that hard work with the product of that actual work!

finishedone

I know it looks delicious but DO NOT EAT IT! ♦

28 Comments

  • HollinsCollins July 12th, 2013 7:44 PM

    Whaaat this is too cool! Also just btw it says ‘pray them with alcohol’ instead of ‘spray’. Otherwise, brilliant as usual ;)

    • Anaheed July 12th, 2013 7:49 PM

      Thank you HollinsCollins!

  • lydiamerida July 12th, 2013 8:23 PM

    SO COOL!!! I too am a LUSH addict, so these DIYs are really helpful

  • alienbabe July 12th, 2013 8:47 PM

    This made me so happy, there hasn’t been a DIY on here in forever. This is wondeful.

  • Flyer July 12th, 2013 9:03 PM

    Sweet! Now I just need to find an unscented shampoo so that I can add my favorite fragrances…

  • Sam July 12th, 2013 9:04 PM

    Wow… This is very cool. I’d actually never heard of this product before (though I do shower – promise!)

    How exactly are you supposed to store these? Do they dry out and go weird without a lid on the jars…?

  • Sophie ❤ July 12th, 2013 9:07 PM

    Not only does this stuff look amazing, but it also works well! Thanks so much, Rookie!

    http://plainlysophie.com

  • em.h95 July 12th, 2013 9:35 PM

    I figured I would never be able to use this because of the non-vegan gelatin! I had never heard of agar agar, but that’s so cool! So glad I took the time to read the article :)

  • Julianne July 12th, 2013 10:54 PM

    I can’t wait to try this. I looove Lush. They’re my ultimate treat-yo-self destination.

  • MegW July 12th, 2013 11:29 PM

    Thanks for the awesome DIY! Personally, I’m addicted to the WHOOSH shower jelly after it’s been in the freezer (PRO TIP)

  • Kardvark July 13th, 2013 12:01 AM

    FYI, if you’re vegan or suspicious about the chemicals in commercial food dye, beet juice is a good all-natural food coloring, just be careful — it can stain EVERYthing!

  • Simone H. July 13th, 2013 3:34 AM

    Just received the Whoosh one for my birthday, and it’s so awesome (I start giggling like crazy each time it slips out of my hands and starts blob-blobbing on the floor), I was trying to figure out a way to do it myself.
    THANK YOU.
    Perfect timing, as always.

  • redheadjess July 13th, 2013 4:00 AM

    I’m soooop going to make these! I have an obsession with lush which I can’t afford:(

    http://m4gnify.wordpress.com

  • elliecp July 13th, 2013 5:06 AM

    This is so cool, really want to try this now <3
    and I totally get it, I love lush but i just can't afford them hehe

    http://roseandvintage
    .blogspot.com/

  • thenoisythinker July 13th, 2013 10:19 AM

    This is actually really genius! Thanks for sharing, will definitely try this out.

    thenoisythinker.blogspot.com

  • Lorf96 July 13th, 2013 1:35 PM

    I looove Lush, it rocks and this makes Arabelle even more awesome!:Dxx

  • Nadifa July 13th, 2013 5:26 PM

    This is really cool, and I might try it sometime. Agar-agar are so easy to be found in my place. But what is a ‘rubbing alcohol’?

    • bibliovore July 13th, 2013 9:55 PM

      It’s also known as Isopropyl Alcohol. It has a bunch of uses but it’s usually used to clean cuts and you can find it in any drug store.

      • Nadifa July 14th, 2013 2:25 PM

        Okay I got the picture. Thanks for the info :)

  • JaMonster23 July 13th, 2013 6:01 PM

    Whoosh and Sweetie Pie Shower jellies are only 6.95 for a container and do not contain any rubbing alcohol. It would cost more to buy the raw ingredients then to just go to LUSH and buy one.

    • Arabelle July 15th, 2013 4:02 PM

      Those containers are quite small & the shower jellies I’ve made don’t contain any rubbing alcohol either, since I scooped out the bubbles. Even when you don’t scoop em out and just spray them, the amount of actual alcohol in the jellies is negligble. Also many people have these ingredients in their house already and you can make quite a lot out of few ingredients. :)

  • bibliovore July 13th, 2013 9:58 PM

    The second link links to Lush’s shower jellies not Arabelle’s article.

    Also I’ve found that even with shipping Lush is a bit cheaper if you order from the UK site.

  • speakthroughvision July 15th, 2013 11:41 AM

    this is perfect i love it

  • nighttime_ July 15th, 2013 3:45 PM

    I love that you’re side stepping Lush lol :)

  • Vetra July 17th, 2013 7:51 AM

    I finally did it! Now I have my own shower jellies in my bathroom :3

    http://chipperjay.tumblr.com/post/55684874586/my-own-shower-jelly

    note: I replace jojoba oil with olive oil, does it work?

  • progesterona July 25th, 2013 5:59 PM

    humm how do u apply this? because i did it and when i tried to use it my bathroom became a mess lol

  • penirose August 22nd, 2013 10:26 PM

    Awesome! Continue with posting diy products as a kind of replacement for Lush. This is great bc im a bit obsessed with Lush…

  • Isabellla September 11th, 2013 10:27 AM

    hahah i work for lush and this is awesome! It looks sah yummy, you would be surprised the amount of little kids (and sometimes big kids) i have to say ‘don’t try to eat that!’ to. Yours looks equally delish :)