DIY Shower Jelly

diy shower jelly

This shower jelly is formulated for single use.  You may wish to cut the jelly into small pieces and bring one piece into the shower for use.  This will prevent water entering the remainder of the jelly which could overpower the preservative.


45% glycerin
2.5% carrageenan (iota form – see below)

40.2% deionised/distilled/purified water
5% sodium coco-sulfate (abbreviated to “SCS”.  This is a “natural” Ecocert surfactant in power form. For other choices see below)

Cool down phase ingredients:
5% cocamidopropyl betaine (see below)
0.8% optiphen (the very high % of glycerin contributes greatly to preservation in this formula)
1% fractionated coconut oil or almond oil or rice bran oil
0.5% essential oil or fragrance oil
colour – see below

To convert the % to weight (grams) use this calculator.

Important tips:

  • Carrageenan comes in three main forms: iota, lambda and kappa.  As carrageenan is natural it varies from batch to batch.  To achieve consistency between batches, suppliers use a mix of carrageenans.  Due to this, the carrageenan from one brand may differ from another.  If the recipe does not harden like that shown in the video, try another brand of iota carrageenan.  (Another reason why the shower jelly may not harden could be the mix was not heated to a sufficiently high temperature).
  • If you cannot obtain SCS or cocamidopropyl betaine, other surfactants might be able to be used. Do experiment and see if it works!  For a list of other surfactants click here.  To replace the SCS use another surfactant in powder form such as SLSa (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate) (not SCI).  To replace the cocamidopropyl betaine, please use a liquid surfactant.  For extra foam you might wish to replace some of the water and add extra liquid surfactant.
  • To colour, use diluted water soluble dye.  An alternative is mica.
  • Although we used an overhead stirrer in the video, it is not necessary and hand stirring can be used.   (A stick blender will create lots of foam so is best saved for lotions).


Audio transcript of the video:

  1. In an empty beaker, weigh glycerin
  2. Weigh the iota form of carrageenan
  3. Add the carrageenan into the glycerin and mix well
  4. In separate beaker weigh distilled or deionised water and heat
  5. Weigh SCS
  6. Add the SCS into the water whilst mixing and heating
  7. Add the carrageenan/glycerin mix to the SCS/water mix and heat to 200°F/95°C.
  8. In a separate beaker weigh the cool down phase ingredients, which are: optiphen, cocamidopropyl betaine, oil, fragrance
  9. Let the mixture cool to below 140°F/60°C and before it starts to gel, add colour and stir
  10. Add the cool down phase ingredients, stir
  11. Pour into silicone moulds
  12. Let the shower jelly cool and set before unmoulding


Want to turn this into a macaron shower jelly scrub?  Just add exfoliants and color.  See our video:

Click here to watch