For over two years, I played around with the idea of creating a natural body care resource. For almost two years, I put off the work involved in doing so. There was something that seemed so daunting, so big, about creating such a product. And then, last year, it dawned on me, “If I’m feeling overwhelmed about creating a resource about natural body care, then I can only imagine how my reader friends, particularly, my friends that are new to natural wellness must feel. There’s so much information out there–blogs, Pinterest, and even books–but it’s all so overwhelming.”
It was at that moment that I had a clear vision for the resource I wanted to create; a resource that simplified natural body care. A resource that was not only about making products, but also how to make the switch to less-toxic body care products, and how to purchase quality products. I wanted to create a resource that helped my reader friends feel confident when purchasing natural body care products (and reading ingredient lists), or making products at home with good-for-you ingredients. I wanted to create the resource I wish I had when I first started this journey.
After months and months of endlessly working on this vision, and spending weeks going through the editing process, my body care guide/digital book was finally ready to share. The digital book launched at the end of December.
One of my favorite recipes in the book is the Basic Foaming Face Wash. It’s the perfect example of the kind of recipes found in the book–simple, practical, and easy to make. (By the way, along with sharing my favorite recipes, I also share product suggestions for everything from shampoo to makeup and everything in between. Because living a more natural lifestyle isn’t about “doing it all” or “making it all.” Natural living is just as much about simplifying as it is about using more natural products.)
This recipe is made by simply combining three ingredients: liquid castile soap, a nourishing oil, and water. The recipe makes only a small amount of the final product because it’s best to make small batches when working with a water-based product that doesn’t contain a preservative.
Castile soap is a concentrated vegetable-based soap made from ingredients that you can actually pronounce. The soap is gentle on the skin and effective in the fight against dirt and unwanted germs. Dr. Bronner’s is a very a popular brand of castile soap, and there are quite a few other brands now available. Castile soap can be used to clean just about anything and everything: your face, your laundry, and even your stinky dog. Liquid castile soap can be drying on its own, so it’s best to dilute it with water. I also like to add a nourishing oil, for the the moisturizing benefits, when it’s used on the face.
I personally like to use sweet almond oil, since it’s a light oil and it works well with a variety of skin types. If sweet almond oil is used, the face wash may be used as a spritz (using a spray bottle). This is my favorite way to apply a soapy face wash (a method that I learned from using Luminance Skincare’s Delicate Cleanser).
Another nourishing oil may be used in place of the sweet almond oil, too. Other good options are: olive oil or jojoba oil. Since the recipe makes such a small batch, it’s easy to tweak the recipe each time you make it (for example: using a different oil).
Finally, one last note. If you find this face wash to be too drying for your skin, then you’ll want to dilute, dilute, dilute. Try diluting the soap with more water, or adding just a small amount of extra oil. You can also customize this very basic recipe with aloe, honey, or a hydrosol (in place of the water). Let’s talk about four simple ways to customize this basic recipe.
Four Ways to Customize Homemade Face Wash
Hydrosol: A hydrosol adds beneficial herbal properties and a pleasant scent to this face wash. Replace the water with 2 tablespoons of hydrosol. My favorite option is rose hydrosol (rose water). Other options, include: lavender, calendula, and chamomile.
Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe is used to soothe and calm inflammation. Add 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel to the face wash, or more if desired. Fresh aloe will spoil within a day or two, so I recommend looking for a store-bought option with a minimal amount of (natural) preservatives.
Honey: Honey is rich in antioxidants and it contains antibacterial properties. Add 1-2 tablespoons of honey to the final soap, and gently shake to combine the ingredients. If you add honey you won’t be able to use the face wash in a spray bottle.
Essential Oils: Add 6-12 drops of your favorite skin-friendly essential oil (or a mixture of essential oils, for a total of 6 drops) to the nourishing oil. Combine the oil and soap (along with any other custom ingredients mentioned above). My favorite options: lavender (sensitive skin and acne-prone skin), tea tree (acne-prone skin), frankincense (aging skin), geranium (aging skin), or sandalwood (aging skin).
Basic Natural Face Wash
- Pour the soap, water, and oil into a soap dispenser. Seal the bottle. Shake the bottle to combine the ingredients.
- Gently shake the bottle before each use. Squirt a small amount in your hand. Massage the cleanser on your face using circular motions, then rinse the cleanser off with warm water and a washcloth.