Four simple ingredients make this the best homemade honey face wash. The soothing ingredients will leave your skin clean and glowing, without the harsh chemicals. I’ll show you how to make an easy honey face cleanser and how to use it in your everyday skincare routine.

Honey face wash in a glass soap dispenser.
Frugal, soothing, and easy to make! Add this cleanser to your natural skincare routine.

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What Readers Say

“I made this about 8 weeks ago and I absolutely love it. I have older skin prone to blemishes on occasion and I find this cleanser has really jazzed up my skin a lot. I use it twice a day. It rinses well and cleanses well.” 

NIKKI

  • ANCIENT ROOTS – Honey (and milk) is believed to have been used by Cleopatra as a face wash. The Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used honey as a treatment for wounds, burns, and other skin disorders.
  • MODERN DAY USES – Today, honey is used all over the world as a skincare ingredient and to cleanse the skin and treat skin conditions (like eczema).
  • SOOTHING – Honey is soothing and rich in antioxidants with antibacterial properties (National Institutes of Health).
  • MOISTURIZES – Honey is a humectant; it has incredible moisturizing properties.
  • PROMOTES HEALTHY SKIN FUNCTION – Honey as a facial wash doesn’t strip the skin (like many commercial face washes and soaps) and works to regulate the pH of the skin, which is essential for healthy skin function.
  • CHEAP & NATURAL Honey is cheap, considering the multi-purpose nature of this natural, powerhouse ingredient.
Honeycomb on a plate.
Honeycomb and honey: a natural, soothing ingredient for your skin.

The best part about making your own face wash with honey is that you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals. And the cost savings of making your own cleanser is quite significant!

A few concerning ingredients found in commercial face wash

  • Fragrance: may contain up to 3,000 different chemicals to make a single fragrance, including phthalates to make the scent last longer, which producers don’t have to disclose due to trade secret laws.
  • Parabens: Used to extend the shelf-life of face wash, but with reproductive health concerns.
  • Sulfates: Used to create suds in face wash, but also strips the skin of natural oils, which could even cause the skin to overproduce oils and breakout.

Ingredients Needed to Make a Natural Cleanser With Honey

These powerhouse ingredients come together to create the best DIY face wash.

Ingredients to make this face wash: castile soap, honey, and water.
Ingredients needed: liquid castile soap, honey, a nourishing oil, and water.

Ingredient Spotlight

Raw Honey: Due to the lack of pasteurization (heating), raw honey is naturally rich in antibacterial and probiotic properties. Honey is gentle for sensitive skin, but tough enough to remove dirt and other impurities. Learn more about the benefits of washing your face with honey. If you can’t find raw honey, use what you can find; just make sure it’s pure honey. Some folks swear by using raw manuka honey for skincare uses, which you’re welcome to use.

Castile Soap: A concentrated vegetable-based soap. I use castile soap for everything from homemade laundry detergent to body wash and foaming hand soap. Use either Baby Mild Castile Soap or Tea Tree Castile Soap for facial cleansing. A 32-ounce bottle of liquid castile soap costs about $17, and one bottle will make about 10 homemade face washes. Explore other natural ways to use castile soap.

Distilled Water: Added to dilute the concentrated soap. Distilled water has all impurities removed, so it’s the safest water to use when making body and cleaning products.

Nourishing Skin Oil: Since oil dissolves oil, it’s only natural to add a nourishing oil to DIY face wash recipes. Jojoba or sweet almond oil work best for all skin types. Avocado oil and olive oil are also options, but can be heavier on the skin.

How to Add Essential Oils

Essential oils may irritate sensitive skin, so I’ve skipped using essential oils in this DIY honey face wash.

If you prefer a scented face cleanser, add an essential oil that is soothing and less likely to irritate the skin, like lavender, and only use a few drops.

I avoid citrus oils, like lemon essential oil and orange essential oils, when making body products, as they can cause irritation with sunlight exposure.

How to safely use essential oils to create your own products.

How to Make: Instructions & Video

To make this homemade honey face wash recipe, you’ll need a soap dispenser (like this). You’ll find this at any home store, like Target or Walmart, in the bath section.

Step 1: Combine all Ingredients

In a soap dispenser, add the water first (to prevent bubbles) then the liquid castile soap, honey, and oil. Shake the ingredients together until the honey is fully dissolved.

Step 2: Use Immeadiately or Store For Later

The cleanser is ready to use immeadiately after making. You may use it right away, or store in a cool place (like a bathroom cabinet) for later use.

Storage Tips

Store the soap in a cool place for up to 1 month. It’s important to use distilled water, as tap water will quickly grow mold and bacteria within a few days.

How to safely make and use DIY body products.

Soap suds on hands after pumping the soap into palms of hands.

How to Use

First, shake the bottle before use (separation is normal).

Next…

  • Wet your hands with water.
  • Add a squirt of face wash to the palm of your hand.
  • Rub your hands together to create suds with the soap.
  • Use your palms to massage the soap over your entire face and down your neck. I usually spend about 30-60 seconds massaging my face with the cleanser. As you massage the skin, you’ll loosen dead skin cells, dirt, oils, and makeup.
  • Wet a clean washcloth with warm water.
  • Use the washcloth to rinse the face wash from the skin, rinsing the washcloth and repeating as needed. This will remove makeup, dead skin cells, etc. and should leave the skin with a glowing complexion.

After Cleansing Your Face…

Use a spritz of toner (I love rosewater), any serums you may like (I use this A+ serum for hormonal breakouts), and a moisturizer (the best 8 natural face moisturizers).

Massaging the face wash on the face.
Massage the cleanser on the face, then rinse with water.

Is this cleanser safe for all skin types?

  • My Personal Experience: I have sensitive skin that is more on the oily side and acne-prone. I have seen a noticeable difference in the appearance of my skin when using this face wash and honey in my skincare routine.
  • Will it Work for Others? Since sharing this recipe, over 7 years ago, many people have made and used this cleanser with great success. Everyone’s skin is different and finding what works for you, even if it works for someone else, takes patience and exploration. The great thing about this recipe is that it costs very little to make and you can use the ingredients (like castile soap and oil) to make other products as well (like natural cleaners and moisturizer).
  • Dry Skin Types: If you have dry skin, the castile soap in this natural face wash may be drying for your skin, which could cause the skin to produce excess oil and breakout. This is true of other soap cleansers as well. In this case, I love this aloe vera and honey face cleanser made without soap. If you want suds, which you’ll only get from soap, you could also reduce the amount of castile soap in this recipe.

4 More Ways to Cleanse Your Face & Body With Honey

Beyond this cleanser, here are my favorite ways to use honey in my skincare routine.

  • Sugar Scrubs: Combine honey and sugar to make this soothing and exfoliating body scrub.
  • Straight Up Honey: Use 100% honey, straight from the bottle, as a face wash. No extra ingredients needed.
  • Honey & Aloe Facial Cleanser: For an ultra-gentle cleanser, without soap, combine aloe and honey. Great for very sensitive skin or dry skin.
  • Acne Soothing Face Mask: Combine clay, honey, and aloe to make this soothing, pimple-fighting face mask.
Face wash sitting on a platter with honey to the side.
Honey face wash in a glass soap dispenser.
4.89 from 80 votes

DIY Homemade Honey Face Wash

Four simple ingredients make this the best homemade honey face wash. The soothing ingredients will leave your skin clean and glowing, without the harsh chemicals.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course DIY
Cuisine Beauty, Body
Servings 8 ounces

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a soap dispenser, add the water first (to prevent bubbles) then the liquid castile soap, honey, and oil.
  • Shake the ingredients together until the honey is fully dissolved.

To Use:

  • Wet your hands with water.
  • Add a squirt of face wash to the palm of your hand.
  • Rub your hands together to create suds with the soap.
  • Use your palms to massage the soap over your entire face and down your neck. I usually spend about 30-60 seconds massaging my face with the cleanser. As you massage the skin, you'll loosen dead skin cells, dirt, oils, and makeup.
  • Wet a clean washcloth with warm water. Use the washcloth to rinse the face wash from the skin, rinsing the washcloth and repeating as needed.
  • After cleansing, use a spritz of facial toner (I love rosewater), any serums you may use (I use this A+ serum for hormonal breakouts), and a moisturizer (the best 8 natural face moisturizers).

Video

Notes

When you introduce water into a product without a preservative you always run the risk of introducing bacteria, so use water-based products quickly. Using distilled water is always the safest option.
Reader Feedback: A few readers have shared that this face wash has an interesting smell when the honey and castile soap are mixed together. A smell they don’t particularly enjoy. If this is the case with your face wash,  but you still want the skin benefits of honey, I recommend trying a simple honey and aloe cleanser. If you don’t want to use the honey, try a simple blend of castile soap and water. The scent some readers experience may be coming from the tea tree castile soap, so stick with an unscented version if this is a concern.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Natural Body-Care Simplified

Learn how to make your own body and beauty products with simple ingredients.

FAQs

Yes, you can. Honey is soothing and gentle, and safe for everyday use. If you find the cleanser irritates or drys out your skin, it’s most likely due to the soap. In this case, use straight-up honey or this aloe and honey cleanser. Or, check out all my favorite natural cleansers.

Yes, I’ve found it to be very beneficial and safe to use on my acne-prone skin. Honey will not strip the skin of natural oils and is very soothing.

No, honey does not clog pores. Rinse the honey from the skin after cleansing.

This recipe is just one option for a natural facial cleanser. Back when I originally shared this recipe (in 2015), there weren’t store-bought options made with nourishing, non-toxic ingredients. Today, there are great companies that have stepped up to make incredible non-toxic, natural, botanical skincare products. Check out my article, Best Natural Face Cleaners and Face Wash, for a round-up of the best homemade and store-bought face washes.

The recipe is about as 100% natural as you’ll find. Other DIY face wash options that are 100% natural: honey and aloe face wash (just honey and aloe), cleanse your face with honey alone, and basic face wash made with castile soapA few of my favorite natural store-bought face washes: OSEA Ocean Cleanser (use code livesimply for $10 off any $90 order), True BotanicalsEvan Healy Milk Cleanser or Tea Tree CleanserOne Love Organics, and Blissoma Rejuvenating Gel Cleanser. That said, I challenge you to focus on using safe and nourishing skincare products rather than focusing on 100% natural. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s the solution you’re looking for. Poison Ivy is 100% natural and none of us are spreading that stuff on our faces. Just food for thought. Synthetic ingredients aren’t bad, as long as they are proven to be safe.

I’m not an esthetician (listen to my podcast with an esthetician about natural skincare), but I personally struggled with acne for a number of years as an adult. Today, my skin has cleared along with much of the scarring. From my research, honey and aloe are some of the best DIY natural face wash ingredients for acne-prone skin. Honey is antibacterial and hydrating (learn more about using honey to cleanse the face), and both are gentle on the skin and soothing. Aloe and honey don’t strip the skin of natural and beneficial oils, which could cause breakouts and inflammation. I also love this Ocean Cleanser from OSEA for a store-bought option that exfoliates and cleanses the skin without stripping the skin of its natural and beneficial oils (use code livesimply for $10 off any $90 order).

SKINCARE

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347 Comments

  1. Maybe this has been addressed in the comments already. If so I apologize but I was wondering if you had any suggestions as to why my skin would feel tingly and almost itchy after using this? It’s leaving my skin nicely moisturized but ya I get a tingly and sometimes slightly itchy sensation afterwards. I made it exactly like the recipe using sweet almond oil, unscented Castile and 100% raw honey. No essential oils so not a fragrance issue. I wouldn’t describe myself as having sensitive skin. I’d say normal to oily, sometimes dry in the winter. Any suggestions would be helpful. I really want to make my own all natural products.

    1. Hey Heidi, It’s probably the castile soap. I would try just honey (honey is a great cleanser on its own) and see what happens. The soap may be too drying during this time of year.

  2. Can I use thyme honey instead of raw honey because I can’t find it anywhere in my country?I know that thyme honey is one of the most beneficial types of honey for skin

  3. 5 stars
    I made this about 8 weeks ago and I absolutely love it. I have older skin prone to blemishes on occasion and I find this cleanser has really jazzed up my skin a lot. I use it twice a day. It rinses well and cleanses well. I even shared your recipe and link on my own blog. I use to use Paula’s Choice now I have my own!

  4. Hi,
    I have everything except for the castile soap, so I was wondering if I can substitute it for anything else…?

  5. Hi Kristin!

    My wife and I really enjoy your website and this soap – we actually use it as a body wash and love it!

    Personally, my skin is extremely sensitive, and I’ve had acne and red spots on my face, chest, shoulders, upper back, etc. for a long time. As I am 23 now (and went on accutane when I was in high school), my face has gotten under control. However, the body wash my dermatologist has assigned has never made my below-the-face skin happy. This honey wash, while not clearing my body, does seem to calm my skin, which is amazing!

    However, we live in the midwest, and that means that our seasons are extreme. Summer is HUMID and hot, and winter is sooo dry and cold. My skin is so oily in the summer, and is so dry in the winter. Now that winter is here, what would you recommend to make this body wash a bit more moisturizing? Increase the amount of nourishing oil? (we use jojaba) We were thinking of maybe just using 4 TB of it in the winter and 2 TB of it in the summer? What are your thoughts for someone like me?

    Thanks so much for your time!!

    1. Hey Nathan and Krista, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the face wash and blog. I would maybe focus on a good lotion, or even using shea butter on your skin after cleansing your body during the winter. This will provide intense moisture. For the face, a good facial oil could be used for the hydration and moisture. It’s expensive but the True Botanicals Face Oil is AMAZING, particularly for sensitive and problematic skin. Or another great brand is Leahlani Skincare or Evanhealy (they also make an intense moisture cream with shea butter). For the soap, you could try adding more oil, or maybe just diluting it a bit more with distilled water or using less soap.

  6. Hello Kristin,
    I just found your recipe online and like it very much!
    I hope nobody did ask this before, but what do you think about using diluted ACV instead of the water? I’m using it as a toner in the evening, but sometimes I wish for a more intensive cleaning.
    Thanks alot!

    1. Hey Ulrike, You could try, but for a daily cleanser on top of using ACV as a toner, I would probably stick to something more gentle like water. For a more intensive cleaning, maybe try mixing together some water, ACV, and bentonite clay 1-2 times a week as a face mask.

      1. 5 stars
        Hello Kristin,
        thank you for your quick answer! I thought I might skip the AVC as a toner if I would replace the Water with ACV – like a shortcut 😉
        Thanks for the mask sugestion, I will try that!
        All the best!

  7. 5 stars
    Great recipe thanks. I put 1% essential oils; juniper berry and clary sage and then follow with oil cleansing with a mixture of oils and then a mixture of face oils after that, different night/day treatments, This has cleared my skin up no end and recently been told i look in my 20’s, coming up to 35 now. All in all, this has saved me a fortune on the rip off skincare products and i no longer have acne at all. Nathan

  8. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I’ve made it twice now and I cut it in half because it lasts a while. I use lavender Dr Bronner’s Castile soap and avocado oil. Thank you!

  9. Sorry if this question has been asked in the above 250 comments (I could not scroll through them all) but I LOVE that quaint little pump bottle in the photos in this post. Where can I buy it please?!

  10. Hi! I’m loving the facewash so far! My only concern is that for myself, it may be too much Castile Soap. How would you alter the recipe to lessen the amount used? 🙂

  11. Hi there. Loving the idea of this recipe and the awesome feedback from your community of readers! Would this recipe work with omitting the water? Or would it alter the recipe entirely? I was just thinking without the water I could use in a standard soap pump? Also, In a comment you mentioned you were using a raw honey and aloe face wash. Is this DIY on your blog site as well? I love the idea of DIYing where I can in an effort to save a little $$ but I am concerned about the water breeding bacteria and then I am spreading that bacteria growth on my face and hands and on and on and on… I didn’t know if honey was aiding as the preservative or not.

  12. Hi Kristin, I noticed that some others do not like the smell of the cleanser when mixed…I used a plain castile soap and it ends up with a little bit of a fishy smell. My next batch, I reduced the castile a bit and used raw orange blossom honey…much better! Today, I will be trying it with a new raw blueberry blossom honey, which also has a very light scent.

  13. Does it matter what scent of castille soap you use? I have a peppermint one, and I frankly don’t want to be keeping numerous bottles of castille soap around the house just because of all the different scents.