Here I will provide you with four different variations of a soap base. This will also serve as a reference point for all face and hair cleanser recipes. You will simply add one of the following to any recipe that calls for a soap base. Choose whichever one you find most convenient. Each variation will keep forever once made.

Castile Soap Base

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Bar:
All-One Hemp Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Bar Soap finely grated  *      5 Oz.
Purified water       5 cups

This is the cheapest option. A single bar of  Dr. Bonners Castile Soap is $4.79.
You can get a pack of 3 on Amazon for $15, which breaks down to $5 a bar. I suggest checking your local grocery store, natural health food store, or target first. I always recommend shopping in your local community first before heading online.

*I suggest the baby unscented bar because it has no added fragrance and is good for sensitive skin.

Direction
• Add water to a pot and bring to a simmer.
• Add the grated soap and bring to a low boil, stirring until the soap completely dissolves.
• Store in a glass jar.

Liquid:
18-In-One Hemp Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap        1/4 cup

This is the most convenient option in my opinion. You just simply add 1/4 cup of this soap to any recipe that calls for a soap base. Easy peasy, right?

 

Pure Soap Flakes

Soap flakes can be found at most health food stores and pharmacies so check there first before heading online.

Soap flakes     5 ounces
Purified water    5 cups

Directions
• Add water to a pot and bring to a simmer.
• Add flakes, stirring until soap dissolves.
• Let cool and store in a large glass jar.

This mixture will most likely gel and become clumpy after sitting for a while. Rest assured, it’s still good and safe to use. Just take the amount you need and whisk it or put it in a small blender when you make your hair or face cleanser recipe.

Soapwort Root

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Soapwort root is the raw material of soaps and other cleaning products. You can most likely find some at a natural health food store or an herbalist may be able to provide you with some or possible point you in the right direction.

Crushed soapwort root     1 oz.
Purified Water    6 cups

Directions

Place crushed soapwort root in a large glass pyrex bowl.
Bring water to a rapid boil and pour it over the soapwort root.
leave it to infuse for about an hour.
Once ready, filter it through a cheesecloth, milk bag, or coffee filter.
(I prefer the milk bag. It’s the easiest to use and wash)

Store in a large glass jar

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When you shampoo using this option, you will need to use larger quantities of the final recipe. About 2 tablespoons EXTRA of the finished recipe.
Ex: If the direction calls for you to use 2 tablespoons of a shampoo recipe you will need to use 4 tablespoons of the FINAL recipe when using this option as your soap base.

 

Okay, now that we got the basics out of the way let’s get started making our first face soap cleanser! It’s super simple. I promise!

NOTE: If you’re in a pinch and want to make one of the hair or face cleansers I share on my blog but don’t have the ingredients needed to make the soap base (or you just don’t feel like making your own soap base), simply use a 1/4 cup of your favorite store-bought shampoo or facial cleanser as your soap base. If you are not already, I suggest using something that is natural and free of harsh chemicals. The whole point here is to create skincare products that are simple, pure and as natural as possible.

Anywhoo, happy soap making if you try it out! Let me know how it works out for you…PLEASE!

I posted an oil-based face cleansing paste a while back and I know using an oil-based cleanser can be a bit scary for some so here is a simple facial soap cleanser. When I want to whip up a facial cleanser really quickly this is my go-to.

Facial Soap Cleanser

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Soap Base *      1/4 cup
Liquid lecithin**  1/4 cup
Cider Vinegar    1 tablespoon
Essential oil***     10 drops

Directions

• Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well.
• Store in a small glass jar (or wash and reuse an old bottle from a previous face cleanser).
• Pour a small amount in your hand and massage into face.
• Rinse well

* If you are using liquid castile soap or a store bought facial cleanser as your soap base, add 1 cup of water to the above recipe.

** Lecithin is a substance naturally found in the tissues of the body. It’s made up of fatty acids and has a variety of commercial and medical uses. Liquid lecithin is an oil-like substance most commonly extracted from egg yolk, soybeans, and sunflowers used to preserve, emulsify (make water and oil combine), and moisturize. When used in skincare products it is used to soften, protect, moisturize, and lubricate the skin.

*** Use an essential oil that suits your skin type.

Essential oils for dry to normal skin:
Chamomile German
Lavender
Sandalwood
Patchouli
Rose
Bois de rose
Hyssop
Benzoin
Calendula
Geranium
Palma rosa
Rosemary
Neroli

Essential oils for oily to normal skin:
Chamomile German
Juniper
Palma Rosa
Lemon
Lime
Orange
Frankincense
Lavender
Geranium
Cypress
Pettigraine
Marjoram
Rosemary
Jasmine
Ylang-ylang

NOTE: I personally use Edens Garden Essential Oils and NOW Essential Oils. I have been using Edens Garden for about five years and I really love their oils. About a year ago I discovered NOW Oils at my local health food store and began purchasing their oils after doing a little research on the brand. I also use NOW because I prefer to shop locally before shopping online.  When I’m able to purchase a large number of oils I order through Edens Garden. I suggest checking out Edens Garden. Read through their FAQ’s, email, or call if you’d like more info. I personally love them because their oils are pure, high quality, and they are NOT an MLM company! SOLD!

Anywhoo, hope you give this Facial Soap Cleanser a try and if you do please let me know how it worked out for you in the comments!

 

I love making my own skincare products. And, here’s why. I know EXACTLY what’s in them. Here I’m going to share with you an oil-based cleaning paste that I love.

Using natural homemade cleansing oils can be more hydrating, more effective, and less irritating on the skin than traditional face washes because they don’t contain any surfactants. Surfactants are typically used as foaming agents, and can sometimes be harsh on the skin. 

The key to using an oil-based cleanser is using the right oil for your skin type. For example, avocado oil is a fatty oil and is good for dry and dehydrated skin. You might want to avoid it topically if you have oily skin. Almond oil and sunflower oil usually work best for oily skin and are suitable for all skin types. Also, you want to make sure your oils are 100% pure. 

Following is a great oil-based cleaning paste that can be used for all skin types. 

INGREDIENTS:
100 % pure Almond oil: 3 ounces
Ground almonds: 3 ounces
Apple cider vinegar: 2 ounces
Purified Water: 2 ounces
Essential oil of your choice: 6 drops

NOTE: Clary-sage, lemon, lime, sage, and thyme are awesome cleaning oils and are suitable for all skin types.

DIRECTIONS:
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth for about two minutes.
This recipe will thicken as it blends so have a silicone spatula close by to scrape it out.
Store in a clean glass jar.

NOTE: I use a small kitchen scale to measure out my ingredients. I place my jar or a measuring cup on the scale before turning it on. This way, once I turn on the scale the weight of the container is not being calculated. 

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TO USE:
Apply a warm damp washcloth to your face for about 20-30 seconds (this opens pores and softens skins so the paste is more effective). Then, with clean wet hands or a face brush, gently massage the paste all over your face. Once done, rinse off the paste with the washcloth or fill hands with water and rinse. 

I know the thought of using an oil-based cleaner on the face can make some feel nervous. Especially if you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts. A good idea is to add the oil cleaning step to your skincare routine without changing anything for about a month. If you start breaking out then it’s most likely the oil, and you can stop using it right away. But, if all remains well, try using the oil by itself and see how you like it. 

 

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I share a lot of homemade non-toxic products that require the use of the bain-marie method and I thought it would be a good idea to create a reference point explaining what it is. 

So what IS a bain-marie, right? It’s a French cooking term for a hot water bath. It’s pronounced ban-mah-REE. Traditionally it’s used for cooking delicate foods over low temperatures. This is the method I use to gently melt a lot of the ingredients I use in the products I make.

HOW TO MAKE A BAIN-MARIE

A bain-marie is super easy to put together. All you need is a small or medium saucepan and a large bowl that covers the top of the saucepan. I like to use a clear Pyrex bowl for this. 

Fill your saucepan with 2-4 inches of water and set your bowl on top. Over a low-medium heat, the water in your saucepan will begin to simmer and the rising steam will melt what you have inside your bowl.

NOTE: You don’t want the water in the saucepan to touch your bowl, and you want to make sure your bowl fits snugly, so the steam is trapped beneath it.  Also, be sure to keep an eye on your water to make sure it doesn’t boil off. Add more if necessary. 

IS A BAIN-MARIE THE SAME THING AS A DOUBLE BOILER?

In a nutshell, yes. A double boiler is two pots: a large one that looks a lot like a saucepan and a small shallow pan that nestles on top. Same steps apply. You fill the bottom pan with a few inches of water and the steam melts what you have in the top shallow pan. 

BAIN-MARIE VS DOUBLE BOILER

Owning an actual double boiler is handy if you do a lot of cooking or regularly make products that require one. If you only need one occasionally, you can accomplish the same results with a bain-maire. 

In the end, it’s a matter of preference. I love using the bain-marie method because it’s simple and easy to put together. I don’t feel the need to go out and buy a double boiler if I can accomplish the same results with a bowl and saucepan. I did buy a clear Pyrex bowl just for making my products, that way I’m not using it for food as well. If you have a double boiler or plan on using this method, I suggest getting one just for making your products. I personally don’t like cooking in the same dishes I use for making my products. That way there is no chance of cross-contamination. 

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Between Pinterest and one of my favorite books, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood, I was able to put together a super simple DIY essential oil recipe that I really like, and I want to share it with you.

Whether we use our makeup brushes a little or a lot, over time they become filled with dead skin, oils, dust, and…bacteria. So, a simple cleaning is a MUST. It helps to maintain the longevity of our brushes and aids in good skin care practice.

 When buying or making products I try my best to find options that are simple, natural, and low-waste as much as possible. I love that this recipe offers exactly that. 

Deep cleaning my brushes is something I like to do weekly. I wash my hair once a week and I just go ahead and clean my brushes while I’m at it. My routine is to wash my hair in the evening so that it can dry naturally overnight. So, I figure I may as well work my makeup brushes into this routine so they too can dry naturally overnight. That way, in the morning after I’m done doing my hair and getting ready for the day my brushes are completely dry and ready for use.

To maintain the cleanliness of my brushes throughout the week, I mist them with an essential oil spray.

Okay, so here are the recipes:

Essential Oil Makeup Brush Cleaner
1 cup of warm water
1/4 cup distilled vinegar
1 tsp. castile soap
10 drops of tea tree essential  oil
10 drops of lemon essential oil (or oil of choice)

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Steps:
1. Mix warm water, vinegar, soap, and oils in a mason jar.
2. Pour a small amount of that mixture into a small bowl. (Just enough to cover the bristles 1/2 way. You don’t want water getting deep into the brush and ruining the glue)
3. One at a time, GENTLY swish your brushes around in the mixture for about a minute or so. (This step is disinfecting your brushes) Video below.

NOTE: I swish one brush at a time in the mixture and then dump it. I pour a fresh mixture from the mason jar into the bowl for each brush. That way I’m not disinfecting my next brush in a dirty mixture.
4. Head over to a sink. One brush at a time, add a drop of castile soap to the bristles and GENTLY wash them in a downward motion until water runs clear. (You want to keep your brush tilted downward as well.) Video below.
5. Give your brush a squeeze and shake to get as much water out as you can.
6. Hang brush downward to dry.

 

 

 

 

 

FYI: this video has no sound.

 

 

 

 

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Essential Oil Makeup Brush Spray
One 2 oz. bottle filled with purified water 
10-15 drops of tea tree essential oil
Optional: fill bottle 1/2 water and 1/2 witch hazel plus the essential oil

Step:
Give brushes a mist after each use. (Don’t make them too wet)

Please let me know if you try this. I’d love to hear how it worked out for you!

Also, I shared a video giving a visual of this process over on Instagram and YouTube if you want to check it out.