A few weeks ago, I came across an intriguingly simple recipe from Lily Organics for a homemade facial cleanser. The main components: baking soda, almond oil, and honey.
It all seemed waaaaay too easy (and cheap) to be true. I’ve tried a dizzying array of natural (and unnatural) facial cleansers. My oily, hypersensitive, acne-prone skin does relatively well with Blissoma, but is still far from perfect. Everything else — from the castille soap based cleansers to oil-based cleansing lotions — has been disastrous.
Still, I like experimenting on myself, so after reading up on other people’s experiments (see Crunchy Betty’s post) and making inquiries on Twitter (contradictory answers from various people), I gave it a go. Of course I couldn’t resist the urge to fiddle with the recipe. It’s come down to two basic ingredients, baking soda ($1 a box) and jojoba oil ($6 for 4 oz at Trader Joe’s). Instead of straight jojoba, I use my homemade facial moisturizer, which is just jojoba oil and a few essential oils (lavender, rosewood, lemon) so I can incorporate lower concentrations of essential oil. My skin is oily, so I don’t always use the honey, but if you have normal or dry skin, it’s probably a good addition. You can also try different oils, since jojoba is one of the lightest.
It’s been over a week, and my skin seems quite happy with the concoction. (This is surprising, since my skin always reacts to new anything, generally badly.) After I wash it, it’s clean and neither dry nor oily. I’ve heard that baking soda is slightly basic and human skin is slightly acidic, so I have no idea why this is working. Maybe the jojoba oil balances things out, or the baking soda is pretty mild to begin with.
Here’s what you need to mix up your own homemade facial cleanser:
- An empty, clean spice jar with a sifter lid.
- A box of pure baking soda
- Jojoba oil
- A glass bottle with a dropper lid
- Skin safe pure essential oils
- Local, unadulterated honey (optional)
- Fill the spice jar with baking soda. (Prevents caking in a moist environment like the bathroom, and keeps you from accidentally dumping out half the box into your hand.)
- Mix the jojoba oil with a few drops of essential oil (see the post on homemade facial moisturizer for more detail) in the glass bottle.
- When ready to use, shake the spice jar once into your hand, mix the baking soda with 3-5 drops of the jojoba oil mixture, and a small dollop of honey (optional). Spread on to damp skin and massage gently. It will probably tingle a little. Rinse off with warm water, pat dry, and proceed with your regular routine. You may or may not need more moisturizer, depending on your skin.