Yesterday I ran out of my mediocre foaming facial cleanser — I use it because it was expensive and it removes my makeup pretty well, but frankly, it’s pretty much so-so. Well, in a pinch I used a little olive oil and a warm washcloth to remove my eye makeup last night. Aside from the obvious oiliness, I was quite pleased that my makeup came off completely and lickety-split, plus my skin stayed soft and supple around my eyes.
Today, instead of heading off to the department store in search of another high dollar, mediocre facial cleanser, I decided to make my own.
Based on the oil cleansing method — the gist of which insists that the best way to remove dirt and oil from your skin is to use oil (sort of like fight fire with fire?) — I grabbed some ingredients from my kitchen cupboard and bathroom medicine cabinet and got to work.
The result of my efforts was a cleanser than not only cleansed my face without stripping it but one that also made my skin super-smooth and soft.
Here’s the recipe and what I did:
In a kitchen mixing bowl, I threw in about 1/2 cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of liquid bath soap (castile or whatever you have is fine) two tablespoons of water, one tablespoon of plain glycerin (available at your local drugstore) and 1/2 teaspoon of Optiphen, a paraben-and-formaldehyde free preservative. Then I whisked everything together and poured it into my old facial cleanser bottle. That’s it.
I applied about a quarter-sized portion to my face and neck, massaged in circular motions for a minute and rinsed. Ah, clean, soft, smooth skin.
Total cost for my new fabulous facial cleanser? Because I typically buy organic stuff, my version may be a little pricier than yours’ll be. All told, I made 4 oz. of safe, pure, effective, anti-aging, skin-softening cleanser for about $6.
Also quite inexpensive, these ingredients can be found at bulk soap-making/skin care ingredient suppliers, health food stores or handicraft stores. Warning: If you add any of these to your recipe, be careful around your eyes as they could irritate and sting.
- Alpha hydroxy acid – I always have some lactic acid in my bathroom cabinet (I know, I’m weird that way). Used regularly and in the proper amount, AHAs are gentle and effective anti-aging exfoliants. Add a teaspoon or so to this recipe.
- White willow bark extract – a great source of salycin or beta hydroxy acid, WWBE is one of the best, most gentle exfoliants available. Plus it helps keep pores clean and blemishes at bay. 1/2 to one tablespoon is ample.
- Essential oil – I like lavender because it’s good for your skin for countless reasons, and it smells divine. Other good ones include heliochrysum, lemongrass, tea tree, Clary sage, rosemary, sandalwood, rose or chamomile. Add a few drops up to 1/4 teaspoon to suit. Start with just a little to be sure it doesn’t irritate your skin — you can always add more later if you want.