A Gentle and Effective Homemade Face Cleanser

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Soap-based face wash strips the skin of beneficial oils causing imbalances and underlying skin issues. This homemade face cleanser solves those problems.

Sometimes I feel like I need a bit more than soap and water to remove my make up. My face just doesn’t feel clean after hours of wearing makeup. Even though it’s natural, it still feels like I need something more to take it all off. I came up with this oil-based cleansing paste because it is more gentle and nourishing than soap and detergent-based cleansers.

Using oils instead of traditional soap or detergent cleansers can also help protect the natural lipid layer of the skin and the good bacteria that live there.[1]

Homemade Face Cleanser Recipe

A homemade face cleanser should consist of two parts. One is the oil, which helps to cleanse the skin. The other is the wax, which helps make it into a paste. I add a few other ingredients which can help with skincare.


  • small jar
  • double boiler


  • 4 ounces light oil, like grapeseed or avocado
  • 2 Tablespoons beeswax pastilles (or the equivalent in shaved beeswax)
  • 1 tablespoon emulsifying wax-like sunflower or candelilla wax
  • 12 drops essential oil such as Frankincense or Lavender
  • 2 capsules vitamin E oil
  • 1 teaspoon powdered herbs like rose petals or plantain leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons floral hydrosol like rosewater


Begin making your homemade face cleanser by melting the waxes in the double boiler. Add the light oil when the waxes are melted. Stir well. You may need a spatula if it cools on the edges too much. Add the vitamin E by piercing a hole in the capsules and squeezing them. Stir again. Add the floral hydrosol. It will likely clump up at first due to it being cooler than the oil, but it will smooth out in a bit. Stir really well and remove from the heat. Keep stirring or use a small mixing blender, like those used for frothing milk. As it cools, it will form a paste. Once it is thicker, add your powdered herbs. Stir well and add the essential oil. You’ll have a thick paste by now that you’ll need to spoon into the jar. I use a wider mouth jar that I can get a spatula into.


Your herbs will most likely turn dark in a few days. This is not a sign of then going bad, it is oxidization and is normal. If you’d rather not have this happen, you can use an infused oil for your light oil and omit the herbs.

Using your Homemade Facial Cleanser

To use your homemade face cleanser, use a small spatula to scoop out a small amount, like the size of a pearl. You can use your fingers or a damp washcloth to apply the paste to your face. Apply using circular motions all over your face, avoiding the mouth and eyes. Rinse off well and apply a moisturizer if desired. I find I don’t need a moisturizer due to the creamy nature of this paste.
You can also use a tissue to remove the paste if you wish. Just be sure to remove all of it as it can leave a residue on your linens if you use it at night.

A Few Tips

Essential Oils and Herbs

You can use just about any skin-safe essential oils and herbs. My favorite is roses. I cut the essential oil back to 3-4 drops and add a few drops of chamomile essential oil. Then I use rosewater for the liquid part and powdered roses for the herb. Yes, it does turn dark after a while, but it feels and smells so good!

Vitamin E

You can also get vitamin E in dropper bottles. If you use this in your homemade face cleanser you’ll need about 5-6 drops of it. I sometimes use sunflower oil as my light oil and omit the vitamin E. Sunflower oil has high amounts of naturally occurring vitamin E.

Emulsifying Wax

There are several types of natural emulsifying wax. I’ve seen some made from olive oil, soybean oil (non-GMO) along with the candelilla wax and sunflower wax. There are some blends available too. Read up on them to know what’s best for you.
Since your hands can carry bacteria, I recommend using spatulas to get the product out of the jar. You can get small wooden ones that are compostable.
Have you tried making a homemade face cleanser? Now is the time, carpe diem!

  1. Mandy Ferreira. Everything You Need to Know About the Oil Cleansing Method. Healthline. June 2019.

A Gentle and Effective Homemade Face Cleanser was written by Debra Maslowski.

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