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How to Make Natural Morning Facial Cleanser

Updated on February 24, 2012

What it Is

This is my very own personal recipe for a facial cleanser I use every morning in the shower. My boyfriend also uses it for body wash, so it is very versatile. Because it is an invigorating and refreshing cleanser, I call it the Sunburst Morning Facial Cleanser. I also have a nightly cleanser that I call Moonglow Nighttime Facial Cleanser.

Why Skin Care is Important

In Western culture, youth and beauty are everything. While I don't necessarily subscribe to this ethos, I believe that aging with grace and growing wisdom is essential for men and women alike.

Every day you do not cleanse the skin on your face, your skin ages at least one week. I learned this myself when I was a younger adult (18) selling Mary Kay products. Now, if any of you are anything like me, I definitely skimp a bit on doing certain things before bed if I'm too tired. Admittedly, I've been guilty of not brushing my teeth before bed and I've been guilty of not washing my face or removing my contacts. But all of these are very important tasks that, on total, take less than ten minutes.

For every week (7 days) that you do not wash your face (particularly before bed), you age yourself around 49 days. For every month that you do not wash your face around 210 days (that's nearly 6 months). For every year that you skip washing your face at night (I'm talking to you, college students!), you age your own facial skin 2,548 days! That is equivalent to nearly 7 years!

Now, because of the elasticity of younger skin, going an entire year without washing one's face won't show as dramatically as the numbers show. Besides that, at least once a day or every couple days, nearly everyone washes or at least rinses their face in the shower. But if you put into perspective the fact that you are neglecting your skin and that will ultimately have consequences, it's a little more intimidating to climb into bed or get ready for work guilt-free when you don't wash your face.

There are some wonderful, high-end skincare lines out there that undoubtedly work. However, this recipe is intended for individuals who want to save money, want to live in a more eco-conscious way, and would like to cleanse their face in a more natural, organic way. The chemicals that are added to many well-known facial cleansers actually have adverse affects on not only your skin, but on your body and your general health. I will not write of those because there are brilliant articles out there already, but just know that what is absorbed into the body through one's skin is absorbed at about 10 times the concentration rate of an oral dose. A wise woman once said to me, "Never put anything on your skin that you wouldn't put in your mouth." While I'm still striving to live that philosophy (very difficult today in today's age--no pun intended), it's an important thing to consider when purchasing your personal care products (or when making your own).

The Ingredients

I would like to explain why I chose the ingredients I chose for this recipe and why they'll help your skin.

Liquid Castile Soap - Obviously I wanted a base for the facial cleanser. I prefer Dr. Bronner's and for this recipe, I chose unscented because I wanted the soap to be fragranced with the essential oils I used in the recipe. Castile soap is very gentle and is olive-oil based, though because it is pure castile soap, it can dry the skin. If you use this recipe, you will need to moisturize afterward (though it goes without saying that it's just as important to moisturize your skin daily as it is to cleanse daily).

Witch Hazel (optional) - Witch hazel is a natural astringent. However, not everyone likes witch hazel, so this ingredient is optional. If you choose to go without this ingredient, you'll still have the astringent properties of the peppermint oil.

Water - Water is the essence of life itself. We are beings composed of so much water. The mass of human cells consists of 65% to 90% water. The water that I recommend in this recipe is what I refer to as "living water," which is water that contains trace minerals. The benefits of trace minerals is extraordinary and they help alleviate dermatitis and eczema.

Vegetable Glycerine - Any base oil is really fine, but I chose vegetable glycerine specifically for its water-soluable properties. It is also similar to an emollient and it also cools the skin (which works perfectly for the purpose of this cleanser as a refreshing, Wake-Me-Up cleanser). Additionally, vegetable glycerine is amazing at soothing the epidermis as well as retaining moisture.

Aloe Vera Gel - Come on, what's not to love about aloe?! I prefer using the contents of a stalk of your own aloe vera plant versus the manufactured gels in the store. For one, using your own plant allows you to appreciate the final product even more because you know the work that goes into caring for your plant. A second reason is that it's free! And lastly, you know that your aloe vera gel directly from your own home plant is as fresh as can be and was not shipped or stored anywhere for any length of time. If you do not own an aloe vera plant, I strongly suggest purchasing one. They are extremely versatile, low maintenance, and very inexpensive. Because I have a red-headed partner and our daughter is red-headed, we like to keep aloe around to soothe their fair skin. How aloe vera benefits the skin is that it helps restore moisture to the skin, it smooths the skin to give a refreshed glow, and it also has anti-aging properties and lightens dark spots on the skin. It is also really helpful in removing dead skins cells, as it effectively penetrates the skin and transports all the other healthy nutrients and materials through the skin.

Oatmeal Milk* - Oatmeal helps restore and bring back the natural moisture to the skin. It also helps balance minor skin irritations.

Orange Essential Oil - Most essential oils are extracted by means of steam distillation. While this is sometimes the case for orange, the essential oils of the orange are generally cold-pressed from the plant. Orange oil is used in aromatherapy for its invigorating and uplifting scent.

Peppermint Essential Oil - Peppermint oil contains 40% menthol so there is a notable menthol-y scent to it. This is very helpful in the morning when our sinuses may be congested. Peppermint is an anesthetic, antiseptic, astringent, decongestant, and stimulant. I chose it for the Sunburst Morning Facial Cleanser specifically because of the benefits of the aromatherapy and how it interacts with the mind and brain functions. Peppermint stimulates the mind and refreshes the spirit. It also helps overcome depression and mental fatigue as well as improves concentration.

Tea Tree Essential Oil - Tea Tree oil is extremely effective against acne. In fact, studies show that tea tree oil was as effective, though much gentler, than benzoyl peroxide. It also has many anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

Spearmint Essential Oil - Having similar properties of peppermint but without the menthol-y scent, spearmint oil only contains half a percent of menthol. Spearmint is an antiseptic, a restorative, and a stimulant. It's extremely effective in treating acne as well as relieving itching and dermatitis. It's also excellent to open up congested skin.

The Tools

Here is a list of tools you'll need for this recipe:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A wooden spoon or other mixing utensil
  • A measuring cup
  • Cheesecloth
  • A smaller, microwave-safe bowl (for making the oatmeal milk)
  • 1 rubber band
  • Recycled BPA-free plastic bottles or recycled glass bottles
  • A funnel
  • Labels and a marker

*Oatmeal Milk Recipe

Because the Sunburst Morning Facial Cleanser recipe calls for oatmeal milk, I thought I'd share that recipe as well.

  1. Measure a 1 C. of rolled oats and add to your smaller bowl
  2. Add 3 C. of water
  3. Microwave for 1 minute
  4. Stretch cheesecloth over the top of a large measuring cup and secure with rubber band
  5. Carefully pour the watery oatmeal mixture on top of the cheesecloth
  6. Once mixture is poured, allow the liquid to drain into the measuring cup
  7. Remove rubber band and gather the sides of the cheesecloth, squeezing excess oatmeal milk into the measuring cup
  8. Discard cheesecloth and oatmeal in your compost bin

The Recipe

1. Measure the following ingredients:

  • 8 oz. liquid castile soap
  • 1 oz. witch hazel (optional)
  • 2 oz. water (living water is preferred)
  • 1 oz. vegetable glycerine
  • 1 oz. aloe vera gel
  • 4 oz. oatmeal milk

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the liquid castile soap, witch hazel, water, vegetable glycerine, aloe vera, oatmeal milk. Gently stir.

3. If you're using witch hazel, add 9 drops of the following essential oils: tea tree, peppermint, spearmint. Add 12 drops of orange essential oil. If you are not using witch hazel, add 6 drops of the tea tree, peppermint, and spearmint essential oils and 10 drops of orange. Gently stir.

4. Using a funnel, carefully pour the mixture into sterilized recycled bottles.

5. Label and date. The shelf life for this cleanser is 4 - 6 months.

This recipe makes quite a bit of facial cleanser and, since it's designed to be used as a morning cleanser, it may be too much for one person to use in a period of 4 to 6 months. If that is the case, you can also use this as a morning body wash or bottle nicely and gift to friends and family! This product is also not intended for internal consumption.

Though the cleanser is very watery, it lathers extremely well. It is very important to moisturize with a quality facial moisturizer after cleansing with this product.

Watch the Tutorial! (featuring my daughter and me)


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    • profile image

      Danny J. 

      5 years ago

      I think i'll be trying this one out! Do you recommend using a toner afterward as well as moisturizing? I use a blend of apple cider vinegar, water, and tea tree essential typically. Should i cut that out?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I cannot find pepprmint, orange, or spearmint essential oils anywhere. Having problems finding castile soap unscented also. Do you have any sites to recommend?

    • charliesaysgo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin, USA

      If you have sensitive skin, I'd leave out the witch hazel and I'd try only a small bit of the oils on your skin a bit at a time. If you have an irritation or a reaction, leave that oil out. Orange is an oil that many people have a reaction to. Thank you for your comment!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a creative and fun thing to do I will try this I do have sensitave skin so please let me know if theres something I should leave out. Voted up useful.


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