beauty

I Tried Making My Own Homemade Face Wash Using Ingredients I Already Had In My Kitchen

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

I made my own homemade face wash without buying a single ingredient at the store. I’m basically a genius — and with the cleanest face ever.

I have normal, “good” skin — it’s neither oily nor dry, and I rarely have breakouts. That’s probably why I’m very lazy with my skin care routine. Elaborate skin care regimens are all the rage right now, but my “regimen” continues to consist of just a few products — face wash, rose water, and whatever moisturizer I use on my body (usually this body butter or almond oil).

My normal, easy skin is also why I don’t like to use regular face wash. All my skin really needs is something gentle to cleanse away the grime from the day. Many commercial face washes unnecessarily strip my skin dry. There’s only one that I love and use — it’s creamy, nonlathering, moisturizing, and, unfortunately, $10 a bottle. At this point, I’ve made a DIY version of pretty much every other home and body product, so recently I figured, why not give face wash a try?

I did my googling and discovered that a simple face wash is, like many things, surprisingly easy to make yourself. I was able to make mine without spending a single cent, though depending on your pantry, you may need to grab a couple items from the store.

I’m pretty loyal to my $10 store-bought face wash (to the point that I panic slightly whenever the bottle begins to run out), so I had high expectations for this DIY cleanser. I need a face wash that is gentle and moisturizing, yet still gets my face actually clean. I’m happy to say that my DIY version passes those tests with flying colors! And it was… free!

I used castile soap, olive oil, chamomile tea, and essential oil to make this homemade face wash. Here’s how you can, too.

Homemade Face Wash Ingredients

Homemade Face Wash Ingredients
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As with most DIY recipes, there are a lot of different ways to make your own face wash. I decided to adapt this simple recipe to my own needs, using what I had around the house.

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For this face wash, I used:

  • 1/4 cup chamomile tea
  • 1/4 cup eucalyptus liquid castile soap
  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil

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Why these four ingredients? They each have their own benefits for the skin. Chamomile tea is soothing and anti-inflammatory. Castile soap binds to grime and ickiness and washes it away. Olive oil is moisturizing, and it’s full of antioxidants that prevent signs of aging. And lavender essential oil reduces redness, spots, and scarring; it’s also a natural antibacterial.

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You can customize this recipe to your own liking with what you have in the kitchen. I used olive oil because it’s always in my kitchen, but you can use any carrier oil, such as almond or avocado. You can use liquid castile soap with any scent that you like or use a plain unscented soap.

You can also tweak the ingredients based on your skin type. If you have acne or oily skin, you might want to use a stronger astringent essential oil like tea tree oil. If you have dry skin, opt for a more nourishing carrier oil like avocado oil, add some vitamin E oil, and use a gentle essential oil such as rose.

Homemade Face Wash Recipe

Homemade Face Wash Recipe
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This recipe is SO EASY. In total, it makes about 4 oz. of face wash.

Follow these simple steps to make the face wash yourself.

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First, you’ll brew a cup of chamomile tea. You need only 1/4 cup for this recipe, so you can just, ya know, drink the rest. I used chamomile mint tea, but you can use plain chamomile.

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Once your tea is ready, set 1/4 cup of the tea aside to cool.

Next, pour the cooled tea into a squeeze bottle or another container. Squeeze bottles make it easy to dispense the face wash, but any bottle or small jar will work.

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Then add your 1/4 cup of castile soap and 1/2 tsp. of oil. You can add more or less here depending on your preference.

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Lastly, add roughly 8 drops of lavender essential oil. (This is where you could add a different essential oil based on your skin’s needs.)

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Once all the ingredients are in the bottle, shake it all up.

Here’s what the face wash looks like when finished. It has a liquidy consistency, pretty much the same as castile soap. 

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It smells pleasant — like eucalyptus and lavender, unsurprisingly. Depending on which ingredients you put in your face wash, it’ll smell slightly different.

The Test

The Test
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The next morning, I tried out my new homemade face wash for the first time. I found that the consistency was a bit thinner than I expected, and I ended up using a few squirts to get my whole face lathered.

Speaking of lather, though, there wasn’t much. It disappeared quickly.

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That’s probably because there isn’t much soap in this recipe, and for me, that’s a good thing! My usual face wash doesn’t lather at all, and it’s super moisturizing. This one left my skin feeling very similar — surprisingly soft and smooth, and definitely clean. I’m impressed.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts
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To be perfectly honest, I still prefer my $10 face wash over this DIY one. That face wash is creamy, while this one has a liquid consistency. The cream is just more pleasant to use, for some reason.

However, I can’t deny that this one makes my skin feel great afterward and works basically as well as my store-bought one — there are no cons to it, and again, IT WAS FREE. You can’t beat that.