I’m a big fan of the oil cleansing method, and I’ve even been known to rub raw honey on my face. For those who are looking for a more traditional soap-based way to cleanse skin, I’ve been experimenting with this foaming face wash recipe. It has a rich lather and benefits every skin type.
This recipe is very similar to my foaming hand soap with a little added boost of skin nourishment from various hydrosols. While you can use distilled water as a more frugal option, hydrosols have a much longer shelf life than water and have extra benefits.
Hydrosols in Foaming Face Wash
Hydrosols are the by-product of essential oil production. While essential oils are highly concentrated, hydrosols are very gentle, but with many of the same properties.
One big difference to note: hydrosols are water soluble and essential oils are not. This makes mixing easier and takes away some of the worries about using essential oils safely.
Depending on how it’s made and what preservatives are used, hydrosols will typically last 12-18 months. This is a benefit to homemade skincare products sine they typically don’t contain preservatives and can spoil earlier than shelf-stable commercial products.
How to Choose a Hydrosol by Skin Type
Witch hazel hydrosol – This is different from the witch hazel found in most stores which contains alcohol. It’s an astringent and cleansing, making it good for oily and acne-prone skin.
Rose hydrosol – This hydrosol is soothing and nourishing for all skin types, but it’s especially good for mature skin. Rose is hydrating and a humectant to lock in moisture.
Chamomile hydrosol – Very calming to irritated skin. Chamomile hydrosol improves skin elasticity and is antiseptic, and antibacterial.
Cucumber hydrosol – Useful for all skin types, this hydrosol cools and calms inflamed skin. It’s also very hydrating.
Clary sage hydrosol– This is a more potent-smelling hydrosol, but it’s known to smooth and calm skin. It’s also slightly astringent so it’s perfect for oily skin.
Geranium hydrosol – Geranium hydrosol is good for all skin types but particularly aging skin. It’s soothing, anti-inflammatory, and balancing.
Foaming Face Wash with Essential Oils
The beauty of a DIY face wash (pun intended!) is that you can swap out ingredients depending on specific skin conditions for a completely customized face wash. In a hydrosol the essential oils are diluted to about 2%, and the dilutions should be kept to 1-5% to avoid skin irritation. Keep this in mind if substitutions are being made.
A note on castile soap in recipes … different brands have different consistencies, so the amounts may need adjusting. The Dr. Bronners brand of castile soap is very thick, while some other brands are less so. Try reducing the hydrosol (or distilled water in the budget version) by half if the soap seems runny.