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It’s probably been a year since I started slowly shifting my household products toward more eco-friendly and health-friendly options. For me, this started with cleaning products: out with the Lysol and Comet, in with the vinegar and baking soda. I’m not someone who can just throw away products. I’ve slowly been trying to deplete our current stock of all household and personal care products, and then making more conscious decisions on what comes next, rather than running to Target to restock.

About 2.5 months ago, I ran out of my Clinique face wash. I’ve been using Clinique for about three or four years now for pretty much anything that goes on my face. But when it came time to refill, I decided I would experiment with a “crunchier” option.

Enter three simple ingredients and my old foaming face wash pump.

  1. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Pure Castile Soap in Baby Mild Unscented is one of the simplest, purest soaps out there. It has a score of 1 on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. If you’re not familiar with this site, I urge you to check it out. You can look up a whole slew of products, and they rate them based on a number of factors: allergies, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, among others. The Dr. Bronner’s soap is made of all ingredients I can pronounce and identify as naturally occurring. No added perfumes make this the perfect soap for a plethora of jobs: face, hands, laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. (or so I’ve read). It’s non-irritating and non-drying.
  2. 100% pure tea tree oil has tons of uses and benefits. It’s touted for it’s antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, including applications for acne, athlete’s foot, and dandruff. As someone who still has acne issues at age 26, I opted to add a few drops of tea tree oil to my homemade face wash to help clear up those pesky pimples.
  3. Finally, water to dilute my soap enough for it to foam properly in the dispenser. I used tap water, but recently read about the importance of using distilled water in homemade beauty products to avoid mold. I checked my bottle and it seems fine (quick visual and smell test). On my next round, I will at least use filtered water, if not boil it first (and make it in small batches).

And the results so far? Pretty good. I can’t say it’s changed my life. But my skin isn’t worse! I really love the rich lather and how clean it feels after washing, but not at all dry. And I feel great about the fact that I know what I’m putting on my skin every day is safe (after all, your skin is your largest organ). Ultimately, I don’t miss spending $16/bottle on face wash. Cost per bottle here is maybe $3? Probably less than that. Consider me sold.

Here’s the “recipe” and links to what I use:

Get $10 off at Vitacost, a great website for the most affordable eco-friendly products on the web, and make your own.