Naturally Cleanse Your Face With a Creamy Soapwort Facial Cleanser

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Living in a beauty driven world can be a really difficult thing for our pimple-riddled youth. Especially with all of the products out there that profess to work miracles at clearing our skin. For years, my sister and I had tried EVERYTHING, from Clean & Clear to Noxema and even Proactive and prescription gels and pills, to clear the acne from our faces. Nothing ever really worked. Now, after years of trying a merry-go-round of products, I was shocked to find that all along, the secret to great looking skin actually lies in what I put in and on my body.

Your health is mirrored in your skin

Your largest organ in your body is actually ON your body, it's your skin! What you put into your body is directly reflected on your skin. Everything from food sensitivities to allergies and all of the toxins in between can take a toll on the health of your skin. Acne, eczema, rashes etc. are a symptom of an inner health problem. One of the first things I noticed when I began to change my diet, was my skin. When I quit eating over-processed foods, sodas, energy drinks, and anything sprayed with pesticides, I found myself going for longer periods of time without eczema on my skin. In fact, I actually realized through all of this that my own eczema trigger is anything with wheat that wasn't grown organically. That can pretty much mean foods from practically every restaurant out there.

At first, I thought that my problem was with gluten, but I just couldn't shake why I wasn't having problems eating my own homemade bread (which is made with organic flour), but would break out whenever I ate anything with wheat in it when we ate out in restaurants. I began to realize that all of the artificial colors, preservatives, thickeners, and pesticides really showed in my ADHD behavior, the health of my skin, and my immune system. Once I began eliminating these over processed synthetic foods and drinks out of my diet, my skin showed a tremendous amount of change. When I slip up (because who here isn't human, sometimes it's really hard to deny the old call of the dragon) and eat foods that I know aren't good for me, my body protests heavily first in my digestive tract and then in my skin. It never fails to remind me why I have chosen to live my life in a hippier manner!

Soap can be too drying to any face

The natural oil layer protecting our skin, called the acid mantle, is very finicky. Just like our hair and scalp,  our sebum roughly has a Ph of 4.5-5.0  and using products on it that aren't within this ph range, can dictate just how your skin reacts. According to

While soap may wash away the dirt and grime, most soaps also take your skin’s natural oil barrier with it as well. Basically, the squeaky clean feeling you get after using soap is your body telling you that all your natural oils have been stripped away!

Castile soap has a very high Ph of 9 and is very drying to your skin.This is why, as I expressed in The Dirty Hippy Truth About No-Poo, I won't use castile soap on my face. I have, in fact, stopped using soap on my hair and face all-together, for the last two years. Instead, I began to learn how to wash my hair and face using natural herbs and botanicals, clays, and essential oils instead of soap, and suddenly I saw amazing changes in the way that my face was looking. It's never dry, breaks out only during my period (i.e. hormonal times), and looks incredibly youthful. This was a huge change and what spurred me to continue creating facial care products for myself and others.

Herbs that act like soap, but aren't

We have previously spoken about the awesomeness of soapnuts here and here, but there are actually two other herbs out there that have a certain amount of saponins, a natural surfactant, in them to suds up a little and help clean! Like soapnuts, soapwort root and yucca root both have the abilities to produce a little bit of suds. Though they don't produce a large lather, they do effectively work as a gentle cleanser for your face, hair, and skin! The great thing about these herbs is that these are awesome for people who have allergies to the chemicals in synthetic detergent soaps. It's been shown in some studies that soap exacerbates some skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis but these saponin rich herbs help to heal them instead!

Soapwort root – Used by the ancients medicinally to treat eczema, psoriasis, and more, soapwort root is a gentle cleansing herb that is great to heal  and soften your skin.

Yucca root – Native American tribes used the leaves of the yucca for treating numerous conditions, including psoriasis, dandruff, hair loss, and skin sores. Tribes of the Southwest used the yucca’s leaves to make soaps, shampoos, and other cleansing cosmetics.

Naturally Cleanse Your Face with a Creamy Soapwort Facial Cleanser -

Creamy Soapwort Facial Cleanser

You can easily substitute soapnuts or yucca root for the soapwort in this recipe if that is what you have on hand. I love to store this in a lotion pump type bottle like this. This facial cleanser is great for all skin types. It's very healing for acne, rosacea, and other dermal conditions, moisturizing to dry skin, and even controls the oil in oily skin because it doesn't strip your face of its sebum. This recipe is very customizable to your needs, you can steep the water in healing herbs and teas, you can switch up your carrier oils, and you choose to use whichever essential oils work for your personal facial needs.







  1. In a mason jar, combine soapwort and water. Heat the jar up gently in a pan of water (like a double boiler) until hot, and then cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer, strainer out herbs from liquid and compost the herbs.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the shea butter. While it's melting, combine all of the other ingredients, including the soapwort infusion, in a blender (or a mixing bowl if you are using a hand mixer).
  3. Once the shea butter is melted, add it to the mixture in the blender (or bowl) and begin blending (or mixing with your hand mixer or immersion blender) until it's nice and thick. The longer you blend, the thicker the mixture will be.
  4. Slowly add essential oil blend and blend for another few seconds to combine.
  5. For longest shelf life keep in the fridge when not in use. Store in a cool dark location. I find that keeping this in a lotion pump type bottle or bottle with a squeeze lid is best to keep out bacteria and lengthen the shelf life. Though you could still store it in a mason jar and use a clean spoon to scoop some out if you really wanted to.

TO USE: Wet face with warm water. Using a quarter-size amount of cleanser in the palm of your hand, massage into your face in gentle circular motions. For deep pore cleansing, leave on as a mask for 5-10 minutes before rinsing clean. Always follow with a toner to close your pores, as well as a moisturizer.

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  • Diane

    FYI most homemade soap is neutral or at least slightly acidic if there it is prepared with a superfat amount (oils that are not saponified; oils are acidic); the sodium hydroxide (alkaline) is completely dissolved when the soap is cured. Castile soap like Bronners is not alkaline as you suggest; it is also neutral due to the potassium hydroxide being completely dissipated when the soap cures. I confirmed this by used a pH tester. It is frustrating to see posts suggesting such things when it is incorrect.

    • You must have strips that aren’t working because even with diluting Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap with water (neutral pH 7), it takes a lot of water to bring the mixture down from a pH of 9 to something closer to our skin’s range, and bringing it down too far will de-saponify the soap! This is even stated on Dr. Bronner’s daughters blog (lisa bronner) as well as on their website. They specifically state that because their castile soap is highly alkaline, when you mix it with an acid such as vinegar, it breaks the soap up into the oil and water it was before saponification, rendering the soap useless as a cleaner. This alkalinity is also part of the reason that castile soap doesn’t work as well in homes with hard water. You might want to do your research before trolling someone else’s site

      • Natalia S

        As a soapmaker, I can attest that homemade soap is always alkaline (9-10) and it is very tough to bring the ph down to neutral. To test the ph accurately you need to use distilled water only to dilute the soap you are testing, and make sure the solution is well mixed.

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  • Judy

    How wouId make this using soap nuts powder?

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  • I would use a small dab of coconut oil on a cloth to gently remove any mascara from your eyelashes and what not, but yes this will cleanse and remove makeup!

  • Stuart

    Thank you for the sharing! I’m wondering how the soapwort compares with the soapnut and the yucca? I’m thinking yucca doesn’t last long outside of the refrigerator?

    • All three really wouldn’t last too long outside of the fridge without using absolute pure water, totally clean bottles, and some natural forms of preservatives (some herbal extracts and essential oils, as well as colloidal silver). When you make anything with water, without a preservative of some sort, it has the potential to grow mold and not last long. Any introduction of bacteria to the mixture can cause mold growth.

      • Stuart

        Thank you, Christina. Do you have any preference between the 3 in terms of cleansing?

        • I find that soapwort and yucca root are both equally cleansing and conditioning and are both great for those with sensitive skin conditions too. Both are gentle and healing but still do a great job cleansing! I tend to use soapwort more often than the others for body care and soapnuts too but I haven’t yucca on hand as much so it’s been more about which I have handy. All three have worked equally well though I would say the yucca probably has a higher saponin content than the soapwort. Making soapwort the gentler of the two (though both are gentle).

          • Stuart

            Thank you!

  • Delving into preservatives that are natural is a WHOLE post in the making! Keep an eye out because at some point I will be discussing natural preservatives!

  • Angela @

    I LOVE this recipe! It looks both cleansing and soothing which I need for sure. In general, how long do you think it would last? Thanks!

    • If kept in the fridge it can last a few months but if not it may spoil pretty quickly!

      • Fire Cider is a vinegar so it is naturally preserved because vinegar is like alcohol. In the fridge it will last for 9 months easily! I keep it in a mason jar with a plastic lid because the acv will erode the metal lids!

  • I really want to try this! Adding this to my list of things to do.

  • I might try this as a natural body wash. Thanks!

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  • Anna

    can i add some sugar or maybe dead sea salt to turn it in a facial scrub cleanser?

    • Christina

      You can whip in clay, salt, sugar, etc. in the last stage with the essential oils! I have added clay to this recipe as well for a gentle exfoliation. I usually add roughly 2 – 4 Tbsp. depending on what it is and what I am looking for!

  • I have soap nuts on hand but really want to try soap wort!

  • Totally giving this a try! I oil cleanse, which I love, but it’s not my favorite on “gardening days” and other times I get SUPER dirty, you know?

  • I’ve never heard of soapwort, but this sounds really great! Will certainly have to look into it! My husband would love the acne blend too!

  • thehomesteadinghippy

    this sounds wonderful! I have been doing an oil cleansing method, but I think I am going to get the components for this and try it!

  • Grisel

    Hi Christina!

    I’ve been searching for good quality raw unfiltered honey but haven’t found any yet. I finally decided to go on Amazon and there are a lot of options. I see that you mention Nature Nate. I had looked at Y.S Eco Bee Farms and the color of the honey looks way lighter than Nature Nate. Is there a reason for that?

  • It will be one of mine must-have to do! You are one very inspirational woman, Christina! xx