Oil Cleansing Facial Bar Tutorial: Soap-Free!

The premise behind oil cleansing is that, rather than washing your face with soap or detergent and removing all of the natural oils, you wash your face with a clean oil, which not only removes the old, dirty oils, but replaces them with a clean oil thereby cleansing your skin and moisturizing it at the same time. A daily moisturizer is not needed when you cleanse with oil.

Does it work? Yes! I was sure it would clog my pores when I first read about it, but it stayed on my mind, since a lot of my readers use this method, and so when I finally ran out of my commercial facial cleanser, I gave it a go. Quite simply, you apply a small amount of your oil of choice to your face as you would a cleanser. Rub it in well. You can wash it off immediately with warm water or you can wait 15 minutes while you… tidy your bedroom or brush your teeth… and then wash it off. I was immediately pleased with how well it cleaned, while at the same time leaving my skin feeling moisturized. I stopped using my daily moisturizer as a result, which saves me some money.

A friend and I played around with cleansing bars recently. We found some recipes to try, and I substituted ingredients that were known for their anti-aging properties like green tea, mango and kokum butter. Now I have a cleansing bar that is loaded with anti-oxidants and can be used every day to exfoliate, cleanse, and moisturize all at the same time.

How To Get Started!

1. Choose your liquid oils: Start with half castor oil and then add the other half from the list below, or try a different one.

Safflower (for dry, sensitive skin)
Sweet Almond (for normal to oily skin)
Apricot Kernel (for dry, aging skin)
Grapeseed (for normal skin)
Avocado (dry, aging skin)

2. Add your choice of the following ingredients or you can simply use the oils above.

Cocoa Butter (for dry skin)
Shea Butter (for dry skin)
Kokum Butter (for normal to oily skin)
Mango Butter (for aging skin)

3. Add some optional additives:
Clay for exfoliation (let the world of clays open up to you! I chose a local glacial clay)
Oatmeal flour (for exfoliation)
Green tea extract (anti-oxidant)

4. Add Essential Oils of your choice

5. Then follow my directions below, subbing whatever oil or additive you have chosen:

5.0 from 2 reviews
Oil Cleansing Facial Bar: Soap-Free!
Recipe type: Body Product
An all-natural facial cleanser that cleanses and moisturizes at the same time without clogging pores.
  • 28 grams kokum butter
  • 26 grams mango butter
  • 30 grams almond oil
  • 22 grams castor oil
  • 39 grams glacial clay
  • 1 tsp. green tea extract (powder)
  • 20 drops bergamot essential oil (or oil of your choice)
  1. Combine solid oils in a thick-bottomed pot and heat on low until melted.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add almond oil and castor oil
  4. Add clay, essential oils and additives (if desired) and stir well.
  5. Pour into molds (or into a small jar)
  6. Cool in fridge for several hours.
  7. Remove and store in fridge until needed.
Put the molds into the freezer to speed setting and help it solidify.

This post has been linked to From The Farm Blog Hop and The Homesteader’s Hop #21.

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  1. This looks fantastic – I’m going to try it as soon as my supplies arrive!

  2. HI I’m KarenLynn from Lil’ Suburban Homestead! I so enjoyed being featured on the hop this week! Those soaps look amazing I bet my daughter would love for me to make her and me some for Christmas! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hello! Stopping over from The Homesteaders Hop. I’ve always wanted to learn to make soaps and your recipes makes it look easy. And what great gifts! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try it out!

  4. Amazing! I am glad I found your post. Peppermint is another amazing soap ingredient, known for its revitalizing properties. :)

  5. Tina M Courtwright says:

    Where do you get all those indgredients? Where do you get yours? Thank you

  6. Hi, I was wondering where you got all your ingredients? I have never made any soaps so this will be my first try but I don’t know where to get all those ingredients. I went to Hobby Lobby and they did not hardly have anything pertaining to soap making. Thanks for the soap recipe. :)

  7. Karynn Campbell says:

    Do you think I could use coconut oil as a sub for one of the butters?

  8. how do you use the soap? does it need to sit and steam like regualr oil cleansing? also how many bars does your recipe make and how long do these keep

    • I just rub it on like a moisturizer, then let it sit a minute while I brush my teeth, then wash it off with warm water. Each recipe makes about 6 bars, but those are small bars. I store the extras in the fridge. I take half of one and store it in a little container in the bathroom and use it up before it has ever gone rancid. They have lasted months in the fridge. I have yet to have any go bad.

  9. Do the bars remain solid when you have them out of the fridge?

  10. Hi, love your site. I looked into Mountain Rose for the “green tea extract” and when typed in only came up with hair products (which contained extract). I was not able to find the powder either. Might you advise further how to find it, or can you just make a strong tea for extract or just grind up some green tea to make powder. As I would rather use what is in the recipe I would settle for another way. Thank you, have a wonderful day.

  11. Ebony Hempenstall says:

    Do you have to have caster oil or can you use 2 other oils? and also, is there a reason why they need to stay in the fridge?

  12. Wouldn't all these soft oils melt? Is that why they need to be refrigerated?

    • It will depend on your combination of oils. Mine doesn’t melt but does get soft. I store it in a bowl on the bathroom counter when I am using it, and the others I store in the fridge.

  13. Hello
    Recipe seems totally amazing but i wonder if it doesn’t need to add lye solution in this soap?
    Please reply soon

  14. SO without soap , this really cleans your face well?

  15. Hi,
    Thank you for so much information. It’s very kind of you to share.

    I haven’t tried this yet, but I am barging in here to ask you a couple of somewhat-related questions. I was wondering what you use as an overall body cleanser in the bath/shower; do you make your own liquid soap? Also, if you have some oils that have gone rancid before using them for anything, can you still put them to some good use? Maybe in soap?

    Thanks. I’m in awe about how you’ve taken charge of so much in your life, to keep it clean and healthy, in spite of all the work. I’m still investigating your website and hope to learn more.

    • I use liquid castile soap as a body soap but no I have not made it yet :) It is a much bigger process than making bar soap. I have not yet used rancid oils in soap but that might be the place to try it since the chemical reaction changes it so much. Good luck!

  16. If I want to send these in the mail from North Carolina to Washington state are they going to get rancid or melt before they get there?

  17. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your helpful
    info. Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback.

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