DIY Foaming Face Wash with Hydrosol & Essential Oils

How to make a foaming hydrosol face wash with essential oils

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 soapy way to cleanse skin, I’ve been experimenting with this foaming face wash recipe. It has a rich lather, and there are options for every skin type.

This recipe is very similar to my foaming hand soap, with a little added boost of skin nourishment. Distilled water can be used as a frugal option, but there are also suggestions for different hydrosols based on skin type. These have a much longer shelf life than water, and they have added skin 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- Hydrosols are water soluble and essential oils are not.

Depending on how they’re made and what preservatives are used, they will typically last 12-18 months. Since homemade skincare products typically don’t contain preservatives, this keeps the homemade face wash from growing something nasty. Hydrosols can also be made at home if desired.

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, is anti-septic and anti-bacterial.
  • Cucumber hydrosol– This hydrosol is useful for all skin types and is especially cooling and calming for inflamed skin. It’s also very hydrating.
  • Clary sage hydrosol– This is a more potent smelling hydrosol, but it’s very soothing and calming to the 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

Each foaming face wash recipe has recommended essential oils for each skin type. However, these can be swapped out depending on specific skin conditions for a completely customized face wash. The essential oils are diluted to about two percent, and the dilutions should be kept to 1-5% to avoid skin irritation. This should be kept in mind if substitutions are being made.

A note on castile soap… The Dr. Bronners brand of castile soap is very thick, while some other brands are thinner. The amount of hydrosol or distilled water used will need reduced by half if the soap used is on the thin side.

Foaming Face Wash for Oily or Acne Prone Skin

Foaming Face Wash for Aging or Blemished skin

Foaming Face Wash for Normal Skin

  1. In the soap dispenser add the essential oil, castile soap and carrier oil. Swirl the bottle until the ingredients are well combined.
  2. Add the distilled water or the hydrosol, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top for the pump. You may not need a full ¼ cup to fill it. If the castile soap is thin, then reduce the hydrosol or water to 1/4 cup.
  3. Cap the dispenser tightly and gently tip it back and forth to mix everything. Don’t shake it too much though or there will be a bunch of suds!

Safety Note

Lemon essential oil is phototoxic if used above 2% in a leave on product, like a lotion. Since this recipe uses it at only 1% and it’s washed off, it’s considered safe. However, it may not be wise to not go sunbathing or anything similar if lemon is used. The foaming face wash can also be used at night, or at least 12 hours before sun exposure if there’s any concern. Lemon essential oil is cleansing and helps to lighten age spots but can be left out if desired.

What is your skincare routine? Ever tried a foaming face wash? Share below!

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