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Friday, July 26, 2013

Soaps Pt. 2 - Facial Cleanser & Body Wash....and I suck.

DISCLAIMER:  I am in no way a professional at any of this, I'm just a tree-hugger trying to make my own natural products that are better for my skin, the environment, and save a buck to boot!

Yeah, yeah, I got really tired yesterday and forgot to post, so I suck, I know.  BUT I'm going to post double today to make up for it!

Still love me?

As a result, this will be a very long and image-heavy post, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and kick back.

Today, we'll finish up the laundry soap post and move on to face and body wash.

My laundry soap sat overnight, and I opened it up the next morning to the above.  Yep.  Big bucket o' goo.

Divide your bucket o' goo into two half-buckets o' goo.  Add one gallon of warm water to each bucket, 2 cups at a time, and stirring your ass off until most of the clumps are broken.

You should have this.  About 7 gallons.  Yes, from ONE bar!  I haven't used it yet as I'm still trying to use up my icky store-bought one, but I can't wait and I will be reviewing it!  The Wookie LOVES the smell and commented on it several times as I was mixing.  You use 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup per load, so that's 336, I believe, on the 1/3 cup, so for us that's about a year's worth or more.  AND I'm sure I'll have to play with the measurement because I sort of looked at a ton of recipes in some old books and combined parts of several to come up with a mixture that I thought would work well for us.

Update:  This stuff got out stains commercial soaps couldn't.  It leaves no scent on the clothes when you line-dry, though I can't vouch for a traditional dryer.


Next up:  Face wash and body wash!  I'm doing these together as the recipes are quite similar, so I actually made them at the same time in my kitchen.

This is the face wash and I want you to stare at it.  *.*  I want you to admire how pretty it is because this is the first time I've ever done anything like this and it looks beautiful and smells great and I'm so proud of myself.  Don't be surprised when there's pictures like this interspersed through the rest of the post.

 For this and the body wash, you will need the following:

apple cider vinegar
green tea
sea salt
oatmeal (camera shy) 

 Yesterday, we left off with 3 gallons of castile soap turned into liquid.

Start with pouring 48oz of your liquid castile soap into one bucket.  This is your face wash base.

Pour 72oz of liquid castile in another bucket (or large soup pot).  This is your body wash base.
Next, boil two pots of water - one with 12 cups of water for the face wash and one with 1 3/4 gallons for the body wash.  If you don't have a large enough stock pot to boil that much, you can cut the things we'll be infusing in them in half and do smaller batches, it will just take a little longer.

While the water is heating, prepare some goodies to infuse in the water.  Here's what I chose to use in mine and why:

Lemongrass (face and body) - Obviously, the smell.  Lemongrass smells amazing, but as an added benefit, it also has anti-bacterial properties.

Thyme (face and body) - this can help control greasy skin and is also good for respiratory problems and fatigue.  The Wookie and I both have allergies and I have grease-face in the summer, so this was an obvious choice.

Rosemary (face and body) - also good for geasy skin and fatigue and soothes sore muscles to boot!

Green Tea (face and body) - anti-inflammatory!  This means good for breakouts and swollen red spots that surround them.  Also, well, what doesn't it do?  You can google it yourself, or check out this article.

Oatmeal - (face and body) - Softens the skin, added quite a bit of thickness to the mixtures,

Sea Salt - (body) - this contains calcium which can help keep clogged pores at bay, also, sea salt can help sooth sore muscles and is, I think (don't quote me on this one, though), also raises Ph levels.  (Help on that one?  Sayward?  Anyone?)

Eucalyptus Oil (face and body) - Great for allergies or colds because this shit will open you up quick.

Note that I used dried herbs from the pantry...That's all I had, so I just went with it.  This would be a billion times better if you had fresh stuff, though you'd have to tinker with the measurements.  Also, you can look up what herbs will work best for your skin, but be sure to note that Thyme and some others are NOT to be used if you are pregnant or nursing, so do your research!

Once your water is boiling, remove the pot from the burner before you start adding things.  I used 2c of oatmeal in each pot, then just started adding in herbs.  Honestly, I didn't measure anything as the mixture you use will be entirely up to you.  Just toss in the oats, then start adding herbs, a little at a time, let them steep for 5 minutes or so, give it a stir, and smell it.  If you think it needs more, add a little more, let it steep, and give it a check again.  Sooner or later, you will come up with a mix that's just right.  I also added tea bags on this part, but they are hidden under the oats, lol.

Time to strain all that gunk out of the water!  If you had a ton of cheesecloth or massive tea balls or something to boil it all in, then awesome, but I don't.  I tried a few methods that totally didn't work, so I ended up cutting up a clean stocking and straining everything out this way.  Except the spoon was way too small, so I upgraded... stretching it over a jar!  My victory dance was short-lived when I realized even the jar was too small for this amount of oats.  What ended up working was the Wookie holding the stocking up while I poured the whole concoction through it into another pot (with a strainer set in it in case we had any runaway oatmeal).

After I'd poured it all through, the Wookie got a look on his face that I can only describe as the look a 12-year-old boy gets when he finds something delightfully gross, nodded towards the stocking and said "I wanna squish it."

Of course, we need to squish it anyway to get as much liquid as we can out of it because all the best part is still in there, so I told him to squish away!

He had way too much fun with it.

See how the stuff in there is concentrated?  Also, some of the oatmeal basically liquifies and can be mixed in with the washes and it makes them even more luxurious.

This is the face wash liquid after the gunk from the stocking was all stirred in, but BEFORE adding it to the castile bucket.  I didn't take a picture of the body wash because they looked pretty much the same at this point.

...And this is the body wash liquid after being mixed in with the castile.  Yes, it has a few soap chunks.  I got distracted and ended up letting the water for the last batch of castile cool a bit more than I should before getting it all stirred up because I was scampering about.  No biggie, though.  Next time, I'll do better.

Now, as with anything with herb-infused water, you should store all this tightly sealed and  in a cool, dark place.  I've heard of people melting parafin wax and dripping it onto the top of the product in wide-mouthed jars to seal all the air out of it before putting on the lid, but I've never tried that method.  Anyone tried it?

At any rate, we're in the south, guys, and there is no such thing as a cool, dark place in July, so I froze some of the body was flat in gallon ziplock bags to save space and stacked them in the freezer and stowed the rest of the bottles in the freezer or fridge.  If I had a nice, dark pantry that stayed cool or a basement or cellar to stash them in, then I'd store them there, but since it tends to literally hit 100 degrees INSIDE the house if we leave for the day and leave the air off, I figured the fridge and freezer would be my best bet.

My gorgeous face wash again.

....and the body wash.  You can see the soap flakes, but as I said, I'll be less disorganized next time.  It still smells great and both of these came out nice and thick, though keep in mind homemade products DO NOT lather the way store-bought ones do, however they make up for it in being about a gazillion times better for your skin.

 Extra credit:  Make labels!  I dug out the vintage stamps and my markers since we don't have a printer.

***Update: I wasn't crazy about the body wash, so I admit defeat on that one.  I'm still absolutely in love with my face wash, though, and will try body wash again with a modified recipe in the future!





  1. This sounds great! But I am terribly lazy...lalalalala. Maybe when I go through my stash of body wash I may try this =)

    1. My face cleanser came out...oh dear god I love it! So proud of myself! lol