Ever since middle school I've blemishes on my face. I was told that by the time I was an adult it would all be a thing of the past; unfortunately I'm now 28 and there's no sign of them going away.
I don't have acne bad enough that I'm willing to get a prescription of any kind. I've had some success with drugstore skincare, but it only lasts a month or two before I'm breaking out all over again. After a little research, I decided it was time to try making my own face wash.
This facial bar recipe features 2 key ingredients that I felt safe for use on my face:
- tea tree oil
According to free radical researcher Dr. Anitra Carr, tea tree oil has been shown to be "active against all three categories of infectious organisms: bacteria, viruses and fungi." I've used it in the past for spot treatment, but never before in a face wash. The smell is what stopped me from using it for acne, which brings me to...
Lavender. Lavender oil has been used to treat acne, although there is insufficient data to support it being effective. In this recipe I'm using ground lavender blossoms instead of the lavender essential oil. The scent of lavender is commonly used with tea tree oil, as it really seems to level out the smell. Additionally, the finely ground lavender blossoms can act as a gentle exfoliator to help remove dead skin cells.
It's actually the ground lavender that gives this soap its pretty green color. Lavender does not tend to stay purple when used in soap making.
*NOTE: tea tree oil can irritate the skin of certain individuals - please patch-test your own skin with tea tree oil before making this soap and applying it to your face.
1 lb soap base
1 teaspoon tea tree oil
1 tablespoon lavender buds, finely ground
The soap base I am using is Crystal ORG melt and pour, which was provided to me free of charge from Stephenson's Personal Care. I am not being compensated for this post - this recipe and my views are entirely my own. This particular soap base is certified with the Soil Association of the UK as being made with 72.07% organic ingredients.
Before getting started, get your additives prepared for mixing. I measured the tea tree oil into a teaspoon, and finely ground my lavender in my coffee grinder.
Melting soap base is much easier if you break the blocks down into smaller pieces. I cut mine down to 1/2" - 1" cubes. Place in a microwave safe bowl or dish. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval. I use a silicon bowl scraper to do my stirring, since it's so easy to clean.
Once the soap base is entirely melted into a smooth, lump-free liquid, quickly remove it from the microwave. Add the tea tree oil and lavender blossoms, and stir well.
Quickly pour your soap base into your soap molds while the mixture is still hot. Let the soap molds sit for at least one hour, or until the soap has completely cooled and set.
I've read that spritzing the still-warm soap with rubbing alcohol can get rid of those little air bubbles - unfortunately I didn't have any on hand. That's alright with me though - since this soap is for my own personal use, I don't mind the tiny bubbles. If I were gifting or selling my soap, that's an extra step I might take.
Remove from soap molds, and package in paper wrappings, plastic wrap or plastic baggies.
I decided to cut one of my soap bars into thin sticks of soap for easy traveling. When we take vacations over the summer, it will be much easier to take one stick of soap and be done with it at the end of the trip.
Have you ever used tea tree oil on your face to treat acne? How were the results for you?