I don’t care what the experts say, getting flawless skin isn’t as easy as washing your makeup brushes and changing out your pillow case every couple of days. Just like when I was a teenager, my 30-year-old skin isn’t afraid to tell me when I’ve done something it doesn’t like. Which, apparently, is all the time.
I recently overhauled my skin care routine and cut out the chemicals I thought might be leading to flare-ups. Then to top it all off I started making my own aloe vera face wash. I needed a homemade cleanser to get rid of makeup and grime from the day without stripping my skin of moisture or adding to the irritation—and this stuff works like a charm.
How to make an aloe vera face cleanser
There are a lot of different species of aloe, but aloe vera is king when it comes to keeping skin healthy.
Aloe vera has long been known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and wound healing properties. Thanks to a plethora of antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins A and C, and anti-inflammatory agents, it’s most often used to treat sunburns and other skin issues.
But a 2019 review of the science surrounding aloe vera showed that it can successfully prevent skin ulcers and treat both internal and external wounds of all kinds, including things like psoriasis, eczema and flare-ups of the digestive tract.
That’s why aloe is such a great addition to your homemade beauty products. Whether you have problem skin or you just want to keep your skin looking healthy, aloe vera can help by:
- Exfoliating dry skin so skin appears smoother and softer
- Soothing inflammation and irritation caused by bacteria
- Reducing the appearance of acne, scars and wrinkles
- Improving skin’s moisture content
This aloe vera face wash uses a healthy dose of aloe gel to soothe skin, decrease acne-causing bacteria and keep inflammation at bay so you’re left with some seriously radiant skin.
To get the biggest bang for your buck, I like to use fresh aloe vera gel in my face wash (here’s how to make it!). Because it’s straight from the source, vitamins and nutrients in the gel are still potent, unlike some of the aloe gels you can find at the store.
But being pure and free of preservatives also means that it goes bad more quickly. If using the fresh stuff, I recommend storing your face wash in the refrigerator or using it up within a couple of days.
But you can also get by with store-bought gel, assuming you use the right kind. Skip the chemical laden stuff found at the drug store and instead opt for pure aloe vera gel, like this Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly (I just love it!)
Since commercial aloe vera gel is shelf stable, your face wash should keep a little longer (about 2-3 weeks) without the need for refrigeration.
In addition to aloe vera, this face wash also uses things like rose water, Castile soap and essential oils to keep your skin looking radiant.
Rose water helps balance skin pH, fights inflammation and reduces oil production without damaging the skin. Because it has anti-inflammatory properties, applying rose water to skin may help reduce redness and irritation and soothe problem skin.
Castile soap is an amazing cleanser for sensitive skin because it clarifies skin without stripping the skin of its natural oils. I use Dr. Bronner’s Baby Castile Soap for my face because it’s made especially for sensitive skin and contains no added essential oils.
Rosehip seed oil and chamomile essential oil help fight free radicals, making skin look smoother and more radiant.
Aloe Vera Face Wash
- 1/2 cup aloe vera gel if using fresh, harvest the gel and puree in a food processor ahead of time
- 1/2 cup rose water add more or less depending on your preferred consistency
- 2 tablespoons castile soap
- 4 drops rosehip essential oil
- 4 drops chamomile essential oil
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil you may substitute any other carrier oil you prefer
- 8 ounce pump or squeeze bottle
- Small funnel
- Using a small funnel, combine all the ingredients in a bottle
- Screw the lid on tight and shake well to combine
- To use, rub a dime size amount between your hands and gently massage into skin, avoiding the eye area. Rinse completely with cool water. Be sure to shake well before each use in case of separation.
- If using fresh aloe vera gel, store face wash in the refrigerator and use within a week. If using store bought aloe vera, your face wash should last a month without the need for refrigeration. As always, if you notice any changes in smell or texture, it's best to toss it out and make a fresh batch.