Homemade Facial Cleanser with Lemon & Honey

I hate using chemicals on my skin, so I started using this stuff and my skin has never looked better. Seriously! Homemade facial cleanser for the win!

It was a dark and stormy night, and the ships were out to sea (stay with me). And sailor Jim reached for a popular store-bought facial cleanser to wash his face before he tucked in for the evening: PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Benzalkonium Chloride, Red 40, Disodium EDTA, blah, blah, harmful blah. The ingredients that Halloween tales are made of. Doesn’t exactly sound like something you want smothered all over your face? Right? Anyone??

Enter this fabulous homemade facial cleanser I’ve recently discovered. Life changing, my friends. This fine visage of mine (ha!) has never looked better au naturale. It’s made of some powerhouse ingredients that also happen to be extra gentle for sensitive skin. I love knowing exactly what I’m putting on my body.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Ingredients for Homemade Lemon & Honey Facial Cleanser

4 simple and pure ingredients equal a whole lot of awesomeness for your face! I started using this homemade honey lemon facial cleanser and I've never looked back!

½ cup vegetable glycerin
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
3-5 drops lemon essential oil (order from my absolute fav brand here)

Directions for Making Homemade Facial Cleanser

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl and pour into container of choice. Apply to face and neck and massage into skin for at least 30 seconds, allowing the cleanser to loosen dirt and debris. Rinse face with warm water. This will store on a counter just fine for a long time. That’s it! Simple, honest directions for some simply honest facial cleanser.

So what exactly are we putting on our face? Why these ingredients? Let’s talk about it.

Vegetable Glycerin: While being incredibly moisturizing, glycerin also has anti-aging properties, drawing oxygen into the cells, which lends a hand in helping one appear more youthful.

Honey: What can’t honey do? It’s a natural antioxidant and moisturizer while also being a big bacteria fighter. Adios, acne. I also love that it’s especially clarifying – opening up those pores to get all of that hidden dirt out.

Castile Soap: Natural gentle acne fighter and a great cleanser on its own for people with sensitive skin.

Lemon Essential Oil:Lemon oil acts as a natural toner and brightener, evening out skin tones while removing dead skin cells.

4 simple ingredients make the best facial cleanser I've ever used. I can seriously feel the difference in my skin. Homemade for the win!

Let’s chat about cost savings.

Cost of Ingredients for Homemade Lemon & Honey Facial Cleanser

Glycerin $4
Honey: $0.31
Castile Soap: $0.50
Lemon Essential Oil: $0.21

Total Cost: $5.02

The popular store bought brand costs about $5.50, so our homemade version is only about 9% cheaper, thanks to the price of glycerin. Because it’s so important to me to keep toxic chemicals off of my skin, it’s worth the small effort to throw this mix together even though I’m not saving much. Also, I only need to use a tiny amount for this homemade facial cleanser to work effectively. I found when I used the store bought stuff, I would use at least a dime sized amount, so this recipe should last much longer than the store bought version.

I buy my glycerin from my local pharmacy for about $9 per 6 oz bottle. I’ve heard that Joann’s is also a great place to find it also – so use a coupon and save even more! If there was a Joann’s closer by, I’d totally check it out.

What about you? Any homemade facial cleanser recipes you’ve found work extra well? I’ve heard plain jane castile soap works well, but I love using at least the glycerin in addition for its moisturizing benefits. I’d love to hear all about it!39 Comments

Homemade Facial Cleanser with Lemon & Honey was last modified: February 24th, 2017 by Jenny

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  1. Does the lemon oil make your face sensitive to the sun? I have read that it could cause light sensitivity.

  2. Patti Miller says:

    Where does a person buy liquid castle soap?

  3. I have orange oil already, what do you think about that in place of the lemon oil?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Each oil has its benefits. I like the lemon oil for my face because it brightens the skin and evens my skin tone. The orange essential oil promotes the production of collagen as well as increases the blood flow to the skin. It soothes dry, irritated skin as well as acne-prone skin. But I think you should give it a try and see what you think!

  4. So, what about lavender castile soap and a citrus blend essential oil? What do you think? Worth a try?

  5. How long does this cleanser last? I buy the Calm cleanser from Arbonne and it lasts me about a year… a little bit longer. With the Arbonne cleanser you don’t have to use a lot at ALL. It’s $26 a bottle, which isn’t at all bad considering it lasts a year. I have had a few people who are into making their own skin care products say not to use Arbonne either, what do you think? I would rather use Arbonne products instead of any North American ones due to the large number of ingredients Arbonne will NOT use (but North American companies will). I’ve been debating for a bit if I should just keep using Arbonne because I don’t have the time to make all of my own products or if I should just suck it up and start making my own. I know I’ll start making my own shampoo, conditioner, and body wash soon for sure.
    This recipe does sound great though!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Try it out! I have been using it for almost two months and still have quite a bit left. Maybe you could make a sample batch to try for a couple days. It works great as birthday gifts for friends too! 🙂

  6. Stephanie says:

    Could I use lemon juice instead of essential oil. Maybe a silly question, but I do have any EO’s yet and have been waiting to introduce them at home due to scent sensitivities, hence haven’t done my research on them.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      You could try that but the only concern would be sun sensitivities. Fresh Lemon juice reacts with the sun and on certain people it can cause sunburns or other reactions. Be mindful of that when you try it! 🙂

      • Stephanie says:

        Thanks for your input Karrie!

      • Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen. Couldn’t you put a thin layer on your face after if you use lemon juice? I can’t afford EO so I would like to use lemon juice

        • Happy.MoneySaver says:

          I am not sure about that. There have been some reports about lemon juice burning your skin and I am not sure that coconut oil would protect you well enough.

        • I made my own lemon essential oil the other day, super easy and nice. Worth a try if you don’t want to go buy an expensive set of oils. I looked at a lot of websites and watched two videos . Just lemon zest and olive oil, heat it a bit in double boiler and either let it sit overnight or strain the zest out with a cheesecloth or coffee filter.

  7. I love these. I used almond oil scented dr bronners and made the face wash smell wonderful! My first batch lasted about 2 1/2 months. Well worth it! Thanks again. I will make it again soon

  8. We get our vegetable glycerin from Glory Bee. It’s $10/quart, so that’s only about $1.25 per batch instead of $4! Can’t wait to try this!

  9. Hey, I found your recipe and really had to try it. But there must be something off, because my mix smells awful. Can you think of anything, that might react in the wrong way? (like wrong kind of glycerin or something?) I would really appreciate your input. 🙂

    Kind regards,

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I am so sorry. The only thing I can think of is maybe the glycerin. Was it vegetable glycerin? I added in links to the one I used for the recipe. Hopefully that will help.

      • Thank you! Since I’m from Germany, I had to look for “other” glycerin. It’s vegetable, but I think, that’s the ‘stinking component’. Would that cleanser work without the glycerin as well?

        • Happy.MoneySaver says:

          I haven’t tried it without the glycerin but I think it would be worth it to try it out and see what you think! 🙂

        • I’ve used raw honey to wash my face for sometime now (and when I need a little extra exfoliation I add a bit of baking soda). I would just try it without the glycerin. I’m looking forward to trying this, but you have to find what works for you with the products you have available!

  10. Can I use other brand of castile liquid soap? like dr woods pure tea tree castile soap or NewLife™ Castile Liquid Cleanser? Cause Dr Bronner’s liquid soap not available in my country, only the soap bars. And can I mix with other essential oils like tea tree or rosehip oil? or should I change it one at a time?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Yes you can use any brand. I would try it one oil at a time and add as needed so you an achieve a yummy smell.

  11. Heather says:

    I made this with exactly the ingredients you posted (bought them on amazon), and followed the instructions carefully, and it really smells bad. Is it supposed to? Is it still ok to use if it stinks or should I toss it? Thanks!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Oh I am so sorry! I have no idea what went wrong. Try it out and see if you can identify what is smelling so bad. I hope you can figure it out because I love this lemony cleanser!

  12. Lissette says:

    Hello! I just recently started making my own body butter and face wash. I’ve tried a few face wash recipes that I found online, but didn’t like any of them. I made this recipe with Lavender Castile soap, but used all of the other ingredients. Since raw honey is very thick and doesn’t really mix well, I used a hand blender to whip the ingredients together. It made a very frothy, creamy mix. It still separates when it sits, but all you have to do is shake it up really good. The consistency is wonderful and my skin is looking radiant. Thank you!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      So glad you liked it. I will have to try beating it with a hand blender one of these days.

  13. would it be okay to double or even triple the recipe to make a bigger batch?

  14. How long do these ingredients last mixed together?

  15. Hi,
    I would love to know where to buy all the ingredients?
    Thanks, Roda

  16. Curious what you keep it in? I make my own face wash now and I have it in a foaming pump bottle so I do add water to mine to make the best consistency to foam and come out of the pump. I love the thought of this one but don’t think it will work in my containers. Do you just grab a finger full each time you wash? tia 🙂

  17. Cindy Matson says:

    Will this remove makeup or is this just for the days without makeup?

  18. Could you use fresh lemons, like the actual fruit, and squeeze out the juice and/or use the rind grated instead of the essential oil or would it not have the same effect?

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