I Wash my Face with Castile Soap

Enjoy only 2 cosmetics: enough sleep and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap”.

While there may be many things on my grandfather’s label that are rather enigmatic, this statement is as straightforward as it gets. I would only add a third element: drinking plenty of water. When it comes to a clear complexion, this has been my recipe.

For about 15 years I ran in circles trying to clear up my complexion. Between acne and general redness, I was fighting a losing battle. As a teenager I tried all the big name products: Noxema, Neutrogena, Clean and Clear, Cetaphil, various salicylic acid ointments, even Estee Lauder and Clinique. When I entered college, I sought professional help and used prescription Retin-A and Erythromycin. After that I used Dermalogica products. None of these were a long term solution. I just lived with the acne, covering it up as I could.

When I began answering the customer service emails for Dr. Bronner’s, I decided I needed to be trying out for myself the solutions I was offering to customers. One of the most common topics dealt with using the castile soap to alleviate acne, eczema, psoriasis, and general redness. My recommendation was to wash with the Tea Tree pure castile soap, or to use the unscented Baby Mild pure castile for general irritation or for sensitive skin.

Now I can say from firsthand knowledge: this stuff really works.

In this age of specialization, the idea of using one product on hair, face, and body sounds pretty naïve. But experience speaks.

I began using the Tea Tree Pure Castile soap on my face twice a day. I found that it removed make up easily and completely. The soap will even remove mascara. After a week, my blemishes were disappearing and no new ones were forming.

At first, my face did feel tight after I washed. I think this was due to the change from the intense facial washes I had been using, as well as the creams, masks, and who knows what else. (Not even I remember all that I had applied.) So during the early months I also used the Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Coconut lotion – a very lightly scented, lightweight moisturizer. It was just right.

At a month out, my skin was smooth, my color was more even. With all that I had been through, I was somewhat astounded that the answer was so simple and had been right there in front of me, quite literally, for much of my life. (Not my whole life since Tea Tree wasn’t introduced until my later childhood.)

I also discovered a pretty direct correlation between the amount of sleep I get, the amount of water I drink, and the condition of my skin. During crazy times, when sleep dwindles to 3-4 hours a night (bear in mind I have three young kids), my tiredness breaks out all over my face. When junky treats creep in to my diet and water creeps out, my face tells that story as well.

Now, several years later, I still wash with castile soaps. I don’t need the lotion any more except when the crazy Santa Ana winds sweep across California in the Fall.

In summary, here’s my technique:

  1. I wet my skin with warm water.
  2. I take about three drops – yes, three drops – of the Tea Tree pure castile soap and lather it up on my hands.
  3. Then I rub it on my face in gentle, circular motions, taking extra time where my make up was and on historically problematic areas. I do not use a washcloth or scrubbie of any sort. I find that it irritates my skin.
  4. However, as the label emphasizes, keep the eyes closed. Let me say that one again, Keep the eyes closed.*
  5. I rinse my face with warm water in my hands with about five splashes.
  6. I dry by blotting my face with a towel.

As I’ve said before, you have to figure out what works for you, and perhaps you need to be more vigorous or more gentle than I have been. It’s a bit of trial and error, but be persistent. It’s completely worth it.

244 thoughts on “I Wash my Face with Castile Soap

  1. Hi Lisa, I suffer from moderate acne on forehead and sometimes cheek. I am hispanic and have brown skin, so naturally I produce a lot of melanin and suffer from hyperpigmentation. What do you recommend?

    • I’d suggest trying the Baby Mild or the Tea Tree Oil in liquid form. Do the 2 drops lathered with water in your hand before applying to your already moistened face. Then I’d suggest trying Dr. B’s Coconut Oil as a moisturizer afterwards. You can read more about the healing/health benefits of coconut oil in books by Bruce Fife. 😉 I no longer have oily skin, no t-zone acne issues and it helped to lightened scars and even out my skin tone. My 39 year old skin has a youthful glow to it…I think it’s more supple then when I was 18!

  2. Hi Lisa,

    About 3 days ago I began using the dr. Bronner’s peppermint Castile liquid soap for my mild acne. I have tried using products such as proactiv, and other harsh chemicals to rid my skin of acne for years…. Always to no avail. I thought it was about time to try something a little bit more gentle and natural on my poor skin. I picked up a bottle of dr. Bronner’s after reading hundreds of positive reviews on line. I use the soap once in the morning and once at night with no other face products. I now have loads of tiny bumps along my hairline and t-zone. I am worried that I am having a reaction to the soap and will have to stop using it. Is it common for people to have reactions like this to the soap? Could it be the peppermint that I am reacting to? I have such high hopes for this soap…. It really is too bad it isn’t working out for my skin.

    Thanks so much!


    • Victoria: it could be the peppermint in the soap. peppermint can be irritating more than other oils.

    • I have a similar experience and I use the Baby-mild unscented product!
      Dr. Bronner is extremely irritating to my skin, more then any product I’ve used before. I’m not exaggerating because I’m unsatisfied, I’m telling the truth. I think the problem is that the soap is too aggresive because it can also be used to clean your house.
      That’s why I tried dilluting it with water. I used 50% water and 50% baby-mild dr bronner and I don’t notice the difference, my skin has been irritating me all day. It’s extremely itchy.
      The soap works well to clean my house so luckily I can still use it for that.

    • Technically it’s not true “soap” in what we think of as soap…it’s oils. I would try the Baby Mild liquid. Put 2 drops in your hand and lather it with water BEFORE applying it to your already moistened face. Lightly rub all over and rinse. Then I’d suggest trying Dr. B’s Coconut Oil as a moisturizer afterwards. You can read more about the healing/health benefits of coconut oil in books by Bruce Fife. 😉 I have had great results with my skin clearing up, tone even and smoothness by using coconut oil as a moisturizer. Hope you give it a good month try.

    • I used the Hemp Pepper Mint on my face. It broke out at first because everything was purging out of my skin. I used a dead sea salt mud mask to dry and extract every thing that was coming out. A week later the bumps were gone and my face is clear of white heads. The break out is part of the process.

    • Rachel – Castile soap is not “oils”, it is saponified oils (which are the technical definition of soap). Please do some research before commenting, as you may be referring to the difference between soap and detergent. While castile soap is mild, it is still a form of soap (oils + lye).

    • Hi, I have been dealing with menopausal acne-it’s worse than when I was a teenager. I have tried everything, as some of you mentioned, even tried making my own face wash using Essential Oils which made it worse! I have found that I cannot use EO’s on my face. That might be the problem you’re experiencing. I recently got some Castile soap and read that it can be mixed with Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil or alone, depending on your skin type. I’m half scared to mix it with anything at first…maybe keep using the Aloe after washing for soothing and moisture. If anyone has experience with this method, please let me know! Thanks so much…blessings, Lisa

  3. Hi Lisa. I tried to skim the list of comments, but I haven’t seen anyone have the same inquiry, but I have been struggling with my skin (much like your story) since my late teens, and I am now 31. I recently stopped using all products containing perfume on my skin and I have noticed definite improvement on my body but not so much on my face. I thought I might need to try something completely unscented rather than just no synthetic perfumes, and after finding this website I decided to try baby mild. I have used it twice and both times it has burned, especially my face and low back, which have the most irritation. I am assuming it might be due to open sores which tend to reopen when I shower. It’s not a lingering pain, but it’s a stinging sensation that lasts until I rinse. It’s not unbearable (although I can’t imagine putting this on a baby) it is enough to make me wonder if I should discontinue using it or tough it out for a but longer. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Hi Dana, did you dilute the soap? Or use it straight from the bottle? I’ve been using Baby Mild on my face 3 parts distilled water, 1 part soap, a few drops of tea tree and geranium oil. Some like to dilute even more 5:1

  4. Hi Lisa,
    I recently switched to Dr. Bronners soaps to minimize chemicals in my personal hygene products. I normally don’t have an acne problem besides the occasional pimple but ever since I have switched to organic products I’m struggling to find a facial cleaner I can stick with. At first I tried Noble Formula then switched to DermaZinc for my face as they seem to have natural ingredients but both caused me to break out or made my skin very oily. I gave each soap a 2 week trial before I switched. For my body I started with Dr. Bronners liquid Tee Tree soap which was fine but then switched to the Dr. Bronners Tee Tree Bar soap because I like that it lathers more when I wash. I have started to wash my face with Dr. Bronners Tee Tree bar soap and it seems to be doing the same thing as the others but I find my face to be too dry while using this and it seems to be causing facial redness. I read somewhere that the bar can be more moisturizing then the liquid soaps but I’m curious what the pros and cons are for the Liquid VS Bar soap when washing face. Is one more likely to clog pores? Is one more drying? I know 3 drops is recommended when using liquid soap but how would you recommend using the bar for facial wash? I like the Tee Tree soap but may switch to the Uncented Baby Mild if I can’t get the desired results. Also as a last resort can you or anyone else recommend any other good gentle organic face washes?

    • The bar soap is a more concentrated than the liquid…so i’d suggest trying the liquid Baby Mild and only 2 drops lathered with water in your hand BEFORE applying to face. Then I’d suggest trying Dr. B’s Coconut Oil as a moisturizer afterwards. You can read more about the healing/health benefits of coconut oil in books by Bruce Fife. 😉 I’ve been using coconut oil on my face for 1 1/2+ years and the difference is huge!

    • Manuka honey is AMAZING to wash your face. (Any raw UNFILTERED honey works well) also, my holy grail is hemp seed oil. I highly recommend against using coconut oil on acne prone skin due to a high comedogenic rating (pore clogging) hempseed, safflower and sunflower ALL have a comedogenic rating of 0 (absolutley will not clog pores) can also be used as a fast absorbing facial moisturizer (the hempseed oil)… and again WON’T CLOG YOUR PORES, YAY!!!!!

  5. Hi Lisa!

    I have been having trouble using dr. bronners bar soap on my face. I have extremely sensitive skin, and each wash results in stinging and bumpy redness all over my face, but the rest of my body is fine.

    I have tried lavender, tea tree, and most recently baby mild.

    However, I use the lavender coconut lotion with no stinging at all.

    Many of the ingredients between the soap and the lotion are similar, with the exception of Citric Acid and Sea salt. I have never had a problem consuming oranges or salt, but have you ever heard of someone having an issue with Citric Acid or sea salt in the soap?


  6. I LOVE Dr. Bronners. I have to second that it’s great for acne however lathering in hand BEFORE you apply is very important. I took the skin right off my nose putting it straight on then rubbing. I also used way more than three drops and used the peppermint version. I find it naturally exfoliates my face when I’m careful with how much I use and and how hard I scrub. My face stays clear. And grapseed oil is a fantastic moisturizer/skin emollient.

  7. Hi Lisa,

    I have been suffering from adult acne and had a terrible breakout a few weeks ago, but since using the baby mild soap (with a few added drops of tea tree oil) my cystic acne cleared up. I am left with acne scars, and would like to know if these will fade by using the soap or if you can recommend something else. Also, my face often burns when I sweat or go in the sun, what do you recommend for this?

    • Don’t know if you’ll get this or not, but I’d suggest trying some organic, cold-pressed, extra-virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer after you was with Dr. B’s. It will help lighten the scars and hopefully help with the face burning issue. It has healing/health properties that have greatly improved my skin issues for the past 1 1/2 years I’ve been using it to moisturizer from head to toe. I had (what I thought) was oily skin, t-zone breakouts and blotchiness…that’s all gone now. In fact my 39 year old skin looks, I think better, than it did when I was 18. 🙂 You can read more about coconut oil…books I read were by Bruce Fife.

  8. Hi Lisa,

    I think you have inadvertently found the treatment for demodex mites !! Being fair skinned and middle aged I have suffered with worsening rosacea for four years. Conventional treatments have not worked. “Natural” remedies have not worked. Out of sheer desperation last week I used the Dr. Bronners unscented soap (that I had bought for my hair) on my face thinking “what the hell – even if my face drops off I have to do something” and following your principle regarding the residue rinsed with a solution of acv and water. The next day I just couldn’t believe my eyes. The redness had toned right down and the acne had started to heal. Immediately I researched both the Dr. Bronners and the acv and found for the first time in all four years of searching that acne and acne rosacea can be caused by an over infestation of demodex mites which naturally (and happily) live on the skin of most people.

    I then read lots of your blogs and found that the exo-skeletons of the dustmites are dissolved by Dr. Bronners – these are tiny spiders which according to my theory must be like the tiny spiders which are demodex mites. I did a bit more research and found that the only way to kill off hoards of these little critters is tea tree oil !!! Bravo for you Lisa – you found the treatment for acne and rosacea without probably knowing it destroyed the over population of demodex mites.

    I now use the TTO Dr. Bronners and nothing else, as the acv did start to burn my face even in very diluted solutions. The itching, burning soreness is reducing day by day and all but two of the lumps have gone. My skin is smooth once again and starting to heal. This is in just 8 days. I am still on the antibiotics from my dermatologist and on their own these were doing nothing; working in tandem with the Dr. Bronners seems to be the winning formula for me.

    I am now going to use the TTO Dr. Bronners on my teenage daughter’s back and shoulders as her acne skin also itches like mad, so I believe those little critters are over-populating on her skin too.

    The biggest mistake I made was thinking I had dry skin which caused the rosacea so I was slathering on loads of cold pressed, organic oils and shea butter. Little did I know, my skin was shedding because of the mites and I was actually feeding them an organic, nutrient diet on which to thrive and multiply.

    I really hope this post helps someone because it appears to me that even experienced, £200 per appointment dermatologists don’t seem to recognise an infestation of demodex mites when they see one !

    Thanks again for submitting your post regarding how you healed your skin – you have saved my sanity. Please never stop making your soaps to your current formulas.

    • What exact product are you referring to by TTO Dr, Bronners? I hve rosacea ad would like to try what has worked for you.

    • Thatcher Shivley- TTO is “Tea Tree Oil” referring to Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. 🙂

  9. Hi,

    I have fairy clear dehydrated skin, am 37 years old so starting to get a few lines, which soap do you think would be best for me?


    • I know it’s been a few weeks but I wanted to give you an answer. I have redness and a tendency toward dry skin…I use the Unscented Baby Mild. You can also experiment with Jojoba Oil or Sweet Almond Oil. Here’s a list I found that should give a general idea:

      Jojoba (all skin types, but very desirable for acne-prone skin)
      Sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)
      Grapeseed (all skin types, especially oily)
      Avocado (dry and aging skin) – Can be pore clogging but you can certainly try it
      Sunflower Seed (all skin types)
      Olive (all skin types)*
      Apricot Kernel (dry, aging, and normal skin)
      Argan (all skin types, especially aging skin … very pricey)
      Tamanu (all skin types … very pricey)

  10. I recently started going the no-poo route because I hated the idea of putting all those chemicals on my body, and my sister told me to give Dr. Bronner’s a try. I’ve used the almond, the peppermint, and am currently using the tea tree.

    As I work in the public sector my hygiene is extremely important to me and I’m constantly paranoid that I might smell bad (though I’ve definitely dealt with people who smell far worse) and I didn’t want to sacrifice the ‘clean’ feeling of conventional body washes.

    I was totally unprepared for the amazing results. I was thinking ‘okay, it sounds good, but it can’t be THAT good’. Wrong. It was a complete game changer.

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the smell of the almond one; it’s nice and not overpowering, but I don’t care for almond scent. The peppermint made me feel tingly clean and cool during our hot summer (while working big music festivals as a security guard), and the tea tree inhibits bacteria growth while deodorizing (I also work in a hospital so YAY!). My hair has also never looked better and has actually gotten slightly darker in color; I used baking soda for a while not knowing how much it can strip your hair color. And my skin! OH MY GOD MY SKIN. It’s gotten more even in tone, at the end of a long shift I still don’t look greasy, and I have fewer (and smaller when they do occur) blemishes.

    The key is dilute, dilute, dilute. A drop or two in my palm with the water already on it in the shower cleans my face, a few more drops on a wet loofah cleans the rest of me, and about 1 drop:1 cup water in a bottle takes care of my thick, wavy hair. I use ACV or coconut oil or sometimes a little aloe juice on it afterwards.

  11. Hi Lisa,

    I just recently started using the Tea Tree Oil Liquid for my face. I used it yesterday morning and last night, as well as this morning. However, this morning, it started to make my cheeks looks much redder than they normally are. I have very sensitive skin and really looking forward to continue using this product since I’ve heard amazing things about tea tree oil… I’m just afraid it’s going to make my face look red and blotchy.

    I’ve tried so many other products (some of them prescribed to me) and they only cover up the symptoms, coming back later. I am eager to stay on the natural path but am scared that my sensitive skin will flair up and it will become worse.

    I have been dealing with acne since I turned 20 (I am now 22) and it’s a real downer on my confidence. I just recently stopped birth control, about a month, thinking that it was a hormonal imbalance causing the breakouts. From your experience can you tell me how long it takes for your skin to clear? I’m getting to the point were I look away from my boyfriend so he can’t see my face and I turn the lights off in our apartment after I clean my face so he can’t see the red blotches all over.

    I need help, please.

    Thank you.

    • Awww don’t hide yourself from your boyfriend! Everytime I tell my girlfriend how ugly I am because of my acne, she tells me how much it didn’t matter to her and how much I meant to her. Your skin shouldn’t affect the way your boyfriend feels about you. He’s with you, therefore he loves you 🙂

      Anyways! I started using castile soap 3 months ago and I still use it. I’ve stopped using it for my face though because it didn’t seem to really help. I’m not sure whether to keep using it because I feel like since it’s an “oil” and my face is already oily, it wouldn’t be very helpful. I’m not really sure hehe how do you feel about it as a facial wash though? I use the almond one

    • Don’t know if you’ll get this or not, but thought I’d reply 🙂
      I suggest (if you haven’t done so already) the Baby Mild “scent” of Dr.Bronner’s soap.
      Then what I use after washing my face as a moisturizer is organic, extra-virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil. Dr. Bronner’s has one. 🙂

      I have always had (what I thought) was really oily skin, redness in cheeks, and the t-zone breakouts. Then years ago I read a book on coconut oil (by Bruce Fife) and all the health benefits coconut oil has to offer such as antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, etc….well based on what I learned I decided to try it as a face moisturizer. About a week after I began using coconut oil on my face, my issues began really improving. After a month or so, I was pleasantly surprised how my tone evened out, my skin glows with a youthful radiance that I haven’t had since my teens (I’m 39), and I hardly wear any make up now because my complexion is so great! and when I do wear makeup it’s BareMinerals.

      For the past year, I now use coconut oil as my head to toe moisturizer, it even helped lighten up my scars (especially a horrible one from a surgery) and my stretch marks. When I’m done moisturizer after a shower, I use what’s left on my hands to go thru the ends of my hair. I still get occasional blemishes, but I can always pin point them to lack of sleep, lack of water, pms or that I ate junk food. (I eat very clean.) The coconut oil is a very stable oil so it doesn’t go rancid for a long time. During warm weather it’s a liquid and during cold weather it gets more solid. Obviously as a liquid you just did your clean fingers in it to use, when it’s more solid I simply use the tops of my fingers/nails to scrape it off.

      AND it absorbs quickly! So within minutes it is usually soaked in enough to get dressed. If I have to go somewhere in a hurry, after 5 minutes I’ll blot off what hasn’t absorbed yet. I’m telling you, best acne/redness/dry AND oily skin fighter out there! It’s not your typical oil…so don’t think of it that way.

      I’ll check the “notify me of follow-up comments” if you reply with any questions 🙂

  12. Dear Lisa: Thanks to your family for this product. I use diluted Dr B’s Tea Tree Soap in a repurposed foaming soap dispenser to wash my face. In the mornings, I dispense 1 pump into my hands. To remove makeup at night, I do a DIY non-disposable makeup remover “wipe” routine. I wet a Japanese face cloth (which is like a thin cloth diaper material), squeeze out well, and fold into a square. I dispense 1 pump of foam on one side of the cloth and work it in. I gently wipe my face and throat with it (keeping my eyes closed!). Then I keep turning over/unfolding/folding the cloth to continue wiping my face/throat with clean sides. Then I wash the makeup and soap out of the cloth and rinse it with clean water, and “rinse” my face by gently wiping down with the almost-dripping wet cloth. Some days, I scrub a little more vigorously in circular motions to gently exfoliate. Because the material is not the usual terry washcloth, it is quite gentle. Of course, some folks prefer to or must avoid using any sort of cloth. For some reason, I am much better about washing off my makeup at night than regular face washing. My skin is medium-toned SE Asian. I am in my mid-forties and struggling with changing skin over the past ~ 5 years due presumably to hormone fluctuations. Before, my skin was oily and acne-prone and I successfully used Neutrogena cleanser and Aveeno moisturizer/sunscreen. Now my skin is shiny and dry/flaky AT THE SAME TIME!, still acne-prone, and somewhat sensitive and can’t use those products. I’ve tried all sorts of facial cleansers since my skin changed, but Dr B seems to be the best. I generally use Jojoba oil now to moisturize but still experimenting to find other moisturizers that will work for me. Thanks again!

    • I’d like to suggest using Dr. B’s coconut oil (or any organic, cold-pressed, virgin or extra virgin one) to moisturizer with. It has health benefits to it such as antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, etc…I’ve been using it for well over a year as my entire head to toe moisturizer. I had what I thought was really oily, blotchy, t-zone acne issues for years. plus like you, I had sensitive skin, shiny and dry/flaky at same time and most stuff I tried ended badly.

      I’ve noticed (& the many who compliment my skin has noticed) that my skin just seems to glow now. I’m 39 and my skin is like a teenagers, smooth and even-toned. It has lightened my scars and stretch marks. It absorbs quickly! If in a hurry, I’ll blot off any that hasn’t absorbed after 5 minutes.

      I hope you’ll give this a try! But I’ve read Jojoba oil is really good to for the issues you are describing. FYI- I read a book about the health/healing properties of coconut oil by Bruce Fife.

  13. I have only been using the Citrus Clear Face Wash product for 10 days, but have had remarkable results. I actually noticed a difference after the first 3 days. My skin is smoother and clearer. I am so happy. Something that works and doesn’t cost a fortune.

  14. I have been wanting to use this as a face wash. I know the cheat sheet says to only use a few drops. My question is… How do you only pour out a few drops from the big bottle? I tried and it comes out fast!! Is there a certain bottle you recommend that makes it drop out slower.

    i didn’t see dilution ratios either for shampoo, face wash, hand wash, dish soap, etc. They all just said use ____ amount of drops. In the shower it’s hard to carefully squeeze out two drops without wasting a ton!! So what is the dilution ratios? I have been so confused.

    Also I have heard the shelf life drops when diluting so maybe it’s a bad idea to dilute. I’m so anxious to use this but haven’t yet because I can’t figure this all out.

  15. Who is Rachel, and why doesn’t “Lisa” ever answer these questions?
    My husband’s forehead is starting to break out and it burns like mad. I have developed a dandruff-like flaking right at my hairline. I don’t want to put oil in my hair after I shower… I might as well have left it dirty. I’m really beginning to feel quite skeptical about this soap.

  16. Hi Lisa,

    I have been having a really hard time finding a mild enough cleanser for my face. I am 47 and fair skinned and I have been recently experiencing some small patches of eczema on my face. Although my skin is sensitive, I am an athlete and have some oily areas. Based on some of your comments, I am guessing the baby mild liquid would be the best of your products to try as a face cleanser. I will slightly dilute it in my hand before applying to my face. I noticed that the Bronner’s website has a few coconut oil options. Would you please provide the link of the product that you recommend. Also, what product do you use for sunscreen on your face? Thanks!

  17. Hi, i am a huge fan of your product Dr.Bronners and have been so in more than 4 straight years now. I really enjoy them, esp. the pepperiment scent. I usually by the liquid form, beacuse i find it more easier to apply on my skin. However i just wonder, how can i dilute it with water and keep it in a kind of small box where you can easily just use it there, instead of using the actual bottle. How much water and how much of the liquid (peppermint) into the water in order to make it kind of a good hand/face wash!?
    Thanks for reading!

  18. I just found your website this morning and went out to purchase the Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Oil Soap! I can’t wait to start using it tonight. I have always suffered on and off from acne – I think mine is largely hormonal – as well as psoriasis. I started using Dr. Bronner’s as soon as my son was born almost 2 years ago, but I don’t know why I never thought to use it on myself! What is the rest of your skin care/beauty regimen? I’ve been using coconut oil for a couple years now, but I’m not sure if jojoba might be better suited for me. Do you use any toners/moisturizers/primers before applying makeup? Thank you!

  19. I have super oily skin and at age 40 still breakout at my chin and forehead. In the past I have used all kinds of expensive, store bought or prescribed “solutions” for my acne. About a week ago I started washing my face and body with the Citrus Orange Soap. For the daytime I apply an oil free, organic, moisturizer with SPF 40 (to my face) and then apply my makeup. In the nighttime, after washing my face, I apply a few drops of sweet almond oil (full strength) to my face. My acne has cleared up, I am no longer over producing oil and my skin tone is evening out. So happy to FINALLY find something that works and is so simple and good for my skin!

    • What is the organic daytime moisturizer you are using on your face?

  20. I have mild acne and I use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint bar soap and it works really well. I have tried numerous amounts of other products beforehand but I found that Dr. Bronner’s peppermint bar soap works the best for me. Especially in the summertime, when my face starts to sweat it tends to become oily and I just love washing my face with it afterwards because it cleans my pores out and the peppermint adds that extra umph that makes my face feel refreshed. I really like this product and will continue to use it.

  21. I read above about the woman who was successfully treating rosacea with Dr Bronner with TTO…My skin can flair up easily and was wondering if you could recommend how I should proceed. Thanks

  22. Hi there, thanks for this post and by a typical coincidence I was just looking at my skin with furrowed brows today. Not that much sleep and feeling dehydrated this week mean my face has dry sections and my pores look like braille. I also have lingering red spots, not acne I don’t think, possibly early rosacea. Do you know if castile soap would help with that?

  23. Hi Lisa,
    I just bought the lavender castile soap and I’m using ir as a cleanser for both body and face. I have a moderate acne on my face and a severe one on my body. I’ve been using the product twice a day for three days now and I noticed that on my face there are some tiny little blemishes coming out, I’m not sure if it is because the soap is working and it’s simply cleaning out my skin or if something in the soap makes my skin intolerant. Considering that it’s only been three days does it ever happen that blemishes increase before that the face heals or I should stop using the product?

  24. I’m thinking of using this product! But my skin is oily acne prone sensitive skin, so idk which one I should buy

  25. Just purchased the mild baby Castile soap. I was wondering what brand of makeup do you use or recommend? I am looking for a good foundation I can use with Dr. Bronners soap

  26. I just the product today. I brought peppermint Castile bar soap for my body. I have something called chicken
    skin.( hair bump) on my legs and back on my arms. All so my face is breaking out. Any suggestions?

  27. Iv been useing castle soap for about six months. Its great its kept me from braking out unless I lak sleep.I dont know qhat to do to get rid of acne scars faster though.I use a brown sugar and coconut oil scrub on my face three times a week or so that has seemed to help. but I’m open to any other suggestions that you may have.

    • Hi Allison – I’ve really been enjoying putting a coconut oil mask on at night to rejuvenate my skin. I don’t know if it will make scars disappear, but give it a try. Coconut oil is too heavy for the day time if you’re wearing make up. And it can appear greasy. But at night time, it’s perfect.

  28. Hi Lisa
    I just bought the Rose liquid, since it is a blend of oils, can you please confirm that there is no tea tree oil at all in this blend? I have developed an allergy to tea tree and am currently battling with a bad contact dermatitis rash on my face and has made my oil cleansing routine difficult as I cannot use a wash cloth so I bought the rose liquid as an alternate cleanser as I don’t like using chemicals on my face. Is the rose liquid ok to use for this?

  29. Hi Lisa
    One more question, you state you used the lavander coconut lotion as your moisturiser, on your acne prone skin. Coconut is high on the comodogenic scale and I have read many reports to avoid using this on skin prone to black heads and outbreaks. But also that coconut oil is anti bacterial and good for acne prone skin. You can imagine the confusion with such conflicting reports. I have purchased the combination above that you used. (Tea tree soap with lavander coconut lotion ) I just worry as I don’t want her skin to potentially get worse because of me.

    • Hi Hayley – Conflicting information is so frustrating! Unfortunately, even the word “noncomodogenic” doesn’t have a set definition. We all take it to mean roughly, “not clogging pores” but as you’ve seen, there’s a lot of disagreement on applying that to coconut oil. The long fatty acid chain of coconut oil makes it much less likely to clog pores than synthetic moisturizers. Although I am not by any means a dermatologist, I have seen good results from my experience and other people’s testimonials. Bear in mind, though, that there may be an outbreak for the first week or two after using the castile soap because it cleans so deeply that it pulls a lot of gunk to the surface of pores. Please give it a couple weeks before judging its results.

  30. Hi, I know this post was long ago, but I was wondering if it is harmful to use the lavender kind of this soap as face wash. It is the one I purchased, not knowing that I would need tea tree and I was wondering if it was still good to use this soap as face wash.

    Thank you!

  31. Hi Lisa!
    My daughter has pretty bad acne on her back (shoulder blade areas). Would the bar or cleanser?? And will she need to use the coconut oil for hydration also? She’s pretty down in the dumps and very conscious about it! Makes a momma sad! 🙁 Hoping this helps with Formals and Prom coming up! Thank you in advance for your advice!


    • Hi Melissa – I remember being in her shoes! That’s tough. I recommend the liquid tea tree castile soap, using a soft back brush. Don’t scrub too hard, but thoroughly, or else she might irritate the skin and weaken it further. Bear in mind, though, that acne – especially in teenagers – is often a matter of hormones which are swinging around wildly. Anything she can do to detox her body physically will also help: whole unprocessed foods, lots of water, plenty of sleep, moderate exercise and reduction of stress. That’s a hard regimen for a busy teenager, though.

  32. I have always had excessively oil skin. I bought a bottle of the Dr. Bonner”s magic soap in peppermint. Will the Dr. Bonner”s magic soap help clear up my oily skin? And, if it can, please give me any suggestions you may have you may have to help me along?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Jennifer – For oily skin, the peppermint may work well. In general, I don’t suggest people start with the peppermint because it is a bit drying, but it sounds like that might be what you need. It won’t necessarily stop your skin from producing oils, but it will clean it gently but thoroughly. Use a couple drops and lather it up in your hands. Massage it on to your face, taking care to keep it out of your eyes. Rinse well with warm water.

  33. I just bought the Lavendar Castile soap and was so excited to buy one non-toxic product to use all over my house and body!! The savings and peace of mind are incredible!! I decided to wash my tub with the soap, but was lazy in making up cleaning solution suggested on a recipe card from the Dr Bronner’s display. So I just squirted it all over the tub and scrubbed away with a cloth and no gloves. Later on that day, my fingers were looking red, feeling right and irritated. Over the next few days, they’ve been peeling. Is this an allergic reaction to the soap or should I have just done what was suggested and diluted it properly? It cleaned the tub really well and I am so happy with it’s multi-purpose, non-toxicness!! But And advice on how to avoid this skin reaction would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much! 🙂

    • Hi Brooke – Thanks for buying our soap but I’m sorry to hear about your hands! While there are no common allergens in the soap (the ingredients are listed right on the front), there is always the chance for a sensitivity. The undiluted soap may have been especially intense for your skin, especially if any didn’t get fully rinsed off. Soap, by its nature, bonds with oils and so if any is left to dry on the skin, it can pull the natural oils out. Try diluting the soap down to the All Purpose spray amount: 1/4 c. soap in a quart of water. Use it in a spray bottle with a microfiber rag to wipe surfaces.

    • Thank you for all your help, Lisa! Looking forward to trying this new cleaning method! 🙂

  34. I have had persistent mild-moderate acne for years. I have tried everything in the book and then some to clear up my skin. I was very excited to see your post and went out and purchased a giant bottle of tea tree oil castile soap. I tried to follow directions and put 2-3 drops of castile soap on wet hands, lathered, and proceeded to rub it onto my wet skin. However, I don’t know what happened, but there was absolutely NO lather on my face. Nothing I could work with! I felt like I was just rubbing water on my face and it felt so uncomfortable because I felt as if I was not cleansing properly. I even tried peeking/opening my eyes to see if there was any lather on my face but surely, there was none, and instead my eyes burned and sting. When I got out of the bathroom, I saw in my dresser mirror I still had make up (powder foundation) left on my chin and around my nose. I am so sad and so frustrated that I can’t seem to work with this soap. I don’t know what to do. I feel hopeless and nothing works.

    • Hi Kaylee – With make-up on, you definitely need to use more than a couple drops of the soap. The soap bonds with what’s on our face. If it’s just the oils that accrue during the day, a couple drops is sufficient. With the addition of make-up, you’ll need to add more soap. The amount depends on how much make-up is there. If I’ve done a more intense “night out” make-up, then I need more soap to remove than for just my light daily make-up. If you get too much soap, it’s not going to hurt anything. You’ll just run out of soap sooner. Increase the soap amount until you feel you have a good lather and the make up is removed. And yes, please keep your eyes closed.

      For getting make-up off right around the eyes – mascara, eye liner, etc – try using pure coconut oil. It’s highly effective at removing make-up and a little in the eyes is not irritating. And it’s very moisturizing.

      Don’t give up! Let me know if I can help more.

    • Hi Ofelia – I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think so. I don’t know what causes dark spots, though, so I feel like I don’t have enough background here.

      Other readers – Does anyone have any insight on this?

  35. How does the lavender soap compare to the tea tree oil? As a face wash for acne purposes?

    • Hi Katie – This comes down to a comparison of essential oils, since the soap base is the same. Lavender, while awesome for its calming effect, has no particular properties to help it fight acne. Tea Tree, on the other hand, is a natural antibacterial agent, as well as anti-fungal, which makes it a great option for acne.

  36. Hello! I am an esthetician, and want everyone to know this soap especially or any soap quite frankly is not what will cause bumps on your forehead or overall skin. Sounds like an allergic reaction to something you ate, and these little bumps are quite common from eating shellfish, shrimp, lobster, etc. I think this is simply a wonderful mild and good smelling soap for any use where you would use soap. But I would not wash my hair with it.

    Question: I bought the wonderful smelling Dr. Bronners liquid soap today at TJ Maax in the ” sandalwood jasmine” scent. It is divine. Lovely for face and body! How come this scent is never found in any store? It is wonderful. I washed my face with it tonight, and I am still smelling my skin—yummy. Please put this scent of your liquid soap out there in the retail market!!!!
    For anyone reading this, please try the Mario Badescu toners—they will clear up your skin in one day! Use it after the Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap and voila! Thank you!

    • Hi Ingrid – I had to do some investigation to find the answer to this one! The thing is, at Dr. Bronners we do not move very quickly in bringing out new products. We like to do what we do really well and keep things simple. However, occasionally, we do try something new and see how it goes. This is how the Sandalwood Jasmine made its way into your local TJ Maxx. This scent was inspired by my brother Mike’s (Dr. Bronner’s president) wedding. He and his wife honeymooned in India and the sandalwood and jasmine scents represented their union. So we are currently trying it out on small test markets and gathering feedback. I will certainly share your thoughts to encourage that this be a more permanent scent!

  37. Yes, Dear Ofelia: Brown spots are hyperpigmentation and the sun aggravates it. Be sure to use a sunblock every day of at least SPF30, before your makeup. Also look for a Vit C Serum to use at night. Vit C breaks up the brown spots. Also look for a moisturizer with Niacinimide.

    Bon Chance~

  38. For those who find the soap alone is too drying or irritating: I found a recipe online that I use with the Baby Unscented Castile Soap. I’ve been using it for 2 or 3 months and my acne has cleared up, skin isn’t oily, and no breakouts. It took about a week or so to see a difference. I’m 37 and haven’t been without a pimple since I was 12. Now I look like I’m wearing makeup, but I’m not! 🙂
    1/4 cup castile soap
    1/4 cup chamomile tea brewed in distilled water
    20-30 drops vitamin E oil
    10 drops essential oil of choice (I use lavender)
    You can google “diy chamomile face cleanser” for the blog and suggestions on essential oils. Sorry, I don’t know how to insert links!
    When I first made this, I diluted it with another 1/4 cup of tea and added a little honey, because even this was pretty drying for me. But my skin has adjusted, and I’m getting better results with the above original formulation. Hope this helps!

    • Sounds nice but why go to all this trouble just to wash your face when you can just get a face wash that is perfect for your skin? There are so many out there to choose from. I personally, do not think soap is the best wash for the face, for the body it’s perfect, but our faces are different! I use my Dr. Bronner’s just for my body.

  39. That sounds like a nice scent Ingrid.
    Lisa, will there be some sort of communication to let us know if this is going to be one of your permanent scents?

    • If we did launch new scents, we would be announcing it very widely. We don’t do it very often. Our last newbies were Citrus and Rose and I would guess that was at least 6 years ago.

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