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 Baby Unscented 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.

580 thoughts on “I Wash my Face with Castile Soap

  1. This is really interesting as I’ve been looking for a new, more natural facial cleanser. You said to use three drops which sounds very ecomomical. But do you think the bar form of this soap would work just as well? You know, maybe lathering it up in the hands and then rubbing it on the face. I ask because whenever I can, try to use products with little or no packaging. I like that you have options for both in most of your soaps!

  2. We love Dr. Bronner’s soaps! They have been our one and only soap for a few years now. We use them for shampoo, body and face wash, laundry, general household cleaning, and for toothpaste on occasion. I’m always telling people to switch to it and giving it away to family and friends – plus I frequently mention it on my blog. It such an awesome product from an awesome company.

    I saw a difference in my skin too when I began using Dr. B’s castile soap on my face – it works wonders, though I don’t wash with soap every time I wash my face.

    Great tip, thanks for sharing your personal routine with us!

    Peace. 😉

  3. Great post, Lisa! I totally agree with you– all I use is Dr. Bronner’s soap on my face, hair and body, and I’ve never looked or felt better. Also, sometimes I mix some baking soda with the soap for a natural face scrub. The baking soda is exfoliating without being too harsh or scratchy. It’s an easy, natural way to have a “home spa” experience. After scrubbing my face, I will apply Dr. B’s unscented balm to my face as a great night cream, or use the Lavender Coconut lotion during the day.

  4. I’m super shocked that this works but it does. I have itchy, sensitive skin but I’ve been using the tea tree liquid on it the past couple of weeks and some of the scars are starting to heal up. My skin looks smoother and less flaky and itchy. What a shame all these years and all those expensive products I’ve used. Anyways I’m enjoying the one product now.

  5. @MaryLaura – Yes, the bar soap would work as well. In fact, some people find the bar soaps less drying. (Great blog idea – the differences between the two. I’ll get on that!)

    @Everyone else! – Glad to hear other success stories. The baking soda sounds good, too!


  6. I also use Dr. Bronner’s tea tree liquid castile on my face as well! I too have very acne prone skin. Where I live it gets extremely hot in the summer. 100+ degrees most of the time. I notice that sweating during the day makes my face oily and adds to breakouts so I started mixing a squirt of the liquid castile tea tree soap into an 8oz. squeeze bottle of water and using it during the day to wipe my face like a toner when I notice it getting oily(I don’t wear makeup most of the time). It has helped tremendously to cut down on my breakouts during the hot months and it doesn’t leave my skin dried out either! I love Dr. Bronner’s!

  7. I am curious what you think about washing the face with the Shikakai soaps. I haven’t tried it yet, but it seems like it would be gentle and leave my face nice and soft. Any reason not to use it? Can the Shikakai clog pores or cause breakouts? I know that it says to keep out of eyes, but you have to keep the regular castile soap out of your eyes, too, so that’s not a huge concern. Thanks!

  8. Also, regarding the blog idea above– I’d love to read your explanation of the differences between the bar soap and the liquid! I love the liquid for hand soap in a foamer bottle and for baby care since it’s easy to squirt a couple of drops on a wash cloth, but for some reason I find the bar soap to be less drying on my skin. Ironically, I also find it to be more cleansing on my hair than the liquid. Go figure– I’m sure there is some reason for the difference but I haven’t been able to figure it out!

  9. i have a question. i’m in my early twenties. my skin is very oily/some parts dry/and extremely sensitive. i am allergic to tea tree oil (and nickel) and have found the chemicals in shelf-stable products to be so irritating. i also developed acne two years ago and am not sure how to clear it up naturally because of the tea tree oil allergy.

    will the dr. bronner’s baby soap possibly clear the acne?

    • @ Elizabeth – The Baby Mild castile soap would be a great option for you. It has all the gentle cleansing properties of the castile soap with no added essential oils. It is great for combination skin. You may also want to try the Lavender Coconut lotion for the dry parts of your skin, or if you feel any tightness after washing your fcae. Use the soap twice a day and cut out any other products for a while. Drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep, too. Please let me know how it turns out after a couple weeks.


  10. If I use anything but Dr. Bronner’s I break out – even in my 30s. As I teen I also tried everything, but when I was 18 or so I started buying Dr. Bronner’s. I didn’t know then that’s why my acne cleared – I just figured it was with age. YEAH RIGHT! In my 20s when I’d go without on vacation and use whatever the hotel or relatives made available my skin would erupt! And as soon as I got home again to the Bronner’s things would smooth out in a day or two. Finally I put it together, it’s the Dr. Bronner’s it is indeed MAGIC soap. Then I used peppermint, now that I’m a Mom we stock up on Baby Mild instead. However, I just purchased some of the tea tree bronners to make our baby wipes solution with. It’s an experiment, will let you know how it goes – or if ya’ll have a great DB tea tree wipes recipe please let me know!

  11. How lightly scented is the Lavender Coconut lotion? I have fragrance allergies – even with natural products sadly and cannot have anything very fragrant near/on my face. I love the Baby Mild soap and use it all the time! I just wish there was a Baby Mild lotion to go with it. I do love and use the Baby Mild balm but I find it too heavy for summer and it’s not that good as a whole body moisturizer for an adult. It takes too long to rub in all over. Will there ever be a Baby Mild lotion or is the Lavender Coconut considered the “Baby Mild” lotion?

  12. @ Emily – Your story sounds like mine! I don’t have a baby wipes recipe, but I’ve heard about them. Perhaps another reader could post what has worked for them.

    @ Debra – The only scent in the Lavender Coconut lotion is from the lavender essential oil that is required by law to denature the organic ethanol. “Denaturing” makes the alcohol undrinkable. You can’t use ethanol in a body care product without doing this. However, the scent in the lotion is very light. Because of this, with our current formulation we will never be able to have a completely unscented version. The next logical question might be, Why not take the alchol (ethanol) out? The ethanol allows us to add more of the nourishing oils to the lotion without the whole formula separating in the bottle. So the ethanol makes the lotion more moisturizing.

    I hope that helps clear things up!

    All the best,

  13. Hi Lisa!

    I absolutely love reading your blog.
    Recently I went all organic because I wanted to reduce my skin’s exposure to chemicals as much as possible. I bought the Dr Bronner’s liquid soap and despite feeling slightly “tight” rinsing it off my body. After i towel dry my body, it’s so moisturized and soft. Weird huh? Because I always didn’t like that “tight” and “dry” feeling previously with other soaps I’ve used when I was younger.

    Because of this urge to switch to organic products, I also recently purchased Miranda Kerr’s KORA organics face cleanser and moisturiser. However, I’ve used it for 3 days now and I feel that it’s made my skin all bumpy and accentuate some of the drier parts of my face and oilier on my T-zone area. I’m not sure if it’s just my face adjusting to this product or as my sister says “all the impurities are coming out” but I’m apprehensive about continuing to use it. I didn’t have the kind of problem when I was using Cetaphil as a cleanser and QV as a moisturiser.

    So, after reading your above blog, I really really want to try the Dr Bronner’s soap for my face. I currently haven’t the almond one, but the scent kinda makes me dizzy. Would the baby mild unscented one be much better? It’s freaking me out that my skin is become rough and just not what i’m used to.
    What’s your advice?


    • @ Rachel – Thanks for reading! In trying out a new product, give it two weeks before you decide you love it or hate it – unless it’s causing pain or intense side effects. Your sister could be right about the adjustment period. After two weeks, you will know if your skin likes the product. In looking at the KORA organics ingredients, they look pretty good, unless you’re allergic to nuts (macadamia) or milk (lactic acid – can be milk derived).

      If you want to try Dr. Bronner’s, the Baby Mild sounds like the one for you. It doesn’t have a scent – dizzying or otherwise – except a slight smell of the olive oil in it. It’s very moisturizing, too. I would recommend giving it that adjustment period, too. And as I mentioned, I neede the Lavender Coconut lotion at first, but I don’t use anything now.

      Let me know how the transition is going. And drink lots of water to keep your system flushed, especially if these products are ridding your body of built up toxins.

      All the best,

  14. I’ve recently discovered Dr Bronners Castile soaps and have started experimenting with the different uses and so far I LOVE it for cleaning the house. I have very sensitive skin but thought with “soap” being milder than detergent I would give the whole facial washing a whirl. Its been 3 days so far of using the Tea Tree Liquid Castile soap from the Dr Bronners line of products as well as washing my hair( which I really need to get the rinse!!!) After 3 days morning and night of using this product on my face I seem to have more blemishes than before I used it. Is it possible I could be allergic or do the blemishes generally get worse before they get better as the skin adjusts to the new regimin?

  15. I’ve recently been using Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint bar soap on my oily, broken out, acne prone skin (mainly face). It’s been about 2 weeks and I haven’t noticed a significant change in my skin yet. It has cleared in some spots, but I notice as my problem areas clear up, other areas on my face break out. I guess my main question is am I using the wrong type of Dr. Bronner’s soap? I was recommended the peppermint soap specifically to help with my acne and occasionally I had tried a tea-tree oil and witch hazel mix as a toner after cleansing with the soap but have strayed away from using that because I can’t tolerate the smell of the tea tree oil. I would prefer not to use Dr. Bronner’s tea tree soap if it has a strong scent from the tea tree oil. Could you tell me if the tea tree soaps have a strong scent, and if so would you prefer I try the baby mild soap instead if the peppermint doesn’t work out?

    • @Shanna – The peppermint castile soap is the most intense of all the soaps. Peppermint oil is very drying and can be adding irritation to your face. Since it sounds like you have sensitive skin, I recommend that you try the unscented Baby Mild castile soap. The Tea Tree soap has a definite tea tree smell.

      All the best,

  16. I have the Dr. Bronner’s Herb Castille Soap Tea Tree Oil, and I was wondering if I should apply it to my face twice a day or once? And, will it dry my skin out?

    • @Phil – You should wash your face twice a day with the Tea Tree castile soap. It can be a little drying, but I found that my skin adjusted to it, and it evened out my skin type. I used the Dr. Bronner Lavender Coconut lotion in the interim.

      All the best,

  17. What is the difference between the two coconut oils and how may they be applied internally and externally? Also could not find the unscented balm for night creme suggested.

  18. @ Sharon – I’m so sorry I missed your comment last month. It is very normal to break out more at first because the soap is bringing stuff out. Give the regiment two weeks before you decide one way or the other.

    @ Betty – The unscented balm mentioned above is Dr. Bronner’s Naked Body Balm, http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/SD0104/NakedOrganicBodyBalm.htm. We also have it packaged as Baby Body Balm, http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/SD0105/OrganicBabyMildBodyTattooBalm.htm. They are the same. A light application of this unscented balm would be a good eye creme.

    The coconut oils, http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/COCONUTOIL.htm, differ in their processing. The brown label is whole kernel, which means that the membrane that separates the white kernel from the shell of the coconut is included. In the white label, this membrane is left out. The whole kernel might be slightly more coconutty. In usage, I haven’t noticed a difference.

    You can use the coconut oil as a substitute for butter in baking and any oil in cooking. It has a higher smoke point than olive oil, so it works well for stir frying. You can eat it as a spread, or melted on popcorn. I add it to my green smoothies to mellow the flavors.

    Externally, the coconut oil is a great moisturizer. It does smell like coconut, so if you don’t like coconuts, it’s not a good option. It works great on the face and hands. It’s a great nourisher for recently shaved legs. It can also be a more intense styling hold for hair up-dos. It makes a great hair mask as well – work it in to damp hair and let it sit for a while. Then wash it out.

    Let me know what you think of it!

    All the best,

  19. Hello! I am new to your soaps and products… I just purchased the Peppermint Castile Soap at Trader Joes…and I have been using it as a hand soap and for my face. I love the way it makes my face tingle….is this peppermint one also okay to use for the face?

    • Hi Marcy – Yep, this soap is great on the face. The peppermint is a little strong for some, but unless you’re noticing redness or irritation, that keep on doing what you’re doing. The tingling is great! Better than caffeine. (almost!)

      All the best,

  20. Hi, Lisa,
    My husband and son have been using the Almond liquid soap in the shower for one or two years and they love it. I use it intermittently in the shower and regularly at the bathroom and kitchen sinks, and love it as well, but I have a question. About five months ago I broke out with a terrible case of eczema over half of my body, and my face is extremely tight and flaky with a few red spots. Can your products help? If so, which would you recommend – bar soap versus liquid, body lotion? Thanks!

    • Hi Geri! I can only give you experiential and testimonial assurance that the pure castile soap is a great help to people with eczema. We don’t have any clinical studies or anything, but I repeatedly hear that the Tea Tree Pure Castile liquid soap in particular has helped many. I think that the lack of artificial fragrances, non-petroleum products, and artificial preservatives are all responsible for this – making the soap much less irritating and giving the skin a chance to heal. Also, the tea tree essential oil in the soap aids the recovery. I recommend the liquid over the bar because the liquid has a higher concentration of the essential oil. I think during your healing phase, you should go as simple as possible. So, if you can go with soap alone – no moisturizer, no toner, etc. – I think it would give your skin a chance to recuperate. However, the lavender coconut lotion would be my next recommendation if you do need some moisture – if your skin is really tight at first. The Lav/Coc lotion is our lightest, most minimal lotion.

      If you give it a try, let me know how it goes.

      All the best,

  21. Hi Lisa
    I discovered Dr Bronner’s soaps when I decided to use natural products on my skin just over a year ago, as my skin was changing during the menopause. I have been testing several products during this time and have landed on a couple of good moisturisers that I am happy with. Re cleansers, most of them leave my skin a little tight after using, even the cream and lotion ones, so I thought I would give your soap a try. First I tried the liquid Lavender one but found my face got very red and blotchy. I don’t know why this happened because I have used other products with Lavender oil and use your Lavender body lotion (which I love). I then tried the Baby Mild liquid which has proved to be a wonderful cleanser and doesn’t dry my skin or leave it tight, so this will be be my cleanser from now on.
    PS: I have also recently discovered making up an exfoliating lotion using baking soda and water. After cleansing with Baby Mild liquid, I massage it onto my face for about a minute, then rinse it off. This does not irritate my skin and is natural and cheap.
    Thank you for your wonderful wesite.

    • Hi Rosemary – Great testimonial! Thanks for sharing! It sounds like the higher olive oil content in the Baby Mild was just right for your skin. Your exfoliating lotion sounds like a good thing, too.

      All the best,

  22. I have been using Dr Bronners for a couple months and I use the baby mild one on my face because of sensitive skin. I like it a lot, but my acne around my chin will not go away. I eat pretty healthy and I know that my diet is not the problem. My skin is pretty oily so I use witch hazel as a toner. My parents want to me to try something else on my face because of the acne on my chin, but I really want to keep using Dr. Bronners. Do you think a different Dr Bronner’s soap would work better? I have tried the tea tree oil one already.

    • Hi Anna – It is so frustrating to go through what you’re experiencing. It is possible that the acne you are experiencing is due neither to a poor diet nor to your facial products, but rather to hormones or allergies. However, the witch hazel might be an irritant since it is pretty strong. As far as Dr. Bronner’s products go, the bar soaps are a bit gentler on the skin, so perhaps try the Tea Tree or Baby Mild Bar Castile soap. If the source of this acne is hormonal or allergic, though, your best bet is to keep on with what you’re doing, drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest. If the cause of this persistant acne is either of these two things, moving away from Dr. Bronner’s will not help. Have you ever noticed a time where the acne cleared up? Perhaps brainstorm everything that might have been different in your routine/diet/cleansing/activities – even type of water during that time.

      I also hesitate to advise conventional medical help because they will put you on Retin-A or other nasty systemic stuff. It is rare to find a conventional doctor who will explore the cause of persistant acne. A holistic doctor should, if you have one in your area.

      In your eagerness to rid yourself of these blemishes, take care not to over-wash or over-scrub your face. Washing twice a day is plenty, and more will dry out and irritate your skin into acting up. Extra scrubbing will also bring out the worst. Wear make-up as little as possible, removing it as soon as you’re home. You probably know all this, but I just thought I’d mention it for others.

      Please let me know how this is progressing.

      All the best,

  23. Hi Lisa
    Thanks for replying to my previous post. There are not many sites like this where someone like yourself takes the time and effort to read and actually help so many people. It is very much appreciated.

    Now that you cover cleaning everything in the house and cleaning the body, it would be great if you could have facial skincare products for different skin types i.e. cleansing lotion/cream, toner and moisturiser. I wondered if you ever considered this in the past and if you have any plans for this in the future?

    I look forward to your thoughts on this.

    • Hi Rosemary! Good to hear from you again. Dr. Bronner’s as a company does move very slowly in adding new products to its line. However, in recent years (and by “recent” I mean the past 6 years), they’ve added a the light lotions (Lavender Coconut, Orange Lavender, Patchouli Lime, and Peppermint) as well as the body balms. The balms work well even on the face for chapped or extremely dry skin. It’s a great thing to put on at night when you need an extra heavy-duty repair. (They’ve also added the hair rinse and creme, shave gel, lip balm, Shikakai soap, and hand sanitizer, which is a lot for us – a little over one product/year.) As far as a toner, I’ll share your suggestion, but as I said, my brothers are not quick to add new products. They really spend a long time formulating, testing, ensuring that there’s a need for the product and that the ingredients are of the highest integrity, and all that. Other things we don’t have that I’m still hoping for are toothpaste (other than the castile soap) and deodorant, but both of those are extremely tricky to do well.

      We’ll definitely spread the word if any of these hit the market!


  24. Thanks for that Lisa. Since I discovered your soap, I will not use anything else now soapwise. I also have the Lavender/Coconut and Orange/Lavender body lotions which I love, but would also like a Rose one. I also have two of the lip balms and have just bought the Baby mild balm in the little oblong tin (still to try this). I have tried your Shikakai soap and although it is a lovely soap, I just can’t get along with the smell so I just stick to the liquid soap used in a foam dispenser for washing hands at the sink. For cleaning I use the Sal Suds in a spray bottle. I look forward to your new products when they are available and hope I can also get these in the UK, although I have a nephew who visits the States regularly who usually always brings me back a selection of soap.

  25. I recently have been struggling to find an organic or healthy cleanser. I want to consider Dr. Bonner’s. While reading all the reviews i am convinced it’s right for me . I have never had a skin routine and was wondering what to use for dry skin and sensitivity. Can i use my clearsonic mia with the Dr. Bonners soap. One more question ,what is the best moisturizer for dry skin .I want to begina a skin care with the following: cleanser
    a toner ( if needed)
    moisturizer with spf 30 ( a Moisturizer and sunscreen from california baby) Thank you and advice is perfect

    • Hi Patricia – It’s great to hear that you’re giving Dr. Bronner’s a try. With sensitive skin, the unscented Baby Mild Castile soap is a great option. It will work well with your Clarisonic system. Dr. Bronner’s has a couple of moisturizing options: the Lavender Coconut lotion, which is a light every day moisturizer; the body balms, which are a more heavy-duty moisturizer; and our pure virgin Coconut oil, which is in between. Your best bet is to play around because every skin type is different. Start with the lightest option, and increase in intensity when needed. Dr. Bronner’s doesn’t make a toner or a sunscreen. I don’t use toner, so I don’t have a personal recommendation. However, the Skin Deep database, which is a great resource of researching personal care products, has this page about toners: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/browse/toners%3B%3Bastringents/. Perhaps other readers could give some recommendations.

      Regarding sunscreen, California Baby is one of the best rated options, according the the Skin Deep database. That’s a great place to start.

      Please let me know if I can answer any further questions!


  26. I have adopted this method as well. I have had troublesome acne since I was 15 years old. I have used many different products that vary greatly in price. I am now 38, and I started using Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Liquid soap on my face. My experience has been positive.

    At first,I broke out and gave up. However,I decided to try again a few weeks later,and I am thrilled with the results. I think that there were many factors involved in me having issues on the first try. I believe it was hormones at the time,environment and some other commercial skin care products I was using in combination.

    Now,I use Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Liquid . Sometimes, I use the Baby Mild if I sense that my skin needs something more “mild”. 🙂 Now,I make my own toners, masks and cold creams. I use the cold cream for removing makeup.

    If I feel like my skin needs a bit of exfoliation, I use a mixture of dried oatmeal,cornmeal and oat bran ground together and mixed up. I keep this in a small bottle in my bathroom. I will add a dime to quarter amount of that will a few drops of either soap to create a healthy scrub.

  27. ***correction***
    That last sentence in the last paragraph should say :
    I will take a dime to quarter size amount of the scrub mixture and add a few drops of either soap to create a healthy exfoliant. Sorry for the mistake.

    • Hi Jeanette – I’m glad you shared! That sounds like a good exfoliating recipe.

      All the best,

  28. I have been using Dr Bronners soaps and hair rinse in the shower with mostly success for the past two months. My girls and I never saw great results with conventional products so I wasn’t expecting miracles with a more natural solution. It does make me feel so much better though and my nose is really liking the lighter, natural smells. I even suspect we have hard water, but I seem to get better results in the shower without using the rinse sometimes, I am not sure why. Anyways, I am on to tackle my 31 year old face. Within the last 6 months I have given up on all products and just use a acne wash, regular lotion with spf, and night lotion. My face still gets acne, but not worse then when I was using harsher products. I am ready to try the Dr Bronners tea tree soap and lavendar coconut lotion. My question is, what do you use for spf? As a stay at home mom to two active little girls, we spend most of our days outside. I wish Dr Bronners had a lotion with spf, because I really trust all of their products, and then I wouldn’t have to research another brand to use. Is California baby spf lotion ok for adult faces?

    • Hi Amanda – Spf is always a tough one. It’s impossible (with current scientific knowledge) to have an organic spf, so Dr. Bronner’s isn’t going to develop one with other ingredients. That’s just because organic is Dr. Bronner’s thing. Sunscreen is a very necessary thing. The best sun protection is a hat and long sleeves, but since that isn’t any fun, there are some good alternatives. The Environmental Working Group, which is an independent research organization, published a good study last year of sunscreens: http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/. You’ll see there are several economonical options. California Baby has a very low hazard rating of 1 to 2 (low is good), and is fine to use on adult faces.

      Let me know if I can answer any further questions.

      All the best,

  29. I am so thankful for this post. I started using the lavendar castile soap from Dr. Bonners for face soap and when I tried it this morning I was alarmed at how tight/draggy my skin felt. I thought too that it might just be that I am used to how the more chemical laden soaps and how they feel on my skin. Once my skin was dry it felt very smooth though. Thanks for relieving some of my concern!

  30. I am just starting to use the dr. Bronners liquid baby mild soap in the shower, and so far I am liking it and am really excited about it! I have dry, sensitive skin and literally nothing has worked on my skin yet, and Im hoping this will be the trick! My hair and body are fine with it, but my big question is how much am I supposed to dilute it for a light face wash? I don’t wear any make up, but get dry and a little skin build up if I use just water so I need to use something that will clean but not dry me out as I can’t use moisturizers. if I need to dilute it, do I do it in a separate container or can i just do it in my hands at the time of washing? Does it have to be a foam pump or can I just shake it up in a small bottle? Sorry so many questions, I just want to make sure I dilute it right….

  31. Hi MaryAnn – So glad this helped!

    Hi Sarah Jane – I find that when I have no make-up on, one or two drops of castil soap worked up to a lather in my hands is all I need. I would recommend the unscented Baby Mild version, which is the gentlest of all our varieties. You do not need to pre-dilute it – just have your face and hands thoroughly wet before you add the drops of soap.

    Please let me know if you have further questions.

    All the best,

  32. Hi Lisa,

    I read through the comments and didn’t see any specific mention of results with the almond version of the soap. I live in an area that has VERY limited stock of Dr. Bronner’s, and the almond bar soap was the only available option. I LOVE the smell, but I am hesitant to use it on my face which suffers from acne, even in my late 20’s, without knowing if the almond oil could aggravate things further. Also, concerning the Lavender Coconut lotion that has been mentioned several times: is it mild enough to use as a daily moisturizer for acne, or is it recommended only for more “normal” skin-types? I’m one of those “lucky” (ha!) ones who has extremely fair, sometimes sensitive, oily/dry AND acne-prone skin that seems impossible to please! I do find I need a moisturizer even if it means a bit of shininess. I am currently using pure, organic jojoba oil, which neither helps nor harms my skin but is definitely on the overly-greasy side in regards to shine. Thank you so much for your help! Looking forward to giving your products a try, and crossing my fingers for the same results as yourself and other customers!

    • Hi Sarah – The almond is one I use daily, even with my temperamental skin. The Almond soap does not contain almond essential oil because almond essential oil contains trace amounts of cyanide. However, the related cassia tree has an aroma that is very similar to almonds, and from this we derive the oil used in the almond soap. It is a very mild fragrance and I have not heard of anyone whose skin was bothered in particular by the almond soap. I would recommend you try it. The only gentler one would be the unscented Baby Mild castile soap. I also found that the Lavender Coconut lotion worked great on my sensitive skin on a daily basis. It is very light and non-shiny. If you’re in the US, you can order from the website, http://www.drbronner.com. There’s free shipping with orders over $20, and an unconditional satisfaction gaurantee.

      Can anyone else weigh in here who have experienced adult acne? What products do you find gentle enough to use?

      All the best,

  33. Hi!
    I wonder if the Dr.Brooners Magic Soaps Peppermint Pure Castile Soap is the right product to get rid of the acne i got on my face and body ?

    • Hi Jamal – The peppermint might be a bit too intense, but the tea tree or any of the others would be a good option. Skin with acne is already irritated and so it needs a little TLC. Try it out for two weeks and you should see a great difference.

      Hi Ray – I found that other shampoos that were paraben/sulfate/silicone free left my long hair lackluster. I don’t have curls, but it wasn’t good on my long hair. Perhaps someone with curly hair could weigh in here on the effect of the castile soap on it. Regarding sensitive parts of the body, as long as you don’t use too much, the soap is very effective and not-irritating. A couple drops will be sufficient. For the face, if you are finding you need a stronger moisturizer than the lavender coconut lotion, try pure coconut oil at night. It’s too strong for me during the day, but when my face is really tight, a night with coconut oil is just the thing. I don’t think you need to look for a product that says “for over 30-year olds”, but try to identify what it is your skin needs and give it no more or less.

      All the best,

  34. Hi Lisa – I have recently started using the lavender castile soap for face and body. I love the idea of decluttering my products to one and plan to try it on my hair when my shampoo finishes. I’m a bit hesitant to use it without the hair rinse as I have very long curly hair which gets knotty when washed (using sulphate/silicone/paraben free products). I would also like to use it in place of my feminine intimate wash – is it safe enough to use on this area and if so, would the baby mild one be better? Also, I am considering the lavender coconut lotion as a facial moisturiser, however, I’m wondering whether it would be more beneficial to use a natural lotion that specifically targets age 30+ skin.

  35. Hi! I just bought the Lavender / Castile soap because I read somewhere that someone had success dealing with rashes using this soap along with the Clarisonic Plus (body)…due to the healing elements of the oils. I have been struggling with rashes and hives for past 7 months and nothing seems to be working (saw dermatologist, allergist, and doctors). What is the best type of Dr. Bronner’s soap would you suggest for my rashes, hives condition…I’ll use it with my Clarisonic Plus for the body. Thanks in advance!

  36. Hi Chelsea – Based on customer input, I would recommend the Tea Tree Pure Castile soap. The Tea Tree essential oil resolves many skin conditions from ezcema to rosacea to acne and other reactions. It will work fine with the Clarisonic Plus. Good luck!


  37. I’m 18 and have been constantly battling acne for a long 6 years. I have tried everything… over the counter and perscription. it all works for a while then my skin goes back to being horrible. I have extremely oily skin and tiny little pimples everywhere. My face is red and dry but at the same time oozes oil. I’m sick of using harsh products and want to go more natural, im really hoping it will help! would Dr. Bronners be a goos solution?? thanks!

  38. Hi! Well I need help plz! I have vitiligo a few part of my skin, especially on my forehead. Like it was not enough, most part of my face is extremely oily face. Trust me it is the oiliest ever existed. Recently I have noticed that when I use product containing chemicals the vitiligo patch spread more. So I have decided to go natural with skin. My first is product is Dr. Bronner tea tree, since two days I have been using it my face is so irritated. Iam trying not to use powder on my face, but it so oily, it makes me so embarrass at work. Iam so confused, plz help.

  39. Hi Elizabeth – I am so sorry to hear about this battle with acne. It is amazing how much acne can affect our day/week/year, especially during the teen years. Most acne is caused by hormones, but often what is recommend by popular wisdom or by dermatologists irritates our skin and makes things worse. The Tea Tree pure castile soap is really something you should try. If you don’t like it, let me know and I will refund you (lisa@drbronner.com). Also, to regulate and calm hormones, be sure to get enough sleep, exercise (I like walking), water, and healthy food. These four things have so many good effects on our bodies. They are the remedy for a multitude of problems.

    Hi Marie – While I don’t have any personal experience with vitiligo, I am getting in touch with a good friend who does. In the meantime, try the unscented Baby Mild soap, which is the gentlest we have. Also, when you need to wear make-up while you’re out, be sure to take it off as soon as you get home. I will let you know if my friend has any other insight. Hang in there!

    All the best,

  40. I want to start out by syaing Dr. Bronner’s soap is amazing! Im 24 and Ive never had perfect skin, but it was never bad. However, in the past year I have been fighting the acne battle! I have tried anything and everything, all with just temporary results if any… Very frustrating! Then I discovered a miracle!! Earlier this summer I was introduced to the peppermint soap, originally to help with the 60+ mosquito bites that I got after an vicious mosquito attack! Well, the soap soothed all the bites and really helped with the itching, but I also noticed my face was magically clearing up! At first I thought it was just because I was at the beach (maybe the salt water?), but after being back for weeks and still using the product Im convinced it is the soap! I am soo- soo- soo- very thankful that I was introduced to this soap and Im pretty excited to try out Dr. Bronner’s other products as well 🙂

  41. Thank you so much for this blog article! I read about Dr. Bronner’s products on a baby forum and I have been using the liquid baby mild castile soap on myself and my newborn for the past 2 weeks. The results have been wonderful!! I am using it as a facewash, body wash, and shampoo for both of us, and I am astounded by how clean and soft our skin feels. I feel so good knowing that I am using safe and organic products on my newborn as he has sensitive skin like me. I just ordered a bunch of other products and am eager to try the tea tree oil castile soap and the lavender coconut lotion on my face. Thanks for making such great products. I am a customer for life now!

  42. Hi Rebecca – Fantastic! So glad to hear it! And a great reminder to me regarding how to treat the myriad mosquito bites covering my kids’ legs at the moment.

    Hi Amanda – Great! Welcome aboard!

    All the best,

  43. Does anyone have any organic make up that works ? I have tried some and I tried some mineral makeup that was expensive and it didn’t seem to do it for me —- it seems everything washes me out in my face -I have a very pale complexion and in my 40’s — I have never been that person to wear it but I do like something when I do go out —

  44. Hi Julie
    Like you I don’t wear makeup unless I am going out somewhere special. I use only natural products on my skin now and my complexion is quite good. I get on OK with mineral makeup but I also have a tinted fluid from Madara Cosmetics which is not a foundation, more of a tinted moisturiser which gives the skin a nice tinted glow. I wear it sometimes if I don’t want to wear foundation but just want a bit of colour. I don’t know where you live but I have sent you the link the tinted fluid at the Madara website. They seem to be worldwide.
    Hope this helps.

  45. Hi Julie and Rosemary – I don’t have a perfect answer for this. I use Bobbi Brown, and it is expensive, but I don’t wear it daily. It is not organic, but I do read the ingredients and it’s the best I’ve found that works. Aubrey Organics had been working on some items, and I liked their blush, but not their lip stuff. I haven’t looked into what they’re up to lately. Mineral make-up is not synonomous with safe – some is and some isn’t, so look into it. There is a company out there with a great philosophy called “Peacekeeper Cause-Metics” (http://www.iamapeacekeeper.com/) and they make lip and nail color. I haven’t given their products a good try, but I really like what they stand for.

    I haven’t checked out Madara, but I’m glad for the recommendation and will look in to it. I’d love to hear other recommendations as well.

    All the best,

  46. To combat the dryness of the soap, I’ve been mixing 1:1:1 with coconut oil and water and just keeping it in a container in my shower. I use it all over my body, including my face, which is much easier, and the coconut oil (which I use as lotion normally anyways), makes it so I don’t usually need to lotion-up once I’m out. At night, I have the same mix, but it includes redmond clay and tea tree essential oil (I used the almond castile soap because it’s what I had on hand, but the oil would be left out if I used tea tree soap). The redmond clay was added as part of a failed toothpaste experiment, but it turned out to work as a great face wash and makes my face feel really fresh and tight before bed. I have pretty average skin in terms of oil/dryness, but have always battled acne and discoloration and after two weeks of this, it seems to be going really well and I have been able to stop wearing makeup to correct my skin tone. It just feels like my skin settled down and stopped being angry.
    As far as make-up, I use the Kirkland minerals from Costco. They’re great. I haven’t researched how organic they are, but they don’t irritate my skin or clog my pores.

  47. Hi, my 9-year-old has already started getting acne (he’s had problems on and off with his skin ever since he was an infant). He eats healthy most of the time, doesn’t drink milk, and has been washing his face with Cetaphil twice a day, but it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Do you think the tea tree soap would be gentle enough for his skin? Thanks!

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