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. If you’re a Castile Bar Soap user, lather up the bar soap on wet hands or washcloth. 
  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.

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Renee Salvary says:

I bought the Tea Tree one for my face back in December ’16 and I’m down to the last corner!!! I absolutely LOOOVVEEEE this soap!!! People ask what is the secret to my skin and I always say Dr. Bronner’s, water and Shea butter!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Renee- That’s great to hear! Thanks for sharing your (now not-so) secret!

Nirali says:

Hi Lisa
I have acne/rosacea redness and pastuales, my skin is very sensitive. Do you recommend the castille soap for me? If so, which one? And how should I use it when washing my face. Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Nirali- We have received very positive comments regarding our Tea Tree and Unscented Castile soap from customers with acne, sensitive skin, rosacea and such. Tea tree essential oil is great for acne and also has natural anti-inflammatory properties which can help soothe rosacea flare-ups. If you find this is too strong, try the Unscented Castile soap. Use 2-3 drops twice a day. Give your skin 2 weeks to adapt to the new routine.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Zamya- I’m sorry to hear this! Do you recall which scent you used? If it was the Peppermint, that is one that I don’t recommend for any sort of already irritated skin. Peppermint essential oil is naturally drying, which can be great if you have naturally oily skin, but irritating for dry skin. I understand if you don’t want to try it again. But if you do, try one of our soaps with milder essential oils, such as Almond, Citrus or Unscented. You just need 2-3 drops for your face.

Kevin says:

Hey, do you think that the eucalyptus one is good for someone with oily skin and problematic acne as well? Sadly i bought on impulse after seeing so many reviews and eucalyptus seemed like a good idea at the time because i thought it would smell nice and not be too strong or rough on my skin. But then i started seeing that the tea tree one is best for acne. Also i heard this soap is extremely drying and to use it “2x a month” but other people have said it’s not drying.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Kevin- Tea Tree Castile seems to get all the limelight, but Eucalyptus Castile is actually what I used to recommend before we had the Tea Tree Castile. Both are good for treating acne. Eucalyptus is a drying essential oil (whereas tea tree is not), which can he helpful for oily skin. Start by using a couple of drops once a day and see how your skin does.

Kevin Hernandez says:

Thanks so much! I bought the tea tree anyways lol I’ll just use that on my face the eucalyptus on my body

Misty says:

How do you manage to use just three drops? With the original bottle it’s difficult to use such a small amount. Do you put it in another container? I put it in a pump bottle but the dispenser kept getting clogged

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Misty- Give a foaming pump dispenser a try. Dilute at a ratio of 1 part soap to 3 parts water. As you’ve found, Castile in a regular pump tends to clog and squirt out in unexpected directions.

Nakisha says:

I just started using the peppermint for my face. Is it recommended to also use a toner to follow?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Nakisha- It’s great to hear that you’re giving Dr. Bronner’s a try. I don’t use a toner, but it’s a matter of what makes your skin happy. Peppermint oil is good for drying out oily skin, but can intense for other skin types. If you find it too drying, try a more mild scent, such as Almond, Lavender, Rose or Citrus.

Pinky says:

I just bought some today, do you think it’s okay to use it every night as a nighttime skin care routine ?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Pinky- Welcome to the Dr. Bronner’s family! I wash my face with the Castile soap morning and night. Keep in mind that it can take time for skin to adjust to a new skincare product.

Todd says:

Hi there,

What are your dilution recommendations about the Eucalyptus soap for body wash and hand soap?
Would it also be 3 drops for face? and what about for shampoo?



Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Todd- The Eucalyptus is a great scent! I recommend 2-3 drops for face and hands, and a small squirt for the body. For hair, it depends on length and thickness, but generally about 1/2 Tbsp. worked into wet hair. If you find you need a little more or a little less, adjust amounts to your liking.

Todd says:

So you don’t have to dilute into a container with water before hand – its safe to directly apply to my body while in the shower?

Thanks so much for responding. I really do appreciate it.


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Todd- It is absolutely safe to apply directly to skin. Personally, I don’t pre-dilute – although some people prefer to, and that’s fine too!

Shannon says:

Hi my name is Shannon.I was just wondering if Dr Bonner’s soap clogs pores?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Shannon- Quite the opposite, in fact. Castile soap tends to dig down deep into our pores and bring stuff out. This can result in an initial breakout, but this will clear and your skin will better off for it.

Maia says:

I’m about to begin using Dr Bronner’s soap in place of many other products I’ve been using for years. I am a “mature” female with long and naturally gray/white hair. Are there any special considerations for my hair care? Is there any concern of damaging or “tinting” my hair by using this product?
I have a bottle of the hemp rose and a bottle of the hemp almond soaps.
I’m looking forward to the many uses for this soap as I work to simplify and “go green”. Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Maia- We’ve heard from others that the Castile soap works great on gray and white hair. Because of the alkaline nature of our soaps, you do need an acidic rinse. Try our Organic Hair Rinse or a 50% dilution of apple cider vinegar and water.

Frida says:

Hi Lisa
I’ve recently bought the almond liquid soap and was wondering if that is will work on my face? I have acne and sensitive/combination skin. I also struggle a lot with texture, scaring, pores and redness. I’ve before tried using tea tree on my face and it was too harsh for my skin. I’ve struggled with acne for awhile and i’m now kinda scared trying new products because my face breakout easily. I live in Denmark and from what i’ve seen we don’t have a lot of the scents (pretty sure i’ve only seen the almond, rose, peppermint, citrus and unscented one) which one would you recommend? If you would recommend any for the face. Thank you in advance.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Frida- Unscented Castile soap is the most mild for sensitive skin. The scents you list are all gentle on skin with the exception of Peppermint, which can be too intense and drying for sensitive skin. When trying a new skincare regimen, give it two weeks for your skin to adjust.

Lauren Chambers says:

I have been using the unscented Bonner’s for 3 days & am super amazed at the improvement of my skin in such a short period of time. I also used it on my hair & let me tell you at the difference it has made. I have long hair & it is also thin everything I use on it shows my newgrowth which is embarrassing.Since using Dr. Bonner’s you can’t even tell there is new growth bc it is now laying down! I am waiting to see how it will clear up my adult bacne… which is super digusting & shameful. I have a good indication this is MAGIC soap!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lauren – Awesome!! I am so glad the soap has been such a help.

Justin says:

I was just recommended Castile soap by a friend i was wondering if the tea tree soap would also help with ingrown hairs? learning how to shave the wrong way as a teen has left me with gross ingrown hairs and scarring and i’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work. Also is there a lotion you would recommend?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Justin- That’s not something we’ve heard of, although the Castile soap does promote healthy skin. Tea Tree is a natural antibacterial and helps prevent infection and promote healing. I have heard that gentle exfoliating can also help. The Organic Lavender Coconut lotion is lightweight and good for everyday use.

Dana says:

Hi Lisa! I just switched over to Dr. Bronners as well and find that I’ve been having that “tight” “rubbery” feeling after washing the product off my skin. Yet after I get out of the shower I feel wonderful and clean!
I have tried the straight Castile soap, sugar soap, and now bar soap. It almost reminds me as if I’m putting oil on my skin and it beads up and the water runs off. I’ve just been using the products on my face and body so far.

I did hear that this is a “film” from using too much. But I hardly use any. I tried using just my hands to wash, a wash cloth and on a loofah. I’m very confused!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Dana- One of the perks of a pure soap is that it is clean rinsing, as opposed to conventional products that intentionally leave a residue on skin. It does take some time to make that transition and get used to the different feeling.

DC says:

Hi, so I have very oily sensitive skin with marks from my acne. Which soap would you recommend for me? I really want these marks gone..

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi DC- Give the Tea Tree Castile a try. It treats acne and is great for both oily and sensitive skin. No soap is going to eliminate acne scars or spots cause by hyperpigmentation, but Castile soap does promote healthy skin that is more able to heal itself.

Raven Black says:

I want to use the bar of soap instead of the liquid, which one best for me? I have oily hair, sensitive, combination, acne prone skin.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Raven- The Tea Tree works well for acne-prone skin and balancing out oily or combination skin. With any new skin care regimen, give your skin 2 weeks to adjust.

Raven Black says:

Thank you so much! It’s so nice to have one thing to use for multiple purposes, it’s natural, saves money, and because the tea tree has antibacterial properties I feel clean after being in public. I highly recommend this soap for anybody!

Kathy N says:

I love your Castile soap and use it in the shower as well as cleaning around the house. We have a local co-op store where I can refill my bottle from their huge bulk size dispensers. But they don’t have the Tea Tree in bulk. Can I use the Baby Unscented and add Tea Tree Essential Oil to it? If so, how many drops would you suggest adding to 16 oz of soap? Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Kathy- That’s great that you have a co-op for refilling! You can definitely add tea tree essential oil. To get to the 2% dilutions in our soap, add 2 teaspoons (1/3 ounce) of the essential oil to 16 oz. of soap. Do take care when handling pure essential oils as they can burn skin.

Lulu says:

Hi Lisa sorry to bother, I have recently got rid of all of my products that I was using for my face since they had a lot of harsh dangerous chemicals. I wanted to know which sunscreen you use? or which could I use since it’s hard to find one that’s ok for acne and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals. Also, I started using the peppermint Castiles soap, do you think it can help for my acne prone skin ? Thank you !!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lulu- Welcome to the Dr. Bronner’s family! The Peppermint Castile soap can be a little intense for acne-prone skin. Try the Tea Tree as it treats acne-prone skin and balances out oily or combination skin. For sunscreen, choose a mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as an alternative to chemical UV filters. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Guide to Sunscreen can help you identify one: Also, when you’re inside for the remainder of the day, wash your face to remove sunscreen which can exacerbate acne.

Lulu says:

Thank you Lisa ! Since I had already bought the peppermint Castile soap to treat my acne do you think it won’t make any difference and cause more breakouts. I’ve heard of some great reviews on the peppermint for acne :/ Since one time I had tried tea tree oil on my skin and it made me breakout.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lulu- If your skin is naturally oily, the Peppermint Castile will help to dry it out. However, sometimes acne is caused by naturally dry skin that is producing extra oils to compensate. In this case, the peppermint essential oil would dry out skin too much, causing more breakouts. If you don’t use the Peppermint Castile for washing your face, clean your house with it! Here’s our cheat sheet for uses:

Marie Anne says:

hey lisa, i’m a 13 yr old teenager and i get a bunch of bumps on my forehead. would u recommend dr. bronners and if so, which one? anything helps. thank you!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Marie- Washing your face twice a day with Tea Tree Castile soap can help to clear acne. Often when we make a change in our skincare routine, it can take up to 2 weeks for skin to adjust, so be patient. In your teens, hormones play a role in acne, but good skincare habits and also things like getting enough sleep, eating well, drinking lots of water and being active will help to keep your skin healthy and happy.

Shivani says:

Hi Lisa,

I have had acne for over 20 years. I’m in my mid 30s still suffering from adult acne, particularly on the jaw line area. I started using the Tea Tree Castille soap today. Can I follow that up with a moisturizer? I see you recommend the coconut oil one in the posts below. However, will that cause more oiliness in my case? Also do you recommend the moisturizer and then a sun screen or can I just do a sunscreen?


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Shivani- Glad you’re using the Tea Tree Castile, as it is beneficial for combination and acne-prone skin. I personally use Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lavender Coconut lotion (, as well as a daily sunscreen, which I do recommend. There are a wide range of sunscreens with various levels of protection and moisture. The EWG Skin Deep Database ( is a helpful resource for identifying skincare products. If your skin veers towards oily, one option is to moisturize at night and use a sunscreen during the day. Sometimes acne can be caused by naturally dry skin that is producing extra oils to compensate. A very light application of coconut oil at night delivers extra moisture. Additionally, things like getting enough sleep, eating well, drinking plenty of water and being active promote healthy skin.

Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap says:

[…] I Wash my Face with Castile Soap […]

Jennifer says:

What are good recommendations for facial redness??? i hate going a day without makeup because i look sunburned an i feel so insecure..

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jennifer- That sounds frustrating! You don’t say the cause of the redness, but the natural anti-inflammatory properties in Tea Tree essential oil can help soothe skin. If you find this too strong, try the Unscented Castile soap. If dryness is the cause, try the Organic Sugar Soap ( The organic grape juice and sugar draw moisture into the skin to hydrate and nourish, and its available in Tea Tree and Unscented.

Navneet Sandhu says:

Hi Lisa. I have pigmatation for few years now. I have not use any Dermatolgy creams since I know how much chemical they have. what would you recommend to use for pigmatation which soap and lotion will be the best!! Thank you in advance

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Navneet- Any of our soaps will help promote healthy skin and give the skin a smooth glow. I have not heard they help with hyperpigmentation though. For normal skin, try the Citrus, Rose, Almond or Unscented scents. Because hyperpigmentation can be caused or exacerbated by sun damage, use a sunscreen daily, even if you wear makeup. The Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database can help you find one:

Jennifer Stowe says:

Thank you Lisa! I started using the Liquid Tea Tree oil soap one week ago morning and night and my face is calming down. I’ve struggled with acne for years and am so happy to see this is actually helping!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jennifer- Excellent! I’m glad to hear the Tea Tree Castile is working for you!

Candace says:

I wish I could post a picture or more than one. Apparently I’m allergic to the inscented Dr Bronners liquid —- I was using the rose scented one with no issues I seriously thought I was allergic to the corned beef I had 3/17 and 3/18 2019 this year or that I may have contracted Scabies from tryong on clothes at Salvation Army on 3/16. I couldn’t stand this itching anymore so I just went to Medspring Urgent care ane the PA said it’s an allergic reaction and they gave me a steroid shot on my hip . I have to go buy some over the counter junk. I have no idea what I’m going to use for bath soap now. Maybe soft soaphand soap or dawn disliquid at this point until I can go to the store .thsts all I got at home ..I have Celiac Disease and I’m allergic to wheat by contact. I have horrible rash breakouts like this when I used a popular shampoo that I didn’t know had wheat in it. This is unbearable. I want to peel my skin off my body or use a grater on me :.. that’s how itchy I am right now …

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Candace- I am so sorry you’re going through this. The Unscented Castile is the same formulation as the Rose Castile soap, but without an essential oil added. I hope you find relief soon!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jennifer- I find that washing my face twice a day, in the morning and evening, works best for my skin. It is important to wash daily if you wear makeup or apply sunscreen – and I do both of these things daily. Those shouldn’t sit on the skin overnight. However, if you don’t apply anything, and your face is clear, you may find success with less frequent washing.

Shani says:

Hi Lisa, I really like the idea of using Dr Bronnera Castillo’s soap but my question is on dilution. I have been adding 1/2 tablespoon to 6oz water pump so it foams but even this amount burns my skin after only one wash. My skin literally feels sunburnt for about 24 hours after. I tried twice and had to stop both times after only 1-2 washings. Is this a too strong of a dilution? It sounds like people use even stronger solutions. I’ve tried to dilute even further. Im curious if you think 1/2 table spoon which is 1/2 an ounce to 6 oz water is a strong solution? That’s like 1 part soap to 10 parts water…I just want to know if it’s too strong or if it’s just too strong for me

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Shani- It’s not too strong of a dilution. You didn’t mention what scent you’re using, but some find the Peppermint essential oil too intense for their skin and instead prefer a milder scent, such as the Almond or Unscented. If the Castile soap is just not agreeing with your skin, try the Organic Sugar Pump soap, which is a gentler formulation.

Maria says:

Hi Lisa, I apologize if someone’s already asked these questions before but- can you just like, rub the bar soap between your hands and wash your face with that? Also, is it ok to use all of the scents on the face? Thanks so much!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Maria- Yes and yes! They will all clean your skin equally well, although the Peppermint can be drying for some. Almond, Rose, Citrus and Unscented are gentle on sensitive skin, and the Tea Tree can be beneficial for combination or acne-prone skin.

Sara says:

Will the soap itself provide moisture to the skin? I currently do not use any products except the unscented soap and I am wondering if I can use it in some form of moisturizer by dilution perhaps?


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sara- Soap is meant to be washed off. If left on the skin, it attracts grime and may cause irritation. If your skin is dry, try the Organic Sugar Soap. It contains sucrose and white grape juice, which are natural humectants that moisturize and nourish the skin. Or, try a light moisturizer during the day such as the Lavender Coconut Lotion, or a light application of pure coconut oil at night.

Katie says:

Hi Lisa,

I have mild-moderate acne, and my skin seems to be oily but sometimes (not very) sensitive. I was wondering which soap would be the best to cure my acne (or at least help it) and whether I should dilute the soap. I also have some acne marks. (FYI I have mainly forehead acne). Thank you so much!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Katie- The Tea Tree Castile is a good bet for acne-prone and combination skin. No need to dilute the soap, just use 2-3 drops on your wet face. Give it two weeks for your skin to adjust.

Megan says:

Hi Lisa!
I have sensitive skin. I have issues with my cheeks being red and a couple broken capillaries. I’ve never really had an issue before with acne. For whatever reason I have so much acne on my face. My cheeks and chin are the worst. I’m 29 and my skin is what imagine a teenager going through. I’m in desperate need of help. I would like this adult acne to go away. Which soap do you recommend for me? Also what type of moisturizer since I have the redness and acne. Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Megan- That sounds frustrating! The Tea Tree Castile is helpful with breakouts and balancing out combination skin. If you think the redness might be caused by dry skin, as can happen this time of year, I recommend the Tea Tree Organic Sugar Soap. The sucrose and white grape juice in it are natural humectants and bring moisture into the skin. The Organic Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer. Because you’ve not had acne before, I’ll mention that shampoos can sometimes cause acne. If you’re using a new product, that could be contributing to it. And of course a lifestyle of healthy food, lots of water and rest, and reducing stress (easier said than done, I realize) leads to healthy skin. Let me know how it goes.

Lynda says:

I just finished chemo, lumpectomy, and radiation for breast cancer. I want to throw out all my cosmetics, shampoos,
and body cleansers. I’ve been using Dr. Bo nner’s Castile soap for years. Please send me info on your clean products. I am 71 and have dry skin.
Thanks so much!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lynda- For dry skin, I have had great feedback from customers using our Organic Sugar Soaps, The sugar, as well as the shikakai extract and grape juice, all serve as humectants to draw moisture into our skin and to nourish it. Using soap to wash hair requires an acidic rinse of either a 50% dilution of water and apple cider vinegar or our Organic Hair Rinse. For household cleaning, the Castile soap will cover your needs. Here’s our “cheat sheet”: Wishing you good health!

Eva says:

I have very dry, redness prone skin with occasional acne. Do you think that Castile soap would be to drying? If not, what scent should I purchase? Should I get the classic liquid, sugar type or bar soap? Thanks for the help!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Eva- All our soaps are very mild, but if you generally have dry skin, I recommend the Sugar Soap – especially in these dryer months. The organic sucrose and organic grape juice act as natural humectants, helping skin to retain moisture. Tea Tree is helpful with acne breakouts, but if your redness is caused by sensitive skin, start with the Unscented Sugar Soap. Keep in mind that it can take up to two weeks for your skin to adjust to a new routine.

Mischel says:

Hi Lisa!I’m teen with combination skin.I have some pimples and scars(hyperpigmentation)I use the peppermint and sometimes the tee tree soap to wash my face(twice a day).Then I use rose water as a toner and then for moisturizer I use aloe vera gel from the drugstore.15-20 minutes before I go out I put some suncream. My skin gets oily fast in thr T-zone.What would you recommend?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Mischel- The Peppermint essential oil can be very drying, so I wonder if your skin is over-reacting to that by producing extra oil. Tea Tree though helps balance out combination skin and reduces acne. Try using just the Tea Tree Castile soap and see how your skin does. Because aloe vera gel can also contain other ingredients, such as alcohol, that too can dry out skin. Simple may be better in this case. But keep on with that sunscreen! It’s great that you’re already in the habit of using it.

Marjorie Woolbright says:

Hello, I have severe psiriose….do you have any recommendations regarding your products.
Thank you, Marjie

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Marjie- I know that psoriasis is so frustrating. I have heard input from customers that the Tea Tree or Unscented Castile soap can be helpful. The Eucalyptus Castile soap has been another one that people recommend. And the Unscented Magic Balm helps soften tough skin.

Cassandra says:

I use the pure peppermint castile soap and I find it works amazing for my skin.My question to you is:Can you tell me recipe for natural homemade toner for combination skin?I tried acv toner but I found that my skin ismore oilier than normal.I wannt to try rose or lavender water.What do you think?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cassandra- I am wondering if your skin is over reacting to the essential oils in the Peppermint Castile soap. The Peppermint is naturally more drying than the other scents, and it might be causing your skin to over compensate by producing more oils. Personally, it is too intense for my face. I suggest trying out the Rose or Lavender Castile soap, both of which are very gentle, or the Tea Tree is good for balancing out skin and controlling oil. The astringent properties of a toner, such as witch hazel, close pores. I don’t use one, but it’s a matter of what makes your skin happy.

Amanda says:

Hi there. I’m thinking of trying Dr. Bronner for the first time. I love the smell of rose and am wondering if this will be kind enough to use on my face. My skin is pretty clear. I don’t tend to get breakouts unless I’ve eaten something I shouldn’t. I like my skin to feel clean yet gently cleansed.

Going forward I’m also thinking of mixing my own foaming face cleanser and ‘recipes’ seem to call for Br. Bronner. So I will eventually want to use whatever I buy as a base. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Amanda- That’s great! The Rose Castile soap is a lovely floral scent and gentle on skin. For normal, clear skin this is a great option. When starting a new regimen, it can take skin up to two weeks to adjust. Just a few drops of the Castile soap is all you need, but if you do mix it with other ingredients, you might find my blog post, “What Can You Mix with Castile Soap?” to be helpful. Here’s the link:

Cj says:

How long did it take your skin to adjust to the point where you didn’t need face lotion?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cj- It took about a year. During that time I used the Organic Lavender Coconut lotion. On occasion, I would massage a small bit of Coconut Oil into my skin at night.

Jenny S. says:

hi lisa! i have pretty oily skin, mild scarring & only get acne near my cycle. what soap would you recommend for face ? ( my skin is not sensitive btw)

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jenny- The Peppermint Castile soap can help to dry out oily skin and the Tea Tree Castile soap can help with acne, so either one of those. Give your skin about two weeks to adjust to the new regimen.

Lori says:

Hi Lisa,
I just ran out of my usual face cleanser and since I’d been considering the switch to castile for my entire household I thought it was time to try it on my face. I have mature/dry skin. Any thoughts?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lori- Glad to hear you’re giving the Castile a try! For dry skin, I recommend one of our more mild Castile soaps, such as Almond or Citrus. If you find you need more moisture, our Sugar Soaps have Sucrose and White Grape Juice, which are natural humectants and help skin retain its natural moisture. As is always the case with a new skincare routine, give it about two weeks for your skin to adjust.

kelly says:

Hi Lisa,
Great post! Do you wash your face every morning and night? I read some recommend washing your face every other day, or using the bar soap every other day. Just wondering if you’ve found success using the tea tree liquid soap every morning & night. Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Kelly – Yes, I have found the best success with washing my face twice a day, in the morning and evening. I use Tea Tree soap in the evening, since I no longer have active acne flare-ups, but I do think it still helps balance my skin. I use the Citrus in my shower in the mornings, as its my favorite. It is important to wash daily if you are using sunscreen (which I do daily) or make-up. Those shouldn’t sit on the skin overnight. The skin needs some time to breathe. However, if you don’t apply anything, and your face is pretty settled, you may find success with less frequent washing. The Dr. Bronner’s Castile bar soap is something to consider as an even milder option (though the liquid is still plenty mild). The bar soap contains salt (regular sodium chloride) that helps harden the bar, but also brings it even more in sync with our skin’s natural salinity. There is such variance in skin types, lifestyles and environments that some personalizing is needed in a skin care regimen.

Dr. Bronner's for Acne-Prone Skin - Dr. Bronner's says:

[…] Lisa Bronner discusses in one of her earliest blog posts, washing your face with Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap works very well, whether you have […]

Emily says:

Hey Lisa!
I was wondering if the lavender Castile soap would be okay for trying to help/using on acne prone skin?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Emily- Any of the Castile soaps can be beneficial to acne-prone skin. The Lavender Castile soap is mild and gentle on the skin, especially if your skin is on the dryer side. But if you have oily or combination skin, the Tea Tree Castile is better at balancing out the skin and minimizing break outs.

Kyra says:

Could I use the bar castile soap by just lathering up my hands and then applying it to my face?

Galia says:

Should I use toner after washing my face with Castile soap because of the soap‘s ph?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Galia – Our Castile soaps have a mild pH to start, and are then rinsed off so there is no residual pH effects on the skin. And while witch hazel doesn’t impact pH, its astringent properties do close pores. It’s really a matter of personal preference and what makes your skin happy.

Joana says:

Hello lisa!
I was wondering which soap would be best for my skin type, I have oily skin with almost no acne but my skin is very sensitive. It would be really good to Hera back from you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Joana- The Tea Tree Castile can be helpful to those with oily skin. Most people are not sensitive to Tea Tree, but if you’re unsure, start with the Unscented Castile, which is gentle on sensitive skin.

Charlotte M says:

Hello Lisa, I bought your lavender soap to wash my super sensitive and acne prone face but I just read that your rather recommend using the tea tree one. Do you think the one I bought is still going to do the job or should I buy another one? I’ve already been using some tea tree EO that I mix with my moisturizer for a few days, but I don’t know if it’s really going to be efficient.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Charlotte – The Lavender Castile soap won’t contribute to a break out, but it might not have the efficacy that the Tea Tree would. Tea Tree oil shouldn’t be left on the skin, but you can add the Tea Tree essential oil into the Castile soap – about 5 drops to an 8 ounce bottle of soap. That way you use up what you have on-hand without wasting soap or hard-earned money.

Diane says:

Hi Lisa,

I have been battling roseacea for years now and cannot seem to find any cleanser to wash my face that doesn’t irritate the roseacea and make it worse. Would the Castile soap work for washing my face and what would be the best option for my face?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Diane- I have had mild rosacea flare ups as well. As you probably know, there are a lot of things that can trigger rosacea. Because it is partially an inflammatory reaction, the Tea Tree Castile is the best option. Tea Tree essential oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties. This will not prevent flare-ups, but can help soothe them. If you find this is too strong, our Baby Unscented Castile soap is another good option.

Rosemary Slater (Scotland) says:

I had mild rosacea about 6 years ago when I started the hunt for something natural and that is when I discovered Dr Bronner’s. I started using the tea tree castile soap and after a couple of weeks it cleared and I have never looked back. I also use a natural moisturiser and argan oil on my skin. I wouldn’t use any other soaps now and also use the Sal Suds and b/soda, vinegar etc for cleaning. This is all due to your website Lisa.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Rosemary- That’s great to hear! Thanks for jumping in here to share.

Elizabeth says:

Hello, I would just like to ask what your skin type is! If you could get back to me, that would be wonderful. Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Elizabeth- That’s an interesting question, as my skin type changed overly the years. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s soap for all these years or if it’s due to a healthier lifestyle, or both. When I started this blog, I had combination skin with adult acne. But now I can say its well-balanced and I rarely experience acne… unless I eat too much junk food.

Peyton says:

Hi Lisa, my acne consists of mainly a LOT of whiteheads all over my forehead and chin with other breakouts around my face and I am wanting to try out the liquid pure Castile soaps. I was wondering what scent would be the best option for me since I have oily, acne-prone skin but it is extremely sensitive and gets irritated easily? I am looking for the best option for sensitive skin. Thank you

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Peyton – The Tea Tree is helpful for oily and acne-prone skin, but if your skin is very sensitive, you may prefer the Unscented Castile soap. I always like to remind people to give your skin two weeks to adjust to the new routine.

Venecian says:

Hey Lisa!
I’m a teen with combination,acne-prone skin.I use the tee tree oil castle soap.It heals my acne, but after that i have acne spots from the acne and the tee tree oil soap doesn’t prevent the acne.I’ve heard that the pepermint one does prevent it.I think to by the pepermint soap for preventing and healing acne and the citrus soap to heal the spots.I will
use the pepermint one in the evenings and the citrus one in the mornings.What would you recommend ?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Venecian – Citrus is gentle on the skin, while the Peppermint can be more drying. If you have sensitive skin, you may find the Peppermint irritates it. Time is the best treatment for acne spots, and I know it can be hard to be patient. I would recommend sun protection to help prevent spots. A healthy lifestyle with lots of fresh foods and plenty of water and sleep also helps to promote healthy skin.


Lisa Bronner

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