Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Summer Garden Facial Cleansing Bar (for any time of year)


This is what friends do, they tell each other about neat stuff they find... like a shoe sale, a cool band, or a great recipe. Well, I've been remiss in telling you about the Cleansing Bars I made from LisaLise Natural Skin Care. Please forgive me! Lise's blog is full of recipes for making all sorts of your own natural skin care and cosmetics at home, but it was her soap-less facial cleansing bars that were on my mind (and my to-do list) for a long time. I knew I wanted to make one, it just took me a while to get around to it. 

Curious about cleansing bars.
If you're unfamiliar with the idea of a Cleansing Bar, it's a semi-solid blend of butters, oils, clays and more, that cleanse and moisturize your face in one easy step. Absolutely brilliant, right? ...but I didn't need another face cleansing method. After all, I was content with what I'd been using.

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.
I am the type of person that will happily stick with something for a long long time... so long as everything is running smoothly. I've been using the Oil Cleansing Method for quite a few years now and couldn't be happier with it. Occasionally I will do a honey-wash, just to change things up, but then it's right back to the OCM. It works great for me, but....

Change when there is a need.
The one thing that the OCM doesn't do is exfoliate, and whenever my face is in Seasonal Transition Mode, it can get dry and flaky (or apparently worse). That's when I need some mild exfoliation and a heavy dose of moisturization. Rather than adding another step to my routine, Lise's Cleansing Bars are a one-step wonder: they cleanse, gently exfoliate, and moisturize.

Late last fall, I finally made Lise's Rose Clay & Oat Cleansing Bar. A version of it anyway. A few ingredient substitutions were necessary (only because once I had decided to make it, I wanted to make it right away... no time to stop and shop first). The result? I absolutely loved it!

I call my version "Summer Garden" because the lavender and rose remind me of just that...  even though they're dried and you can make this (and use it) at any time of year...

Summer Garden Facial Cleansing Bar 
{my adaptation of the LisaLise Rose, Clay & Oat Cleansing Bar for Sensitive Skin}

This is not a slap-dash type of recipe. It is a bit involved and does takes time... but it is also easy, and the end result is pure luxury. I halved Lise's recipe since I didn't think I could use it all up before it expired. If you make her full recipe with a friend, you can halve the work and share the goodness. You will need a digital kitchen scale for this, some sort of mold, and a double-boiler or equivalent.

Yield: approximately 3.5oz (100gr)

Step 1:
.8 oz Castor Oil
.8 oz Apricot Oil
6 dried rosebuds (rosa gallica), finely ground

Using a make-shift double-boiler (or a mason jar in a pot of water), gently heat the castor and apricot oils with the finely ground roses for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and do not overheat! If it's too hot to handle... then it's too hot. Remove from heat, wipe the condensation off the outer surface of the jar (or bowl), and set aside.

Step 2:
1.7 oz Cocoa Butter
1.7 oz Coconut Oil
10 drops Palmarosa essential oil (optional)
.7 oz white clay

Using the same set up as in Step 1 (but with a another jar or bowl), melt the cocoa butter slowly over low heat. As soon as it's melted remove from heat and wipe the outside of the jar/bowl. Add the coconut oil and stir until blended. Add the rose-infused oil from Step-1 to the melted butter/oil mixture, followed by the essential oil (if using), and stir well. Now add the white clay and stir thoroughly. Pour half of this mixture into your mold and set the mold in the fridge for a few minutes.

Step 3:
.25 oz French green clay
1 tsp oats, finely ground
1 tsp dried lavender buds, finely ground

While the first layer is chilling, add the green clay, oats, and lavender to the remaining mixture from Step 2 and stir it well. When the first layer in the mold has begun to set up, pour the second layer over the top of it. Carefully put the mold back into the fridge for a few hours (or overnight).

Step 4:
When fully set, pop the cleansing bars out of their mold. Immediately wrap in paper towels and put into a zip-top bag. Remove as much excess air from the bag as you can, zip it closed, then store in the refrigerator. There is no water in this, so as long as it stays dry it doesn't need a preservative.

How To Use:
Fifteen minutes or so before you want to use it, take about a teaspoon or so of the cleansing bar and let it come to room temp. Dampen your face with tepid water, rub the piece of cleansing bar between your hands, then massage it onto your face and neck. You can leave it on for a few minutes as a mask or remove it right away. I like to use a wet washcloth to gently wipe the cleanser off when I'm done. You may, or may not, need additional moisturizer afterward. Let your skin tell you what it needs.

— Steph

Want more detailed info? Check out Lise's Cleansing Bar FAQ

My Notes (including my changes to source recipe): 
  • Halved the quantities of most/all ingredients
  • Used my kitchen scale and rounded up the measurements
  • I ground up the rose buds and left them in
  • Added 10 drops of Palmarosa essential oil (just 'cuz I like it)
  • Didn't have kokum butter so I substituted all cocoa butter instead
  • Used apricot oil instead of almond oil (had both, but my skin likes apricot better)
  • Added 1 tsp ground lavender buds to the 1 tsp of ground oatmeal
  • Used French green clay instead of the pink clay 
  • My bars look like three layers instead of two, because the rose petals sank to the bottom of the molds. A happy surprise!
  • I used a couple different novelty ice cube trays to try out different shapes. I liked the "stick" shape best, as I could easily cut or break off just the right amount each time. Look for an ice mold for use with water bottles if you'd like a similar shape.
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