How to make a simple skin cleanser to calm sensitive skin

Oct 29, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. ET
Image: Michael K/Getty Images

I have had some serious skin issues during my lifetime and especially during the cold months. From severe breakouts due to product irritation, to wind burn (thanks Chicago hawk), my skin has suffered.

I went to Whole Foods in search of something gentle because my face literally felt like it was on fire. My skin was raw and dry. I searched in the baby aisle for a gentle cleanser with absolutely no luck. The ingredients in the baby products were just as harsh and unpronounceable, so I passed in fear of having another let down. I grabbed a bottle of Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Magic Soap and headed towards the skin treatment section in hopes I'd find a magic cream. Still, no such luck. So, I asked a saleswoman. She was great. She suggested I make my own cleanser. I've made things in the past, but never a facial cleanser.

Here is what I suggest for anyone experiencing upset skin:

Our unscented baby soap contains no fragrance, so it is great for people who have allergies or sensitive skin. Of course, it is great for babies as well. All oils and essential oils are certified organic by the National Organic Standards Program. And they are packaged in 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Ingredients: Water, organic coconut oil*, potassium hydroxide**, organic olive oil*, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, citric acid, tocopherol

  • I used aloe vera because it is naturally calming for scars and burns.

I cut the leaf of an Aloe vera plant and take the gel from it — about half a teaspoonful. It is safe for putting on any scrape, wound, bite, burn, acne, stretch marks, scars or damaged skin. Aloe vera is a natural astringent perfect for applying to clean washed skin to tighten and regenerate the cells.

Jojoba is safe to use directly on your skin.
It moisturizes skin without leaving any oily residue.
It effectively cleanses clogged pores.

Here is what I do:

  1. I wash twice daily with the Aloe vera and magic soap mixed in the palm of my hand.
  2. Next, I rinse my face with warm water.
  3. Finally, I moisturize with a drop of aloe vera from the leaf (a little goes a long way) and seal in the moisture with the jojoba oil.

I felt immediate relief and saw improvement. My skin no longer burned, and the black marks from the wind burn began to disappear. My skin is not flaky from the gel, nor oily from the jojoba oil. In fact, my skin is extra soft and my dry/oily combination skin is balanced. Jojoba oil is the best oil you can use on your skin because it is similar to the oil your skin naturally produces.

If you are suffering from breakouts, it is important to check the ingredients in the products you are using. I quickly discovered that I have an allergy to talc and mica, which is commonly used in foundations, eyeshadows and press powders.

For the winter weather that will soon approach us, it is important to keep your skin moisturized and covered from the harsh elements.