Cleanser Caution + A Natural Alternative

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It’s concerning that some well-known products were banned from stores because the ingredients they contained were harmful.

Not only was it proven that they could cause long-term harm, but they were also no more effective than plain soap and water.

Keep reading for the ingredients to look out for, plus a natural alternative cleanser recipe we know you’ll love.

Many of these prohibited products contained triclosan and triclocarban. These are ingredients to watch out for. Triclosan and triclocarban are endocrine disruptors, meaning they interfere with important hormone functions, which can directly affect the brain and our immune and reproductive systems. Contact with these ingredients can also lead to impaired learning and memory, severe allergies, and weaken muscle function. They can also cause permanent damage when the exposure during fetal development, infancy, and childhood take place. [1]

The good news is that there are natural alternatives. For example, thyme has been proven to be a more effective antibacterial agent than chemicals used in many soaps and cleansers. [2]  Additionally, essential oils often contain organisms that fight against bacteria.

Another essential oil that has antibacterial properties is lavender. Lavender is known to soothe and calm the skin while killing bacteria at the same time. Essential oils like rosemary and peppermint are also good antibacterial agents. Other anti-bacterial oils include peppermint, orange, lemon, lemongrass, grapefruit and lime. [3]

Follow these instructions for a natural, purifying cleanser that is beneficial and safe for your skin.


You Will Need:

  • Funnel
  • 5 Tablespoons Aloe vera gel
  • Bottle
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • 1 Tablespoon castile soap
  • 20 – 48 Drops undiluted essential oils of your choice. Be sure to start with less and add more if needed.


To Make:

Using a funnel, add aloe vera gel to a bottle. Shake to break up any chunks. Combine the rest of the ingredients in the bottle. Shake vigorously to mix. Wet your face with warm water (too hot and it can actually work against you). Pour a small dollop on your clean fingers and rub them together. Starting on your forehead, work toward your nose, then out toward your cheeks, and eventually down to your neck. Using a muslin cloth, rinse your face with cooler water to help close pores, and pat dry with a clean, unused towel.


Secret Tips:

If you have dry skin: Skip the castile soap and use an extra tablespoon of almond, castor, or olive oil.

If you have sensitive skin: Only use 20 drops of undiluted essential oils.

The article, “A Cleanser Fit for a Queen” by Mary Banducci originally appeared in Willow and Sage Summer 2017.




Check out our Willow and Sage Botanicals for essential oil options you can use in your cleanser.


NOTE: Always test a small area of your skin first, to check for sensitivity. Please avoid contact with eyes and approach all oils with extreme caution if you have any skin allergies. Please seek professional advice prior to using essential oils while pregnant.


[1] From “The Dirt on Antibacterial Soaps,”

[2] From “Natural Antibacterial Alternatives to Triclosan & Other Toxic Chemicals,”


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Welcome to flourish, a haven for all things homemade bath and body.

By reading flourish, you’re not just taking care of your skin. You’re discovering the importance of loving your skin, and everything in-between. flourish is more than just a blog. It’s our way of encouraging everyone to thrive in a healthy and vigorous way – to empower wellness in all aspects of your day-to-day life.

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