A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

Pioneerification: Homemade Facewash

As a female that has struggled with skin care her entire life I feel as if I have discovered the elixir of life. I was that teenager. You know, the one with the oily skin and a constant mess of breakouts. Unfortunately adulthood wasn’t the cure everyone promised, my greasy face led to terribly sensitive skin.
I tried everything over the years. Any brand within my price range and even a few outside. I resorted to oral medication. Nothing helped.
So why do I now feel so comfortable wearing no makeup in public?
Clear skin my friends.
My skin care regimen was a chance find. We are always looking for ways to replace pre-packaged products and food with homemade. I’ve already shared our homemade vegetable stock and DIY laundry detergent, which are friendlier to the planet and our bank account. Want soft supple skin on a dime? Try the oil method.
I know what you’re thinking: You can’t wash your face with oil crazy country lady!
Ah, but you can and you should.
The Internet holds dozens of blogs that discuss using the oil method, but these are the combinations that have worked best for us:

  • Normal skin: Equal parts castor oil and avocado oil
  • Oily skin: 2 parts castor oil to 1 part avocado oil
  • Dry skin: 1 part castor oil to 2 parts plant-based oil

If you’re not sure which skin type you have, start with the normal skin formula. As long as you always use castor oil for the base, you can switch out most any plant-based oil for the moisturizing part of the combination. For example, in the winter I like to use flax oil instead of avocado oil since my skin tends to run drier, but flax oil is too much for summer.  If you feel that your moisture content is too little or too high, stick to a ratio and switch out the secondary oil before resorting to a different ratio.

  • Light oils: sunflower, avocado
  • Medium oils: flax, olive
  • Heavy oil: coconut (this will stay mostly solid on the counter, you will have to warm under hot water to turn to liquid)


  1. Combine the oils in a new travel-size empty shampoo bottle and store in a cool dry place.
  2. Shake gently before using. Put a dime-size amount in your hand, then massage into your skin. 
  3. Place a hot wet rag over your face to steam for 1 minute and use rag to gently wipe away excess oil

I usually do this only at night and simply splash water on my face in the shower the next morning. You’re wondering if I’m forgetting something.

Oils you keep in your bathroom and not your pantry.

I’m not. There’s no need for a separate facial moisturizer.
How much does it cost? Castor oil is $2.64 for 6 ounces at the big box stores. Avocado oil is $4 for 8.5 ounces from health food suppliers. So $6.64 for about one year’s worth of face oil.
If you want, you can put a really pretty label on the bottle and let your spouse keep thinking that great skin costs a fortune. Then go buy some new shoes.

So simple.


  1. Laura Prascher

    So, I've seen this method all over Pinterest, but I've been a little hesitant to try it. But since you have tried it and love it, I think I'll have to give it a go 🙂 My skin has been AWFUL lately…thanks for the tips!

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