These natural clay cleansing bars are made with nourishing butters, oils, clay, and oatmeal, and are best suited for normal to dry skin.
I started working on this clay cleansing bar recipe a while back, and after quite a few experiments fine-tuning the amount of oils, butters, and clay, I finally settled on a ratio of ingredients that my skin likes.
The recipe is incredibly adaptable and open to a variety of substitutions.
Feel free to use whatever type of clay you like best. Some good gentle choices include rose clay, Cambrian blue clay, and yellow French or yellow Brazilian clay.
If you find that the cleansing bar is not quite right for your skin, you can always chop the finished bar up and melt it down again, adding more clay (for a more drying/cleansing effect), more oats (for exfoliation), more oil (for less drying effect), and/or more butter (for a harder bar.)
How to Make Clay Cleansing Bars
You’ll need a scale to weigh out the ingredients. I use and love a Jennings JSR-200 Scale I bought from Lotion Crafter.
The adorable succulent mold came from Bramble Berry and the 4 oz tins are from Specialty Bottle.
- 40 g (1.41 oz) white kaolin clay
- 18 g (0.6 oz) powdered/ground oats*
- 1 g (1/2 tsp) alfalfa powder (optional, for color & a nutrient boost)
- 30 g (1.06 oz) cocoa butter
- 15 g (0.52 oz) aloe butter (or another soft butter such as shea, avocado)
- 12 g (0.42 oz) oil of your choice ** (I used cucumber seed oil)
- optional – 1 tsp (3.5 g) Phytocide Elderberry OS *** (oil soluble natural preservative)
Yield: one 4-ounce clay cleansing bar (or two 2-ounce bars)
Weigh the cocoa butter, aloe butter, oil of your choice, and alfalfa powder into a heatproof jar or container.
Place the jar down into a small saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double boiler.
Place the pan over a medium-low burner to heat.
Once the butters are melted, thoroughly stir in the Phytocide Elderberry OS, if using.
Next, stir in the clay and powdered oats.
Mix well and remove from heat.
Spoon the hot mixture immediately into a silicone mold, or molds.
To help you get a smoother look in more detailed molds like the one I used, spoon a little bit of the hot clay mixture in the bottom of the mold, then firmly rap the mold against the table to help the mixture settle into all of the crooks and crannies. Repeat this a few times before completely filling to the top.
Place the mold in your refrigerator for a few hours, or until the bar is completely cool and hardened.
Remove and transfer to a tin or other storage container.
* To make your own powdered oats for this recipe, just run regular oats through a coffee grinder until finely powdered.
** Use your favorite carrier oil for this recipe, such as sunflower, jojoba, sweet almond, apricot kernel, sesame, hemp, etc.
*** Phytocide Elderberry OS is a naturally derived preservative that can be used in oil based scrubs and products to help extend shelf life. It’s heat tolerant up to 167°F (75°C), so it can be safely added while everything is still melty and easy to stir.
While this recipe doesn’t contain water & doesn’t need a preservative as is, if you think it might come in contact with water during use, it’s a good idea to add one, as an extra assurance.
If you don’t want to worry about preservatives, you can just cut off small bits from the bar at a time and keep it stored in an airtight container between uses, so it never gets exposed to water.
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How to Use a Clay Cleansing Bar
Butter and oil-based types of clay cleansing bars, like this one, work similar to the oil cleansing method.
- Break a small chunk off of the bar.
- Splash your face with warm water.
- Gently rub the piece of cleansing bar over your damp skin.
- Continue rubbing as it disintegrates over your skin.
- Take a washcloth and run very warm/hot water over it.
- Wring out the washcloth and immediately lay it over your face for a few moments.
- Remove the washcloth.
- Rinse your face using a combination of comfortably warm water and the washcloth until it’s clean.
- Follow with your favorite lotion.
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