Aloe Vera Cleanser

Something slightly different this week for a recipe. Make your own cleanser!

When I was about 25 I suddenly got bad skin. I’d had the regular teenage acne but nothing bad…but suddenly, overnight, I got bad skin at the age of 25. I think it was stress based, for various reasons. It got so bad that I had to take medication to sort it, and it sorted it…but I kept getting the odd nasty spot for many years after. In fact, on my wedding day I had a MONSTER spot. Not the ‘ew, I have a spot’ kind of spot but a massive, red, angry spot. Hurrah for foundation, eh?

Everyone loves a good wedding photo, don’t they?

Anyway, shortly after our wedding, I found a great book called The Ultimate Natural Beauty Book by Jo Fairley. It’s basically a book of recipes for making your own skincare and cosmetics. I tried loads of them and had a lot of fun, but this one recipe was incredible and basically cured my skin. From the first time I rubbed it on, I felt my skin healing and I’m not exaggerating. It took a while but it did clear my skin completely!

Now my skin is good again, but I still use it – it smells incredible and is a real pleasure to use. I’ll be honest – the first time you buy the ingredients, it’s not a cheap exercise. But they last for three or four batches of the quantity below, and that lasts me a month or so…so it kind of evens out. For me, at that point, it was a small price for good skin!!

Ingredients. Some pricey, some cheap as chips

In the UK, I got my ingredients at Neal’s Yard Remedies – I haven’t found anywhere yet in the States (anyone local got any recommendations?) so I stocked up when I was in the UK. You can buy from Neal’s Yard in the States as well via mail order.! You need to keep this in the fridge, ideally. It has very little preservative in it, so give it a helping hand. And if you’re pregnant, be wary of essential oils…speak to an expert, not some girl with a blog.


30 ml/1 fl oz aloe vera gel     (60ml is 1/4 cup)

50 ml/2 fl oz olive oil

30 ml/ 1 fl oz rosewater

4 drops rose essential oil

2 drops grapefruit seed extract (or 4 drops tincture of benzoin)

Note: I have NEVER found grapefruit seed extract. It’s basically a natural preservative. On some obscure website, I found another recipe that required it, and gave, as an alternative, twice as much Benzoin Tincture. This is more readily available. So I’ve used 4 drops Benzoin Tincture ever since.


Blend all ingredients together in a food processor and decant into a small, sterilized bottle or container. Shake before use as ingredients often separate, that’s normal.

Looks like custard! Custard that smells of roses.
My classy plastic container. Something glass would be much nicer.

Massage into your dry face and neck and then remove either with a muslin cloth or just plain water.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks awesome! I’ll have to try it 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Hope you like it!

  2. Sade says:

    thanks for sharing! i was wondering, do you keep this in the fridge?

  3. saldiamond says:

    oops i just saw that you said you do refrigerate it. must’ve skipped that line while reading, haha.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yeah, do keep it in the fridge. It’s okay for a few days at room temperature but it doesn’t have preservatives in it so be careful. It’s lovely stuff!

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