A Perfect Facial Cleanser and Affordable Skin Care

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Last updated on April 20th, 2017

A facial cleanser and affordable skin care routine

I finally found a perfect facial cleanser that is concern-free and also very affordable. After I wrote about my favorite skin care products, I have received lots of requests for very affordable safe skin care product recommendations. With price in mind, I came up with a complete skin care routine you can adopt without breaking the bank.


About facial cleansers


Essentially there are two common types of facial cleansers. One type is made with synthetic cleaning agents – aka surfactants. There are numerous surfactants, which typically fall into two categories: those which are found to be toxic and those for which sufficient safety data has yet to be developed. There are very few surfactants that have been studied and found to be safe. So, my general rule of thumb is to try to avoid synthetic surfactants.


The other type of facial cleansers is made with by the process of saponification, where oil is reacted with an alkali (if made correctly, no alkali remains in the final product). This is the traditional way to making soap. The downside of the saponified soap is that it can be drying for the skin. After using only toxin-free products and eating a healthy diet, my skin is normal now. However, I noticed every time I use a saponified cleanser, my skin gets a little dry, which is not a huge deal because I follow up with facial oil.


Both types of these cleansers need preservatives because they contain water, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Lots of preservatives are associated with health concerns. I noticed that some cleanser manufacturers get around that by making what they claim is a preservative-free shampoo. However, as I understand things, FDA regulations prohibit selling preservative-free shampoos, probably because to do so might endanger people – especially people with weakened immune systems. Another option is to make a cleanser with high pH, which prevents bacteria but also can result in the cleanser being too drying for the skin.


That said, here is my affordable skin care routine.


The perfect facial cleanser I found for all types of skin


You might think that a facial cleanser made with 100% oils is only suitable for normal or dry skin. I know that some skin care formulators strongly believe that it is important to use soap-free cleansers on oily skin as the more you dry the skin, the more you motivate skin to produce oil to replenish the loss. That makes sense to me. But as my skin is normal, I can’t attest to this theory. I would love to hear from you guys to see what your experience has been.


Argan Facial Cleansing Oil


Ingredients: *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, *Menthol (Menthol Crystals), Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), *Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, *Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil.
 *= Certified Organic

What I Like: It is certified organic. There are no preservatives. It is packed in a glass bottle. Every time you use it, you will give yourself a spa treatment. I put 2 pumps onto my palm, massage the oil on my face until all my face is covered, use a wet, warm washcloth to remove the oil, dirt, and make-up. If you start with your mascara, turn the cloth over after you are done so you do not rub the mascara into your face. The warmth of your cloth will open the pores and will give you a refreshing feeling like in a spa.

Where to buy: you can find it on Badger’s website or Amazon


Notice that Badger Balm carries also Damascus Rose Cleansing oil, Seabuckthorn Cleansing Oil, and Unscented Cleansing Oil with slightly different prices and skin type formulations.


I like to use terry cloths with this cleansing oil such as these ones

Affordable Facial Oils to Use After Cleansing Oil


Badger Balm carries facial oils in all skin care lines listed above. They range between $14.99 to $16.99 for 1 oz. On Amazon you can find them a little cheaper.


Acure Organics offers a number of certified organic really inexpensive face oils starting at $10.99. I am currently trying Seriously Firming Serum for only $15, which I like, but now that my skin is not dry anymore I find it a little bit heavy. I think it will be perfect for somebody with dry skin.


So I hope you are glad to learn about my perfect facial cleanser and other affordable skin care products. Try them and let me know what you thought. Enjoy!

a perfect facial cleanser and affordable skin care routine



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30 Responses

  1. Lara Baumann

    I love using the oil cleansing method. I usually make my own products but one company I love is Luminance Skin Care. They make great products, have a great philosophy and are affordable.

  2. Marisela C.

    Thank you for keeping budgets in mind and all the research you do. I also use the facial oil cleansing method and though I usually make my own, this is great option because it incorporates oils I usually don’t use. Can you let us know the brand of terry cloths you use ? I tried clicking on the picture but the link failed. Thank again !

  3. Leah

    Irina, I also use the oil cleansing method and Badger products, my husband and I actually use a variety of their products. I really love their story, too. Thanks for making a difference with your research and dedication to safer products. You have made a loyal supporter out of me!

  4. Colleen

    Hi Irina, this post inspired me to try a cleansing oil for the first time. I ordered the Badger Argan Face Cleansing Oil and was surprised and a little disappointed to see that it contains limonene, linalool and citral (label says they’re from the essential oils, and in very small amounts compared to the overall formula). What do you think about these ingredients, and do you think I should chuck this product and find a product that doesn’t contain them? The good news is that I really like the actual experience and results of using a cleansing oil, so I’m a convert!

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Colleen: I am glad you got to try the Badger’s cleansing oil. Is not it amazing? You are right – limonene, linalool and citral are part of essential oils. Some companies choose to list them out separately and some do not. Unless you want to avoid products with essential oils all together, you won’t to be able to avoid them. These substances become problematic when derived synthetically and used in big quantities. ~Irina

      • Colleen

        Thanks, this is good info, and gives me peace of mind! I’ll keep enjoying the oil 🙂

  5. Jillian Westberg

    I bought the Badger Argan Cleansing oil and face oil. I used them both for a couple days and now I have small pimples all over my face. Is that a normal reaction that happens when you switch to OCM or should I stop using the oils? I used the cleansing oil and then the face oil. I also wondered if that was too much oil.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Jillian: I am so sorry that you had a bad reaction. I think it is a good idea to discontinue the use of the products to make sure that these are the products that have caused the pimples, not changes in your diet or health. Have you gone through other changes in your lifestyle recently? You might also want to contact the manufacturer. They probably have more insight into products they make for years. Let us know what happens. ~Irina

  6. Jillian Westberg

    Actually I started using a new tinted moisturizer I found at Whole Foods. Mineral Fusion. Maybe I should quit using both and try the cleanser again when my face clears up.

  7. Barbara B

    How do these oil-based products work on formerly oily skin (not as oily now that I’m older 🙂 ) and large pores?

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Barbara: I was surprised to find out that castor oil has powerful cleansing properties. I have larger pores on my nose and I think the cleansing oil helps close them. I am very happy that I discovered cleansing oil. I believe your skin will benefit from these oil-based products too. After you try them, be sure to let us know what you thought. ~Irina

  8. Lea

    Hi Irina, do you have any recommendations for an exfoliator? I would love to use something natural but I just don’t know what works. Thank you! And thank you for all you do – I’ve recommended your blog many times to others.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Lea: I like Ayurvedic Facial Scrub by Annmarie. By the way, I noticed that today and the next 2 days they are offering 20% storewide. They have other good products, too. ~Irina

  9. Joy

    My second time visiting this site (I didn’t have time to read it all the first time I found it).


    I especially enjoyed your post about BPA – genuinely recommended reading for anyone who goes to the grocery store.

    That said, I continue to be confused as to why you, along with many other self titled non toxic product enthusiasts, continue to hawk products with castor oil. Castor Oil has traditionally been used to grease and clean industrial equipment. It was used for this because human beings wanted no part of it – hence it was abundant and cost effective for use in the industrial community.

    When people are hungry, they eat what they can. In world war 2 it was shoes – and worse. I have never heard or read a story about anyone eating Castor. Have you?

    There is a reason for this:

    When Castor goes rancid, it turns to Ricin – a very dangerous poison.

    When does it go rancid? I will hazard a guess for you if you can tell me this: How do you store it/how was it stored before it reached your home?!?

    Up until recently, no one in the “first world” would dream of knowingly using it on their face. It was the punchline of jokes in a few old Hollywood movies.

    If you cannot eat something, why would you slather it all over your face?

    If you are concerned that corporations treat you and your buying power in less than human ways, why allow yourself to promote products which treat human bodies as if they are “just another piece of equipment” to be “cleaned” in the manner they clean their machines without concern or care for precious life?

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Joy: thank you for being such a passionate consumer advocate. As you can probably relate, it is a world of navigation challenges. I believe Badger uses castor oil for their powerful cleaning properties. Badger is a family owned business that strikes me as a business that tries to do the right thing. I have a feeling that they make sure that castor oil they use is not rancid and they use rosemary extract to prevent rancidity. This is an example of when it is good to see how the skin feel after a product application. I continue loving this product. There are also multiple positive reviews on Amazon. And I did not see any reviews speaking of allergy reactions. By the way, the other skin products I use do not have castor oil: https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/skin-care-products-i-like/. And thank you again for the reminder on castor oil. ~Irina

      • Joy

        In NO WAY am I disparaging Badger as a company. I don’t actually know much about the company, though I have seen the product. I don’t know why a company would choose this oil – but I do suspect the castor sales rep touts the “big 8 allergen free” nature of castor. That said, chlorine is big 8 allergen free as well.

        I point out that only that this oil is substandard and potentially dangerous – adding the “potentially dangerous” part to raise awareness amongst those who do purchase any number of branded products that this oil is not good indefinitely.

        I have no idea as to when or how virtually every “natural” product came to include it. I think it is worth researching but at present I am knee deep in researching how to avoid two common chemicals to which, according to lab results from a team of allergists, I have developed a terrible allergy (contact allergy/patch testing).

        I hold that using something edible is always safer – after all, the oil cleansing method gets very close to our eye and nose and mouth opening. Business is business and it must be cost effective for them. It does not necessarily follow that what is cost effective for them is what is best of our skin.

        In my youth, castor oil was never touted as healthy for anything. The fact that it is not the dreaded peanut or soy or gluten does not make it healthy – and I have never seen a single scientific study which demonstrates a single health benefit from its inclusion in our beauty routines.

  10. Joy

    Hi Irena – I have tried to ask you a few questions over a series of days but my questions are never posted or answered. Shall I chalk this up to another astro turf blog or would you like to make a comment/make your blog accessible to the public?

    • Irina Webb

      Joy: I am sorry for not approving your comment immediately. Sometimes I try to take a few day-vacation and switch my gears from the demands of blogging to preserve my sanity. The reason I manually approve comments is to filter out spam and commercials; however, I do approve all other comments even if they are hurtful. This blog might be one of the very few honest blogs, if not the only one. Most blogs represent businesses or are sponsored by businesses. I have been providing this free service to consumers for over 3 years now. As I always strive to improve, do not hesitate to share your feedback. I would also like to learn more about your journey and your experiences. ~Irina

  11. Joy

    No, it is I who am sorry for jumping the gun – everyone deserves to take time off! Please accept my humble apology. I don’t blame you for filtering – off topic comments are ubiquitous on the net. I am very happy to find a real blog and look forward to your other posts.

  12. Irina Webb

    Hi Julia: I prefer saponified soap-based cleansers and organic oil-based makeup removers. What are you looking for in a cleanser so I can understand what would work for you? Do you have any allergies? ~Irina

    • Julia E

      I have combination skin w/ enlarged pores and want something that really cleans and balances. I do use a balancing oil by Haushka, which is great, but have not found a great cleanser… Thanks!!!

      • Irina Webb

        Julia, what do you think about this cleanser? I have been using it and loving it. There is nothing harmful in it, and there is sufficient preservation system so there is no risk of bacteria contamination unlike with many others. You probably know that but I recently realized that a cleanser and a makeup remover are two different things. If your cleanser removes all your makeup that means it is too harsh for your skin. So to remove mascara I use oil before I use this cleanser. Oh, they run 25% off right now storewide so it is a great time to try their products. Look in the drop down menu and you will see that some products have travel sizes available. Let me know what you think about this product. ~Irina

        • Julia E

          Thanks, Irina! I’ll def give it a try. What oil do you use to remove makeup?

        • Julia E

          I wanted to let you know that I tried the Badger Argan Facial Cleansing Oil and I love it!! Affordable and awesome. Thank you!!
          I do use by Valenti bar shampoo on my son per your recommendation as well and love it too!
          So glad to have your website as a resource!! Keep up the great work!

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