Castile Soap Benefits for Hair and Skin | Clean Beauty’s Best-Kept Secret

Benefits of Castile Soap

Castile soap has been making waves in the DIY beauty realm. And that’s great! One of my favorite castile soap benefits for hair and skin care is that it can save you some major cash in your clean beauty routine.

But one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that no one mentions that you can use castile soap very wrong, very easily. A bad run-in with castile soap can make or break you when first starting your clean beauty switch. It almost broke me. 

If you have yet to dive into the lovely uses of castile soap, or if you’re having issues with this popular natural ingredient, you’re in the right place. Read on to see the benefits of castile soap if used the right way in hair and skin care! 

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What is Pure Castile Soap?

Castile soap is made of two ingredients: Olive oil and lye, or sodium hydroxide. That’s it. Both of these ingredients are completely natural and non-toxic. Some companies also use hemp or jojoba oils, and that’s okay too. It really depends on your personal preferences. You can still reap the castile soap benefits for hair and skin just fine!

Historians think that castile soap first got its start in ancient times in the Meditereann. However, there may be evidence to suggest that even the Egyptians used castile soap. Regardless, this simple soap has been around for about a millennium, and people still use and love it today. 

Of course, castile soap can be made of more ingredients than lye and olive oil. Essential oils are often added to give scent and an extra boost. This extra boost can range from antibacterial to extra moisture to aromatherapy. But what are these amazing castile soap benefits for hair and skin? I’m going to tell you all of the real benefits that won’t give you a headache later.


What Are the Benefits of Using Castile Soap?

Why is this soap better than the other soaps we have today? There are lots of reasons! Despite its simple ingredient list, castile soap is a pretty powerful force in clean beauty. 

  • Castile soap is great for sensitive skin. With only two ingredients that have been proven to help nourish skin, you won’t have to worry about a thing. If your skin seems to hate just about any soap out there, castile soap is a great option for you to try. 
  • It has great antibacterial properties. Does castile soap kill bacteria? You bet it does! The antibacterial properties of olive oil mixed with the lye makes a great germ fighter! A study even proved that castile soap is effective at healing wounds almost as well as a saline solution. 
  • It’s effective at anti-aging. Olive oil is rich in vitamins A and E, which help keep skin’s elasticity. This will help keep degeneration of your skin at bay, thus making your skin look younger for longer. 
  • Anti-inflammatory power comparable to ibuprofen. Olive oil has a highly anti-inflammatory compound in it called oleocanthal. This gives castile soap the ability to soothe most skin conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, and others. 

All of these benefits make for a great soap that’s been around for perhaps thousands of years. But how should we use it today? Did you also notice that the castile soap benefits for hair were non-existent? That’s some foreshadowing for later. 

Dr. Bronner’s, The Best Castile Soap Company

Like any market, there are some good and some bad castile soap companies. You want to stay away from companies that have ingredient lists larger than three or four things. In other words, if it has stuff other than an olive (or hemp or jojoba) oil base, lye, plant extracts, and some optional essential oils, run far, far away! You should especially keep an eye out for ingredients like “fragrance” and sulfates.

What is the best company for pure, quality castile soap? This is obviously an opinion, but I think most people will agree that Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap is top notch! 

Dr. Bronner’s has one of the simplest ingredient lists that I’ve come across in my clean beauty journey. And all of their ingredients are 100% organic, which is a double score! If you’ve ever come across a recipe for any kind of DIY beauty product that could involve castile soap, you’ve probably come across Dr. Bronner’s. 

You can get both soap bars and liquid castile soap from Dr. Bronner’s at a pretty good price. One of their 32 oz bottles can last me years! You can get Dr. Bronner’s castile soap in unscented, almond, eucalyptus, citrus, lavender, peppermint, rose, and tea tree.

If you’re wondering which one you should get, that’s totally up to you! It just depends on what you’re making and your own personal preference. You can get liquid soap in just about any size, from small TSA-approved bottles to 1-gallon jugs!  

Is Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap Good for Hair?

That highly depends on the environmental factors of your water. If you have hard water, then I would steer clear of using it on your hair. If you have soft water, you might stand a chance. But I personally think using castile soap on hair isn’t a good idea. I’ll go more in-depth on why that is in a few paragraphs.

Castile soap on color-treated hair is an even worse idea, because it can be a bit harsh and strip your hair of its natural oils (and expensive hair dye) while leaving behind its greasy film. I’ve had that staticky, greasy castile soap hair before and it’s not fun!

But there are plenty of other beauty products you can make with castile soap! I would recommend you get an unscented 32 oz bottle, because you can customize the smell however you want with your own essential oils. Or you can get a smaller size of a particular scent for a project. Like a 2 oz bottle of tea tree castile soap for some DIY body wash!

Dr. Bronner’s also makes a lot of beauty products using their castile soap. They’re one of the few brands that I know I can trust without having to do extensive research on the ingredients! You can get shaving cream, hair styling cream, lotion, even toothpaste!

My Experience with Castile Soap

Have you ever used castile soap on your hair, only to feel a thick, greasy film afterwards? Yeah, I had that happen to me for a while. At first, I thought that it was just a part of transitioning to a nontoxic haircare routine, but that wasn’t the case at all. 

When I first started my journey with clean beauty, I was determined to make my own shampoo. I somehow had it stuck in my head that all store-bought shampoo was the devil and making my own was the only solution. 

So I found two different kinds of DIY shampoo recipes online that seemed pretty easy to make. One was only baking soda and water on my roots, and the other was diluted castile soap. I quickly learned that I shouldn’t wash my hair with baking soda on a regular basis, so I learned how to dilute castile soap for shampoo. 

I found some rose-scented castile soap (my favorite smell!) and put one tablespoon of it in a squeeze bottle to dilute it. I washed my hair normally, and everything seemed fine. Until my hair dried. My hair felt so waxy and weighed-down that it looked like I hadn’t washed it at all!

I thought that my hair wasn’t clarified enough from my old chemical-laden shampoo, so I tried to combat this with apple cider vinegar rinses, and the problem still persisted. I became so beat down from it all that I almost gave up on going all natural altogether. 

The Ultimate Key for Good Castile Soap Uses

After a bit more research, I found out that castile soap can react to the minerals in hard water and leave a waxy, greasy film behind. My poor hair was not to blame at all! I live in an area with pretty hard water (most people do), so that was my greasy hair culprit. There should really be some castile soap warnings on the label for that.

After a little inner turmoil, I decided to find an all-natural shampoo that I could buy from the store. Lo and behold, there were plenty of options! The first shampoo I ever decided to buy was from an online store called Just Nutritive. I have a Just Nutritive hair care review to see how they can help you too. 

So to sum up, if you have hard water, then you need to be careful how you use castile soap. Hard water is a DIY beauty lover’s enemy. But there are ways to make it easier, or even eliminate the problem altogether. 

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Invest in a Water Filter

Depending on where you live, you might have really soft water. And that’s great for homemade castile soap shampoo! Sadly, this isn’t the case for most of us.

One thing that works for some is to invest in a shower head filter. Or even a water filter for the whole house if you can afford it. My parents got a reverse osmosis filter for their house, and their water quality is much better!

A shower head filter will take most of the minerals out of the water that reacts with the castile soap. And I do mean most of the minerals. Depending on the level of water hardness, there still might be some remnants left over and thus create that annoying greasy film. I still got a greasy film on my hair even after my parents got reverse osmosis water. 

In most cases, you can wash your hair with castile soap if you have a shower filter for a certain period of time. I’ve read that you can go for a week or two until the greasy film slowly builds up on your hair. Then you’ll have to clarify and start the cycle all over again. It’s something no one has time for.

If you’re determined to make your own shampoo by using castile soap for hair growth, then you could scrape by with a filter if it seems like it’s working. But please be very careful with this. If it seems like your hair doesn’t like castile soap after a week or so, stop immediately before you ruin your hair and all that precious hair growth progress. 

Don’t Use Castile Soap on Your Hair!

Out of all the things you should not use castile soap on, your hair is definitely my number one. Castile soap hair damage is a very real thing! As for the rest of your beauty products, it’s really up to you.

There’s nothing to use but common sense for the rest of it. If you don’t want a greasy film on something, don’t use it. Or, if you can mix filtered water with it, then great! There are plenty of other castile soap DIY’s that you can get away with. 

I use castile soap in DIY beauty recipes all the time with no issues! You just have to make sure that things are a certain way for them to work properly. Castile soap is unfortunately a little finicky, but it’s an amazing clean beauty asset when used properly. 

Castile Soap Uses for Beauty Products

Despite my affinity for using castile soap as shampoo, there are still some great beauty uses for it! Castile soap is an excellent option for anything that you want to clean without irritation.

I learned how to use castile soap as a face wash, makeup remover, body wash and hand soap. Just use soap and water as a base, and put in some add-ons to maintain skin health. 

And if you’re feeling fancy, you can even get a foaming soap container for foamed soap instead of regular! I love to use this for seasonal hand soaps that I make every year. 

There are just a couple of things to remember when using castile soap in beauty to avoid any adverse reactions on your skin. Don’t worry, they’re pretty easy and simple.


Keep an Eye on Your Moisturizer

One thing I’ve noticed if I use castile soap alone on my skin is it feels pretty dry after. Especially if I used it multiple times, e.g., washing my hands a few times over the course of an hour. Because of this, I don’t recommend Dr. Bronner’s hand soap dispensers. The dispensers themselves are also wasteful.  

The same goes for using castile soap anywhere else on your body. You might not feel too dry, but your skin will be just a little bit thirsty after. But there’s an easy fix for this. Just add some kind of moisturizing agent to your castile soap!

For hand soap and body wash, I highly recommend adding raw honey. I know, it might sound crazy, but honey is both moisturizing and antibacterial. Your skin will be both hydrated and clean after using your own hand soap or body wash! I even made my own decadent pumpkin spice hand and body wash using this method. 

As for makeup remover and face wash, I recommend adding a carrier oil that mimics your skin’s oil. Almond oil and jojoba oil from Rocky Mountain Oils work great for this. If you’ve never heard of RMO, I wrote an in-depth review of Rocky Mountain Oils that details everything. 

moisturizing jojoba oil

Just add a tablespoon of carrier oil to a cup of castile soap, and shake, shake, shake! Wash your face like normal, taking care to rub gently where there’s makeup. Then rinse and pat dry. Your skin will be clear of all bacteria that cause breakouts, and you might not need moisturizer after. 

Some Final Thoughts on How to Use Castile Soap the Right Way

Castile soap can be great for DIY beauty, but if you don’t use it the right way, you’ll end up with a greasy mess. This is because the minerals in your water react with the soap that leaves behind a waxy, greasy film. And this is terrible on your hair!

I highly recommend finding a company that you trust for shampoo and conditioner. I still use and love Just Nutritive, the first company that I found when I switched to clean beauty. 

Sometimes a shower filter helps, but not always. Because of this, I don’t recommend using homemade castile soap shampoo. However, you can also use it in face and body wash and makeup remover!

Just make sure that you have a moisturizing agent when using it on your body, because castile soap can be very drying. I love to put honey in my body wash, or I put jojoba oil in my face wash and makeup remover. Click here to get the best quality essential oils from Rocky Mountain oils!

Feel free to have your own experiment with how to use castile soap! My only goal is to shorten your learning curve. And when in doubt, if you don’t want a greasy film, just don’t use it. There are plenty of other options besides using castile soap in everything. 

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