How to: Rose Cleansing Putty

If you have a weakness for pink and crave a cleanser that will leave your face beautifully cleansed without feeling the least bit dry, these little beauties are definitely right up your alley!

Creating cleansing putties is becoming a bit of an obsession for me.

Why? Because botanical cleansing putties offer a fabulous base for combining handcrafted herbal tinctures and glycerine extracts into one product, and there are endless fabulous combination possiblilities!

Today, I'm going to show you how I made this modest-sized batch of rose cleansing putties.

Preservative Free with Long Shelf Life

A couple of notes: this is a preservative free formula and will last for at least a month (my batch is still stable at 4 months as I write this), but there's a little hitch.

We are using botanicals that will morph into a more earthy pink color over time, so if you prefer perfectly pink putties, don't make a big batch.

The batch size here is small enough to ensure the putties pack a pink punch until they are all used up.

Vinegar Tinctures

We're using 2 handcrafted vinegar tinctures in these putties. Partly for scent and partly for color. Ok, a lot for color. Check how the hibiscus and rose vinegars look during phase A! Can we get any pinker? I think not!

About the Ingredients

Many of these ingredients are hand crafted by you but if want to start with the basics, you can replace the glycerite with glycerine and replace the vinegar tinctures with any type of vinegar you like, as long as the acetic acid content is between 4% – 5%. Note: you won't get the pink pinkiness or super lovely scent these putties have if you replace the tinctures, but you will still get a great cleansing putty.

You: super lovely scent? With vinegar?!
Me: Yes indeed. Some herbs and botanicals synergise beautifully with vinegar and will both surprise and delight!

Not sure how to make a vinegar tincture? Scroll down for links to a post on making your own vinegar tincture. (alternatively, you'll find a complete section with detailed instruction, batch calculation guides and more in this book)

The surfactant in this formula is a liquid surfactant based on babassu but can be replaced with any other gentle liquid surfactant of choice.

Let's Make Cleansing Putties!

Without further ado, here is my formulation for a 50 gram / 1.76 oz portion.
You only need about 3 grams / 0.11 oz per use, so this batch is enough for about 15 washes.

LisaLise's Rose Cleansing Putty Formula

Phase Ingredient Grams Ounces
A Rose Vinegar 6.5 0.23
A Hibiscus Vinegar 2.00 0.07
A Xanthan Gum 0.25 0.009
B Rose Glycerite 16.25 0.57
B Babassu Surfactant 1.0 0.035
C Rhassoul Clay 4.0 0.14
C Pink Clay 4.0 0.14
C Kaolin Clay 5.0 0.18
C Rose Powder 11.0 0.39


1. Combine phase A ingredients and whisk lightly until the mixture begins to stiffen.
2. Add phase B ingredients and stir until combined
3. Add phase C and work in with a spatula
4. Roll into a sausage shape
5. Roll in powdered rose, then slice into single use portion sizes
6. Store in a PET (or other moisture-proof) jar with lid at room temperature

Storage and Use Tip 

To ensure optimal shelf life, store dry in an airtight container and keep the container moisture free. Remove a putty from the jar before use so there is no risk of adding moisture by grabbing one with wet fingers.

What Happens After 2 Months

The lovely rosy pinkiness you see in the top picture is unfortunately not a forever color. The botanicals (being natural and all), will gradually morph into the more earthy-pinky tone you see below.

It's ok though.

The scent remains unchanged. The putties are still good and still cleanse beautifully, but that shade of kapow pink is unfortunately now a memory.

I know you want to know exactly how long these putties will stay good. So do I. These are still stable at 4 months, but starting to get a little dry and 'rubbery'. I will post an update on the max shelf life of these as soon as my colleague and I have finished our ongoing testing.

Meantime: if you make small portions, store as described and use within a month, you are good to go.

If pink is pivotal to your putties, prepare petite portions.

How to Use a Cleansing Putty

Check this post for a detailed description of how to use a cleansing putty.

Do Tell

Do you get pepped up looking at pink? Does it make you want to choose words with P's to put into your sentences? Please, pop your point of view in the comments!

More About Cleansing Putties

Check this post (and the links at the bottom) for all kinds of cleansing putty fun
How to Make a Vinegar Tincture with Pomegranate (this blog)


Traci said…
Hey Lisa, I am wondering if you can sub out the Babassu Surfactant for the Coco Glucoside that Rebecca has used in one of the original recipes for the cleansing putty?
LisaLise said…
Hi Traci - yes you can! Any mild liquid surfactant can be used. :)
Unknown said…
Hi, Lisa. I just discovered your sit and am in love with it! Does this recipe for cleansing putty require a preservative, or is the vinegar enough to stave off any nasties? Thank you!
LisaLise said…
Hi Unknown - thank you so much for your kind comment! If you follow the formula as is, the putty should be good for at least a month (although, as I write in the post, my own putty is still going strong at 4 months). Enjoy!
Sue said…
Hi LisaLse! I am getting ingredients to make this and can't wait! Can you tell me if there is specific name for the babassu surfactant or is it babassu oil? I'm having a hard time finding it. Thank you!
LisaLise said…
Hi Sue, Thanks for asking! The last time I checked, it looked like babassu surfactant is no longer available (and yes it is a surfactant, not oil). You can replace it with any mild surfactant of choice:: decyl glucoside, coco glucoside or cocoamidopropyl betaine will also work here.
Unknown said…
Love your blog and sharing of knowledge! I was wondering if surfactant can be replaced with 100% Castile soap? Thank you so much in advance!
LisaLise said…
Hi Unknown — I haven’t tried this but zi suppose you could try a small batch and see what you think. Do post back if you give it a try 😃