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Homemade Facial Exfoliator

Updated on August 9, 2017
Frugal Housewife profile image

Amber is a single mom on a fixed income, a couponer, a DIYer, and an accounting student who knows the value of her pennies.

Woe Is My Skin

Oh the woes of my skin. It's almost a hub of it's own.

I have some terrible skin issues. I have this combination oily/dry/flaky skin on my face. I had acne and flakes and cracks all at the same time. It was unbelievable. I tried everything. When I treated the acne, I began to feel like my skin would just flake off. When I treated the flaky dryness, I broke out in acne worse than before. I thought there was no hope, and I was bound to be one of those thirty-somethings with the pimples of a sixteen year old.

By the time I had cracks and splits in the corners of my mouth, nose and eyes I became desperate. I would try anything. Of course I went to the dermatologist and he gave me a steroid treatment, the side effects of which included thinning of the skin, not an ideal long term treatment. I would use them, and my skin would clear up. I would stop and the problem would return. It really was a vicious cycle.

I Heart Science

I am far from a health nut. And I do not have an all natural no toxins home. But I do love to science.

I try to keep an open mind when it comes to buzzwords like "propylene glycol," which is found in many face washes, used in food processing, and other uses like artificial tears and certain IV medications. One could say it has a use in "antifreeze," but a little bit of science and reading will serve one well.

But I Also Love My Money

So what it really comes down to for me, is the bottom line. My money.

Commercial face washes are loaded with fragrances and water. And propylene glycol which can act as an irritant for people with eczema. I have eczema, so this does influence my decision about as much as the money factor.

I prefer a little more "bang for my buck," if you will.

How it Works

I don't know about you, but a wash full of fragrances and water dries my skin out something terrible, so in order to compensate for the dryness, my skin goes into overdrive and produces more oil. The oil makes my skin sticky thus trapping the flakes of dry skin and creating blackheads and pimples and in some cases abscesses. So to fix the problem, I go out and get a stronger wash with even more chemicals and drying agents. And the cycle continues. Spend, spend, spend.

When I first read about spreading oil on my face to rid my acne, I thought the world had gone mad. A little more research reminded me of chemistry class and the theory that oil actually dissolves oil.

My Secret Recipe

  • Coconut Oil
  • Baking Soda
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Tea Tree Oil

I'm going to start off by saying that coconut oil exfoliator smells divine, so I really love using it. The fatty acids in the oil have anti-microbial and disinfecting properties. The triglycerides help to keep your skin moisturized, and this is what helps to give it that fresh, supple look.

I add baking soda to mine because it scrubs the dead skin away without throwing off my skin's natural PH balance, which is another thing the coconut oil helps restore.

Coconut oil naturally contains vitamin E, so adding it is optional. I do it because I live in a dry, harsh climate so my skin craves moisture. I also have a lot of acne scars and premature wrinkles (from my smoking days). Since switching from brand name cleansers to kitchen cleansers, my acne scars have begun to heal, and my wrinkles are disappearing. I used to hide in my house so no one would see the skin on my face in the winter time. These days I get complimented. That's so huge for me.

Tea tree oil is also optional. I have a habit of breaking out right around menstruation time, and the coconut oil just doesn't pack enough punch to keep the breakouts under control. Adding some tea tree oil does take away from pleasant aroma, but it takes care of the acne.


Before You Switch

The most important thing you should know about switching to the oil cleansing method is that you should expect a bit of a breakout for the first month. Your skin's PH is so out of balance that it takes a while for it to adjust. Don't give up, just give it time.

The Cost Breakdown

Here's my favorite part: the savings.

With so many brands and special offers it's hard to average a price. They range from regimes sold by teenage popstars for $35 that last about a month to higher end department store packs that sell for $100 for a month's supply.

A jar of coconut oil retails for $12.50/444ml on Amazon. I used about 60 ml. That's about $1.70.

I used Young Living tea tree oil, the 15 ml bottle was $42.75. I used 2 drops. According to my Young Living Rep, there are approximately 250 drops in a 15 ml bottle, so that's rounded up to $.20 per drop. Maybe they were big drops. I used $.40 in tea tree oil.

Vitamin E oil retails for $12.00/28 ml on Amazon. Let's pretend that we get the same amount of drops in that bottle as we do with Young Living. So I used about $.08 of vitamin E.

I bought Baking Soda at Walmart for $1.28/500 g. I used enough to make a paste. Let's overshoot and say 100 g. Next time I make it I'll actually weigh it out. If that is the case, I used $.26

So I made about a half a cup of facial exfoliating face wash for $2.44. I made it about a month ago.

Has anyone else tried the oil cleansing method? What did you think?


© 2014 Amber Joy

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