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How to Make Your Own Natural Face Cleansers

Updated on February 25, 2013
Making sugar scrub. CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr.
Making sugar scrub. CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr. | Source

Did you know that most store bought face washes, scrubs, and moisturizers aren’t good for your skin? In fact, some of these products can be downright toxic because of the harsh chemicals they contain.

If you take a look at the back of your face products, you’ll probably see a laundry list of unpronounceable ingredients. Why do cleaners and face products need all these ingredients?

The truth is you don’t need a product that was created in a lab and has a dozen or more ingredients to clean your face. Instead, you’re better off using items that come from nature and can usually be found in your kitchen. Your skin will thank you for it.

Comparatively, most natural and DIY cleanser recipes have few ingredients, typically three to five. And, you can easily pronounce the names of all the items you’re adding into the mix. Additionally, these ingredients often infuse moisture and nutrients back into the skin, instead of stripping them away, like store bought cleansers.

Not only are natural face cleansers better for you, but they are also easier on the wallet. The only real drawback is that natural products have a short shelf life, so you have to make them more often.

While coconut oil is great for the skin, it can end up feeling a little greasy. CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr.
While coconut oil is great for the skin, it can end up feeling a little greasy. CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr. | Source

Commonly Used Ingredients

You might be surprised to learn that you can find ingredients to make your own natural face cleansers from items you probably already have. Some common ingredients include:

  • Baking Powder
  • Essential Oils
  • Honey
  • Oatmeal
  • Oil: Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil
  • Salt: Table Salt, Sea Salt
  • Sugar: Brown or White
  • Real Vanilla Extract

Quick and Easy Recipes

Baking Soda Scrub

All you need to make a brightening exfoliator is 1 – 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and a small container. Mix in a small amount of water, just enough to make a paste. Then, wet your face, and rub mixture gently over skin. Rinse and pat dry.

Lemon Honey Mask

For a mask that brightens and exfoliates, squeeze ½ a lemon, then mix in 2 tablespoons of honey until they are mixed together well. Apply to face, let sit for 15 – 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

Oil & Sugar Scrub

This recipe is easy to make in small or large quantities. Simply take an amount of sugar, then cover with oil, and stir together. You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or for a grittier scrub raw / natural sugar. If you want to store it, put it in a container with a lid. It should keep for 3 – 6 months, depending on the environment it’s kept in.


There are lots of natural face cleanser recipes and tutorials online. Here are a few of my favorites. Click on the blue links below to access the recipes.

DIY Natural Cleaners

Homemade Face Wash

This easy DIY face wash recipe uses only 4 ingredients, two of which you already have at home (olive oil and water). You will need to purchase glycerin, which can be foundat most drugstores and some craft stores. This recipe involves the use of a food processor or blender. It keeps for up to one year.

Oatmeal Cleanser

If you want to see the amazing difference that oatmeal can make for your face, then check out this blog post, where one woman’s fight against skin allergies turned into a love of oatmeal. There’s nothing fancy to this cleanser, just take a handful of oatmeal, get it wet with lukewarm water, and scrub onto your face for a minute or more before rinsing. That’s it.

Olive Oil Cleansing Method

Contrary to popular belief, you can use plain old olive oil to cleanse your skin. While it seems counter-intuitive, oil actually dissolves oil, and leaves your skin cleaner than washing with chemical-laden cleansers. Many times you don't even need to moisturize afterwards. This hub, written by me, explores why this works, and teaches you how to clean your face using only olive oil and a warm washcloth.

Face masks often look a little strange, and natural  ones often look even weirder. CC BY 2.0, via Flickr.
Face masks often look a little strange, and natural ones often look even weirder. CC BY 2.0, via Flickr. | Source

DIY Natural Face Masks

Baking Soda and Orange Juice Face Mask

The combination might sound weird, but at least one woman swears by this mask to remove blackheads and fight acne. All with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now. Despite being a super easy recipe, you will need about 20 minutes for it to work its magic.

Berry-Yogurt Mask

Combine berries, lemon, yogurt, and honey to make an antioxidant and vitamin rich mask. Leave on for 10 – 15 minutes, rinse, and pat dry.

Blackhead Removing Peel Off Mask

Not only is this mask easy to make, but it’s fun too. Apply egg whites to your face, then layer with thin tissue. Repeat until you have several layers. Then wait, and peel off. It's kind of like peeling off sun burnt skin. (You know, if you're into that.)

Fresh lotion. CC BY 2.0, via Flickr.
Fresh lotion. CC BY 2.0, via Flickr. | Source

DIY Moisturizer Recipes

DIY Lotion Recipe

If you don’t mind something a little more complicated, try this DIY lotion recipe from Cooke’s Frontier. Note you may have to buy some ingredients online, but it is supposed to be relatively cheap and so worth it.

Easy DIY Lotion

This DIY lotion recipe is easy, only needing 3 – 5 ingredients. It’s also easy to customize, depending on which essential oils you incorporate into the mix.

Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter

With only three ingredients you can make a luscious body butter that might just make you swear off commercial moisturizers. And if the moisturizer doesn’t make you flip, the price might. You can make this recipe for under $2 per jar.

Combine these ingredients to make a scrub. CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr.
Combine these ingredients to make a scrub. CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr. | Source

What is your washing preference?

What type of face cleaner do you use?

See results

DIY Scrub Tutorials

Coffee Scrub

Combine coffee grounds, sugar, olive oil and coconut oil to make this great, energizing scrub. There are several other interesting scrubs on this site, including rosemary lavender, peppermint sugar, and more.

Homemade Sugar Scrub

Combine brown and white sugar and olive oil, and you have this awesome homemade sugar scrub. Guaranteed to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.

Pour Some Brown Sugar On Me Scrub

Just mix a few simple ingredients to get a great body scrub. It smells delicious too. If you don’t have these supplies on hand, they’re easy to obtain at most grocery stores.


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    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      I love making my own facial and body treatments. Thanks for sharing these ideas. I´ll try some of them.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      I love making facial stuff at home. Much cheaper than store-bought formulas. I've used brown sugar and water before, but never thought to mix with oil. That sounds nice! thanks for sharing these great ideas!

    • JulieStrier profile image

      JulieStrier 5 years ago from Apopka, FL

      The sugar scrubs are great, and super easy. I love making them. I just made the coffee scrub the other day, and while it's great, and really helps "wake you up" during a morning shower, the grounds leave the shower bit messy. I like that normal sugar scrubs don't do that. Enjoy your scrub! :D

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      All these suggestions are great. I am going to try to make a sugar scrub. They are usually expensive in the stories when your recipe is so simple.

    • dmvjane profile image

      Jane Katigbak 5 years ago from Philippines

      This hub makes me want to get rid of commercial products and create my own to take care of my face. Voted up!

    • adity5 profile image

      adity5 5 years ago

      Great ideas...Voted up and sharing !!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative and useful for us. I'll show this hub with my mom and my sister. I believe that they'll like your recipe. Good job and thanks for share with us. Voted up!


    • JulieStrier profile image

      JulieStrier 5 years ago from Apopka, FL

      Castile soap can be great, and there are some fantastic recipes that include it. Personally, I find it too drying for my skin, so I tend to stay away. But my husband and friends love it. It's a great alternative to traditional soap. Thanks for reading.

    • sarahshuihan profile image

      Sarah 5 years ago from USA

      Great ideas! I've been using castile soap for about two months and loving that too!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I definitely want to try some of these. I think my skin is feeling the effects of all of the harsh chemicals in my facial products, and I want to see how it reacts to more natural products. Not to mention I like pampering myself, and these are great ideas for that. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the great suggestions. I like the idea of natural ingredients being absorbed into my skin rather than chemicals. When I'm in the kitchen, I'll drizzle a few drops of olive oil on my hands instead of reaching for lotion. It's very effective. Also, a tiny drop of honey rubbed on your lips is a great moisturizer. The kitchen is the place to be for great skin products. Voted up.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago

      hi Julie,

      thanks for showing me how to make my own face cleansers

      what i have been using were cheap and sensitive face cleanser

      that started not work after a while. my skin is very sensitive to

      chemicals due to my lupus so i have to be careful about what i put on it.

      but i shall try the face cleansers that you have included here in your hub.

      thanks, voted up and shared

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 5 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Thank you for this informative hub here. I will try Olive oil cleaning method. The natural way of taking care of skin is very useful compared to the chemical laden ready market products. Votes up and shared :-)

    • JulieStrier profile image

      JulieStrier 5 years ago from Apopka, FL

      That is on my to do list so let me know how it turns out. I personally love the sugar scrubs, especially the coffee scrub. Thanks for reading!

    • Sadika Alloush profile image

      Sadika Alloush 5 years ago from Baja, California

      Thanks for the article. Im going to try the lotion recipe.