NOTE: This article has multiple DIY: Natural Recipes for Facial Cleansers, Soaps, Scrubs. To make it easier to navigate, use the Table of Contents button to your right!

Facial Cleansers/Soaps

Clear Soap (like Neutrogena) Recipe

  • 1 cup tallow
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup glycerine
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 TBSP lye flakes
  • yellow food coloring (preference)

Melt tallow and coconut oil, as previously described. Cool to lukewarm, by “floating” pan of oil in a tepid water bath. Stir lye into cold soft water. Cool to lukewarm. Pour lye into fat, stirring to emulsify. When creamy, add glycerin.

Pour into mold greased with petroleum jelly. After three days, grate soap into the top of a double boiler. Begin to heat over gently boiling water. Add alcohol and stir constantly. When the liquid is transparent, lift the spoon. If a ropy thread forms, remove from heat. If a skim forms immediately upon removing from heat, pour into molds. Unmold after a few days and stack to air cure for 2 weeks.

Thyme and Fennel Cleanser

You’ll need:

  • 2 sprigs fresh Thyme or 1/2 Tbsp. dried
  • 2 teaspoons Fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 fresh Lemon

Place the Thyme and Fennel seed in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Squeeze the half Lemon into the bowl and steep all for 15-20 minutes. Strain, and pour into a jar. Use a cotton pad or cotton ball to cleanse your face daily. Store in the refrigerator. This is gentle so it’s good for normal to slightly dry skin.

Coconut Cleansing Cream

  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Glycerin
  • 2 teaspoons water

Melt ingredients together over very low heat until liquid. Remove from heat. Beat as the mixture cools to emulsify. Store in an airtight jar and keep in the refrigerator since Coconut Oil has a very low melting point. After use, follow with an astringent.

Natural MakeUp Removers

1) Apply milk or plain yogurt to face with a cotton ball, then rinse.

2) Eye Makeup Remover

  • 1 Tbsp castor oil
  • 1 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 tsp Canola oil

Blend all ingredients together. Apply with tissue or cotton ball to remove makeup on and around the eyes.

Lavender Cleansing Lotion

For all skin types, even oily.

  • 95 ml Grapeseed oil
  • 5 ml Wheatgerm oil (natural preservative, high in Vitamin E)
  • 100 ml Chamomile and St. John's Wort infused filtered water
  • 1/4 oz Grated Beeswax
  • 1/2 tsp Borax Powder
  • 8 drops Lavender essential oil

Buy some Chamomile and St. John's Wort herbal tea bags (organic). Pour about 1/2 pint of recently boiled filtered water over the tea bags in a large heatproof bowl. Leave until cold, remove tea bags and put water to one side.

Melt the beeswax and grapeseed oil in a heatproof bowl over a small pan of water, at a medium heat. Meanwhile dissolve borax in the water in a pan over a low heat, when dissolved, put to one side. When beeswax has melted, remove from heat and cool slightly. Whisk in water, drop by drop, until mixed. Whisk in wheatgerm oil, when cool whisk in lavender. It should be a creamy colored lotion.

Pour into a glass jar and store in a cool dark place. Can be used as a moisturizer as well, the rest of the water can be used as a toner.

Gently massage around eye area, neck and face, using upwards strokes. Remove with a piece of organic unbleached muslin. Soak in warm/hot water, remove cleanser, repeat, then soak in cold water and remove.

How to Make Earth Clay Soap

This soap helps remove oils and impurities from the skin.


  • 4 oz soap base (preferable organic) or soap flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Clay (see below for clay types)
  • 2 Tablespoons Jojoba Oil
  • 1 tsp of Charcoal powder (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup Distilled Water
  • Optional colorant and scent

How to Make Clay Soap

Be sure to mix the clay separately. I put the tablespoon of clay in a dish and spoon a small amount of the melted soap and mix it into a paste, then add it to the soap. This eliminates lumps of clay and makes a nice smooth soap.

  1. Melt down the soap and water in a double boiler.
  2. Once the soap is melted, stir through the remaining ingredients and add any scent or color.
  3. Then pour the mix into soap molds.

Best Clay for Skin Types

Calendula Facial Cleansing Milk Recipe

Pot marigolds, also called Calendula flowers, are blooming in many gardens at this time of year and their petals make a wonderful cleansing milk that will help to heal and nourish your skin. (If you don’t have Calendula growing in your yard, you can buy the dried flowers inexpensively online.)

Calendula is a powerful all-purpose skin-helper, since it is highly emollient, Antibacterial, Antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. This cleansing milk is a healing addition to your beauty routine.

  • 4 tablespoons Avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Calendula flowers or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons Aloe Vera gel
  • 25 drops Grapefruit seed extract

In a double boiler over very low heat, heat the oil and Calendula flowers together for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain out the flowers and discard them. Stir the Aloe Vera and the Grapefruit seed extract into the cooled oil, mixing well to combine.

Scoop some of the milk onto your fingers and massage gently into skin. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Cleanser for Dry, Sensitive and Mature Skin

This recipe is based on the original Galen's Cold Cream, which is thousands of years old. This rich cream sets firm, but liquefies on contact with the natural warmth of the skin. Galen's Cold Cream is a good cleansing cream for mature, sensitive and dry skins, with the benefit of containing Rose Essential Oil.

  • 1/2 oz (6 g) of beeswax or beeswax pellets
  • 2 heat-resistant glass bowls
  • A pan of hot water
  • 4 fl oz (120 ml) of sweet almond oil
  • 2 1/4 fl oz (60 ml) of rose water
  • A hand whisk or electric beater with a low setting
  • 10 drops of Rose
  • A large glass jar

1. Melt the beeswax, or beeswax pellets, in one of the glass bowls, placed inside a pan of hot water over a gentle heat. Stir in the sweet almond oil and warm thoroughly.

2. Heat the rose water in the other bowl, until the contents of both bowls are thoroughly warmed.

3. Now add the rose water, drop by drop, into the oils, beating steadily all the time-just like making mayonnaise.

4. Once all the flower water has been beaten into the oils, remove the pan from the heat, stirring until the mixture has cooled. Then add the Rose Essential Oil, mixing it int thoroughly, and pour into the glass jar.

Gentle Honey Skin Cleanser Recipe

Honey gently softens and cleanses the skin. This is a mild cleanser that works well for dry skin types. It is wonderful, leaving your skin so soft and moist! Its not at all sticky and can be used as either a facial cleanser or bath gel. I fill empty honey squeeze bottles with this cleanser. Makes a nice gift.

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon liquid castille soap
  • 1/4 cup glycerine
  • 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix together all ingredients and pour into a clean squeezy bottle. Remember to use non breakable containers if you are going to be using it in the tub or shower.

DIY Simple, Safe Skin Cleansers

By Annie B. Bond, author of Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers, 1999).

The press about personal care products is pretty bad, and with good reason: many products are loaded with endocrine disrupting chemicals. Even The New York Times jumped on the bandwagon with an expert recommending we cut back to two or three personal care products. What to use? Here are some simple, safe skin cleansers that are easy to make!

Here are five tried and true natural cleaners for your skin that use healing ingredients. These simple, homemade formulas cost pennies compared to commercial equivalents, except for making your own Soap, or buying homemade Soap, which is expensive yet worth it because the Soap lasts a very long time and it is so emollient.

Homemade Soap is incredibly creamy and not drying at all because it holds all the Glycerin, which Soap manufacturers remove. You can make your own (search for a good recipe on the internet), or buy it at natural food stores.

Basic Cleansing Oil Formula

The shelf life of this formula is as long the oil doesn’t smell rancid, which could be a couple of months, or longer if you use Olive Oil.

  • 1 ounce Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 ounce vegetable oil of choice
  • 6 drops Antibacterial Essential Oil, such as Rosemary or Lavender

Combine in a jar, and stir to blend. Dab a bit onto your fingertips and massage onto your face. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Fruit AHA Cleanser

Just make enough of this formula for one washing, or refrigerate up to one week.

1/4 cup juice or fruit pulp of strawberries, blackberries, grapes, citrus (such as Lemon juice), or tomatoes

Dab juice on your fingers and massage onto your face. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Basic Cleansing Water

Much easier on your face than Soap, yet with the ability to cut grease, the shelf life of this formula is indefinite.

  • 1/2 ounce grated Soap or a liquid castile Soap
  • 1 cup water

Blend ingredients in a jar. Soak overnight if needed to dissolve the Soap. Shake to blend. Dab some of the mixture on your fingers and massage onto your face. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Witch Hazel Cleanser

I actually have a Witch Hazel tree on my land! The sap is quite a cleanser and astringent.

2 teaspoons Witch Hazel extract

Dab onto your face with a cotton ball or washcloth. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. The shelf life of Witch Hazel is indefinite.

Avocado Facial Cleanser Recipe for Dry Skin

For a terrific and natural facial cleanser, beat the yolk of an egg until it is light and frothy, add a half cup of milk and the mashed half of a ripe peeled Avocado. A blender is handy here, but if you don't have one, beat the facial cleanser mixture with a fork until you have a thin cream or lotion-like consistency. Apply on squares of cotton as you would any other facial cleanser.

You may also use this deep facial cleanser after ordinary Soap and water, if your skin is normal. It's quite effective against pollution and grime. This natural facial cleanser  is a very pure method of keeping your complexion free of pollutants which can interfere with normal skin function.

Since the facial cleanser formula is perishable, we suggest making it every other day and storing it in the refrigerator between uses.

Yogurt, Chamomile Cleansing Milk Recipe

This is a great cleanser for dry to normal skin.  The lemon juice is a natural astringent.  Mixed with the yogurt it will help restore the skin pH levels.

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 drops chamomile essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Mix the ingredients together.  Pour a small amount into your hand.  Massage your face with cleanser, then rinse.  Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.  It will last up to 10 days.

Facial Steams

How to Prepare Herbal Face Steams – Deep Pore Cleanser

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 handful any herbs*
  • Juice and peel of 1/2 lemon

Bring water to a boil. Add juice and peel of Lemon and herbs. Turn off the heat and take the pot to a table. Cover your hair with a shower cap or towel and drape another towel over your head and the pot, holding your face about 10 inches above the water. Keep your eyes closed and let the steam do its magic cleansing for about 15 minutes. Afterward, rinse with COLD water to close the pores.

* Use any herbs you have available: Rosemary, Thyme, Mint, Marjoram, Basil, Parsley, Cloves, caraway, Anise or Fennel seeds, chamomile, Lavender or elder flowers.

Additional Facial Cleansing Steams

For Oily Skin:

Herbs needed:

  • Comfrey.
  • Fennel.
  • Geranium Leaves.
  • Horsetail.
  • Lavender.
  • Nettles.
  • Sage.
  • Peppermint .

Try to use all the herbs listed; use up to two tablespoons of each for your facial steam.

For Dry, Sensitive Skin:

Herbs Needed.

  • Borage.
  • Houseleek.
  • Sorrel.
  • Parsley.
  • Salad Burnet.
  • Ladys Mantle.

Once again try to use all the herbs listed.

How to prepare your steam:

Cleanse and wash your face as normal leaving the skin moist. Put your selected herbs in a non-metal basin and pour over two liters of boiling water. Stir the herbs well with a wooden spoon. Tie your hair back. Now hold your face at least 20cm away from the water and trap the steam with a towel over your head. Keep your eyes closed and let the steam do the work for 10 minutes.

When you've finished close the pores with cold water, and stay indoors for a couple of hours, also if you have any blackheads or whiteheads now is the time to squeeze them. Note people with sensitive skin should keep their faces 45cm from the water. Don't use this method if you have thread veins or asthma.

Deep Moisturizing Steam Facial

  • 3 d. sandalwood oil
  • 2 d. rose oil
  • in a bowl of hot water

Bring water to a boil. Add essential oils. Turn off the heat and take the pot to a table. Cover your hair with a shower cap or towel, and drape another towel over your head and the pot, holding your face about 10 inches above the water.

Keep your eyes closed and let the steam do its work for about 15 minutes. Afterward, rinse with cold water to close the pores. Good for normal and combination skin.

Chamomile Steaming Face Cleanser

  • 1 teaspoon chamomile leaves
  • 4 cups boiling water

Mix in a heatproof bowl. Hold face 10 inches from water for 8 minutes; follow with a tightening mask.

Quick Teabag Steam Cleansing

Adapted from 365 Simple Pleasures, collected by Susannah Seton (Conari Press, 2001).

This quick recipe for facial success is perfect for all of us who want the deep skin-nourishing benefits of a steam facial but who don't have a lot of time to fiddle with preparing one.

  • 1 Chamomile teabag
  • 1 Peppermint teabag
  • 3 cups boiling water

1. Place the teabags in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow to steep 2 minutes.

2. Place a clean towel over your head and the bowl, being sure to keep your face at least 8 inches away from the surface of the water.

3. Steam 10 minutes.

Facial Scrub Recipes

Pink Grapefruit & Sugar Skin-Cleansing, Softening Scrub

This is great and makes your skin feel so soft. It cleans and moisturizes … it's definitely pampering par-excellence.

  • 1-1/2 cups cane sugar (white)
  • 8 drops pink grapefruit essential oil
  • 1/4 cup jojoba oil
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap

1. Place sugar into a large bowl and stir to break up any clumps. (You can also use brown sugar, but you won't be able to add a pink color. (See step 2.)

2. Add the essential oil, which is fresh, will impart a light pink tint. (You can add about 4 drops of food coloring at this point if you want more color.) Mix very well to make sure the color is evenly disperse and there are no lumps.

3. Add the jojoba oil and Castile soap next, a little at a time, stirring a bit after each addition.

4. Mix well and the pour into a squeeze tube or plastic bottle. You might want to allow the mixture to stand for a few hours before using so the ingredients can “mellow together”.

5. To use, stand in the tub or shower and massage the sugar scrub onto your skin from head to toe. Be especially careful not to slip … because the oil in the scrub is slippery in the tub. You may want to use a towel or rubber mat to help prevent slipping.

Pumpkin, Sugar, and Spice Scrub

  • 1/2 cup cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Stand in a tub or shower stall and use a damp washcloth to scoop some of the mixture up. Apply to body, starting with your feet and working your way up, but avoiding your face. Scrub gently using circular motions. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Easy Sugar Scrubs

You’ll need a small to medium jar, white or brown sugar to fill it near the top, and enough oil to add so the mixture is moist. You can use olive, sweet Almond, or vegetable oil. At this point you can add a 1/2 tsp. of an essential oil or blend of oils. Lavender, Rose Geranium, or Rose mixed with Rosemary, Lemon or Orange is nice.

If you mix oils they should all total about 1/2 tsp.–not a 1/2 tsp. each. Mix all with a spoon in the jar, cover with the lid and allow to sit at least overnight. The mixture should look “oily” and moistened. If it doesn’t, add more oil.

To use: Scoop a small amount on to your hand and rub your hands and fingers gently with the scrub, not too hard. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. This leaves your hands soft, and is great after gardening!

Honey Cleansing Scrub Recipe

Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 2 tablespoons finely ground almonds and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.

Rub gently onto face. Rinse off with warm water.

Facial Fix-Up Exfoliating Recipe

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal powder
  • 1/2 cup bran
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon zinc oxide

Mix all together into a paste with water. Massage on face; rinse off. This recipe is both exfoliating and healing to skin.

Cornmeal Facial Scrub

Very good for oily skin!

  • 2 tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. plain yogurt or buttermilk

Place cornmeal in bowl. Mix Lemon juice and yogurt or buttermilk to make a paste. Let sit for 5 minutes. Gently massage paste into face for 5 minutes. Avoid eye area. Rinse well with warm water. Pat dry. Tone. Moisturize.

DIY Exfoliator for Sensitive Skin

Inspired by Feel Fabulous Today!, by Stephanie Tourles (Storey Books, 2001).

Winter can make our skin feel like something from the reptile house: rough, dry, aged, and scaly. But some sloughing formulas are so harsh that you end up with reddened and painful skin. Then we found this wonderfully simple formula, effective enough for all-over body use, but gentle enough for your face. Now we can welcome spring with fresh, soft, happy skin:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • Heavy cream or half-and-half, as needed

1. In a blender, food processor, or spice grinder, grind oats and sunflower seeds until fine.

2. Place ground oats and seeds in a bowl and add enough cream to make a spreadable paste, stirring thoroughly to combine.

3. Standing in your tub or shower, apply the paste to your body with circular strokes, paying special attention to your driest areas, and including your face.

4. After about 5 minutes, rinse thoroughly and shower or bathe as usual, or simply apply your usual moisturizer.

Oatmeal-Honey Scrubbing Cream

  • 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground almonds

Combine all ingredients in a glass or enamel bowl. To use, wet a clean washcloth with very warm water and lay it on your face for a minute OR first steam your face with an herbal vinegar. Apply the oatmeal mixture to your face, being careful to avoid the sensitive area around your eyes. Let mixture dry on your skin completely.

If your skin is young and firm, you can gently rub the dried mixture off with a clean terry washcloth or towel. Lean over the sink and rub your face in brisk, but gentle, circles with the cloth. Rinse with warm water, pat dry, and apply a fresh facial cream.

Nutty Scrub for Dry Skin

This facial scrub is designed especially for dry, neglected skin that is peeling as a result of exposure to harsh environmental conditions, and just needs a bit of pampering to replenish some of the oils and moisture.

  • 1 ounce almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons honey powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  toasted wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons jojoba oil
  • 1/2 ounce  sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (more if needed) rose hydrosol

1. Stir together almond meal, honey powder, wheat germ and poppy seeds in a small bowl until fully mixed.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the oils and rose hydrosol.

3. While stirring the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and mix to combine. If the mixture does not combine well to form a paste-like substance that holds together (instead of pieces falling apart), add a bit more water. If the mixture is too wet when you stir it, add almond meal a little at a time until a thick, paste-like texture is achieved.

4. This mixture should be thick enough to cup in your palm without falling apart, but it should not be so stiff that it does not spread easily across your skin.

5. To use, scoop out about a tablespoon of the mixture and “mold” it between the fingers of both hands. Massage gently over facial and neck skin.

Honey-Oats Face Scrub Recipe

Combine 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon finely-ground almonds, 2 tablespoons dry oatmeal, and some lemon juice or yogurt to a luxurious and exfoliating facial scrub.

Massage mixture gently onto face, then rinse with warm water. This blend gives a deeply emollient cleansing to the pores of your face. Almonds and oats are superb softening exfoliants.

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