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How to Make Homemade Facial Scrub – A Natural Face Cleanser

Not only is homemade facial scrub natural and chemical-free, it also contains your favorite ingredients! These tips on how to make a natural face cleanser will guide you through the process of making a scrub you’ll love.

With the astronomical prices of organic and chemical-free products, learning how to make your own scrub will also help you save money.

Before the tips, a quip:

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”  ~Kahlil Gibran

Many people believe that to make your natural face cleanser, you have to have a giant stock-pile of secret oils, herbs, and tinctures in your house. But the truth is that the best natural scrubs are made from everyday household items such as: sugars, salts, and fruits.

If you have a favorite facial scrub (Burt’s Bees Citrus Facial Scrub is a bestseller), you can recreate it in your own home with these tips.

If making your own natural face cleanser isn’t your thing and you want to experiment with seaweed, check out L’or de la Mer’s organic anti-cellulite seaweed scrub – it’s made with Dead Sea Salts.

How to Make Homemade Facial Scrub

There are thousands of beauty scrubs on the market, and they all promise to shine, smooth, and and brighten dull skin. But, what the creators of beauty products don’t tell you is that you can make your own natural, healthy, and chemical-free scrubs from the comfort of your own home, for a fraction of the retail price.

Make sure to test your skin’s sensitivity to everything you put in your face cleanser, to make sure you don’t have hidden skin allergies.

Choose an oil to moisturize your cleanser

An essential part of a great scrub is its moisturizing base. The best moisturizers come in the form of oils, and there are so many to choose from. Some people prefer to use flower oils because they smell better than vegetable oils, but flower oils are a little harder to find. Plus, they cost more than the standard vegetable oils. Some people prefer sweet almond oil, but again, it is pricey and hard to find. My personal favorite is olive oil. Olive oil has a neutral smell and it is excellent for your skin because it is filled with vitamins A and E. If you want to make a natural facial cleanser using olive oil, make sure it’s organic, chemical-free, and extra virgin.

Pick a fruit to add to your facial scrub

Different fruits have different properties for creating healthy skin. For a moisture-rich homemade facial scrub, you want to choose fruits with a creamier texture, such as: avocado, banana, or papaya. These fruits have natural oils and vitamins that are gentle, and they do not strip the skin of any moisture. For a deep exfoliating scrub, you want to choose fruits with a slightly acidic content, such as pineapples or lemons. These fruits are high in enzymes, and the enzymes help rid skin of dead cells, dirt, and oil.

If you’ve decided making your own homemade facial scrub is too much work, read Uneven Skin Tone? How to Improve Skin by Eating Certain Foods.

Decide if you want to add “extras” to your natural cleanser

Some people like to add extra vegetables, herbs, teas, or coffees to their scrubs because each of these substances has beneficial properties. You can add kelp or seaweed to increase the antioxidant properties of your facial scrub, or you can add teas or coffee because the caffeine in them helps tighten and firm skin (caffeine also is a good antioxidant). You can also add honey for extra sweetness and moisture. Just make sure you test the combinations before you apply them, as you want a final product that is smooth, fragrant, and appealing to the senses.

Choose your exfoliates

There are many different kinds of exfoliatesthat you can use in your natural face cleanser. One of the most popular ones is sugar. You can choose from brown, white, cane, or raw sugar, but just make sure the granules are the right size and texture for your skin sensitivity. If you prefer something less sweet, you can go with salt, but make sure it is NOT table salt, as it’s too harsh on the skin and can leave it parched and dry. The best salts are natural sea salts which you can get online or at any local grocery store. For a much gentler exfoliate, use oatmeal. It has a much less abrasive feel than the salt and sugar, but it will not remove as much dead skin as the sugar or salt.

Whip up your natural facial scrub!

Once you have chosen your selection of ingredients, all you need to do is blend them together using a kitchen blender, hand blender, food processor, or mixer. Start by mashing the fruits together, and then add the oil and extras. Once there is a smooth consistency to the mixture, add the salt, sugar, or oatmeal and mix until the granules or oats are well blended. Apply the scrub whenever you desire, but remember to refrigerate when you are done, because the scrub will eventually expire due to oxidation. Generally, the scrub will last anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge.

If you struggle with acne, read 7 Easy Ways to Treat Adult Acne, Pimples, and Blemishes.

And if you have thoughts about making homemade facial scrub, please comment below…

About the author: Sheena Koo is a Vancouver-based writer, blogger, and website developer. 

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5 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Facial Scrub – A Natural Face Cleanser”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Mariah,

    There are some good homemade facial scrub recipes on SassyBella, including a baking soda face cleanser that may help with oily skin.

    Here’s what one reader said about the baking soda scrub:

    “I’ve been studying dermatology for a while now, and one thing i knoe for sure stay away from baking soda!!!, it completely dries out skin. for a good effective face scrub, grind coffe beans and mix with honey to form a paste. honey is a natural cleanser that is full of antioxidants that help prevent free radicals and it attracts moisture.”

    One of the other readers said the baking soda facial scrub is excellent, and if it dries out your skin, maybe it’s just what you need for oily skin!


  2. Sounds great!! But I have a question: does it matter if your skin is oily or dry? I want to make my own homemade facial scrub with your recipe but my skin is really greasy. Gross. Should I do anything different for my cleanser??

  3. Here’s the best article I’ve found on making homemade soap:

    Before we begin, let me stress that soap-making can be dangerous. Although it is easy to become comfortable with the process, you should only make soap when you fully understand the safety procedures.

    Here is some general homemade soap information

    Soap is made in two parts, lye and water, plus a mixture of oils. The two don’t combine easily, so they must be brought to similar temperatures. Lye and water get very hot when mixed, so the mixture must cool before being added to the oils.

    The oils must be gently heated. The oil is nowhere near hot enough to cook with, but still, please do not start any fires. Every oil has a different saponification index, which is a measure of how much lye is required to turn that oil into soap. This means, if you run out of coconut oil, don’t go replacing it with olive oil.

    Lye is VERY caustic, so don’t get any on your skin. It also gives off nasty fumes, so use goggles and very good ventilation or a respirator. Check out the Materials Safety Data Sheet on lye.

    You will also need a mould. You could use a 9 x 13 cake pan, and line it with wax paper. I bought a used Rubbermaid bread box that is about 14” x 6” x 5”. This makes a big block of soap that is not safe to cut with a knife. I cut it with a guitar string wrapped around a couple of chopstick handles.

    The hardest thing about soap is knowing when it is done. This is judged by a state called ‘Trace’. This is when a dribble of soap kind of stays on the surface instead of sinking into the pot. Think honey on a counter top as it slowly flattens out.

    Here is my recipe for homemade soap

    Lye – Mix in large pyrex measuring cup, stir with a chopstick saved from order-in Chinese food. Again, DO NOT BREATHE THE FUMES. WEAR GOGGLES.

    700 ml purified water
    270 g or 91/4 oz lye (one small container)

    Oils –Mix in a big pot

    Olive oil 955g 4.5 cups
    Coconut oil 390g 500ml 2 cups
    Grapeseed oil 515g 500ml 2 cups

    Use the cheap pomace olive oil, virgin doesn’t work as well.

    Let lye mixture cool to 110F. Warm oils to 110F. When both are at the same temperature, slowly pour lye mixture into oils. Mix with a stick blender until trace, periodically scraping sides and bottom of pan with a spatula. I mix with short pulses of the blender, and it only takes about three minutes.

    The first time I made soap I used a whisk and my spatula, which I washed carefully later. Next time I used my Braun stick blender. Once I felt sure that I was going to make soap regularly, I bought a used stick blender at Value Village for $5.00 and dedicated it to soap making. If you use a whisk, you can look forward to hours of stirring. I also have a couple of thrift-shop thermometers, one for the lye and one for the oils. I have also heard of people making soap by feel. When the containers of lye and oils feel similarly warm to the touch, you are good to go.

    At trace, add 10ml cinnamon oil. Mix as little as possible, just enough to combine. Theoretically, the soap can harden very quickly at this stage, trapping your spatula inside a giant bar. I have never had a problem with this recipe, though.

    Pour into mould. Wrap with heavy blankets for 24 hours to keep the heat in and help the chemical reaction.

    The next day, when soap has set, cut it into bars and store, separated nicely, on brown paper in cool place. Turn over after two weeks. Use after one month.


  4. It depends on the sensitivity of your skin. If you find that your skin is easily irritated by most products, then you may want to start by using it once or twice a week. If your skin seems happy with that amount of scrubbing, then you can increase usage in increments. Generally, the oatmeal scrubs can be used more often than the sugar or salt mixtures because they are less abrasive, so perhaps start with an oatmeal scrub, and work your way towards a sugar or salt scrub. Always trust what your skin tells you. If it says “ouch” then stop. If it says “aaah” then continue to pamper.

  5. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Great article, Sheena!

    How often should we use a facial scrub? I used to use an apricot scrub (store bought, I’m ashamed to say) daily in the shower, but found it irritated my skin.