Simple homemade face scrubs are the perfect recipes to attempt if you’re new to do-it-yourself skin care. The ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find. In fact, you probably have most of them in your kitchen already, and it’s so fun to use what you already have. Plus, homemade face scrubs are really hard to mess up!
While the weather shifts outside, it’s the ideal time to add some exfoliation into your routine. It will allow your moisturizers to penetrate well and help combat the dry patches that often accompany indoor heat and outdoor wind. Let’s find out how and why…
We’ve shared the right way to exfoliate and how to chemically exfoliate with natural alpha-hydroxy acids [source], but it’s also easy to physically exfoliate. You can raid the cupboards and mix and match common kitchen ingredients for a customized face scrub (much like we did with customized body scrubs).
The goal with any facial exfoliant is to gently lift off dead skin cells without abrading healthy skin. If your face burns or is red, you are being too aggressive. Be patient and consistent in your skincare regimen to get the best long-term results. Play around and find your personal best recipe using some of the ideas below.
First, run the back of your hand across your cheek and see if it feels dry or a little scaly. If so, then it’s time to exfoliate.
Do your serums or creams tend to sit on top of the skin, never quite soaking in? Does your makeup tend to flake in some spots?
Dry, dead skin cells make it difficult for your fresh, new skin to absorb the rich creams, oils, and serums that you’re using to repair skin, target acne, or prevent aging. Those fancy ingredients can’t penetrate and get to work if layers of dead skin are in the way.
Most people find that 1–3 times a week is sufficient for exfoliation, but this will change with age, hormones, climates, and seasons.
5 Homemade Face Scrubs
Exfoliation is a key part of any facial routine. I highly recommend a gentle scrub 1–3 times a week to help slough off dead skin cells and unclog pores.
Nighttime is the best time to exfoliate, so your skincare products can better absorb while you sleep. Give any one of these simple scrubs a try—your skin will feel soft and smooth! Always exfoliate on clean skin.
1. Gentle Oat Scrub
Soothing and anti-inflammatory oats are ideal for sensitive skin. Ground oats gently unclog pores while their natural saponins cleanse and absorb dirt and oil.
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats (uncooked)
In a blender, pulse the dry oats until finely ground. Place a pinch of the ground oats into the palm of your hand, then add water until a paste forms. Gently massage into your face and neck. Store the ground oats in an airtight container for later use.
Bonus: Instead of water, you can use milk or yogurt, both of which have lactic acid as a chemical exfoliant. Or add apple cider vinegar that contains malic acid for brightening properties.
2. Honey & Brown Sugar Scrub
Honey and sugar are natural humectants (moisture preservers) that make a gentle scrub to buff away flakes, clear out pores, and lock in moisture.
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (the finer, the better)
- 1 tablespoon honey, preferably raw
Mix the brown sugar and honey together. Then with clean fingertips, very gently apply the scrub to your face in small circular motions to aid in the exfoliation process without damaging the skin. Rinse with warm water and use a washcloth to remove any residual honey, if needed.
3. Baking Soda Add-In
With its superfine texture, baking soda acts like an at-home microdermabrasion for all skin types. This inexpensive ingredient also absorbs excess oil, so it’s especially helpful for oily skin.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Your regular liquid skin cleanser
Possibly the easiest scrub to make, just add 1 teaspoon of baking soda into a small amount of your regular cleanser, and you’ve just made your product work double duty as an exfoliating cleanser.
4. Coffee & Oil Scrub
Leftover coffee grounds are mild enough to use all over the body—even on sensitive areas like the face. Plus, the used grounds are still chock full of caffeine and antioxidants [source] that leave the skin looking perky and toned.
Talk about reduce, reuse, and recycle! Don’t throw away the used coffee grounds after making your morning brew. Just add 1 tablespoon of oil to them, and you’ve got a gentle, collagen-boosting scrub ready to go. Coffee scrubs (with added essential oil) are also great for cellulite-prone areas of the body [source].
5. Rice & Egg White Exfoliating Facial Scrub
Ground rice powder makes an excellent cleanser for brightening complexions and lightening skin discolorations. Brown rice flour has oil-absorbing and anti-inflammatory benefits that help treat oily and sensitive skin. Combine with a tablespoon of ground almonds if you’re battling aging.
- 2 tablespoons brown rice
- 1 egg white
Using a coffee grinder, grind brown rice grains until fine. Add an egg white and whip to create a paste. Then gently massage the scrub into the skin in small circular motions to exfoliate dead cells. Rinse with warm water to remove.
6. Aloe Vera Gel & Sugar Facial Scrub
Superfine sugar is a great kitchen ingredient to add to your scrub, the finer in grit, the better for your skin. Aloe vera is known to be soothing and healing [source] for all skin types. Combine the two ingredients, and after gently massaging them into your skin, leave the mixture on for a few extra minutes and then rinse well to remove.
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
- a sprinkle of superfine sugar
7. Almond Jojoba Scrub
Another easy to find kitchen ingredient is raw almonds. While you will need to grind them very finely in a coffee grinder or food processor, the end result will be skin smoother than when you started. Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic and great to use on skin prone to breakouts.
- 12 raw almonds
- 1–2 tablespoons jojoba oil
After grinding the raw almonds to a fine powder, add in the jojoba oil and gently exfoliate in circular motions. Remove with a warm washcloth.
8. Flax Seed Scrub
Flax seeds are both anti-inflammatory internally and externally [source]. You can add a number of options to a handful of flax seeds and create a scrub so simple and effective.
- 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds or flaxseed meal
- 1 tablespoon carrier ingredient (aloe vera gel, yogurt, honey, jojoba oil, rosehip oil)
Mix well with a mortar and pestle and then remove with warm water.
Want a facial scrub customized to your skin type? Check out these simple face scrubs for dry, oily, mature, and sensitive skin. Don’t let parched, dry skin get in the way of your glow!
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Photos by Ana Stanciu77