Choosing the right facial cleanser depends on a number of factors. Unfortunately, there’s no miracle recipe that works for everyone, but if you take into consideration your age, skin type, the season, and the amount of makeup you wear, you can create the perfect daily regimen for what your skin needs at that time of your life and have the knowledge of how it can change throughout the seasons.
There are plenty of possibilities. Read on to find the natural face cleanser that is most right for you:
8 DIY Ways to Make a Natural Face Cleanser
1. Oil Cleansers
Yes, you can cleanse with oil with any skin type, even oily! Cleansing your face with oil might not sound like the best idea if you have acne and blackhead prone skin.
If you have dry skin, it will love this oil cleanser. It’s hydrating and packed with nutrients. To boost moisturizing levels even more, simply add a few drops of lavender essential oil. It’s that easy!
There are lots of oils your skin will love. A couple of precautions to consider when picking one: olive oil in the US may be tainted, which can lead to inflammation. It’s fine for cleansing the hair and body, but avoid using it on the face.
And if you’re worried about acne, avoid coconut oil as it can be comedogenic (meaning it causes breakouts). If you’re not into DIY-ing it, check out our picks for natural oil cleansers.
2. Soap Cleansers
This foaming cleanser made with pure castile soap is meant to be applied after your oil cleanser to remove any residue or excess oil secreted by the skin. Massage your face in circular motions to cleanse, while also hitting some pressure points around the nose to help clear up sinuses.
You can also use a bar of soap on your face. For dry or aging skin, try this almond clay soap that’s gentle and moisturizing. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, make a detox soap with activated charcoal and tea tree essential oil to sweep away grease, cleanse from any bacteria, and battle those breakouts.
For acne-prone skin with scars or wrinkles, you can always rely on this aloe vera face wash. It soothes skin, decreases acne-causing bacteria, has antioxidants for healing, and keeps inflammation at bay, so you’re left with some seriously radiant skin [source].
3. Cleansing Grains
Cleansing grains are usually made from herbs, oats, nuts, or rice in a powdered form and provide an exfoliating scrub for the face. Just make sure they’re super finely ground to avoid irritating the skin. Use caution with nuts to avoid any shells as these may have sharp edges and cause microtears in your precious skin barrier.
Start the day with an exfoliating, skin-plumping cleanser that is made especially for mature skin. The oil in the almonds will provide vitamins A and E while lactic acid will exfoliate and moisturize dry skin areas.
Acne-prone skin will benefit from a powdered rice flour cleanser, while powdered coconut milk is perfect for dry skin. Mix a teaspoon or so of powder in your palm with plain water or rose water and gently massage into the skin.
4. Honey Cleansers
Honey can be a very effective and gentle cleanser for pretty much every skin type. You can wash with honey by itself, no other ingredients added. Fair warning, this method is a little stickier and can take a bit longer to remove, but you’ll still enjoy all of the benefits of a honey cleanser.
Or try this honey face wash recipe with coconut milk and castile soap to clean your face in the evenings. You’ll still get honey’s natural humectant benefits to make your skin less dry. Plus, it’s naturally antibacterial and heals wounds, which will help your battle against zits [source].
5. Clay Cleansing Masks
Washing your face with clay might seem weird, but it acts like a vacuum to absorb excess oil and clear dirt and pollution out of clogged pores. Clay cleansers are even more effective when you leave them on a few minutes longer as a mask, so the clay has a bit more time to do its thing.
Kaolin and bentonite clay combine with activated charcoal in this facial cleanser that’s good for all skin types, but even better for oily skin, leaving it supple and clean. This gentle bentonite clay cleanser with calendula and chamomile turns into a skin-soothing mask. Clay mixed with salicylic acid that is drawn to the oil in pores is the ultimate pore detox.
6. Cleansing Balms
Oil cleansing is effective because the oil breaks down makeup and pulls out dirt from inside the pores. This DIY cleansing balm is affordable and easy to make, with clay, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. Or try this copycat recipe inspired by Goop by Juice Beauty’s Luminous Melting Cleanser that doubles as a makeup remover.
If you’re tackling a specific skin issue, you may want to add a few drops of a particular essential oil to the cleansing balm as you make it—lavender to soothe irritation [source] or tea tree oil if you’re one of those lucky people who experience dry skin and breakouts at the same time.
To use, scoop out a tiny bit of balm and massage it into your skin. I start with my skin dry, then put some water on my fingers and massage again. Then I use a cleansing cloth to gently remove the oil. You can follow with toner or do a 2-step cleansing face wash.
7. Milk Cleansers
Milk is an easy, gentle way to cleanse your skin without soap. The lactic acid works to remove dead skin cells while the milk proteins and fat moisturize and plump the skin – so stick with whole milk, not fat-free. To use on your face, pour a small amount into your palm and massage into your skin.
But your milk cleanser doesn’t have to be cow’s milk! Take your cue from Japanese geishas, and clean your face with this anti-aging rice milk cleanser. Creamy, milk-based cleansers that use rice milk or coconut milk, like in this probiotic rose milk cleanser, are good for hydrating dry or aging skin.
8. Cleansing Wipes
For convenience, you can’t beat a quick face cleansing wipe. These DIY face wipes use rose-infused witch hazel with healing aloe to exfoliate, tone, and hydrate.
Wipes are also an easy way to remove makeup. Make a batch of these coconut oil-free makeup remover pads for sensitive skin or keep these tea tree oil makeup remover face wipes on hand for oily skin. They are also super convenient for traveling and freshening up on a long flight.
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 reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.641