In the world of DIY, you can pretty much just call us the Mayor of Pinterest. Make our own macrame wall hanging? Check. Spray paint that old dresser that's been sitting in the garage for the better part of a decade? You betcha. We'd even go so far as to build some nightstands out of crates, if we were in the right mood. But would we really make our own facial care products? We're talking about our faces.
The answer is yes, we've totally attempted to make our own face scrub — and you should too. While using a DIY exfoliant seems a little iffy, they're actually really helpful when made and applied correctly. Not only does exfoliating slough away dead skin cells, but it also unclogs the oil and dirt that lives in your pores and causes breakouts. Most store-bought exfoliating products contain harsh chemicals and dozens of questionable ingredients that have unknown benefits — another reason to make your own. As with any other exfoliating treatments, these should be used two to three times a week, not every day. And keep in mind that when trying a new skin-care product (or in this case, recipe), test it out before you go to bed. That way, if you have an adverse reaction, you can give your skin time to recover while you sleep.
To keep things cheap and easy (and totally pinnable), we've put together four of our favorite natural exfoliators you can make at home.
1. Basic baking soda scrub
The range of what baking soda can do just seems to be getting wider and wider. It can freshen the air, remove stains, clean showers and sinks and trigger explosions in science fair volcanoes. Oh, yes, we can use it to bake too. But there is one more non-food-related use to add to baking soda’s resume: face exfoliant. The grains in baking soda are just the right size to act as a gentle exfoliant, and many claim that it has helped clear up acne.
- Baking soda
- Facial cleanser
- Mix baking soda with your facial cleanser to make it an exfoliating cleanser. (You can also make a paste of just baking soda and water.)
- Gently rub it onto your skin and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing off.
Next Up: Nourishing sugar scrub
Originally published August 2015. Updated November 2017.
2. Nourishing sugar scrub
Granulated sugar is another wonderful, natural exfoliant. Mix it with honey, which contains powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and a little lemon for clarifying purposes, and you have a wonderfully nourishing and effective face scrub.
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar
- Fresh lemon juice
- Combine the honey and sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Mix the ingredients well.
- If the mixture is a little loose, add a bit more sugar.
Next Up: Invigorating coffee scrub
3. Invigorating coffee scrub
Coffee is another fantastic natural exfoliant. It contains caffeic acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects and can boost collagen production. Just as coffee stimulates our body in the morning, it can serve as a skin stimulant as well.
- 1 tablespoon ground coffee
- 1 tablespoon water or olive oil
- To make the scrub, combine the coffee and water or olive oil. (To make this inexpensive face scrub even more economical, save the wet coffee grounds from your brewed morning coffee and use those.)
- If you use olive oil, skip applying a moisturizer afterward, as olive oil will leave your skin super-moisturized.
Side note: Since coffee grounds can clog drains, apply the scrub and buff off the grounds over a plugged sink so that you can wipe them out or use a mesh drain strainer to catch them before they go down your pipes.
Next Up: Soothing oatmeal scrub
4. Soothing oatmeal scrub
People who use oatmeal as a natural face scrub swear by it, and now I know why. Ground oatmeal not only serves as a wonderful exfoliant, but it also absorbs and removes surface dirt and impurities while leaving your skin nourished and hydrated. It has been known to soothe and heal everything from acne to sunburn to dry, flaky skin. Given its gentle nature, it is also ideal for those with sensitive skin.
- 1 tablespoon ground oatmeal
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon water or paste
- Combine ground oatmeal with salt, which boosts the face treatment's exfoliating properties.
- Add water to make a paste.
- Gently rub it onto you skin in circular motions, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse.