Natural Skincare: Homemade Exfoliating Cleanser

Last October during Vegan Mofo, I introduced you all, dear readers, to the wonders of a homemade facial toner and acne scar remover that consists merely of apple cider vinegar and white tea. Since entering college almost one year ago, I’ve actively strove to reduce the amount of hygiene and skincare products I purchase for a variety of reasons: 1.) To ease the financial strain commonly experienced by college students. 2.) To avoid slathering harmful chemicals all over my face and extremities. 3.) To minimize the risk of accidentally purchasing products that contain animal-tested ingredients. 4.) To feel damn cool and DIY for developing an almost completely homemade skin and hair care regimen.

My homemade facial toner & its ridiculously simple ingredients.

Shampoo, conditioner, exfoliating cleanser, and facial toner comprise the cosmetic products that I’ve homemade for almost 12 months now. You can read more about the details of the “No-Poo” hair care method, which employs only baking soda and apple cider vinegar in fostering healthy, lustrous hair, at the Nature Moms blog, and can find the “recipe” for homemade facial toner on one of my previous posts. While I now save about $27 on a semi-monthly basis by ceasing to purchase these products, I’m also reducing my carbon footprint by avoiding the chemicals and packaging involved in the production of cosmetics. Not one to embark upon any endeavor halfheartedly, I’m still seeking to further contribute to the health of both my personal finances and the planet by incorporating more homemade hygiene solutions into my daily routine. For example, once I run out of my current stick of deodorant and tube of toothpaste, I fully intend to start homemaking these items as well, following these two sets of instructions. After eschewing these two store-bought hygiene products, I’ll regain another $10 every month or so, and will only need purchase facial cleanser, a couple items of makeup, and hair sculpting paste to fulfill my hair and skincare requirements (if you know of natural methods to replace any of these particular products, please do let me know!).

DIY toothpaste from Wild Roots.

DIY deodorant from In Sonnet’s Kitchen.

Today, I’d like to share with you perhaps the simplest and most economic exfoliating cleanser I’ve ever encountered. Costing less than $0.05 per use and consisting of only one sole ingredient, this exfoliating cleanser effectively dissolves under-skin sebum, clears away debris, and alkalizes the skin. The magic ingredient? Baking soda.

baking soda baking soda 2

The Method:

1.) Splash your face with warm water to preliminarily cleanse the skin.
2.) In the palm of your hand, dissolve 1 tbsp baking soda in a couple drops of water (feel free to add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil for fragrance).
3.) Rub the baking soda paste all over your face in small, circular motions for about 2-3 minutes before rinsing the mixture off completely with warm water.
4.) Gently dry your face and follow the exfoliating cleanser immediately with facial toner to close your pores and prevent gunk (a technical esthetic term) from entering them.

Method submitted to Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, and Wellness Weekend.

Comment-Provoking Questions: Do you make any of your own cosmetics or skin, hair, and hygiene products? If so, of what ingredients do they consist?

Until next time, Ali.

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9 thoughts on “Natural Skincare: Homemade Exfoliating Cleanser

  1. shinygreenlife says:

    Ooh my ‘recipe’ for homemade toner is similar to yours in that its 3 ingredients – ACV, tea tree oil & water. And it can double as deodrant – I always carry a mini-spray bottle in my bag! I’ve started making my own hand soap, and I just wrote a post last week on the coconut oil moisturiser I ‘make’! I’m just not ready for the no-‘poo method quite yet!

    • Ali Seiter says:

      Love the addition of tea tree oil! Nice one. One of my housemates has experimented with making hand soap, and it has always turned out well. As for the coconut oil, do you simply use it as a moisturizer or combine it with anything else? And I’d highly recommend trying out no-poo! My hair has never looked better and I’ve not used shampoo or conditioner for more than a year now.

      • shinygreenlife says:

        I combine the coconut oil with a little tea tree oil (I do love tea tree oil!) and some lavender oil because its supposed to even skin tone. And I actually use it as a cleanser sometimes, by massaging into the skin & then wiping with a warm face cloth. So far all the natural beauty products I’ve used have been far, far better than anything shop-bought so I’ll look into the no-poo … although im worried the baking soda would strip my hair colour out!

  2. Danielle @ Poor and Gluten Free says:

    I totally use baking soda as an exfoliator, too! I really like it. I also make my own deodorant with coconut oil, baking soda and essential oils, and use grapeseed oil as a moisturizer.
    Thanks for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, I’ve pinned it 🙂

  3. Living a Goddess Life says:

    I use coconut oil exclusively as my facial moisturizer of choice. I’m still fighting flaky cheeks, though, so I can’t wait to try baking soda on them! Is there anything baking soda CAN’T do?!
    Also, for hair sculpting, a friend of mine swears by egg whites on semi-damp hair (though I think it results in crunchy hair). Argan oil is really good for sculpting ringlets, I’ve found. And used coffee grounds work great as a lip and foot exfoliator (a little rough for facial skin, though).

    Just a word about going no-poo….I tried it, and as a curly-haired girl, the apple cider vinegar totally stripped my hair of what little moisture it had. So I highly, highly, highly recommend people start going no-poo by reducing their hair washing to once a week, and using conditioner alone 2-3 times per week, as needed. There’s a learning curve of “it’s shiny, NOT greasy” to get through before using an exfoliating agent and a clarifying agent on hair.

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