I’ve been blessed with fairly trouble-free skin all my life. But this doesn’t mean I don’t stress about what I can use that’s best for my particular skin type. I know I need to take good care of it if I want to continue having clear, healthy skin.
Wash my face with what?
A few years ago I was browsing the beauty aisle of my local health food store and stumbled on Cleansing Grains. It was just as it sounds, grains that were blended up with a few other ingredients to make a powdery facial cleanser. Honestly, it sounded to me like something hippies would use. But I had all the ingredients in my kitchen so I decided to do some experimenting when I got home.
When combined with a tiny bit of water, cleansing grains create a soothing paste to use as a homemade face wash. It’s kind of fabulous. And it’s not just for hippies; lately I’ve been seeing some of the high end beauty brands advertising cleansing grains as a wonderful way to keep skin soft, healthy, and moisturized.
What’s wrong with using soap on your face?
Most facial washes are soap-based and strip the skin of its own beneficial oils. This can cause imbalances and underlying skin issues over time – dry skin gets drier and oily skin overcompensates by producing too much oil.
Cleansing grains are suitable for all skin types and gentle enough for daily use. The simple blend of clay, oats, and soothing botanicals will naturally cleanse, soothe, and soften skin. As you use cleansing grains you’ll notice an improved tone and texture in your skin as they help retain the balance of moisture and gently exfoliate.
Homemade Face Wash for All Skin Types
Here is a rundown of the ingredients and their benefit/purpose in this facial cleanser:
Oats – Cleansing, soothing, moisturizing
Clay – Helps tighten skin, absorbs/removes toxins, smoothes skin
Almonds – Slight exfoliant, smoothes skin
Dried Flowers – Rose, lavender, and calendula flowers were chosen for their healing, soothing, and moisturizing properties
Lavender Essential Oil – Lavender is the most versatile oil and perfect for any skin type, including dry, sensitive, acne prone, irritated and inflamed, or oily
Cleansing Grains – A Gentle Soap Alternative
- ¼ cup whole oats
- ¼ cup bentonite clay, or kaolin clay for very sensitive skin (find clays here)
- 2 tablespoons almonds
- 1 tablespoon dried flowers – use one or a combination of the following: rose petals, lavender flowers, calendula flowers (where to find rose petals, lavender flowers, calendula flowers)
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (find it here)
- Grind oats, almonds, and dried flowers in a coffee/spice grinder until finely powdered. Sift through a fine mesh strainer to remove any large pieces.
- In a glass or wooden bowl combine powdered mixture with clay and essential oil. Mix well with a wooden or plastic spoon. (Note: Clay loses some of its beneficial properties when it comes into contact with metal, so always choose non-metal bowls and utensils when mixing these cleansing grains.)
- Store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid that is non-metal. A glass spice jar with shaker top works well. Label jar and store in a cool place.
To Use as a Daily Face Wash
Combine about ½ – 1 teaspoon of cleansing grains in the palm of your hand with several drops of water – enough to make a thin paste. (Any water introduced into the jar will cause grains to go bad – this is why a shaker top is perfect. You can also dip into grains with a clean, dry wooden or plastic scoop to extend the shelf life.) Massage onto wet skin (avoiding eyes), then rinse with water.
To Use as a Weekly Mask
For a mask, mix a few teaspoons of cleansing grains with a little water – enough to make a thick paste. Massage onto skin and leave for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water before the mask dries on your face.
For an extra treat you can replace the water in this mask with pure aloe vera gel, flower water (aka hydrosol), honey, yogurt, milk, or herbal tea!
Have you ever used cleansing grains? If so, how did they work? Share with us in the comments section!