Using a homemade face scrub is the best way to get smoother, brighter, and clearer looking skin for longer. It can also leave your skin feeling ultra soft too, and who doesn’t want that? A good exfoliant can go a long way, and you’d be surprised how easy they can be to whip up.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can come up with a decent exfoliating face scrub recipe that will leave your skin feeling so much fresher. However, if you want to take it further, producing a scrub that’s more professional – the first recipe on this page is for you!
This is one of many excellent DIY skincare recipes, it’s packed with skin softening and nourishing ingredients, including professional quality exfoliants. It’s not difficult to make at all, but you might need to look beyond your pantry cupboard for this one.
Following this face scrub recipe, you will find 6 more pro recipes, but there’s a lot you can make from just stuff you have laying around the house.
So we’ve followed up our professional homemade face scrubs with recipes that include everyday ingredients (see 6 kitchen cupboard face scrubs below). You’ll probably already have everything you need for them!
Watch How To Make A Face Scrub
What They Don’t Tell You
While making a DIY face scrub at home can be a lot of fun, there’s some things that people won’t tell you on their blog.
Not everything in your pantry is good for exfoliating facial skin. It might seem simple to combine sugar, oil, and a fragrance – but many of these ingredients will actually damage the delicate skin of the face.
So we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. All of our homemade facial scrub recipes have been checked and double-checked to ensure they’re the best they can be for your face.
And for the guys out there, this recipe is so easily tailored to suit you. You can use whatever shade of mica (you can even omit it completely) or essential oil you like to make a fantastic face scrub that will keep you looking amazing all year round. Guys have facial skin too – we can all benefit from a good quality DIY face scrub.
Why Make Your Own DIY Face Scrubs?
- Exfoliating is your skin’s natural way to shed its dead skin cells. As your body makes new cells they get pushed forward eventually dislodging the old cells which fall off.
- Moisturising this flaky dead skin is a bit pointless as it won’t be absorbed. So, by using homemade face scrubs you can remove all of the dead skin to reveal fresh new skin which you can happily cleanse and moisturize each day (learn more about exfoliating the skin here at the American Academy of Dermatology).
- After using one of these you should notice a reduction in the size of your pores and your skin will also have a healthy glow!
- A DIY face scrub will allow you to create something using natural ingredients that are suitable for your skin type.
- By saving money on store-bought scrubs you can apply the scrub liberally knowing that it cost you next to nothing to make!
The Good Exfoliants For Your Face
- Exfoliating the skin may seem easy. Just throw something coarse on the skin and rub away. But it’s not that simple. Some things are much better at removing dead skin cells gently and without pain. The best natural exfoliators for your face include rapadura sugar (for a brown sugar face scrub), jojoba beads, baking soda, bamboo powder, finely ground walnut shells, and ground pumice stone.
- There are so many more exfoliants available, and more things are coming onto the market every year. It is likely you will find different types, but don’t forget to do your research. Never use a new ingredient without doing your research first.
- The amount of exfoliant we use in a product depends on the type used. Generally, more coarse exfoliants, such as jojoba beads and bamboo powder will be used in concentrations no higher than 6-10%. Others can be used more generously. It is best to check with the manufacturer guidelines – or start at 6% and increase until you reach the desired coarseness.
The Bad Exfoliants For Your Face
- Some things are much too coarse to be used on the face. Using an exfoliant that is too strong for facial skin can result in micro-tearing, which often leads to infection and inflammation.
- White granulated sugar scrubs, salt of any kind, coffee grounds or anything made of microplastics. These are not suitable for the face at all. All of these would be fine on the body, with the exception of micro-plastic beads which can damage our environment.
- While this may sound a little contradictory – regular white sugar does make a good scrub. But, only for the lips. The lips are a little different than the rest of the skin on our face, and they are very prone to flaking. So, feel free to use sugar in a DIY lip scrub.
- Also avoid any type of exfoliant that is not intended for the face. Some that I have mentioned as good exfoliants above can come in a coarser variety intended for the body. The skin on your face is much softer than on your body and can be more easily damaged.
- Clay can be a fantastic natural exfoliant. However, it is extremely difficult to preserve. Therefore if you wish to include it within a recipe, we recommend keeping the liquid part separate and mixing up enough for a single application each time you use it. Otherwise, you will need to make use of very strong preservatives that are found in those pre-mixed store-bought clay face masks.
- If you have severely sensitive skin or skin that is prone to acne, consider using an exfoliating mitten (designed for the face) and a little homemade lotion instead. Sometimes even the finest exfoliants can be problematic for these skin types.
OK Let’s Make A Basic Face Scrub
But don’t miss these other recipes
Gentle Fruity Face Scrub Recipe
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- 24 g Coconut Oil (48%)
- 13 g Apricot Kernel Oil (26%)
- 9 g Cetyl Alcohol (18%)
- 2.5 g Jojoba Beads (5%) (for face)
- 0.5 g Vitamin E Oil (1%)
- 0.5 g Preservative (1%) (optional)
- 0.5 g Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil (1%)
- 1 pinch Pink Mica (optional)
- 1 Cosmetic Jar 4 oz (Glass, aluminimum or PET pastic )
- Start by weighing your coconut oil and cetyl alcohol into a heat-proof beaker.24 g Coconut Oil, 9 g Cetyl Alcohol
- Make up a water bath by adding a few inches of hot water into a wide shallow pan (a saute pan is excellent for this). Place the container into the water and bring the water up to a gentle simmer. Leave the beaker in the water until the coconut oil and cetyl alcohol has fully melted.
- Once melted remove the oils/wax from the heat and stir in the apricot kernel13 g Apricot Kernel Oil
- The oils/cetyl alcohol will need to be stirred until you have a nice creamy consistency. This may take a while. I usually work in intervals, stirring for a minute then resting for a minute.You can also speed the thickening process up by placing the beaker into an ice bath for a few minutes. An ice bath can be made by placing a little cold water and some ice cubes into a bowl that's big enough to stand the beaker in. This speeds up the processes immensely, but you will need to stir continually. If you feel the cream is becoming too cold you can pop it in and out of the ice bath as needed.
- Once the oils have begun to thicken and have cooled to 104f (40c), it's time to add the vitamin E, preservative, and essential oil. Stir well making sure they are well combined.0.5 g Vitamin E Oil, 0.5 g Preservative, 0.5 g Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil
- Next add the exfoliant, in this case I'm using jojoba beads, stir until the beads are distributed evenly within the face scrub.2.5 g Jojoba Beads
- It's now time to add a pinch of mica, don't get carried away here, as we only want to give the finished face scrub a subtle hint of color that will not transfer or stain your skin.1 pinch Pink Mica
- Finally, transfer to a suitable container. To avoid any unwanted condensation, make sure it's completely cool before popping on the lid.1 Cosmetic Jar 4 oz
- This can be synergized for different skin types. For instance, the apricot kernel oil can be swapped for something that is more effective for your own unique skin. Whatever liquid oil that your skin adores will work just fine.
- You can swap the exfoliant, but it will definitely change the consistency of the product. If you want to avoid changing the product consistency, opt for a different exfoliant that is similar to jojoba beads – i.e. non-absorbent. A good example would be rapadura sugar or bamboo powder.
- A variety of different factors can influence consistency. The main issue we have is the climate and weather. Someone living in a very hot climate may find their homemade face scrub is much looser. If you find that your homemade face scrub is too thin, simply up the amount of cetyl alcohol. Up it by 2-3% first and go from there, increasing until it’s a more reasonable consistency. Conversely, the opposite is also possible. If you live in a very cold environment, you may want to make them a little looser. However, we have found this to be much less of an issue than when traveling to hotter climates.
Does My Skin Type Matter When Making A Homemade Face Scrub?
Absolutely it does. The recipe you find in our recipe card above can be synergized for different skin types. For instance, the apricot kernel oil can be swapped for something that is more effective for your own unique skin. Whatever liquid oil that your skin adores will work just fine. Furthermore, the essential oil can be substituted too.
I would not recommend swapping any of the other ingredients unless you really know what you’re doing. Jojoba beads could be substituted, but it is likely it will change the consistency of the product. Some experimentation may be required.
Can I Substitute One Exfoliant For Another?
As previously said, you can swap the exfoliant, but it will definitely change the consistency of the product. If you want to avoid changing the product consistency, opt for a different exfoliant that is similar to jojoba beads – i.e. non-absorbent. A good example would be rapadura sugar or bamboo powder.
Colloidal oats, pumice stone, and baking soda (while all excellent exfoliants) will be too absorbent for this recipe and will likely make the product feel more like a coarse paste than a slick scrub.
If you want to exchange the exfoliant in this recipe, it is likely that you will need to do some experimentation.
Why Can’t I Use Salt In My Face Scrubs?
Salt is very abrasive. Because of its crystalline structure, it has very sharp edges that are not always easily visible. Even finely ground salt is exceptionally abrasive against the skin – unacceptably so.
While salt may be okay on the body, especially if you have tougher, rougher skin that really needs it. But absolutely nobody will need salt to exfoliate their face. If you see a homemade face scrub with any amount of salt in it – avoid it like the plague.
When salt, or another exfoliant that is too coarse for facial skin, is used as an exfoliant it can cause microscopic tears in the skin. You won’t always see these, because of how small they are.
I Made The Fruity Face Scrub, And It’s Too Thin/Thick – What Do I Do?
A variety of different factors can influence the consistency of an end product. The main issue we have as home formulators is the climate and weather. We make and test all of our products in the northern hemisphere, with standardized temperatures in our homes. However, this is not the case for everyone. Someone living in a very hot climate may find their homemade face scrub is much looser.
Therefore, if you find that your homemade face scrub is too thin, simply up the amount of cetyl alcohol. Up it by 2-3% first and go from there, increasing until it’s a more reasonable consistency. Conversely, the opposite is also possible. If you live in a very cold environment you may want to make them a little looser.
How To Use A Face Scrub
Face scrubs should be used around once or twice a week depending on your skin type. For instance, those with mature, sensitive or acne-prone skin should avoid exfoliating too often.
- Place a small amount of face scrub onto the fingertips and apply it to the face. Use circular motions, to gently massage the scrub into the skin, being careful not to drag or pull at the skin as you go.
- Spend a few seconds on each area of the skin, ensuring that the whole of your face has been covered.
- Rise off with warm water, pat dry, and moisturize with a good quality, DIY face cream.
6 More Quality DIY Face Scrubs
DIY Brown Sugar Face Scrub Recipe
This DIY brown sugar face scrub smells & feels amazing, & does its job amazingly well. No complaints here about it, & it’s a lot easier to make than you think.
Green Tea Face Scrub Recipe
I’ve formulated a green tea face scrub recipe to be milder & more suitable for someone with either sensitive or oily skin. It’s brand new face gel & we love it.
How To Make DIY Lip Scrub At Home
This diy sugar lip scrub is super easy to make & super easy to use. Formulated with natural, food-safe ingredients, you can actually lick it off when it’s done.
DIY Charcoal Face Scrub Recipe For Soft Smooth Skin
When we tested this DIY charcoal face scrub, we were blown away by the results. Immediately after the skin felt softer & smoother, & noticeably clearer too.
DIY Turmeric Face Scrub Recipe For Glowing Skin
This DIY turmeric face scrub is absolutely gorgeous. I’m obsessed with turmeric at the moment. I’m eating it, putting it in my soaps, and rubbing it all over my face too!
6 Kitchen Cupboard Face Scrub Recipes
If you are short on time here are some quick face scrub recipes that you can mix up in an instant!
Strawberry Face Scrub
Here’s a natural homemade exfoliator for the face, that will leave your skin hydrated and refreshed.
- 2 Mashed strawberries
- 1 teaspoon (5g) Sweet Almond Oil
- 1 tablespoon Baking Soda
- Mix ingredients through really well.
- This face scrub is a little thicker than the usual facial scrubs, although you can add a little more oil if you prefer.
- Massage your scrub into your face and neck using a gentle circular motion. Continue gently for a couple of minutes, then rinse off with warm water.
Herbal Face Scrub (all skin)
This homemade face scrub is mild and gentle enough to use on sensitive skin.
- 2 tablespoons Fine Oatmeal
- A Herbal infusion made with chamomile or fennel
How to make the infusion:
- Make the herbal infusion by placing a couple of handfuls of flowers or herbs into a heat proof jug and pour over a pint of boiling water.
- Cover and leave to cool.
- Strain the mixture into a container or bottle and store in the refrigerator to use as and when needed.
If you can’t get your hands on the fresh flowers or herbs you need use dried or tea bags as a substitute.
Making & using this scrub:
- Mix the oatmeal with 3 tablespoons of the infusion and leave to soften for a few minutes.
- Massage into the face and leave for five minutes then rinse off and pat dry.
Oatmeal & Yoghurt Exfoliator (dry skin, acne)
The almond oil in this DIY face scrub makes it excellent for dry skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth. Leaving out the almond oil will give you a gentle but deep cleaning facial scrub suitable for anyone suffering from acne.
- 2 tablespoons Fine oatmeal
- 2 tablespoon Plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon (15g) Sweet Almond Oil
- Mix all the ingredients together and leave for 5 minutes allowing the oatmeal to soften.
- Lightly rub the mixture into your face avoiding the eye areas.
- Continue to massage into the face for about 5 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Nourishing Oils Face Exfoliator (dry skin)
- 3 tablespoons (45g) Olive Oil or Sweet Almond Oil
- 1 tablespoon Ground Almonds
- Mix ingredients together.
- Rub gently on dry skin, avoiding the eye area.
- Massage gently for 3-5 minutes.
- Rinse with very warm water (but not hot).
Cornmeal Face Scrub (oily skin)
This cornmeal face scrub is great for oily skin, and the lemon juice adds to the acid layer.
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or buttermilk
- Make a paste by mixing the cornmeal with the yogurt and lemon juice.
- Then massage into the face for 5 minutes and rinse off with tepid water.
Almond & Honey Face Scrub (all skin)
Mild and gentle so it’s a good one to start with.
- 2 tablespoons Ground Almonds
- 2 teaspoons Honey
- 4 tablespoons Buttermilk or Plain Yogurt
- Mix the almonds, honey, and buttermilk together.
- Then massage into the face and neck avoiding the eye area.
- Leave for 2 minutes then rinse off and pat dry.
I hope you enjoy this post as much as we enjoyed making it. Whipping up a homemade face scrub is a lot of fun, and the end product is simply fantastic!
As long as you follow our advice on what to use, and what not to use, you should be totally safe. If you do experience some irritation or inflammation after using one of these face scrub recipes, consider lowering the amount of exfoliant for next time. Don’t forget – those with the most sensitive skin shouldn’t be exfoliated too often.
Let us know what you thought about these recipes in the comments below – we love to hear about your crafting adventures!
Discussion (12 Comments)
I love scrubbing my skin. I feel that I became younger after I did that. Thanks for posting this. It will be a great help. Keep on posting!
I ended up ordering the cetyl alcohol and making this facial scrub with walnut powder instead of jojoba beads. It turned out great! I love that my face feels clean but without totally stripping the moisture from my skin. Thank you so much for this recipe!
Sounds fantastic. I’m going to try this myself next time! Thanks for the tip!
I have a few questions regarding the Gentle Fruity Face Scrub Recipe.
1. Would any of these work as an exfoliant in this recipe? These are what I have on hand currently.
– Ground Orange Peel
– Loofah Powder
2. Can I swap the Cetyl Alcohol for a pure emulsifying wax?
3. Can both the Coconut oil and Apricot Kernel oil be swapped for other oils I prefer or have on hand?
1. I haven’t had any experience with ground orange peel or loofah powder in a facial scrub, however I would definitely recommend the poppyseeds. I use them in some of my cream cleansers, and also in a few soaps for added exfoliating power.
2. You absolutely can swap the cetyl alcohol out for pure emulsifying wax. However, I expect that it will feel heavier. The job of the cetyl alcohol is to give the product body without more weight, so the product feels nice and airy. You might also need to experiment with how much more e-wax you’ll need.
3. The coconut oil provides some good functional benefit, helping to add a little stiffening power. So I wouldn’t substitute that one unless you absolutely have to, especially if you’re going to be experimenting with not using cetyl alcohol. The apricot however you can swap for whatever works for you!
I’m planning to use USDA Organic cane sugar in my sugar scrubs.
Would you please provide site sources as to why you say certain exfoliates cause skin to tear? Thank you.
What type of cane sugar have you planned to use? If it’s Rapadura, you’ll have no problems, as this type of sugar is non-crystalised and has a softer texture (as well as a variety of skin benefits). If it’s still regular granulated white or brown sugar, even if it’s organic you’ll still be exposing yourself to micro tearing on the face.
You can, however, use a white or brown granulated sugar scrub on the body or on the lips. Those are the exception to the rule. It’s always recommended that you try the coarseness of a particular scrub on the body before it’s used on the face. If it’s too harsh for your body, it’s too harsh for the face.
I have a diploma in skincare formulation and have a lot of experience making these products.
Why not to use coffee grounds as a face scrub? Even used ones?
Should I consider an exfoliating mitten for my couperose?
Coffee grounds are much too harsh for facial skin. I know there are plenty of blogs that tell you they’re fine, but they’re really not. You’ll be left with many, many micro tears on the skin, exposing yourself to skin infections. You could however use it on your body, as this skin is less delicate.
As for the mitten, I absolutely would recommend one. Providing you get yourself a good quality one, it’ll be much more gentle on the skin than any exfoliating scrub.
Hope this helps!
I’ve always wanted to know what size sugar granule to use? Thank you .
Great page 🙂 I am going to prepare this Face Scrub, hope my mixed skin will like it. Thanks!
Really it’s amazing face scrub. Loved it. will try this sure.