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14 Natural Face Cleansing Alternatives : Gentle Ways to Come Clean!

posted in Skin & Body
11/09/2016
  • You probably know that most commercial cleansers contain surfactants or emulsifiers – which is pretty much the same from a chemical point of view. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), soap + even sugar tensides (a common ingredient in many organic cleansers) strip the natural lipid layer from the skin’s surface + destroy its protective barrier. In other words, they are simply too harsh for sensitive skin types like acne-prone skin.
    You probably know that most commercial cleansers contain surfactants or emulsifiers – which is pretty much the same from a chemical point of view. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), soap + even sugar tensides (a common ingredient in many organic cleansers) strip the natural lipid layer from the skin’s surface + destroy its protective barrier. In other words, they are simply too harsh for sensitive skin types like acne-prone skin.
  • Not only are many of the natural "cleansers" mentioned in this tip quite inexpensive compared to most store bought products, they are also environmentally friendly, even after they go down the drain (apart from the cotton pads, of course).

    A gentle cleansing routine won‘t cure your acne, eczema or other skin problems like a magic potion, but you can improve your skin‘s condition a lot by NOT putting any more chemicals on it every single day. Treat your skin as gently as you can!

  • Acne or no acne, switching to a gentle, natural cleansing routine means switching to something that it is NOT causing inflammations + something that will NOT leave your face looking flaky, or feeling tight or dry. You want something gentle for your skin, something that keeps it hydrated + minimizes the amount of moisturizer you need to use. 

  • Above all you really don’t want to over-wash your face! It could be making your skin worse. Once or twice a day is enough. To avoid intolerances or even allergic reactions, always make a patch test on the inside of your arm before you apply anything to your face – even if it‘s mild + natural!


  • #1 CLAY | Clay draws toxins from the skin and can calm inflammations. You cannot only use it as a face mask, but also as a daily face wash. There are different types of clay: red, green or white clay, rhassoul or healing earth! You can mix clay with water + other stuff like aloe vera gel, organic floral waters, organic full fat yogurt, kefir or buttermilk. Get creative!

Don‘t try clay if you are allergic to nickel. Clay may contain traces of it.
    #1 CLAY | Clay draws toxins from the skin and can calm inflammations. You cannot only use it as a face mask, but also as a daily face wash. There are different types of clay: red, green or white clay, rhassoul or healing earth! You can mix clay with water + other stuff like aloe vera gel, organic floral waters, organic full fat yogurt, kefir or buttermilk. Get creative!

    Don‘t try clay if you are allergic to nickel. Clay may contain traces of it.
  • This cleansing method works especially well for oily or combination skins, however depending on which color of clay you use, all skin types can benefit.

If your skin tends to be dry, add a few drops of oil. To enhance antibacterial properties, try to add a drop of lavender, tee tree or laurel oil, a teaspoon of manuka honey or a splash of apple cider vinegar!
    This cleansing method works especially well for oily or combination skins, however depending on which color of clay you use, all skin types can benefit.

    If your skin tends to be dry, add a few drops of oil. To enhance antibacterial properties, try to add a drop of lavender, tee tree or laurel oil, a teaspoon of manuka honey or a splash of apple cider vinegar!
  • # 2 | Orris root powder is really moisturizing, very gentle on the skin + smells just like violets! Mix with water (or yogurt, aloe vera, floral waters) + apply in the same way as the clay mixtures.

    # 2 | Orris root powder is really moisturizing, very gentle on the skin + smells just like violets! Mix with water (or yogurt, aloe vera, floral waters) + apply in the same way as the clay mixtures.


  • #3 | Chickpea flour If you have very oily skin, chickpea flour might be good for you! Mix with water, floral waters, yoghurt + apply in the same way as clay or orris root powder.

  • #4 | Lactic acid harmonizes with your skin’s acidity, dissolves lipids and helps to remove dead skin cells.

If possible, use organic (non-pasteurized) milk products. Massage gently into your skin, avoid the eye area + leave on for a few minutes. Then rinse. Yogurt + curd are a little more gentle to the skin than kefir + buttermilk. Especially buttermilk might be too strong for very sensitive skin types due to its high amount of lactic acid. For the same reason, it‘s a great exfoliator!
    #4 | Lactic acid harmonizes with your skin’s acidity, dissolves lipids and helps to remove dead skin cells.

    If possible, use organic (non-pasteurized) milk products. Massage gently into your skin, avoid the eye area + leave on for a few minutes. Then rinse. Yogurt + curd are a little more gentle to the skin than kefir + buttermilk. Especially buttermilk might be too strong for very sensitive skin types due to its high amount of lactic acid. For the same reason, it‘s a great exfoliator!
  • #5 COTTON PAD + OIL | Apply just a few drops of oil (jojoba, olive, argan, almond, apricot kernel, evening primrose) on a moistened cotton pad + gently wipe across your face without rubbing. Splash with water afterwards.

  • If you're not sure which oils work best for your skin type, check out my tips pictured above! 
    If you're not sure which oils work best for your skin type, check out my tips pictured above! 
  • #6 | Fresh fruit contains enzymes which will remove dead skin cells, clear pores + resolve excess oil. I think most recipes I share are too complicated as an every day solution, but you can still consider them as a mask or treatment every once in a while! Be careful though, not every skin type can deal with fruit acid. Make a patch test first!
    #6 | Fresh fruit contains enzymes which will remove dead skin cells, clear pores + resolve excess oil. I think most recipes I share are too complicated as an every day solution, but you can still consider them as a mask or treatment every once in a while! Be careful though, not every skin type can deal with fruit acid. Make a patch test first!
  • #7 Oil Cleansing Method | Just grab your favorite oil + apply some of it on your dry face in a circular motion. Use your fingertips. To avoid irritation, massage your skin in the most gentle way possible – or not at all, especially in the most inflamed areas.

    again, check out my tips (shown in previous slides) to find which oils work best for your skin!

    Never apply a lot, as this will irritate your skin-like too much of anything can. Less is more.  

  • For dry skin, macadamia, canola or olive oil should work fine. Then, instead of using a very hot wet cloth to remove the excess oil, use a warm one pressing it gently on your face without rubbing. Repeat a few times. Don‘t use microfiber cloths, but only soft muslin or cotton cloths.

  • #8 BAKING SODA | Dilute a pinch of baking soda in A LOT OF water and splash your face with it. Rinse thoroughly with clean water afterwards.

Don‘t use too much baking soda + never let the baking-soda-water dry on your skin! The granules are kind of abrasive when dry.
    #8 BAKING SODA | Dilute a pinch of baking soda in A LOT OF water and splash your face with it. Rinse thoroughly with clean water afterwards.

    Don‘t use too much baking soda + never let the baking-soda-water dry on your skin! The granules are kind of abrasive when dry.
  • #9 | Raw organic honey is an extremely mild cleanser with antibacterial + moisturizing benefits! Simply apply, leave on for a few minutes up to half an hour, rinse. Be careful with your hair!
    #9 | Raw organic honey is an extremely mild cleanser with antibacterial + moisturizing benefits! Simply apply, leave on for a few minutes up to half an hour, rinse. Be careful with your hair!
  • #10 | All you need is a good oil (check out my tips on the best essential and carrier oils for your skin type) some water + a little bit of liquid lecithin. Lecithin is an emulsifier which is naturally occurring in egg yolks and oils (avocado oil contains a lot of it) and is really kind to the skin.
    #10 | All you need is a good oil (check out my tips on the best essential and carrier oils for your skin type) some water + a little bit of liquid lecithin. Lecithin is an emulsifier which is naturally occurring in egg yolks and oils (avocado oil contains a lot of it) and is really kind to the skin.
  • (3) Prepare only very small amounts, store in the fridge + use within two weeks (otherwise you‘ll have to use alcohol or preservatives).
(4) If you suffer from very dry patches you could try to add a pinch/drop of ectoin, allantoin, d- panthenol or lactic acid (online-shop/pharmacy).
    (3) Prepare only very small amounts, store in the fridge + use within two weeks (otherwise you‘ll have to use alcohol or preservatives).
    (4) If you suffer from very dry patches you could try to add a pinch/drop of ectoin, allantoin, d- panthenol or lactic acid (online-shop/pharmacy).

  • #11 ALOE | Aloe vera is an excellent choice, if you want to tone + hydrate your skin at the same time. Add one or two drops of oil to it to keep the moisture inside your skin!

Aloe vera speeds the healing process + acts as an anti inflammatory to calm down your skin. It is also a must have home first aid remedy: apply to burns, slow healing wounds, grazes, bites + stings!
    #11 ALOEAloe vera is an excellent choice, if you want to tone + hydrate your skin at the same time. Add one or two drops of oil to it to keep the moisture inside your skin!

    Aloe vera speeds the healing process + acts as an anti inflammatory to calm down your skin. It is also a must have home first aid remedy: apply to burns, slow healing wounds, grazes, bites + stings!
  • #12 WATER | pretty self-explanatory, right? 
    #12 WATER | pretty self-explanatory, right? 
  • #13 | Organic floral waters, also called hydrosols, are very kind on the skin (at least if you are not allergic to a specific flower or plant) + help to regenerate the skin‘s natural acid mantle after cleansing. There are lots of different choices: rose water, hamamelis water, orange blossom water, lavender water, chamomile water, thyme water, sandalwood water …
    #13 | Organic floral waters, also called hydrosols, are very kind on the skin (at least if you are not allergic to a specific flower or plant) + help to regenerate the skin‘s natural acid mantle after cleansing. There are lots of different choices: rose water, hamamelis water, orange blossom water, lavender water, chamomile water, thyme water, sandalwood water …
  • 14 | Apple cider vinegar is a natural disinfectant with antibacterial properties. 


     Apple cider vinegar should always be diluted with water so that it is much gentler on the skin! You can use it straight as a spot treatment though. To use it as a toner, mix one part apple cider vinegar with 8-10 parts (mineral) water + apply it on a cotton pad.

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