long before i started root lore goods, i was experimenting with making my own personal care items. one of the first things i made for myself was this all-natural face wash, inspired by a recipe from rosemary gladstar. today i’m sharing my recipe for face wash grains.
these grains are gentler than a commercial face wash, but have many of the same actions. the base is kaolin clay, which acts to absorb oils and impurities from the surfaces of the skin. organic whole grain oats give the wash texture and exfoliate the skin of the face. building from this clay and oat base, you can choose any number of herbs and flowers to add to the mix. the oats and herbs are ground together into a course meal, and the meal is what physically cleans the face.
i prepare a large batch of the herb-clay-oat mix and store it in mason jars. if stored properly, these face wash grains have an indefinite shelf life. every couple weeks, i make the wet mixture of the grains, honey, and rose water, and store this in a small glass jar in my shower.
- 2 parts white kaolin clay (cosmetic clay)
- 1 part organic whole grain oatmeal (not steel cut!)
- 1 part herbs and flowers of your choice (see below)
- rosewater, distilled water, or filtered water
- raw honey
to make the dry base, place the oats, herbs, and flowers into a dry bowl of a blender, a food processor, or a spice grinder. pulse the appliance until you have a course meal – there should be chunks and bits of oats and leaves and flowers. pour mix into a bowl and add clay (add slowly or you’ll make a big dust cloud). with your hands, mix everything together gently. store in airtight containers out of direct sunlight.
to prepare the wet wash, add a tablespoon of honey and a splash (less than a 1/4 tsp) of rosewater, distilled water, or filtered water.** mix well using a chopstick or butter knife. to this wet mix, start adding the dry base. i add a little at a time and mix well until i achieve a consistency i like. the grains should be wet, but not runny – a paste like consistency. if you add too much dry grains, add drops of water to thin out. store in an airtight container (i use a baby mason jar with a plastic screw on top).
to wash your face, use a dime-sized amount of the wet grains and scrub your face thoroughly. make sure to wash you t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) to get all the oils that accumulate there daily. this wash is gentle enough to use twice a day! follow the wash with a toner and a light cream if you have dry skin. i find that the grains are not drying at all, and i don’t have to apply cream during the summer months.
herbs and flowers for skin care
here’s a list of herbs and flowers that would make a great addition to this wash.
- dandelion flowers
- elder flowers
- hibiscus flwoers
- plantain leaves
- raspberry leaves
- violet leaf and/ or flower
i use a flower-only blend because i love incorporating flower magic into my beauty products. i’m not an overtly feminine person (i don’t wear makeup) and using flowers helps me tap into my feminine side. it also feels divine to treat myself with personal care products made from flowers.
if you don’t want to make your own but are interested in trying cleansing grains, i sell 2.5 ounces of the dry base over in my shop. my blend uses roses, elder flowers, lavender, and calendula.
try these grains out and let me know how it goes! i turned to natural face care products because i had terrible acne thru my mid-twenties. i feel that the switch to gentle, botanical cleaners like this one helped my acne go away. my skin feels clear and rarely inflamed these days.
**a note about using water. because the wet grains are an aqueous mixture, you need to be careful about molds. any product containing water is susceptible to mold. raw honey is an excellent natural preservative. make sure you use the least amount of water possible. make the grains wet in small batches – the above recipe makes enough for 2-3 weeks. and finally, use distilled or filtered water instead of tap water. i like to use a little rosewater for that something extra touch 🙂