Home Made Organic Cleanser & Moisturiser

magnolia flower

I first read about this technique of using store cupboard ingredients to cleanse and nourish my skin in a book by Bharti Vyas called Simply Ayurveda: Discover Your Type to Transform Your Life.

It’s out of print now, which seems a shame – I really got a lot out of it and have been using a lot of the techniques I learned from it for about 8 years or so. I know that some time soon after the publication of this book, Bharti released a range of skin products via Tesco supermarket! I don’t know if she still has that partnership, but a quick consultation with her website sees her salon products and training offered as her main product range. I’m always suspicious about ‘salon’ ready treatments but perhaps I will try them out one day.

Meantime, I like to stick to making my own. It’s worked for me all these years – and as you can see, it’s so quick and easy and requires so few ingredients, you would be mad not to give it a go. So here is my slightly modified take on the original recipes offered by Bharti.

Organic Herbal Cleansing Powder

This powder allows you to thoroughly and gently clean your skin, without the need for using any harsh soaps – and only requires 3 simple, edible ingredients you probably already have in your store cupboard.

The first step is to assess your skin type as Dry, Sensitive or Oily and make appropriate selections from the options below:

Dry : use hot water to wash (improves your circulation)
Sensitive : wash in cool water (keeps your circulation calm)
Oily : use warm water to wash
(maintains circulation)


Blog Cleanser Ingredients

Dry : 2tsp ground organic almonds, good pinch organic golden caster sugar, 1 tsp milk powder
Sensitive : 2tsp ground organic almonds, 1 tsp milk powder, 1/2 tsp fresh grated organic orange peel
Oily : 2tsp ground barley meal, 1tsp milk powder, 1tsp fresh grated organic lemon peel


Mix the ingredients according to your skin type together (I use a pestle & mortar to gently combine the moist peel with the powders) and transfer to a clean screw top jar. Remember, these are fresh ingredients so you will need to make a fresh batch every five days or so. Be warned, if you leave them any longer, they’re likely to go mouldy!

herbal organic cleanser for sensitive skin

Cleanse twice a day by taking a large pinch of your powder mixed with some water in your hand and gently apply to your face and neck – without scrubbing! Rinse off and leave to dry.

Organic Skin Oil for Moisturising

This part is what Bharti calls “Nourishing“. Well, of course it is – but we would commonly refer to this step as moisturiser, so that’s what I’m going to do.


Two ingredients are all you need for this step, although there is plenty of choice for you to experiment with as long as you stick within the options for your skin type.

First up you need to choose your base oil according to your skin type;

Dry : Sesame Oil (organic, unrefined, cold-pressed – and save the toasted version for your stir fry!)
Sensitive : Sunflower Oil (organic, unrefined, cold-pressed)
Oily : Corn or Canola Oil (organic, unrefined, cold-pressed)

Bharti offers a selection of essential oils for you to choose from. I’ve stuck with ylang ylang all these years and love the sweet smell, but you might wish to experiment a little more.

Dry : red sandalwood, neroli, vanilla, geranium, ginger, saffron, nutmeg, lemon
Sensitive : sandalwood, ylang-ylang, mint, coriander, camphor, cumin
Oily : lavender, eucalyptus, bergamot, patchouli, clove, camphor

organic facial moisturiser


Combine 50 drops of your chosen essential oil with 100ml of your base oil. I use a travel bottle with a spray top to store my oil as it’s the perfect size and the pump action means I control the amount I use.

To use the oil, simply pump a few sprays into the cup of your hand and sprinkle on some water then apply to moist skin.

Home Made Organic Beauty Products

Wasn’t that easy? Simple? Cheap? And effective!

I’m a big fan of supplementing these two essentials from time to time, with regular face masks made with fruit, yoghurt, honey and even double cream! And I like to treat myself to some more expensive ready made lotions from suppliers like Miss Ballantyne.

It’s essential to take extra care if you live in the sun or need to avoid sunshine. I have some recipes for home made sun prevention, but I haven’t actually tried them out yet. You can see my review of an organic sun protection cream for sensitive skin from Lavera here.

Do let me know how you get on and let me know if you’ve any recipes you would like to share!

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July 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Hartley November 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Hi Julie, thanks for this. Loving the newsletter! Just a wee reminder to people, don’t use rind from ordinary supermarket oranges. It is coated with all sorts of nasty pesticides and chemicals. ( This article in the Independent is worth a read! ) I know I’ve been tempted to cut corners and use cheap non-organic ingredients for skin care but it’s just not worth it! I like to think I’m using every scrap of my organic stuff so uses for rind are great.


Julie Gibbons December 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

That’s a great point, Linda – thanks for making it.

That’s why we state organic orange peel in the recipe – that wax might make the oranges look shiny, but it’s not something I’d want to rub on my face!


Ruth Crone January 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Great stuff, was reminded of this article by Lea Woodward. Now to persuade ‘chef’ to add these to his repertoire. Cover you ears, ladies.