While we’re so focused on cleaning under the beds, and cleaning the floor behind the toilet (because who does that more than once a year?), we forget the most important thing.
And, yes, it’s good to give your face a nice spring cleaning. It’s easier than dusting the molding around the floor. It’s more luxurious than cleaning cat hair out of the air conditioning vent. And makes you feel SO much younger than weeding through your kids’ closet for clothes to give away.
This EASY, and very nonmessy, 3-Step Spring Cleaning Facial is great for all skin types (though there are some modifications you can make if you have very dry skin).
When you’re done, your face will be smooth, soft, and extremely clean, from your lips to your pores.
This is also a great thing to do with your daughter or a friend, as you’ll have more than enough mask for one person – and when you clean with a loved one, it hardly seems like cleaning at all. (Unless you’re my mom, and I’m 5 years old, and I scream for 2 hours straight because I don’t want to clean my room. And yes, that happened. Sorry, mom. I remember it like it was yesterday.)
This is a very back-to-the-basics type facial cleaning, using easy (but very effective) ingredients. Most likely, you have every single ingredient in your house right at this moment.
So, in this 3-Step Spring Cleaning Facial, you’ll be doing three whole things (see how that 3-step thing works?):
Ready for the first step?
Spring Cleaning Facial Step 1: Exfoliate
Before you start truly cleaning here, I want you to do three things. Gather all the ingredients you need for each step. Tie your hair back. And start with a clean face. (Do this by washing your face however you typically wash.)
The first step is a clarifying, microdermabrading scrub with baking soda and distilled or purified water.
It is important to use purified or distilled water throughout this whole routine, so make sure you have some on hand. Stay away from tap water if you truly want to do a good cleaning job on your face. (I used the water from my awesome Berkey Light Filter.)
If You Have Dry Skin: You can use baking soda and water, but you may want to opt for the nutmeg and milk scrub instead. It’s less drying and more gentle.
Mix together 2 tsp baking soda and 2 tsp distilled/purified water. After you’ve tied back your hair and made sure your face was generally clean, wet your face briefly with the distilled/purified water.
Softly scrub the baking soda paste over your face in small circular motions, concentrating on spots that tend to be troublesome. Remember: Softly. Do this for 3-5 minutes.
Rinse well with your distilled/purified water.
Get ready for step 2.
Spring Cleaning Facial Step 2: Steam
There are two things to remember when using a facial steam: First, do not hold your head over boiling water. It’s too hot and too harsh on your skin. Secondly, do NOT drape a towel over your head when the pot is still on the burner. Before I knew better (years ago), I started a towel on fire this way (and almost lost my hair)!
For this step, you’ll need your distilled or purified water, some herbs, a pot, and a towel.
You can use many different herbs in a facial steam, but to spring clean, I chose rosemary and lavender. Rosemary, in particular, will do a great job at unclogging oily pores. While lavender isn’t necessary, it’s a great option if you have dry skin. I used both, because that’s how I roll.
Here’s how you do it: Bring 3 cups of distilled/purified water and 3-4 Tbsp herbs (or just rosemary) to a rolling boil. Once the water has begun to boil, move the pot off the burner and wait 30 seconds.
Drape a towel over your head and place your face over the steam. Leave it there as long as you can tolerate (and come up for air if you need it, by golly). Do this for 5-10 minutes. If your water loses steam, just place it back on the burner and bring it to a boil again, and start over where you were.
Splash your face with the distilled/purified water and wipe off gently with a clean washcloth.
Move on to step 3.
Spring Cleaning Facial Step 3: Mask
This baby is the piece-de-resistance to this whole spring cleaning regimen. It’s softening, a bit “peeling” (as in a fruit acid peel), and it pulls out the remaining gunk that might be clogging your pores.
Think of it like a good floor mopping right after you’ve swept. It brightens everything up and completes the true cleaning process.
For this mask, you’ll need an egg, lemon, and honey.
If You Have Dry Skin: You may want to use the whole egg instead of just the egg whites. In addition, you may want to use a less acidic fruit juice, like apple or white grape juice (organic and sugar-free).
Here’s how you do it: Separate the egg white in a small bowl. To that, add 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp honey. Stir well with a fork.
Apply with a very clean, small paintbrush or your fingers. When I use a paintbrush, I like to paint one layer on, let it dry for 30 seconds, and then paint another layer on (just to make sure it’s getting everywhere it needs to go).
Lie down (you want to lie down, so your skin will dry hanging “backwards” instead of down, which will help give you a little lift as the egg dries and pulls your face gravitationally) and let this mask dry for 10-15 minutes.
Wet your washcloth fully with your distilled/purified water and gently wipe the mask completely off your face. Finish with one last splash of water.
You can finish with a toner, if you’d like.
But. Be. Sure. To. Moisturize. It. Is. Very. Important.
This whole process will leave you with amazingly clean skin, but it’ll need a little moisture added back to it. Don’t skip this step! Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
The moisturizer I’d prefer in this instance: jojoba oil. That’s it. It’s great for any skin type (even acne-prone and oily skin) and it’s super softening. But you can use whatever moisturizer you typically do. The world is your oyster now.
To make things easier, here’s a printable list of recipes for the 3-Step Spring cleaning Facial:
3-Step Spring Cleaning Facial
Step 1: Baking Soda Microdermabrasion
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp distilled or purified water
Starting with a clean, moistened face (with the distilled/purified water), scrub the paste of baking soda/water onto your face in circular motions. Do this (SOFTLY) for 3-5 minutes, focusing on troublesome areas. Rinse well with your purified water.
Step 2: Herbal Facial Steam
- 3 c. purified or distilled water
- 3-4 Tbsp rosemary (or lavender for dry skin, or roses, or chamomile, or calendula)
- A large pot
- Bath towel
Bring the water and herbs to boil, stirring occasionally to make sure all the herbs are getting wet. Once it’s reached a boil, remove from heat (and away from stove). Drape your towel over your head and place your face above the steam. If it becomes uncomfortable, pull your face away. Continue this for 5-10 minutes. Splash your face with purified/distilled water and dry gently with your towel.
Step 3: Purifying Facial Mask
- 1 egg white (or white and yolk, if you have dry skin)
- 2 tsp lemon juice (or apple juice if you have dry skin)
- 1 tsp honey
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together well with a fork. Apply to the face with a clean paintbrush or your fingers. Lie down and let the mask dry for 10-15 minutes. Wet your washcloth with distilled/purified water and softly scrub the mask off. Finish with one more rinse with your water. Tone (if you’d like) and moisturize.
Raise Your Hand if You’re Ready to Clean
I HAD to get this post up for the weekend, because I figured it would be the perfect time for you to schedule some crunchy pampering time in.
Honestly, it’s one of the least messy things I think I’ve ever done (even with the 3 steps) and probably took me a total of 45 minutes from start to finish (and that was even taking pictures, so it should take you even less time).
When I was all done, Skip came out and asked how it went. I made him touch my cheek and he just looked at me wistfully and said, “Dang, woman.” So … yeah. I feel pretty good about this one.
And clean. Good and clean.
You ready to do it this weekend?
I just tried this! and it feels amazing! Thanks for these detailed and effective steps! Love ya!
I can’t believe the results I obtained from your spring clean up. I am 80 years old and I swear my skin looks younger than it has in years. Still have the red blotches but they can be disguised with makeup. What I would like to know now is a moisturizer I can make myself. any suggestions? Please do get back to me if you can.
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Hi…u’ve got some great DIY’s here which i ‘m dying to try. A ques though, is there any replacement of the eggs in the mask?
Can I just say thank you for this awesome 3 step cleaning facial! it is absolutely the best facial I have ever done. Have tried literally hundreds of products to give me radiance and also to give me smooth skin plus I also have sensitive skin, but every product has failed so far… Until one of my friends recommended me to do this 3 step facial. Yet again I thought that this is just a cleaning system that won’t work… I just thought you won’t lose anything by just trying. I have done everything step by step and even timed myself with a timer with the different prep times. After I have done this I can actually see a difference in my skin… No dullness and no redness anymore and all the products are so cost effective… This is the only thing that does not give me a rash… And the honey, egg and lemon juice is just the most effective mask ever… The honey is the thing that soothes the skin and does not dry your skin out. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Will definitely put this in my book of favorites.
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I have never had this effect with commercial products in my life to this point!
I tried this as my first home facial, not only did I think my skin looked improved (softer look, fewer blackheads, smaller appearing pores), a co-worker almost didn’t recognize me! ha!
I definitely will be working this into my routine!
As a note, I used the nutmeg/milk microdermabrasion in place of the baking soda one just due to my at home resources….maybe I’ll try the other one next time.u
Thank you very much for your blog and posts! I am off to buy your book right now.
In step 3, can I use calamansi instead of lemon?
Thanks for the detailed recipe! I never do much besides wash my face with water, so all this attention made my skin positively radiant.
A couple things: I don’t get why you really need purified or distilled water, especially for the steaming. Boiling the water is itself a purification process; water as a gas carries no chemicals/minerals/salt – it’s pure H20.
Secondly…what do you do with all the leftover rosemary water? Throwing it away seems like a bit of a waste, and I’ve never used so much rosemary in one sitting.
I totally support the use of food for skin beauty, but I can’t help but be frugal with this resource – food is for eating, after all. I guess you argue this is “Skin food,” but how much food does the skin really need slathered directly on it? I understand the skin absorbs nutrients more effectively this way, but how much more effective is slathering on avocado than just eating it? (I don’t expect an answer to this; I’m just musing).
Anyways, my point is, the measurements in the recipes could probably be cut down by more than half; I only had to use a spoonful of egg and a dab of honey to cover my face. The rest I used to scramble for my dinner. 🙂
That said, your blog is awesome and I really enjoy reading your posts – they’re funny, useful, and well researched. Thanks again for the natural beauty tips!
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I don’t have a moisturizer at home..but can i moisturize by using an avocado mask?
I really have to try this this weekend when I am relaxing.
I so have to try this.
Boyfriend and I just did the cleanse. Can’t believe the years it took off. Thank you for sharing and please keep it up. Always looking for ways to be kind to myself.
I just tried this today and I love how my skin feels – not overly moisturized/oily but not dry either…just soft 😀 My honey is super thick and sticky though, so I had to add a few drops of hot water to the mask mix to actually be able to mix it…in the future I’ll make sure to warm the honey in a jar in some hot water before I add it, but it still seemed to work really well. This was the first homemade thing I’ve tried and now I’m hooked – thanks!
thks! i first steamed my face with a wet microwaved clean face cloth then i used milk and sugar as my facial scrub to exfoiliate- worked very nicely and felt good. Then i polished face off with apple cider vinegar as an astrigent. Now im thinking- use the last of my milk in shower with sugar as a body wash…. next time i will try with herb distilled water etc and maybe honey mask.
If I don’t have nutmeg can I substitute cinnamon?
I just tried this for the first time and am in LOVE! How often can I use this? Is once a month too much?
I have have combo skin and i want to learn which moisturizer would be best for my case, of if there was recipe for me to make at home. Seggestions?
Looks fantastic! I just started using the oil cleansing method-I’m 31 and my acne is worse than when I was in high school. Every cleanser dries it out too much, and every moisturizer breaks me out! So far it’s working well-a few new pimples, but they’re healing quickly. Can’t wait to try this facial! (if I have lime juice, can I use that in place of the lemon juice, or will it be best to use lemon?)
So…I’m allergic to eggs, is there anything else i could replace it with for this recipe?
I’m not sure, but you could try gelatin (or find a vegan sub, I know there is one out there, I just can’t remember it) in that step.
Flaxseed is used as an egg substitute, so I’m sure it can be used for this as well.
When you said ”Splash your face with distilled water” after the steaming, did you mean the hot water from the pot with herbs?? Lol, i’m confused ~
I love dit! I tried it last week and kept the steamed herb infused water from step 2 to make my No-poo and ACV rinse with it… 😀
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simplicity of the recipes that is, not your writing – that is both informative and entertaining!
any home remedies to reduce redness? And hea
l current and past blemishes?
this is my issue, too. i’ve tried dabbing honey on redness from past blemishes and leaving it on overnite, but haven’t really noticed anything helpful
Try manuka honey, it is expensive but well worth it.
Tried this today, and, um…loved it! Thank you!
Betty, what’s your personal opinion about Neutrogena Naturals??
So I wasn’t sure whether to use the baking soda scrub or the nutmeg and milk, so I just mixed them together, then mixed some more because the consistency was too runny. So I ended up with enough for a full body scrub and took it with me into the shower. WOW! I’m trying not to touch my face too much. And I lost a build up of dry skin on my knee that I didn’t realize was there until it was coming off. Thanks for giving me the means to get silky smooth and smell like a cookie!
Absolutely amazing! My skin hasn’t felt this nice in years. I used the nutmeg and milk exfoliation and almost had to stop there because it made my skin feel so nice. But I pressed on through the other two steps and was not disappointed. What an innovative, cheap, natural and glorious way to be beautiful. I had so much fun putting food on my face (I have never tried it before). I am so excited about finding Crunchy Betty. Well done!
Heavenly!!!! My husband thought I was a complete nut, as I stood over a pot of steaming herbal water, and then slathered egg on my face, but when I told him that I could go spend $200 at a spa for the same thing, he shut up 😉 My face feels fantastic, thank you, thank you, thank you!
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mmmm love this!
on occation i like doing a honey & egg yolk (no white) mask…it stays a little more unguent rather than tightening (from lack of egg white), so i always give myself a bit of a facial massage as well while lying down.
I love this! I tried this last night as I was procrastinating from studying, and my skin feels amazing! I have acne prone skin, so I used the nutmeg/milk scrub, and I absolutely love it.
Thank you so, so much for this — I have a big week coming up for work and this is exactly what my little cara needed…all of your recipes have had a dramatic effect on my life — around Thanksgiving I was in Buenos Aires and had read an article in the NYT about older women with longer hair (granted, I’m 27, but in the professional world, it is hard to get away with anything past the shoulders). The article mentioned the importance of not washing with shampoo every day, so I started looking for more information how to live without shampoo. Long story short, since no one in Buenos Aires knew me, I figured that I could go through the unattractive phase there. Now, I use baking soda for shampoo, your face scrub on my face, a body brush in the shower, body oil that I whipped up, avocado oil for my face moisturizer and homemade deodorant…I barely recognize the woman I used to be, but man, am I healthier, with a calmer complexion and beautiful, strong hair.
Thank you, thank you, for all you do.
Does the rosemary have to be fresh or can it be dried? I only ask because I literally JUST got 5 garbage bags of it harvested just yesterday. I’m drying one bag but I have no idea what to do with the other four bags besides try to give it away. I hate to have the rosemary go to waste so I’m scrambling trying to find DIY projects to use with it (I don’t do much cooking with rosemary). I love this, though – I’ve been so focused on spring cleaning around the house my skin sure has been neglected!
Lane’, If you think they will go to waste, please send them to me. I mean it!!!
Can you imagine, I’ve never steamed. Well, I have a close steamer and have turned it out myself a time or two. I can’t wait to try this with lavender and rosemary. I bet it made your house smell great.
I’m on spring break and haven’t been to the grocery store yet, but will be trying this tomorrow. I’m really in the mood to cleanse!
Perfect! I needed an inspiration to get started with my season-changing beauty routine, and here it is. Thank you! ^.^
Fun! Just the kind of spring cleaning I like. 🙂
Crud, you guys. I lost a couple of great comments in the move (there was a period of about 5 hours there where if you commented, it just got lost in the ether.
Sorry about that!
If you don’t see your comment here, leave it again.
(PS – check out the sidebar over there up at the top.)
Looks so great. Can’t wait to try it this weekend. Thank you!!!!!
It’s funny that you posted this. I just made (something similar) this morning.
My routine was (grandma taught me):
1)exfoliate with lemon and sugar: cut lemon in half, dip in a 1-2 tbsp of sugar and make circular motions on your face without pressing too hard against it. Let it dry. Rinse it off (I jumped in a hot shower, it’s easier)
2) then: 1 drop tea tree oil, 1 tbsp grapeseed oil, 1 tsp olive oil, pinch of oats (I didn’t use honey this time because it crystalized): mix it all, spread on your face, let it dry. Rinse in off with hot water (I actually step back in the shower and let the hot shower do the job.
On another note, about your no ‘POO thing: grandma used to go to the garden and get a big aloe vera leaf, cut in half and spread that transparent gunky stuff on the hair to mosturize it. And tea made with onion skins (the very thin thing) is good if you want shinny hair. It leaves no smell residue. Also if you decide to put a whole egg in your hair (or add one to your mixture) she always said to remove that little egg membrane because apparently that’s the key thing for not have your hair smell like an egg afterwards.
Anyhow, I cane across your blog a few weeks ago because I need to same money ASAP and I’ve really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for doing it!!!
Lisa D. Liguori
Very fun! Shall I spring clean my house, or my skin first??? I shall have to wait for the weekend to decide 😉