Let’s talk about soap, and how you shouldn’t use it on your face.
Don’t use soap on your face.
Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, here’s something you SHOULD use on your face, and you can use it daily – or morning AND night, even. I use my scrub typically in the morning (nighttime is reserved for oil cleansing, heavy toner usage, or nothing at all when I’m lazy). This is going to be exfoliating, cleansing, and nourishing for your skin, which always seems like what the skin needs first thing in the morning.
The best thing about this is that it keeps for a reeeeeeeeaaaaaaally long time. They’re all dry ingredients, and kept in a closed container in a darkish place (like the medicine cabinet) this will keep for 6 months or longer.
This is an easy, no-frills and no-spoilage approach to food on your face.
Guess what else? The winner of the drawing from the Gallery of Crunchy Betties is going to get a souped-up, super-powered version of this scrub, complete with neem powder (GREAT for any skin type), dried honey powder (see bottom) and MUCH more! That’s just one of the fun things that will be included in the giveaway package. You might notice that August is running out of steam here, and the deadline is soon to pass.
If you haven’t sent me pictures of food on your face yet, GET TO IT QUICK! Remember, you don’t HAVE to blog it – just send me a pic to be entered in the drawing. If you DO blog it, let me know, because the first 10 (and we’re only at 7, ahem) still get something special soon.
First the basic recipe, which any skin type can use, or you can tailor it even more specifically to your needs, which we’ll touch on at the end.
No-Nonsense Daily Scrub Recipe
- 1/2 c. finely ground oats
- 1/2 c. finely ground almond meal
- Liquid of choice (water, witch hazel for oily skin, milk for dry skin, rosewater for any skin type) – this is added to the scrub on a single-serving basis, not in master recipe itself
Grind up your oats and almonds (separately is probably best, or the oats might stick to the almonds in processing) and mix together well. Add any of the ingredients below – or use as is.
To Use: Place a small amount, approximately 2 tsp, of scrub in your hand or a small dish. Add a bit of liquid (water, rosewater, witch hazel, or milk) to the scrub and combine well, letting the oats lightly soak in the liquid. Lightly scrub your face with the mixture, moving in an upward, circular fashion. Either let the scrub dry for a few minutes and lightly rinse with warm water, or rinse off immediately.
Finish with a toner and moisturizer, if desired.
Customize Your Scrub
Here are some ideas to tailor your scrub to your exact skin type. Remember, you don’t have to add these – but they may help.
Oily Skin: 2 Tbsp. fine sea salt, 2 Tbsp. finely ground dried peppermint, and/or 5 drops rosemary essential oil.
Dry Skin: 2 Tbsp. powdered milk (try to find full-fat, if you can), 2 Tbsp. finely ground dried calendula, and/or 5 drops Roman chamomile essential oil.
And if you have very dry skin, you might find more benefit from using full-fat cream as the liquid you use to wet the scrub.
Combination Skin: 2 Tbsp. cornmeal, 2 Tbsp. finely ground dried chamomile, and/or 5 drops lavender essential oil.
If you want to get really crazy, one last thing I LOVE to add to my scrubs is honey powder. It’s exactly what it sounds like – powdered honey. We’ve been through the skin benefits of honey here. And honey powder is no different.
I purchased mine at a local spice store, which I’ll give a shout out to here, since you can order their stuff online: Savory Spice. But they’re not the only place you can find honey powder.
Add 1 Tbsp honey powder to your scrub recipe, iff’n you so choose.
Just Kidding on the Soap Thing
Okay. Not really. Soap really isn’t good for your skin – and squeaky clean is never what you want to aim for when you’re washing your face. You’re stripping vital oils that your skin needs to stay youthful and healthy, not to mention you’re leaving behind a residue that’s not particularly nourishing. And it does little to exfoliate – what’s actually best for your skin’s circulation.
It took me a long time to get used to the idea that I don’t need to cleanse to a shiny squeak to have healthy skin.
Which is funny, because throughout my life, I’ve always suffered more breakouts when I use a facial (soapy) cleanser. I just never put two and two together.
I tell you this as encouragement. I know it feels and seems weird not to use a cleanser or soap of some kind, but trust me – it’s just not necessary. One of myriad ways the cosmetics industry has you thinking you need to buy more products (which actually lead to skin conditions that make you think you need to buy even MORE products).
Can you break your soap habit?
This recipe should make it just a little easier for you.
In oaty-nutty-healthy-clean crunch!
Hi Crunchy Betty,
I’m super excited to try this scrub out. I’ve been wanting to switch to natural skin products for a while, but have been worried about breakouts with my oily skin and big pores. This looks like it might do the trick! One question: under the customize section of this blog, you mentioned adding rosemary oil for people with oily skin. Do you add this when you’re mixing with your water or witch hazel for each use, or do you add it to the oats and almond mix? Thanks!
Can i grind steel cut oats for this or do I have to use quick oats?
So first let me say I LOVE your blog! So much amazing information!!! I read about several of your different facial care recipes and decided to combine some elements of a different ones to form my own to meet my skins needs. First I should say I use the OCM in the evening. And it is awesome! Okay, back to the morning cleanser, I used 1 tbs oatmeal, 1 tbs baking soda, 1/8 tsp fine sea salt. I whirred those up in the food processor, put them in a jar and added enough honey to make a paste. The results have been excellent! No new breakouts and a shockingly fast healing of old breakouts! I hope this continues! I made enough for a week and my question is will it be okay (safe) just to leave in all mixed up in a jar with a lid in the shower? Thanks again for everything you write (and done in such a fun way)
Would Noxema be considered a soap? It’s the only thing I have found (haven’t tried your recipe yet) that doesn’t turn my skin all red and tones down my very, very oily skin. Also ditto on the almonds. I’m also allergic.
I’m not Betty, obviously. But are you allergic to coconut? Maybe you could substitute the Almonds for it? I’m trying a 1/3 Oat, 1/3 Almond, 1/3 Coconut one tonight…
Hmmmmmmm… i’m wondering how this would fair out as a homeade bath soap… Let’s say with liquid Castile or unscented gylcerin..
Any news? I would love to try this as a soap.
I’ve been doing this in the mornings and OCM at night. It’s been a week, no major break outs yet! I was using proactive, so I’m waiting for the dreaded breakout that’s associated with switching your routine. I really hope it doesn’t happen! So far so good! My complexion has improved, less blackheads and my skin isn’t an oil slick by noon!!! Pretty happy with the results but still will tweak it since my face is really dry around my mouth. Yah!!! So happy I found this site!!
I’m not sure I can find ‘finely ground oats’ here. Can I use the usual quaker oats we have for breakfast instead?
Sure, just stick them in the blender 🙂
Hi, Lesley! So, I found your blog a few weeks ago when I was looking for information on the safety of Borax and I’ve been lurking ever since. I’m sort of…well…obsessed with my skin after 10 years of bad acne. I’ve been spending a couple thousand dollars a year on expensive skin care products — until now. I tried this scrub with rosewater, and it’s the first exfoliator EVER that doesn’t make me break out! I’ve also tried your fennel & rosemary toner, maca mask, and lotion bars. I even started doing an ACV rinse on my hair. Wow. Seriously. Wow. My skin looks *better* than it did when I was using all those expensive products, and my hair is so much softer and more manageable. Thank you SO much! I might even venture to try the OCM or home-made deodorant next. The jury is still out on trying the whole no ‘poo thing, though… 🙂
Just stumbled upon your blog and I am looking to give this scrub a try! I have oily and acne prone skin and have had a difficult time finding something that will clear my skin naturally. I have tried everything under the sun from the dermatologists, even went through accutane, which cleared my skin fantastically, but a few pimples are popping up every now and then and the blackheads are tough to get rid of.
What do you use to grind the oats and almonds? I don’t have a food processor, only a blender, and I’ve never tried using it on dry food. Also, will this scrub remove makeup? Currently I’ve been using Cetaphil cleanser with my Clarisonic, so I’m curious if this will remove makeup or if I need to use something else first.
Thanks in advance!
I just saw this recipe of yours, sounds great and I will try it immediately. I have one question, though. You say never to use a cleanser or soap on face, but how about make up?.. Will this scrub remove make up as well?… Thank you.
Can I use ground almonds, in the UK and not heard of almond meal?
ground almonds is the same thing
I love this website! I’ll try this recipe also. I’ve been using milk and honey for a week now to cleanse my face and the results are fantabulous! Milk is an excellent mascara/eye makeup remover. It’s an excellent face cleanser, period. 🙂
I’m glad this is helping so many people, but I tried this, and broke out in an insanely itchy red rash all over my jaw and neck. I’m so sad, I feel like nothing works for me and I can’t find anyone who has skin like mine and can help me figure out what to do 🙁 I just want soft, smooth skin like everyone else, and I want to get it in a natural way. I’m 27 and have fair, sensitive, acne-prone skin, and I feel hopeless.
Jen, I also have acne-prone, fair, dry skin and have found a system that works really well for me. If you’re still having issues (as this comment was 2 months ago) feel free to e-mail me @ [email protected]. I’d love to talk to you about it.
oh my goodness, THANK YOU. i just now used this scrub for the first time, now that i’m trying to use more natural products in my routine, and truly my skin has never felt better. it’s already glowing and i’m still in my robe with my hair in a towel! i have started using all natural shea lotion (not butter) as a moisturizer with a drop or two of jojoba oil, and i think i’ve *finally* found my perfect routine! THANK YOU SO MUCH for the tip. when i read the recipe i thought, “yeah, this is going to be bizarre” but it was truly wonderful. it smells delicious, it’s easy to make, cheap. just fabulous!
Where do I find all natural shea lotion??
Is there something else that can be substituted for the almonds? I’m allergic to them so I’d like to avoid death as much as possible.
We have nut allergies too and I just use the oats with great results!
I love this as a daily scrub! I am going on week 3 with not using soap on my face. I use this scrub at night and honey in the moring. I haven’t had much with break outs any more and it’s “that Time” so i should be breaking out and i am not! And evern better, my oily skin has dramaticl reduced! This makes me so happy! I had horrible oily skin. I tired mineral make up and loved it but by the end of the day it looked like it was dripping off my face. 🙁 now i can’t wait to try again with less oily face. I still have redness to my face i can’t seem to reduce and need to work more on my black heads but am super happy so far! I made my 2nd batch with dried mint. Nice! Next time i’ll add even more stuff!
where can i buy neem oil???
I have started using this method, and, no lying, it has improved my skin DRAMATICALLY. Acne nearly completely gone in 1 week! Talked about it on my blog, here,
What do you recommend for a moisturizer? I’m going to start the ECM tonight for my evening routine, but would like something to try in the mornings. I have very oily skin, and at first will just try water washing, then maybe this scrub. Any homemade moisturizers? I’m hesitant to try EVOO since my skin is prone to blemishes and sensitive.
This organic moisturizer is AMAZING! https://www.etsy.com/listing/94429019/moisturizing-face-oil-organic-anti-aging
whoa. i thought my skin was looking and feeling pretty nice with the OCM and honey cleansers, but i NEVER expected it to feel so soft and smooth with this scrub. goodness, this is fantastic. in the words of christopher walken as the continental, “wowy-wow-wow-wow!”
Hey Crunchy Betty – I’m kind of lazy when it comes to this sort of thing…can I use almond meal instead of grinding it myself?
I can’t tell you how excited I was last night, all because of this post. I read it (first time) yesterday afternoon, and had been thinking about where I was going to get whole almonds in my little bitty town. Granted, whole almonds would be easier to come by now that it’s coming up on the holidays, but still – not like we have a gourmet grocery within 25 miles. We just moved back to my hometown, so I was thinking most of my freezer was depleted in the move. Imagine my thrill when I went to transfer some things from the deep freeze to the house freezer and found a half-pound of whole almonds left! I see a face scrub in my future…
Seriously, it’s lovely. I’ve been using it every single night for the last two weeks, and my skin is sooo soft. And guess how many pimples I’ve gotten in that time? None!
Glad you found your almonds. It was serendipity. Synchronicity. The universe was totally telling you something.
Although the recipe sounds lovely, scrubbing your face daily will probably leave it no chance to renew itself with the new cells. I hope that makes sense as I don’t really get the process of skin renewing, I just know it needs to happen. I’ve heard that at the most exfoliating should happen twice a week. Maybe the grains in your recipe are too fine for it matter, it’s just a thought.
Actually, this is incredibly, incredibly gentle on your face. If it was something more scrubby (that contained baking soda or sugar or salt), I’d definitely agree. But this is actually going to moisturize a bit, especially with the oats, and won’t likely strip anything important away. But! I will say this, I don’t do anything consistently every day of the week – I’ll do this maybe four times a week and an oil cleanse once or twice and a cleansing mask or something. I think it’s good for your skin to mix it up (just like it’s good for you to eat different types of food, y’know?).
Good point, though. Thanks!
I can’t believe I haven’t found your blog until now! I love this and I can’t wait to try all of this! Fantastic info.
Welcome! Please let me know if you have any questions about anything at all. So glad to have you here. Come back soon!
Yay for new friends!
I’ve been perusing the recipes and this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Thanks for all this information! I’m excited to get started. You’re awesome!
I’m presently camping and hiked 2 miles with my laptop to find the wi-fi spot (ha ha ha) and I forgot my cleanser and only have soap. I’ve been eyeing my camping supplies and thinking WWCBD? Since I don’t think I can do much with pancake mix and Captain Crunch I’ll have to wait until I get home and mix up some anti-acne treatment because I’m sure to have some dry skin and break outs!
Love the new blog design.
Yay! It’s like you read my mind. I’ve been needing to exfolliate and was wondering what to use, and lo and behold, here it is! And, I’m going to the store tomorrow, so I’ll get some almonds. Beautiful.
Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
I just ran out of my scrub cleanser this week. I’m going to mix some up.
Then take a picture and send it to you. Me and the kids.
Um, yeah. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I got when I read this. (Doesn’t take much, though.)
And getting the kids involved? Best. Thing. Ever.
Hurry! Before I burst, yo.
This sounds heavenly!
Hope you enjoy it, Jamie! As always, let me know what you think when you give it a try!
I can’t tell you how much I love the “longer shelf life” of this! Never been much into face soaps anyway (too harsh and drying), so what you said here is really good news.
Ha. Yeah. I don’t know what took me so long to do this. In fact, I think this is so important (because it’s so long-lasting and convenient) that I’m leaving it up a whole ‘nother day. I’m not even going to post tomorrow. It has nothing to do with laziness. I swear.
Jen @ Lita's World
LOVE IT! I’m definitely making this as I’ve been using up all my “store boughts” in preparation of making something natural and homemade. Thanks for posting this!!
Yay! I love that kinda talk, woman.
To be honest, I’m still finding jars and bottles tucked away that I forgot I had (Bath & Body Works stuff, especially) that I haven’t used in two years. It’s a never-ending process, I swear.
Perfect! The other day, while getting ingredients for a honey/sugar scrub, I also picked up some roasted almonds for munching… and then realized I’d actually gotten raw almonds. I think this was meant to be. Anyway to combine the two scrubs? (I’m a huge cheap-o…)
You absolutely could combine the two scrubs; however, you’ll want to add honey to the dry mixture at each washing. You know what I mean? Not sure what the shelf life would be if you introduced honey (plus, it would just end up a gooey mess after a while).
But sugar will give you extra exfoliating. I typically don’t use sugar on my face, because it’s sticky and I have the feeling it probably encourages bacteria to muck around a bit more. But you could do it.
DEFINITELY on the honey, though. Just a little drop each time you wash.
Don’t forget about making your own almond butter, too (if you have lotsa almonds)! Here was Stephanie’s tutorial on it (if you missed it):
I’ve used sugar on my face a few times and thus far, as long as I’m sure to rinse well, it hasn’t been a problem. I thought about using salt instead to avoid the risk of bacteria, but I like the idea of being able to eat my tasty scrub too much… Mmmm, sugar and honey.
What’s the best way to grind the almonds without turning them into butter? Do you start with raw or roasted almonds?
(See what you’ve done? You made it easy to ask questions, and once I starting asking questions I never stop…)
Actually, you grind them the same way you would almond butter, only you STOP when they get small and before they get mushy. They end up kind of like sand. You’ll be able to tell when you’re doing it. In my small food processor, this takes about two minutes – maybe just a touch longer.
Ask away! I LOVE questions.
Did you use roasted or raw almonds?