Learn How to Wash Your Face with Food

One valuable rule I learned while detoxing my beauty routine is “Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.”ť The following list of edible facial cleansers takes that advice to a whole new level. These cleansers are actual foods in unadulterated states ingredients that you’ve already got in the pantry and fridge that will make your skin feel fabulous while making chemical-based cleansers completely unnecessary. If you have any more to add to the list, please share in the comments below.
1. Organic Full-Fat Milk

This is the “ultimate quickie cleanser,” according to Julie Gabriel in “The Green Beauty Guide” (a must-read for anyone who’s interested in detoxing their beauty routine). Pour some milk onto a cotton ball and use it to wipe off makeup. There is no need to rinse, although you can add a layer of moisturizer if you want. “Enjoy a mild exfoliation as milk sours and gives your skin a natural glow,” Gabriel writes.

2. Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

Make sure it’s plain, without any flavorings. Rub it into your face and rinse, or leave it on the skin for several minutes. The lactic acid and probiotics in yogurt nourish and cleanse gently. You can mix with honey in order to make an antibacterial cleanser.

3. Oatmeal or oat brain

Use it on its own or mix with a spoonful of plain yogurt. Add just enough hot water to soften the oatmeal and make it spreadable. Rub into your face and rinse with tepid water.

4. Organic mayonnaise

Organic mayonnaise, which is made of oil blended with eggs, is an excellent natural moisturizer. Spread it directly onto your face or mix with oatmeal for extra exfoliation.

5. Olive, sweet almond, grape seed, and coconut oils

Pour a bit of oil onto a cotton ball in order to wipe away makeup and refresh your face. You can also use the multi-step oil cleansing method (described in greater detail here) to wash, purify, and moisturize your skin. Add a spoonful of brown sugar or baking soda for extra abrasion, if you wish.

6. Baby cereal

It may sound unappealing, but baby cereals are made of finely ground grains, which make for excellent exfoliation. Mix with a spoonful of olive or sweet almond oil, rub into your face, and rinse.

7. Tomato

Former TreeHugger writer Jasmine Chua suggests using tomato mixed with yogurt to cleanse the face, as it contains complexion-nourishing antioxidants, vitamins, and acids that help slough off dead skin.

8. Honey

Honey is a wondrous ingredient with antibacterial and moisturizing properties. Rub it undiluted into your face to cleanse and soften. In order to dissolve makeup, blend with a gentle oil such as jojoba or coconut. All the stickiness rinses away with warm water.

9. Dried milk powder and almond meal

Mix these together in equal parts. Scoop some into your hand, add a bit of water to make a paste, and rub into your face for a refreshing natural scrub.

by Katherine Martinko, from Treehugger


Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

Interesting tips. I am going to try the honey face wash! I can be clean and tasty! Thanks for sharing.

Mac C.
mac C4 years ago

I've been washing my face with oil and like it, as you suggested in another article. All of the dairy foods and honey mentioned here I do not eat, so would not use... but like the idea of using foods over skin care products from a store. Thanks for posting.

Angela K.
Angela K4 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Christie C.
Christie C4 years ago

oops that was supposed to read, "the majority of products at the store are made"

Christie C.
Christie C4 years ago

It is odd that so many think rubbing food on their skin is gross but they'll use soaps made from animal fat, petroleum polymers or gmo corn extracts, (the majority of products at the store are not made with these ingredients, including natural and organic brands).

If I ever live in the tropics, I'll use coconut oil. But living in California, I prefer jojoba oil, which is native to the southwest US. It works great as a moisturizer and cleanser.

I really like using winter squash as a moisturizing mask. I usually scrape a bit of what's left in the skin after roasting squash like butternut or acorn. It really makes my skin feel softer. The top part of a tomato makes a great facial pad, with the stem as a handle. Rub it on your face before you throw it away and let it sit on your face for 10 minutes or so while you keep cooking.

Unlike some have recommend, don't use soap after these facials. It strips away the moisture you're trying to create. Luke warm water is best for rinsing, and everyday washing for that matter. Even castile soap is too harsh to use everyday on my face. If you use makeup, jojoba oil will do a great job of removing it without drying the skin.

Leanne B.
Leanne B4 years ago

Thanks for sharing these tips.

Deborah F.
Deborah F4 years ago


Andrea G.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks. But the three most powerful foods for the facial skin are missing: Lemon, papayas, and bananas ...! (Enzymes - for cleansing and masks)

Lolly D.
Lolly D4 years ago

I don't see it as wasteful. Unless the alternative is using nothing on your face, which I know is the norm for some people. But but for most people, these suggestions are an alternative to conventional products that are full of long lists of toxic ingredients that have been made in a chemical plant somewhere then manufactured and shipped in a tiny plastic bottle that costs anywhere from $3 at the drugstore to $100 at a boutique.
I think many people on this site would agree that in cooking, the simpler, more wholesome, and closer to nature that the ingredients are, the better. Why not the same for beauty care?

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you