DIY Homemade Face Cleanser: Basic Daily Milk and Oatmeal Cleanse

I originally posted this recipe in 2008 on a tiny blog I started called homemade organics through blogger.
I am reposting, because it’s 6 years later, and it’s still one of my faves as far as DIY homemade face wash goes.
This recipe is the easiest one that I make. It’s simple, fast to whip up – and absolutely effective… and leaves the skin refreshed, cleansed, and supple. (All of this without over-stripping your natural oils!) If you presently use a high-foam soap product – this will feel different for you. It’s a non-foaming light cleanser, and your skin will LOVE. YOU. FOR. IT. There are many different versions of this recipe, but the staple ingredients remain the same – and there’s really only 2 that are absolute essentials.

1. Milk

(that’s it ? what ? how does oatmeal do anything at all for your skin ? Can milk really work to clean your skin ? Keep reading, I promise you won’t be dissapointed.)

Skin type: Sensitive, Normal.


(2-3 applications)
• 1 tablespoon powdered goat’s milk (substitute powdered organic buttermilk or powdered regular milk as well)
• 1 tablespoon organic oatmeal
• Distilled water
• A few drops of honey (optional for a face mask version)


In a food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle – grind the oatmeal into a fine powder. If you have a food processor, kitchen mill or oat grinder than those are your best options for this step. The finer the oatmeal – the nicer the overall texture in your final cleanser. This finely ground oatmeal has a fancy name – colloidal oatmeal.)
Add the powdered milk, and blend the two ingredients together.

To use: put a tablespoon of the powder in your palm and add about a teaspoon of distilled water. Blend together to form a paste, and slowly add more water as desired until you have a milky, yet still spreadable paste. Use this mixture on your face, (I like to wet my face first) and clean in circles until your full face is covered. Wash off with warm water. This is your main “base” recipe.
It works as a non-irritating daily cleanser, safe for sensitive skin types if used as above, and as an added BONUS it doubles as a face mask by simply using a little less water.

Leave the mask on your face for 20 minutes before washing off with warm water. Adding a few drops of honey to the mask adds the added benefit of honey’s natural moisturizing properties. Honey is a humectant, so it attracts and retains water. (A hell-yeah! for dry skin!)

The oatmeal mask draws impurities from your skin while it dries, leaving a supple, elasticized, glowing skin underneath !(*Colloidal oatmeal as bragged about in all Aveeno products is really simply regular oatmeal (yes!) ground into a very very fine powder so that it forms an emulsion in a liquid rather than the separate clumps that oatmeal tends to make when water is added.

To make a creamy milky texture rather than a lumpier oatmeal one – you will really need to grind up those oats! That said – a mortar and pestle also work – the benefits of your cleanser are still the same and the product has a true homemade feel. Like always, if you use organic ingredients you are less likely to introduce harsh pesticides and chemicals to your skin, so when available buy organic for your skin products. When I can’t find organic I buy regular ingredients, keeping in mind that I am sparing myself the plethora of preserving chemicals that regular face creams and washes include.

So- Why does this work?

(Here is the science behind the beauty)

Dating as far back as Cleopatra, milk  has been used as a skin cleanser and softener, and as an integral part of beauty regimes in many cultures. Milk is high in vitamins A and D, probiotics and lactic acid, and all of these things are absorbed by the skin when we use it to wash our faces.

Goat’s milk is a particularily good choice, because the pH is the closest match to our skin’s natural pH. It leaves amazingly soft, moisturized skin after use. It also contains over 50 nutrients, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, Choline, Vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, many other trace elements, and anti-inflammatory compounds (short-chain sugar molecules called oligosaccharides).

The lactic acid in milk works as a natural and gentle alpha-hydroxyl acid.( So why spend your well earned wages on synthetic alpha hydroxides when they exist so readily in nature ?) These acids are absorbed by the skin and help to dissolve the “glue” that hold dead skin cells together and in place on your face. This type of natural exfoliation allows the new healthy skin cells underneath to come to the surface – and this renewal of skin cells helps to show off your vibrant, glowing skin.

Oatmeal is an extra-gentle exfolient that works to draw impurities from the skin and helping to unclog pores. It is also a mild astrigent (a substance that constricts or shrinks connective tissues) – and is EXTREMELY gentle on sensitive, or damaged skin. Oatmeal contains beta glucan – a polymer chain that comes from oats – which has proven to be an effective moisturizer and has shown in testing to help heal skin heal more quickly and may help to stimulate collagen production in the skin. It has also tested positive as an anti-infammatory. All this goodness – without the hefty price of a brand name cosmetic! Who knew ? That mother nature was some-kinda genius.

Happy washing!


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