Zero Waste: DIY Face Scrub

For years, I used St. Ives Apricot Scrub or Neutrogena Face Scrub. I swore by them! I felt the beads exfoliating my skin was good, but boy was I wrong. In hindsight, I was definitely pulled in by the marketing and hype around these products. 

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First, it was the microbeads that were being used as exfoliants.  hese were small plastic beads that never dissolve and end up in our water system and eventually into the mouths of fish and back on to our tables. Gross!

Second, the ingredients. I figured, St. Ives marketed themselves as natural products and Neutrogena were #1 Dermatologists recommended that these were good products. If you take a look at the ingredient list of these products, you'll find that they are just full of chemicals.  Find those ingredients here and here at their respective company websites. I don't even recognize majority of the chemicals and this was something I put on my face on a daily basis. 

As a first step on my transition, I stopped using products with microbeads and looked for newer and better alternatives. With that search, I came across Alba Botanicals.  I liked that their products were produced with ethical manufacturing in mind and were Leaping Bunny certified. After 3 bottles of this stuff, I looked at the ingredients again and continued to find chemicals in their formulation. I wanted to switch again, but this time, wanted something that wasn't only completely natural, but completely zero waste so that pretty much ruled out any other brands that came in plastic. There are some new companies coming out with face products in zero waste packaging, but they are a little too pricey for me at the moment. So instead, I finally created my own. I've seen so many recipes out there for a sugar, salt or coffee scrub, so am the first to admit that this isn't anything new. It's just now I finally have found a need for these scrubs and am glad that they fit what I am looking for.


Dried lavender adds a wonderful scent to homemade scrubs.


These are so many advantages to making your own and you can find various formulations on Pinterest, but the key things for me are the following:

  • I control what goes into them.  If my skin needs more moisture, I add a bit more oil.
  • I can purchase ingredients without extra waste as the ingredients are multi-purpose and used for other household items.
  • I decide how much to make depending on my consumption level so I don't have a lot of extras lying around and expiring on me.
  • I don't spend an arm and a leg for product.
  • I don't have to worry about extra chemicals going into my skin.
  • I also don't have to worry about additional plastic pieces going into the water system.

For me, my current Lavender Face Scrub fits the bill.  It's made of 4 ingredients and very easy to make at home.  And of course, it smells wonderful!


Lavender Face Scrub

  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • 12-30 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 tbsp of dried lavender

Mix everything in a jar.  I re-used a wide mouth, honey jar for this to make it easier and save cleanup. I also chose avocado oil because it is absorbed quickly, has no smell and has been cited to reduce the presence of scars. Of course, you can adjust depending on the consistency that you like and you can mix and match different scrubs, oils and scents.


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