Natural Face Cleansers: An Eco-Friendly Shopper’s Guide

Discover the chemicals to avoid in face cleansers and dive into a sustainable skincare routine.

By Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Fact checked by Sander Tamm

Face Cleansers: An Eco-Friendly Shopper’s Guide
Face Cleansers An Eco-Friendly Shopper’s Guide

We all know how important a cleansing face wash is for maintaining a clear complexion throughout your life, but have you ever looked at the ingredient list? In this article, we will highlight the key steps to homemade and bought natural cleansers so that you can go chemical-free and feel great about it! 

This article covers the following:

  1. Common chemicals in a face cleanser
  2. Homemade natural cleansers
  3. Choosing organic and natural face cleansers

Common chemicals in a face cleanser

The list of scary chemicals that go into conventional facial cleansers might look long, but once you know how to recognize natural face washes and cleansers, you’ll have no problem making a healthier choice. But to start, check ingredient lists and avoid these (and if no ingredient list exists, put the bottle down!):

Homemade natural cleansers

If you’d like to try to make your own face wash, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you want to try a milk face cleanser, a cucumber face wash, or find a way to make your own sensitive skin face wash, we’ve got some great homemade solutions for you. In general, all DIY face washes will include basic components include the following:

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs): These are natural compounds that exfoliate skin and loosen dead skin cells. You can find AHAs in all kinds of foods, such as milk, lemon juice, blackberries, tomatoes, grapes, vinegar, apple juice, and oranges. 
  • Natural moisturizers: You’ll want to mix a moisturizer into your face wash, such as grape seed oil (which also heals damage and fades stretch marks), avocado oil (improves collagen content), shea butter, olive oil, castor oil, and the like.
  • Antioxidants: These are powerful substances that reverse the signs of aging and the effects of free radicals that damage the skin. They help to improve the skin’s overall look and feel, one of the most commonly used of which is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This category also includes vitamins A and E. You can find antioxidants in things like spinach, broccoli, peanuts, avocado, whole grains, etc. That said, most science seems to indicate that obtaining extra CoQ10 is most effective when taken orally in supplement form or through foods such as oily fish, liver, and whole grains.

To learn more about homemade facial cleanser recipes, check out this Pinterest page.   

Choosing organic and natural face cleansers

If you’re not into mixing your own natural face cleanser, as mentioned above, try out some of these natural cleanser options:

  • Cleansing Lotion with organic chamomile and avocado oil – Druide.
  • Gentle Cleansing Milk, NATRUE certified – Weleda.
  • Thoroughly Clean Deep Pore Cleanser, based on Bentonite Clay, Manuka Oil, and Australian Tea Tree  – Desert Essence.

When selecting face cleansers or ingredients to create your own, always prioritize not only natural, organic ingredients but also the health of animals. Choose cleansers free of animal ingredients and byproducts, and ensure they haven’t been tested on animals. Look for third-party certifications, such as Leaping Bunny or Certified Vegan, to confirm that your choice is cruelty-free.