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DIY Exfoliating Cleansing Grains

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Cleansing grains are a formulation of dry ingredients such as activated charcoal, clay, dried herbs, oatmeal etc. They are ground into a powder and only activated with a liquid such as water when you are ready to cleanse. Using DIY cleansing grains is a fantastic way to gently exfoliate and detox your skin. There are numerous ways to make cleansing grains but for today, I’m going to share my recipe that is perfect for any skin type but aimed at sensitive skin that needs pore purging action without upsetting the skin.

DIY Cleansing Grains

Cleansing grains are an incredible way of cleansing the skin and I just recently discovered them. I am very late to the party but now that I’m here, I’m raving about how this DIY is the perfect addition to your DIY Skin Care routine.

I typically oil cleanse since it doesn’t strip my skin of oils and leave me feeling tight and dry. Oil cleansing is a must in the winter for dry skin types. However, adding cleansing grains to my routine serves several purposes…

First, the clay helps keep pores clear and clean. Second, the powder gives a gentle exfoliation. Last, the oatmeal, powdered coconut milk, chamomile and lavender help to keep skin calm, relieve redness and nourish the skin. 

What I love about cleansing grains is that like my dry mask recipes, you can customize your grains to whatever your skin needs, grind the ingredients and not worry about freshness or your product being filled with bacteria! Since you’re not adding a liquid until you are ready to use it, the upmost freshness every time you cleanse is a guarantee!! 

DIY Cleansing Grains Ingredients:

  • Oatmeal:

Oats are the perfect addition to cleansing grains due to the fact that they contain saponins which remove dirt and oil. I added oatmeal because of it’s cleansing abilities as well as it’s powerful calming benefits. Oatmeal has proven to be  soothing and has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a perfect additive to dry skin care products

  • Powdered Coconut Milk:

Coconut milk is soothing and replenishing. Since I found organic powdered coconut milk, it is the perfect addition. I love that it leaves my skin feeling well moisturized!

  • Kaolin Clay:

Kaolin clay is extremely gentle yet it still pulls impurities out of the pores. It’s the best clay for sensitive skin and can be used daily for most people.

  • Dried Lavender & Chamomile:

Dried lavender and chamomile are incredible herbs to soothe and heal the skin. Plus, they smell good alone but when put together, they smell amazing.

When formulating a cleansing grain, feel free to use any clay or dried herb you like! Read my guide on the clays to find which suits your skin best! You can even add seaweed, activated charcoal or powdered honey

  • Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

A coconut based, powdered, foaming surfectant. It is sulphate-free, gentle and biodegradable. It contains no additives, preservatives or colorantes surfactant.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate is gentle on the skin and helps to remove dirt an impurities! It isn’t super thorough at removing mascara but I find it to be sufficient. 

DIY Cleansing Grains

DIY Cleansing Grains Recipe:


  1. Add all ingredients except kaolin clay to a coffee grinder and grind into a powder. 
  2. Transfer powder to a 4 ounce glass jar.
  3. Add 1 TBSP. Kaolin Clay to the jar.

DIY Cleansing Grains Coffee Grinder

How to Use DIY Cleansing Grains

How to Use Cleansing Grains:

Using cleansing grains is much easier than you might think.

  1. Scoop a tsp-tbsp. amount into your hand.
  2. Thoroughly wet your other hand and rub the mixture and moisture together to form a spreadable, watery paste.
  3. Add extra water if needed.
  4. Massage into your skin for 30 seconds-1 minute. (the more massage, the more circulation!)
  5. Rinse with cool water. 
  6. Follow up with a homemade toner and diy face oil.

Cleansing Grains are a Multipurpose DIY!

Cleansing grains can be used for exfoliating purposes which we already talked about but did you know you can also use your cleansing grains as a mask? 

Using the same concept of cleansing, just add a liquid of your choice to form a smooth paste and apply for 10 minutes!

Possible Liquids to Use with Cleansing Grains:

DIY Cleansing Grains Liquid

How I Use DIY Cleansing Grains:

I have found that these grains aren’t great with removing makeup. I tend to use mine in the morning and oil cleanse in the evening. I enjoy “grain cleansing” so much that any time I don’t wear makeup, I also cleanse in the evening.

*UPDATE* I added Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate and this has helped a lot when it comes to being a more thorough cleanser. I highly recommend adding this ingredient!

I typically am using water to mix with my grains but I have been enjoying using Aloe Vera Gel if I end up leaving it by the sink. I’m finding that cleansing with these grains is just what my skin needed during the warmer months for added detox from sunblock and the summer heat. 

What do you think of using cleansing grains to cleanse your skin? Have you already tried them? If not, get ready for the freshest, most multifunctional cleansing method yet! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make customized cleansing grains that your skin will love!

xx, Jenni

P.S. If you’d prefer to leave this DIY to the professionals, 100% Pure’s powdered cleansers are fantastic. Find my favorite HERE.


DIY Cleansing Grains Pinterest

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

5 thoughts on “DIY Exfoliating Cleansing Grains”

  1. I just whipped up some cleansing grains but had to leave out the powdered coconut milk as I haven’t got any. I used less than a teaspoon of powder plus water and enjoyed the results. It is a very gentle scrub and left my skin feeling clean and soft. I finished the job with natural toner and my own face oil. Lovely, thank you.

  2. I love this recipe, and the addition of the SCI is genius. I didn’t know it existed, but I love how it performs with the grains.

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