DIY || Coconut Oil Face Wash

by Kortney Campbell on February 4, 2013

DIY-Coconut-Oil-Face-Wash Saying I have the most fickle, sensitive skin would be an understatement. If I even look at a non-oil free moisturizer, smell fried foods or hear someone is hormonal, game over – my face breaks out. In my lifetime, I’ve tried everything from the gentlest facial cleaners to oral and topical prescription treatment and none of them did much for me. While a clean vegan diet and exercise always help, my skin is currently the clearest it’s been since my pre-pubescent years thanks to this new Coconut Oil Face Wash I’ve been using. I’m not even kidding – I don’t even use powder/foundation any more (except on those baby-sleep-schedule dark circles, of course)!

Let me preface this with the fact that I love coconut oil. It is a miracle product of nature that can be used both internally and externally to combat bacteria and candida/yeast (we’ll talk about that in the Coconut Oil 101). However, given my skin’s innate ability to ruin my day, I was terrified to use it on my face. Getting over that fear literally changed my life. This little concoction is now the ONLY thing I use on my face (excluding make-up). It’s a one-stop shop that replaces make-up remover, soaps, toners, moisturizers, wrinkle creams etc!

What You Need:

Vegan-Face-Wash What You Do:

  • Fill a large microwave safe bowl with hot water and place the opened jar of coconut oil in the middle (the water should go about half way up the jar).
  • If you have time to spare, you can let the oil sit until melted. If not, microwave the water in 3-5 minute intervals until the oil is clear and almost all melted (be careful not to microwave for too long as you’ll need to be able to touch it).
  • Use a towel or oven mitts to carefully remove the jar of oil, dump the water and fill the bowl with the sugar.
  • Pour half of the 14oz jar of oil over the sugar and mix well. (You may need to add a little more, but it should be nearly completely absorbed by the sugar with very little liquid left).
  • Add several drops (or big shakes) of lavender and peppermint oil to the bowl and continue to mix (You can adjust the amount to your preferences).
  • Fill your mason jars with the contents, decorate with pretty ribbons or fabric scraps and share with friends!

Coconut-Oil-Face-Wash To Use:

  • Wet your face with a warm cloth
  • Scoop out a nickel size finger(s) full portion of the scrub and apply to the skin until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Rinse with warm water, massaging the oil into your face, paying close attention to any dry, wrinkled or breakout-prone spots (it will feel greasy at first).
  • Dry with a clean towel.
  • Repeat 1-2 times daily and enjoy your close-up-selfie-ready clear skin!

Vegan-Housewives-Kortney While I call it face wash, this scrub can really be used on your entire body (best used while taking a bath to really soak up the benefits – talk about soft skin)! I typically use it on my face 1-2 times per day (twice if I’m going out/wearing makeup) and the lavender + peppermint combo make it perfect for morning and night. It’s equally relaxing and refreshing. Technically, you could make a day version (peppermint) and night version (lavender), but I fancy the sensory overload provided by the combo.

What are some of your favorite DIY Aromatherapy or body care recipes? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Oh, and a baby-free drive today led to a windows down and volume up inspired Music Monday that brightened my day & I hope it makes you happy as well!

About Kortney Campbell

I'm Kortney; a wife, natural mama and vegan in love with life, food and all things vintage! I've been vegan since December 2007, but have loved to cook & create pretty things since before I can remember. I started Vegan Housewives because I don't think you have to give up the joys of food when going vegan! I have a fondness for re-creating non-vegan recipes (especially my grandma's), making a healthier & animal friendly version so be sure to send me your favorite concoctions by clicking our "share a recipe" button - I would LOVE to veg-i-fy them!

  • { 75 comments… read them below or add one }

    Marissa White February 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    My friend Jenn has ranted and raved about coconut oil. Thanks got the recipe! :-)


    Angie February 5, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Thanks for the recipe, I am definitely trying this.


    Deanna February 7, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I love this blog, I made some of this for Christmas gifts and they aall loved it. This weekend I will be making some for me. Kortney your face looks great. Thanks for sharing.


    Kelsey Fox February 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I love this idea I’ve had the same problems with my skin and the money spent on products is insane. I’ve decided to make this for me and my sister and at our local natural market I found fractionated coconut oil which is a liquid form an says it has enter disinfecting properties in this form… Not sure if you know anything about it but I might try substituting 4oz of the regular coconut oil with this. ( also says its not greasy feeling)


    Kristina Rae February 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I make my own toothpaste. I use a coconut oil/ baking soda combo. I also mix in some almond oil. A baby food jar (snag some from other mommas if you make your own baby food like I do) is the perfect size for this! You want it to be a paste like texture but make sure it isn’t to smooth.


    Jordyn A February 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I’m trying this tonight! Do you leave this at room temperature? How long does it last?


    VeganHousewives February 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I leave mine at room temperature. However, it’s been pretty cold, so it’s like a sugary brick lately unless I take a bath! haha Dependent on how much you use at a time and what you use it for, it will vary. I primarily use it on my face (on my body once ant a while) and it will last me a few months :)


    Jordyn A February 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve been using this for a week now and the results have been amazing! My face gets very oily during the day and I usually need to blot a few times a day. After 2 days of using this, blotting is no longer necessary as my face no longer gets oily. I also used it as a body scrub and my skin looks and feels amazing. I’ve forwarded this recipe to all of my friends to try. Thank you!! =)


    VeganHousewives February 25, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Yay!! Thanks so much for letting us know. We’re so glad you love it!


    tj March 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I’m looking forward to trying this recipe for my face, but the only 2 questions I have are, does the roughness of the sugar over exfoliate the skin? And when I rinse I massage more coconut oil or just what I’m rinsing off ?


    VeganHousewives March 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I haven’t had any problems with overexfoliating (I use it 1-2 times daily) & You’re only massaging what you’re rinsing off :)


    Sumati March 10, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Are the peppermint and lavender oil necessary? I’m always told to stay away from essential oils on my face. Is there actually any benefit of them or are they just for the smell?


    VeganHousewives March 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I like them because it’s equally refreshing and relaxing. Also, the lavender is an anti-fungal and they have some great properties. However, I’m sure it’d be just as great without them.


    Christine March 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Hi there! This looks like a great recipe! Do you think using tea tree oil instead of the other recommended oils might be helpful for acne prone skin? Thanks! :)


    VeganHousewives April 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I would try it without first as it cleared my skin up great on its own :)


    Dawn March 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Do you just leave the mason jars on your counter, or do you have to refrigerate? Also, can you use cold-pressed coconut oil, or is that considered “raw.” New to the whole coconut oil thing…just heard it’s a natural sunscreen, and I’m trying to get all of the chemicals out of my life :)


    VeganHousewives April 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    It should state if it is raw. you could use the raw kind, just don’t heat it up to prevent a disaster like we had! haha And no refrigeration necessary


    Stephanie March 31, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I just whipped up a small batch of this (about 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil and eyeballed the mix of raw sugar and brown sugar until it looked right. I don’t have any EO right now). When I was finished I just couldn’t help myself… I licked the spoon I stirred it with. Talk about a quick fix for a serious sweet tooth! I would add that to my morning coffee. Haha I love the versatility of coconut oil. I can’t believe I went nearly 26 years not knowing about this oil. In fact, I thought it was the worst for you! I use coconut oil right now for my toothpaste as well as for oil pulling. When I run out of deodorant I’m going to make my own with coconut oil as well.


    Cassie April 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Did you experience any breakouts when you first started using the scrub? I have made it and tried it for a few days. My skin feels soft, and I don’t have any more dry skin, but I also have a few new pimples. (I eat a vegan diet, and I’m on a raw cleanse right now) I am giving it a few more days to see if my skin needs to get used to it and let the cleanse do its thing.


    VeganHousewives April 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Your skin could definitely be doing a little detox! :)


    Collin April 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    This is something i would really love to try!! I still use a prescription treatment on my face at night, so would it be okay to use this to clean my face before i apply that?


    VeganHousewives April 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    It should be, but I would talk to your dermatologist with the prescription :)


    Eleanor April 12, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I have very fair skin so rubbing this in so the sugar dissolves made my face quite red so maybe I’ll only lightly massage it in for a few seconds before I rinse. Felt like I was getting a treat at the same time though with the delicious sugary mix. Kept licking it off my lips when it fell :)
    Will use it for a few weeks and see how I go.


    VeganHousewives April 15, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    So tasty, right?! :)


    Sarah Span May 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Getting ready to make it now! Thanks Kortney! I love your blog!!!


    Annie May 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Hi :) great recipe I can’t wait to try it, I’ve recently decided to go the natural route for my skin care and it’s been doing wonders so far (I can’t believe all the money I wasted all these years on brand name ahem crap)

    The only thing I wanted to ask was whether this is safe to use daily? You said to use it 2-3 times daily and I’m wondering is that ok? I would really like to be able to use it daily but I’m worried about harming my skin since I’ve always heard that scrubbing every day isn’t good. Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)


    VeganHousewives May 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I have SUPER sensitive skin & I only use it once at night now then just rinse with warm water in the morning to re-liquify (not sure this is a word haha) the coconut oil. I’ve come to find that my makeup gets a little funky if I use it again in the morning.


    Anne May 7, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! does this also “replace” sunscreen?


    VeganHousewives May 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve heard that it does, but I’ve never tried it as sun screen. I’m going to test it out this summer :)


    Larissa June 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    I have been using this one to two times a day for the past week and I can already see a difference! I’ve had trouble with areas of patchy dry skin on my face that none of the “super duper” moisturizers could fix and after using this my skin is balanced and I have no need for moisturizers at all! Love love love it!!!


    VeganHousewives June 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Yay! We are so excited that you like it!


    Kauai June 24, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Ok so I’m super excited to try this because I have super sensitive fair skin, and this summer (I live in Phoenix, AZ) I have been sweating so bad and my face has NEVER broken out like this before! Its super hard to deal with :( but what other essential oils can you put in the mix in place of lavender or peppermint? Would lemon be ok??? Thx! love your blog :)


    VeganHousewives July 3, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Coconut Oil is a miracle worker! I use the lavender and peppermint not only because of the relaxing/refreshing effect they have, but also because of their anti bacterial properties.


    Keeks October 1, 2013 at 1:52 am


    Citrus oils are NOT recommended for use on the skin! They have great antibacterial and antifungal properties, but they also cause a reaction with sunlight that can be very harmful to your skin. Stay away from lemon, grapefruit and orange oils in any skin care products!


    Alicia June 30, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    HI everyone,
    quick question… do you remove makeup first before using this scrub?
    Does anyone use any other products ( face cream anti aging etc) after washing?


    VeganHousewives July 3, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I use the scrub as make up remover. It has replaced my remover, soap, moisturizer, sunscreen etc :)


    Ashley July 8, 2013 at 9:21 am

    How much does this make?


    VeganHousewives July 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    It makes 1 huge Mason Jar full or several smaller jars. I like the smaller jars best though. It keeps it from getting the watered down feel after sitting in the shower.


    Winnie July 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I bought tea tree oil instead of the other oils you mentioned.. Do you think that’s ok?

    Thank you


    VeganHousewives August 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

    We use the oils not only for the scent, but for their properties as well. The scrub itself is very clarifying so I don’t think tea tree oil is a must. Just be careful with tea tree as it can dry you out or cause problems for sensitive skin. It needs to be significantly diluted.


    Winnie July 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    oh and sorry forgot to ask do you use this instead of face wash? I mean do i have to wash my face before using the scrub?


    VeganHousewives August 1, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Hey Winnie, this is the ONLY thing I use on my face other than some under eye powder & blush :) It has literally replaced my makeup remover, face wash, moisturizer, everything!


    winnie October 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I think im a allergic to coconut oil, makes me itch.. what do you think about replacing with Olive Oil?


    Kortney Campbell October 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    That sucks! Does it make you itch when eaten or used topically? I can’t speak on behalf of the olive oil as I don’t use it on my face. However, it doesn’t have the same bacteria + yeast fighting and healing “powers” that the coconut oil does so I don’t think it would work the same. :(


    Delana August 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I use this on my face all of the time! Just as a heads up, coconut oil is also the best eye makeup remover I have ever used (even waterproof mascara!). Get a pretty good size amount on a fingertip (1/2 tablespoon-ish) and massage gently for about a minute, then wipe off!


    VeganHousewives August 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Isn’t coconut oil great?! We’re so glad you like the scrub! I just use it on my eyes too :)


    Jenny October 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    How much lavender and peppermint oil do you use for this?


    Kortney Campbell October 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

    i don’t count them, but i’d probably say 15-20 drops of lavender and maybe 5 peppermint. i love lavender :)


    Jenny October 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    And thank you for this wonderful recipe! I really hope it works for my sensitive skin. I’ve been struggling with it since puberty started (ugh)


    Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Do you think I could use this with my clarisonic?


    Kortney Campbell December 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I’m not really familiar with the Clarisonic. I use this stuff on it’s own with nothing else though :)


    Kelly December 21, 2013 at 12:10 am

    I have been using this wonderful face scrub for a few months and just absolutely love it! I have very sensitive, break-out prone skin, and this wash is gentle, yet exfoliating, so it is perfect for me! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!


    Kortney Campbell December 21, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Kelly, I am SO excited to hear this!! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!!


    Ana January 12, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Does it clog your pores?


    Kortney Campbell January 12, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    No, ma’am! Coconut oil has amazing anti-bacterial properties. I used to have issues with hormonal acne and blackheads and now my skin is probably what I’m most confident about in regards to appearance :)


    Ana January 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    And is it gentle enough to use it every day?


    Kortney Campbell January 12, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Hey Ana! I wash my waterproof mascara off with plain coconut oil then wash my face with the scrub every night. In the mornings, I just rinse my face with warm water then pat dry. I have super sensitive skin and haven’t had any problems :)


    Maya February 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I would really like to start using this, but I’m worried that it would work for a little while than my pores would clog and become even worse. Your hormonal symptoms and finicky skin conditions sound identical to mine. Are there other things that also helped with your breakouts? I’ve been trying to balance my hormones for two years and still have breakouts and redness and a mostly uneven skin tone. Sometimes I can’t imagine that it will ever end! A vegan diet, exercise, stress-relief, supplements, and the brand, Evanhealy works best for me, but I’ve gone through two jars of product and still am suffering. Any advice would be amazing.


    Kortney Campbell February 1, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Hi Maya! I’ve been using this stuff for over a year now and my skin is still really clear. My occasional breakouts are limited to one or two tiny bumps every once and a while (usually this only happens when I’m out of the scrub or forget to use it for a day). I went through several oral and topical prescriptions that didn’t help me at all as well as countless washes, toners, soaps, moisturizers etc. None of them worked for me. This stuff seriously changed my life.


    amber March 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Would cold pressed virgin coconut oil work for this?


    Kortney Campbell March 6, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Hey Amber, The cold pressed should work, you just have to be careful not to heat it (I did and it burnt terribly). You can put the jar in a bowl of hot water to get it to melt :)


    ali April 8, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Hi! How long did it take for this scrub to clear your face up? I know they say give new skincare routines 4-6 weeks to see complete results, just wondering if that’s true in this case as well. Your skin looks phenomenal, btw. :)


    Kortney Campbell April 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Hey Ali! I saw results almost immediately and if I run out for a few days, my skin shows it.


    Shanna April 10, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    So excited to try this; thanks for sharing!!
    I was reading through and was curious if after making the face wash- is it necessary to keep it in the fridge or not needed?

    Thanks again!!


    Kortney Campbell April 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    No refrigeration necessary. It’s actually better when it’s room temperature as the oil is softer :)


    Ess April 17, 2014 at 8:59 am

    This definitely looks worthy of a try – your face looks so clear! :) I’m wondering what the ratio of raw sugar to brown sugar is? Cheers in advance!


    Kortney Campbell May 6, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I think I’ll update this post soon because I’ve learned to more efficiently make it in smaller batches! haha the smaller grain sugar is a bit more exfoliating, but as long as you have enough coconut oil added and are using warm water, it dissolves fairly quickly. You could do a 1:2 ratio of small to large and see how it works with your skin. :)


    Shanna April 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    ok great, thanks so much!!


    nasifa May 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Wow u got me really excited, even more now that I saw your picture. U have beautiful skin. .. I can’t wait to make this stuff… thankx


    Hannah June 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I just made my first jar – I so much hope that it works for me! I’m sick and tired of my facial skin.. I’m having acne-breakouts and blackheads all over the place (for about 1 year since I stopped using the pill..).. I’m a bit scared that it will get worse.. But I’ll try it anyway! Cheers&Greetings from Germany


    Lea July 1, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Ah – you young gals!! I never had a problem with my skin until I got older – much older. I am in my 60s and have breakouts constantly. Will give this a go. I use coconut oil in my lotion bars (coconut oil, almond oil and beeswax), a bath wash (almond oil, coconut oil and castile soap), cooking, etc. Where was this stuff when I was your age??


    Shruti July 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Thank you for this! I have a quick question –

    I shower in the mornings, so do you suggest using the scrub at night to get rid of my makeup, and just wetting my face (no oil/scrub) in the shower? Or use it both times? Or just oil after I shower? So many options!


    Kortney Campbell July 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I typically use it at night then just wet my face in the morning. However, if I run in the morning, I do use it again :)


    Jack August 9, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Haha! The first paragraph describes me perfectly! I hate my breakouts :(. I already use Coconut Oil for a number of other health benefits, so i’ll be sure to try this recipe out tonight, just wondering – how long does this tend to stay fresh for?


    Kortney Campbell August 9, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I’ve never had issues with it going bad, so I’m not sure. I use it daily and have started making it in smaller batches just for space reasons :)


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