Now that I’ve been making all kinds of make up, I find myself needing a way to get it off my face. This probably sounds a bit odd, but since I’ve never really worn make-up before, this is a new problem for me. Now, I know the OCM does a good job, but I’ve been stepping away from it lately as a bit of an experiment. Soap is also an obvious choice, though it’s pretty harsh for daily use.


When I do use soap on my face, I really like black soap. It’s a wonderful all-natural soap from Africa, made with all kinds of good things like shea and cocoa butter (USA / Canada)s, turned into soap with lye made by roasting palm leaves. It has a tendency to look like clods of dirt, but it’ll clean you right up. I’ve had major success with it when it comes to acne. Any kind of it, anywhere. I was first introduced to it by the incredibly enthusiastic man who runs Tribal Eye in Toronto’s Kensington Market. He thrust tiny tied-off bags of it at me while enthusiastically recounting a (most likely embellished) story about a girl who used black soap on her terrible acne and cured it in three days. I was curious enough to try it, and I’ve made sure to have some on hand ever since.


I also love clay for my face, so I started thinking. Clay… black soap… hmm. Coffee grinder? Yes. That’s when I hit upon the idea of a finely ground clay and black soap facial scrub. Something mild, natural, and gently exfoliating. Something I could work some good essential oils into and count on cleaning my face without stripping it too much. Something lovely, basically.

Final product!

The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility. I used a wide variety of ingredients (most of which are optional) because I had them and felt that I should probably be using them, but you can really make this scrub with just three or four ingredients, and it will work just as well. This is what I did, but feel free to strip out all of the ingredients I’ve marked optional. I wasn’t kidding, they really are. You’ll just want to replace the volume with some more clay. And you can use whatever clay you have on hand. Green, red, from your backyard—whatever.

Gentle Clay Facial Scrub

2 tsp white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
2 tsp rhassoul clay
1 tsp baking soda (USA / Canada)
1 tbsp black soap

Optional ingredients
1 tsp seaweed powder
1 tsp mango powder
¼ tsp peppermint extract
½ tsp honey powder
½ tsp citric acid
(If not used, add 3 tsp extra clay)

4 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil

Combine all the dry ingredients in a coffee grinder and grind until smooth. Add the essential oils, one at a time, blending between additions.

To use, scoop about half a teaspoon into your palm. Add a bit of water, rub your palms together, and massage into your face, adding more water as needed. Rinse off and enjoy your smooth, clean skin!