Cleansing grains remove oil and dirt without stripping the skin, making them an ideal cleanser for maintaining the delicate moisture balance of the face.
As much as I’m (obviously) a huge fan of soap, I don’t advocate washing your face with soap. This is because soap can remove too much oil from your face, upsetting the delicate sebum balance of the face, which can cause your face to become too oily or too dry. I remember reading an article recently about how dermatologists are discovering that different parts of our skin are like different ecosystems, and I think this is a good way to think about it — the face is a different and much more delicate ecosystem than the rest of your skin. Cleansing grains are a wonderful way to very gently cleanse and exfoliate your face, without stripping it.
Cleansing grains have been used for centuries in Japan, where they were often made with rice powder and Adzuki beans, and India, where they were often made with sandalwood powder. Rosemary Gladstar, one of the pioneers of natural herbal beauty care in America, included her recipe for “Miracle Grains” in her classic “Herbs for Natural Beauty.” Made of clay and finely ground herbs, grains, and nuts, she describes them as “the perfect soap replacement.” I’ve noticed myriad versions of this recipe for sale — all different and all lovely.
Beautanical cleansing grains are my own version of this original recipe. Since I have oily skin, I formulated my grains with some green clay to combat oiliness, and sell them as the “Normal to Oily Skin” version. I also sell a “Normal to Dry” version with only milder white clay. Both versions are full of skin-nourishing finely ground herbs, grains, and nuts.
People often ask me if cleansing grains are an exfoliant, which they are, but they are very different from the harsh scrubs labeled as exfoliants on the market. Cleansing Grains are incredibly gentle, and suitable for everyday use. People are often surprised by how soft and smooth their skin feels after using cleansing grains. They are mild and effective — gently cleansing, removing dead cells, distributing excess oils, improving circulation, and nourishing skin.
Since they are a “dry” products, they don’t require a preservative, and they can be mixed with various mediums for different effects. Rosemary Gladstar advocated mixing some grains with honey (which is both moisturizing and anti-bacterial) and just a little bit of water. You can also mix them with floral water, and/or use the grains as a mask.
Cleansing grains are a perfect example of what natural beauty products should be — simple and effective.