DIY Gentle Exfoliating Mask–Simple Green Beauty


Exfoliating the skin keeps it healthy and glowing, although excessive scrubbing with abrasive ingredients isn’t good for the delicate skin of the face.

Here is a simple exfoliating mask that you can make with three ingredients that are right in your kitchen:  lemons, sugar, and honey.

Lemon Juice has a high vitamin C content which brightens the skin as well as citric acid which exfoliates and speeds up the treatment of acne also lightening acne scars and blemishes.

Sugar Cane produces glycolic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid that easily exfoliates the skin.  Alpha hydroxy acids are known for their anti aging properties for stimulating collagen production while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Raw Honey
is antibacterial, has amino acids which are moisturizing, and antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage.  Raw honey also has gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid responsible for honey’s acidity.  Raw honey is more nutritious to the skin still containing all of its healing properties that have not been pasteurized or eliminated with high heat temperatures.

It is preferable to use organic and raw ingredients as they are pesticide free and still have their innate healing properties intact, although this mask will still benefit your skin if you are not using organic and raw ingredients.

To begin use 2 tbsp. raw sugar and grind it in a coffee grinder.  This breaks it down to smaller particles so it is dissolves easily in the mask and is extra gentle on the skin.  Now mix the sugar with 2 tbsp. of raw honey.  Finally squeeze the juice of half a lemon in a second bowl and add to the mixture once all the lemon seeds are removed.  When you apply, always start with freshly cleansed skin, and apply a thin layer of the mask to your face and neck avoiding the eye area completely.  Allow the mask to penetrate into the skin for 5-15 minutes.  Now add some water to your finger tips and gently massage the skin before rinsing.  Follow with the moisturizer of your choice.  Please store your mask in the refrigerator.  The mask should last for a week.

You may use this mask two to three times a week.  Because of the natural citric and alpha hydroxy acids in this mask it is suggested to avoid prolonged sun exposure.

Simple Green Beauty the Minimalist Beauty Way!

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  1. Kristie says

    This mask is great and I have to say…I used the rhassoul clay posted about earlier and it has revived my skin! I use it as a facial cleanser and my skin redness is gone! Thanks minimalistbeauty for your lovely blog!!!

  2. Kim says

    I remember reading on this site about a complexion facial brush from Sephora. I can’t find it and you directly the page and tell me how you use it. Thank you

  3. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kim, The complexion face brush is good for exfoliating. I don’t have the link in my beauty routine anymore because I haven’t gotten a new on in some time and haven’t been using it. You can still find it at Sephora and even some drugstores. You simply add your facial cleanser to the damp complexion brush, and gently brush over your face to cleanse the skin. I hope that is helpful.

  4. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Ynetta, Depending on the size of the lemon you use the juice of one lemon is about 1/4 cup. Hope that helps!

  5. shayne says

    Hi Dawn Michelle
    I am so blessed (and also cursed) to find your website. I am African descent, and its very rare to find a blogger who has ethnic african skin who has had success with natural products. Partly its because of this sensitive yet oil/dry skin, all at the same time, and part of it is because many products, e.g.,that call themselves “honey” or “oil” are not really genuine so its hard to know when you find an original or a fake! So I am blessed to find you, I just had my baby and my face is blown up with acne and huge blackheads all the way to my skin. My belly is hyperpigmented! My feet are layered in dead skin. So thank you for sharing your information about pumpkin seed oil and for this mask. I am cursed because I have found you after spending so much money on useless products, wrong oils, etc! I wish i found your site earlier!!! Thanks.

  6. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Shayne,
    Welcome to Minimalist Beauty and it is always divine timing that you find something. To help with healing acne check out this article about oils high in linoleic acid as well as this article about understanding your skin. You can also read see what I wrote about natural solutions to hyperpigmentation here. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy and just know that your body is in a transition right now so be patient.
    Best wishes always!

  7. Natassja says

    Hi Dawn,

    Just want to let you know that I LOVE your website! It has helped me so much with my transition to natural skin care – I just did my first DIY exfoliating mask following your instructions & I love it!

    I’ve started completely natural skin care for about 4-5 weeks now and your blogs have been my saving grace! I do OCM at night and your post about the different oils was excellent – I had no idea! I’ve got very oily acne prone skin so when I first started this natural process it was great but as of the last few weeks I’ve been breaking out terribly. I followed all your advise – changed my mainly jojoba oil & castor oil mix to grapeseed oil & Castor oils + got some microfiber cloths – such a difference! At night I use my homemade ACV toner & in the mornings my witch hazel toner (ACV smell is too strong for the morning!)

    I’m still experimenting with what I should use to moisturize though – I’ve started using rosehip oil which I LOVE but I also want to make use of my Jojoba oil so after my mask this morning I used it instead to moisturize – any suggestions or advise you have on moisturizer for my skin type?

    Lastly just want to say THANK YOU!

  8. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Natassja,
    Thanks so much for your comment! I”m so glad that you’ve created a wonderful all natural skin care regimen that is working for you. To answer your question about a moisturizer I either use the same oil that I cleanse with because it is lightweight (I don’t use castor oil for oil cleansing) or I use rosehips seed oil. You can always use your jojoba oil for hair or body if it your skin responds well with it. I hope that helps.
    Best wishes!

  9. says

    I just wanted to say how much I love your blog, and that I have found it incredibly helpful in my seemingly neverending battle with acne and acne scarring. I recently started using pumpkin seed oil in the evening and raw honey in the morning. I also have fallen in love with the ACV and green tea toner. I’m going to try aloe vera as a primer now that I have found a mineral makeup that actually matches my insane pale Irish skin that also has enough coverage to almost completely cover up my scarring. Have you (or any readers) used this many different products on a daily basis? I don’t want to overload my skin with too many steps and products, but I’d like to try as many things as possible to lighten my scarring.

  10. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Tucker,

    I love to keep things as simple as possible. If you feel that you could do less for your skin care regimen then you can slowly wean yourself to a simpler regimen. It really is trial and error with 100% natural beauty care and discovering exactly what your skin likes.

    Be patient as your skin heals as it takes time for hyperpigmentation to fade. What you are currently using on your skin sounds good though. If the regimen you are using is working well stick with it. When you try too many different things at one time it can over work the skin. Use your intuition to help as well.

    Best wishes!