All-Natural DIY Clarifying Face Exfoliant

Body DIY DIY Skincare & Beauty Natural DIY

Feeling dull?

Skip work and do something adventurous! Looking dull (your skin, that is)? Scrub it up with this all-natural DIY clarifying face exfoliant!

This is one of my favorite all-natural beauty DIYs, and I use it about twice a week. It helps to both brighten and clarify my complexion. Though I was saddled with troubled skin for years, this scrub helped me tremendously from two angles: it helps to treat current breakouts and also fade dark spots from previous blemishes.


Yep, that’s it! Easy-peasy as always.

How it works

Baking soda is an amazing exfoliant. Amazing. Should I say it a third time? Amazing! Since it is very fine-grained, it is not as abrasive as other natural exfoliants such as crushed nut shell or sugar. It really is more of a polish, helping remove dead skin cells and create a perfectly smooth complexion without causing much irritation. Exfoliation helps to clear blocked pores and is vital to treat and prevent acne.

Lemon juice applied topically has multiple benefits. The antibacterial properties of lemon juice make it a great natural treatment for acne, helping blemishes heal while preventing future breakouts. The citric acid contained in lemon juice also helps exfoliate skin. And since lemon juice is loaded with vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, it has been proven to fade dark spots and even skin tone. Vitamin C applied topically has also been clinically proven to regenerate collagen and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Last but not least, lemon juice helps balance skin’s pH; unbalanced pH has been attributed to acne.

Tea tree oil has powerful antibacterial properties and helps fight acne-causing bacteria on the skin.

How to make it

I mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of baking soda, and add three or so drops of tea tree oil. As lemon juice is very acidic, it can be irritating. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you might want to dilute the juice with water in a 1:1 ratio.

Simply mix the ingredients into a smooth paste, and apply to your face with your fingertips, gently massaging it into your skin in circles. Wash off with warm water and pat dry.

Over-exfoliating can irritate skin and actually promote acne. It is commonly recommended to exfoliate just once a week of you have normal or dry skin, and twice a week if you have oily skin.


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  1. Do you have a recipe for dry skin? I already have numerous essential oils and have a small fridge dedicated to them. Thanks in advance.

  2. Hi there, it appears that I am allergic to baking soda, I break out every time I put in on my face 🙁 Is there any alternative?

  3. hi
    read your views and ideas on how to beautify the skin.
    very intersting.

    i am facing a peculiar issue of open pores – coz of which there isno even ness in the skin- looks rough and open..
    any suggestions?

  4. Hi, Linda. I also had perioral dermatitis (at age 24) and it was awful, so I’m sorry to hear that! Mine must have been bacterial though since the thing that finally cleared it up was manuka oil. As far as I understand, there are many different causes, but I just wanted to share my personal experience with it.

  5. I am almost 64 and just starting the oils on my face. In the last 2 years, as well as one of my girlfriends, we are the same age, have started breaking out with what we were told is we have perirol drematitis, here are meds to talk and meds to put on your face. I am not ok with that, I have been getting into the natural and am going to continue. I like the information about the oils. I have been reading a lot on different sites and gotten lots of info. I know that hormones change in “older years” and that effects the breakouts etc, but also that I can take care of all of this with foods, oils, vitamins and more.

  6. Hi, Stacy! Yes, any old baking soda – and it’s really the key player here so you can mix it with whatever you want. If you add lemon EO I’d just do a single drop and be careful since it’s increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

  7. Nadia, I recently came across your info and am loving all the advice. I am wanting to do this scrub tonight and was wondering if I could use essential lemon oil instead of lemon juice and essential tea tree oil and if so how many drops of each should I use. I don’t have lemon juice on hand but can go get some if needed I can go grab some of those plastic lemons from the local grocery store. Also is it just any old baking soda? I look forward to your answers and thanks again…keep up the great work. Also is there a direct link or page I can get you on???

  8. Yes, technically though I wouldn’t advise it since lemon EO is so concentrated and could irritate the skin, especially since the baking soda is already essentially taking a layer off. But you could just use water if you’d prefer. If you use an EO, I’d suggest a lavender or carrot seed – something more gentle and protecting.

  9. Can you use lemon essential oil in place of the lemon juice and just use the water instead?

  10. Thanks so much Nadia! I’m really excited to use these products–I’ve been struggling with bad acne for years now and my dermatologist even recommended Accutane, but I really don’t like the idea of putting that into my body. Here’s to the healing properties of natural ingredients!

  11. Oops yes, they are different! So you would use less if using the EO rather than just the “oil” I link to here and used myself.

  12. Hi Nadia,

    Is the tea tree oil in this post an essential oil? This post doesn’t link to specific items and I bought essential oil before reading on a different post that they are different items

  13. Hello Nadia,

    I am totally impressed by your website 🙂 It is amazing!

    I am suffering from hormonal acne and severe scarring for the past 10 months. How long do you think will take to see a visible difference in scar by using this baking soda+lemon+tea tree oil mask?

    Thank you so much and again, this is an awesome website <3.


  14. Hello, Miss Nadia! I have been reading up on a lot of your DIYs and am excited to eventually try (virtually) all of them! If possible! I am actually going to make your Foaming Facewash tonight. I am wondering what you use for a make-up remover, if any? Would jojoba oil itself suffice, or just washing my face alone be okay (without removing makeup first)? I use a light Almay foundation that has never caused me to break out…

    So my last question would be, has your skin become smooth enough to just feel the need to do away with makeup altogether?! Cuz that’s great, if so!

    Thank you for your time!!


  15. Each one-unit change in the pH scale corresponds to a ten-fold change in hydrogen ion concentration. This means that baking soda is more than 10 times more alkaline than neutral, not “slightly more alkaline”.

    Moreover, mixing baking soda with lemon juice neutralizes the acid in the juice. This probably makes the juice less effective in its exfoliation ability.

  16. Rapeseed oil, as in canola oil? As far as I know, it doesn’t have any properties that would help clear your skin like tea tree does.

  17. What kind of difference, if any, would it make if I used rapeseed oil instead of the recommended tea tree oil?