Mallow Face Cleanser Kit - Part 1 - The Gel

After experimenting with mallow gel as a hair colorant and discovering how the mucilage content left my hair feeling super silky, I decided to give the gel a whirl on my skin – as a face cleanser.

Guess what.

It was a winner.

I tried it alone. I paired it up with a few additionals.

It continued to be a winner.

Batches one and 2 of my new favorite cleansing gel disappeared quite quickly. Batch 3 is happily sitting on my shelf as I write this.

I'm curious to know if you also find it effective on your skin. So curious, that I'm going to show you how to make your own.

Cleansing Properties - Mallow?

If you research mallows properties, you will not find cleansing listed among them – unless you count cleansing of the colon and gastrointestinal tract. Mallow consists of amino acids, mucilages, flavinoids, a few terpinoids, enzymes, vitamins, and a few other things. It is predominately favored as a detox aid and as such, mostly documented for it's benefits with internal use.

I haven't been able to find any mention of mallow as a skin cleanser.

Until now.

By me.

(insert little giggle here)

The Gentle Cleanse

I was delighted with how well mallow functioned as a face and neck cleanser – gently removing make-up (foundation, blush etc) and even eye make-up with nary a trace of dryness afterwards.

If you do decide to make this, please drop a comment on this post and let me know your skin type and how it worked for you.

Beginner Friendly

The gel is easy peasy to make, and there are surprisingly few ingredients in it. Not only that, this is a pretty pocktbook-friendly product to make.

Shall we get started?


The amounts below make a pretty healthy portion, so you might want to make half for your first batch.

For 440 ml of gel you need:
  • 500 ml demineralised water
  • 10 gr dried mallow flowers
  • 0,8 - 1 % broad spectrum preservative (I used this one, but you could also use this one
  • xanthan gum


Start with sterile tools and containers and a clean workspace.

  • Weigh out mallow flowers and place into tea-infusion bags leaving room for the flowers to expand a bit
  • Staple the bags shut and place them in your infusing container (I used a glass teapot)
  • Bring the water to a boil
  • Pour water over mallow bags, cover to keep steam in, and let infuse for 1 hour
  • Add preservative*
  • Strain into a clean bowl
  • Slowly whisk in small amounts of xanthan until you have a desired viscosity. You want a gel that is thick enough to stay on the skin in a thin layer. Test the mixture on the back of your hand as you work until you are happy with the consistency.
  • Bottle your gel
  • Add a label (date) 

*A Note About Adding Preservative
Not all preservatives are added to a product in the same way - some need to be added to during the heated phase, some in the cooling phase. It's important to add preservative according to your suppliers instructions! If in doubt - ask your supplier.

Check this post for a step by step of the infusion process with pics.

Below: a peek at batch 1. This was a MUCH more concentrated gel and had loads more color (far more than needed to wash the face). Pictured at the top of this post is batch 3.

To Use Your Gel as a Cleanser

  • Squeeze out approx. a teaspoon of product into your palm.
  • Apply to face and neck and massage gently.
  • If you have normal, oily or combination skin, you might want to leave the mixture on for 1-2 minutes (a perfect time to brush your teeth)
  • Rinse
  • Pat dry
  • Finish as you normally do

(I always finish with a spritz of hydrosol-based skin tonic and follow with a few drops of face oil)

Enjoy your fabulous-looking skin!

Next Up

We combine this gel with a few skin-loving ingredients to create a gentle exfoliant and face mask.

A Bit More Mallow

Chemical Composition of Mallow (leaves)
Aroma Active Compounds in Mallow (flowers)
Mallow Plant description and (medicinal) uses


Abby said…
I've been working on a powdered face wash similar to your flowers food and dirt concept, and decided to include flaxseed meal in one batch because I've heard how good flaxseed oil is for skin... but I forgot about the mucilage in flax! After washing my face with this powder-turned-creamy-gel, that completely removed all trace of makeup I might add, I remembered this blog post! :) I don't have access to mallow, but I think there's definately something to your cleansing mucilage idea!!! My skin feels amazing! :)
Lise M Andersen said…
HI Abby - I know, it's great, isn't it?! I've been so pleased with how this gel works. I use it solo for removing eye make-up and mix it with the powders and grains as face wash or leave it on as a mask. I'll bet the flax seed idea could be developed - do let me know if you continue to work with it!
Febe said…
This looks great and I am looking forward to making and trying! I am having a bit of a problem finding mallow flowers. Where do you get yours? Thank you so much!
Lise M Andersen said…
HI Febe, I get mine from a local Danish herbal supplier. I'm not sure how easy these are to source to tell you the truth. You may want to look to health food suppliers as well as cosmetics ingredients suppliers.