How To Make a Face Cleanser With Milk

If the thought of cleansing with milk has you thinking about Cleopatra and luxurious spa pampering, you will not be disappointed. This cleanser feels so fabulous and works so well, I'm betting you will be making it more than once.

The secret of today's how-to is in the milk.

Introducing milk to a cleanser is absolute skin-loving magic that not only cleanses gently and thoroughly, but does not even come close to leaving the skin feeling dry.

Ladies and gents, whether you are vegan-milk-minded or animal-milk-minded, we're going to get busy with milk today!

This is a super-easy formula that can be adapted to your preferences.

Admittedly, it may not be the least expensive thing you make this year, but it will definitely be one of the most skin-loving cleansers you make.

LisaLise's Milky Face Cleanser and Instant Mask Formula

Kaolin 52
Coconut Milk Powder 10
Colloidal Oats 10
Almond Milk Powder 10
Powdered Lavender 8
Powdered Rose 6
Donkey Milk Powder 2
Mare's Milk Powder 2

Ingredient Substitutions

Vegan Option: If you prefer nothing sourced from animals, simply replace the donkey and mare's milk powders with coconut milk and/or almond milk and you're all set to go with a vegan version.

Almond Milk vs Almond Meal: There is a difference between almond meal/flour and almond milk powder. If you decide to use almond meal instead of milk, there will be a bit of gentle exfoliation to this mixture.

Powdered Herbs: Feel free to replace the powdered lavender and rose with powdered herbs of your choice. 

No Preservative?

No need.

This cleanser is water free and activated just before use by the addition of the liquid of your choice.

If stored properly and kept dry, there is no need of a preservative.


  1. Weigh ingredients
  2. Place in bowl (or plastic bag)
  3. Mix throughly and transfer to container

How To Use a Cleansing Powder

  • Approx 1 tablespoon of liquid in hand (water, hydrosol, milk, infusion, etc)
  • Add approx 1 teaspoon of powder
  • Mix (with finger) to desired texture
  • Apply mixture to face and neck massaging gently
  • Let sit for 2 minutes (optional, but perfect as an instant mask)
  • Rinse thoroughly 
  • Pat dry

Shelf Life

I label my powdered cleansers to be used within 3 months, but to be quite honest, I have had powdered cleasners standing around in the bathroom for up to 2 years with no issues. The key to a longer shelf life is being diligent about keeping moisture out of the container.

The shelf life of this product is equivalent to the ingredient in the formula with the shortest shelf life.

Do Tell

Have you ever made or used a powdered cleanser? Please share your experiences in a comment below.


Coyran said…
Nice post!!!
Is the cleansing power enough to remove dirt if we don’t use any surfactants?
LisaLise said…
Hi Coyran - it sure is. Mind you, if you are a car mechanic and covered in grease it may need a couple of washes or a bit of additional help to remove every last bit of grime. :)
Coyran said…
Thank you dear, but what is the principal using milk or other powder to clean the dirt? :)
LisaLise said…
HI Coyran - the clay in this formula draws impurities and cleanses, the milks are there to soothe and nourish and will in fact also cleanse. Milk contains lactic acid which encourages cell regeneration. Try washing your face with whole milk and see how the skin feels afterwards. Milk is a very skin friendly ingredient.
Ilhem said…
The formula I liked best among my trials was made with coconut milk powder, colloidal oats, turmeric and orange powder. I've used it for a long time and has always been happy with the results. It worked really well as a very gentle exfoliating cleanser.
Unknown said…
I’m in love with powdered cleansers and was just imagining how to formulate a powdered milk cleanser. Thank you so much.
My personal experience is my skin feels so much softer and brightens my skin. I also use a very simple powder cleanser for a hair wash, betonite clay and pink clay mixed with any liquid. Massage paste into wet hair and scalp. Leave a few minutes, add more water and continue to gently massage scalp and throughout hair. Result is so soft hair and bouncy.
Unknown said…

I may have to try this. Would I just grind up dried lavender buds or dried rose petals in a coffee bean grinder until it makes a powder? Thank you.
Lucia Mencarelli said…
Hi, I love cleansing powders! I would make vegan substitutions on this one but I quite like it 😊
Thanks for sharing!
shybasics said…
I haven't tried it before but this sounds effortless! I will give it a go. Thanks so much for sharing!
LisaLise said…
@Ilhem - Now that sounds just fabulous- adding turmeric and orange powder is now on my to do list!

@Deaon Varonos - I love the hair wash idea! I have been a long time user of rhassoul, but perhaps it's time to try another clay. Thanks for sharing!

@A Dobs - You can grind up the dried buds or petals in a (dedicated) coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Enjoy!

@ Lucia Mencarelli - You are most welcome and thanks for your kind comment

@shybasics - I hope your skin rejoices several times over when you've given it a try. Enjoy!
Unknown said…
Thank you for this Ms Lise. I sounds wonderful. I have tried a powdered facial cleanser but it didn't have milk powders in it and it was wonderful also, but this sounds like it will be even better with the milks in the mix. Again, thank you for posting this!
Anonymous said…
What is your source for donkey and mare's milk powders?
LisaLise said…
@Alison Welborn - Thanks for your kind comment. I hope your skin loves this cleanser as much as mine does!

@Anon - Hey there Anon. I sourced these 2 milk powders at Aroma Zone but I think you will find many cosmetics ingredients suppliers carry them as well.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for responding with info on Aroma Zone. Did you ever consider rice milk powder, rice brown flour, or adzuki bean flour for this recipe?
Anonymous said…
I meant brown rice flour not rice brown flour. :)
LisaLise said…
Hi Anon - Your suggestions of rice based ingredients sounds lovely! Go for it!
Anonymous said…
Lise , I love this! I wonder how many different powders we can try with this!
LisaLise said…
Hey there Anon - I suppose the sky is almost the limit for trying powders if you stick to choosing herbs that have something to offer the skin. Have fun!
Pat said…
Thank you! This sounds so interesting and a great gift idea! Would I be able to add in a few drops of essential oil and some herbs to dress it up?
LisaLise said…
Hey there Pat - you can definitely dress up with additional herbs if you like! If you want to add essential oils, be sure they are completely dispersed before use. Have fun!
Elisa said…
Hi Lise! Is this cleanser mild enough for daily use? And do you think it will still cleanse enough if the clay is left out?
LisaLise said…
HI Elisa - It sure is! My super sensitive skin is quite happy with it. The clay is doing a good part of the cleansing, so if you want to replace it completely, I'd use ground oats (along with the colloidal oats) as they have a natural content of saponins. Best of luck with it!