How To Fruit and Flower Cleansing Putty

These little lumps may look a bit like cookie dough waiting to be baked, but what you are looking at is an all-natural face cleanser that cleanses gently and effectively and leaves your skin super duper smooth.

What's even more fun, this product has a skin-friendly pH and is preservative-free yet has a shelf life of at least a month. (To be honest, the shelf life is probably a lot longer, but because we're still testing and playing around with possibilities, we are being a little conservative about shelf life for now).

You: We, Lise? Have you started speaking to yourself in plural?
Me: I'm working with a colleague on this and if you stick around, I'll tell you more.

Handcrafted Ingredients Make All The Magic

We're going to be incorporating a few handcrafted ingredients to bump up the herbal action in these putties.

Remember this post about making your own tincture with vinegar? Well, get it out because you'll be needing it to make these!

And if you've been making glycerites and happen to have a one at hand, then you're all set to go! (and if you don't, check the links at the bottom for the how-to self-preserving lemongrass glycerite I'm using in this cleanser)

About the Dry Ingredients

The mixture of kaolin clay with herbs and botanical powders is what provides the gentle cleanse and exfoliation in these putties. This combo is great for most skin types and might just become your favorite ever combination because it works on dry mature skin, sensitive skin and combination skin.

Note: if you have a burning desire to substitute the clay, you risk a completely different (and perhaps unwanted) texture. Kaolin is ideal for this combination of ingredients.

About the Wet Ingredients

Below is a peek at all the ingredients weighed out so you can get an idea of proportions. The reddish liquid is the pomegranate vinegar tincture and the lighter liquid is a combination of lemongrass glycerite and the surfactant: Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate.

Yes, that surfactant is a mouthful. And before you get all worried, I can tell you it is among the mildest of surfactants. It's a sulfate free anionic surfactant that can function as the primary or secondary surfactant in a blend. There's a link to detailed information about it at the bottom.

So, without further ado, let's get busy making cleansing putties!

LisaLise’s Fruit and Flower Cleansing Putties

Phase Ingredient Grams Ounces
A Pomegranate Vinegar 13.5 0.48
A Lemongrass Glycerite 13.5 0.48
A Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate (SLMI) 3.6 0.13
B Brahmi Powder 2.0 0.071
B Rose Powder 3.5 0.12
B Licorice Powder 2.0 0.071
B Kaolin Clay 8.9 0.31


  1. Weigh and mix Phase A ingredients together
  2. Weigh and mix phase B ingredients together
  3. Place the mixture on waxed paper and gentle roll to make a long 'sausage'
  4. Cut into single portion pieces (approx 3 gr / 0.11 oz) per piece
  5. Shape and into balls or 'pellets' and place in jar.
  6. Place lid on jar and store dry until use.

Here's a quick peek at the rolling process. As you can see from the 'waxed' paper (it's really not waxed at all any more, but is silicone-coated these days), the mixture is quite soft. The  texture changes a bit over the next day or so as the dry ingredients absorb the wet ones.

To Use

Place one putty pellet in your hand and add water. Squash together and mix until you have a paste. Apply the paste to face and neck with gentle circular motions. Rinse and rejoice at your fabulous skin!

As you can see from the pic, there is a bit of bubble action due to the surfactant. As you can also see from the brownish drops on the table, the liquid is the same 'cookie-dough-brown' color as the pellets.

It All Started Here

The whole concept of creating a cleansing 'putty' was inspired by fellow formulator Rebecca. We've been comparing notes and making all kinds of different versions, so hopefully we will be able to inspire you to get your cleansing putty on!

Stick around for more fun in upcoming posts!

Do Tell

Have you ever considered using such an unusual combination of ingredients on your skin? Are you curious to make your own? Which glycerites and tinctures would you add?

More About Tinctures, Glycerites, and Cleansing Putties

Glycerine Glycerites and Preservative Power, (this blog)
How to Make a Self-Preserving Lemongrass Glycerite (this blog)
What Vinegar has to do with Cosmetics (this blog)
Get Started Making Plant Extracts (LisaLise ebook)
The Original Cleansing Putties, Botanical Formulations
A short introduction to Hurdle Technology (this blog)
About Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, PubChem

Want to learn how to make your own glycerites? I've got you covered – Click here!


Mystic said…
Where can we get pomegranate vinegar or how can we make pomegranate vinegar.or any other alternatives we can you for this recipe.
LisaLise said…
Hey there Mystic - if you check the blog post there are links to how you can make pomegranate vinegar right here on the blog :)
Unknown said…
hey Lise this recipe seems lovely ! Thank you :) I wanted to check if we need to include a preservative which one should it be?
LisaLise said…
Hi Tara — you could add a preservative if you like but these cleansing putties are designed to not need a preservative. If you use this within 2 months and stick to the formula as described, you should be fine. Our testing so far shows an even longer shelf life, but it is of course your call whether you want to add a preservative or not.
Unknown said…
Hi where can a home crafter purchase the slmi please lise
LisaLise said…
HI Unknown - Not knowing where on the planet you are, it's really hard for me to suggest anything except to google the INCI name of the ingredient and see if you can spot a supplier near you who carries it.