How To: Lush Inspired Herbal Cleanser

I was inspired by Lush's Herbalism when formulating this one.  Herbalism is one of their 'fresh face masks' which means that you will find it in their cold section.  It has a use by date of around 4 months from manufacture, after which it is likely to start going off.  So keep that in mind when you make this version.

The original cleanser uses a large amount of ground almonds, kaolin clay and glycerin. They also use rice vinegar and a  decoction of rosemary and nettle, a combination, which cleanses and brightens the skin.  The vinegar would have a low pH, being an acid, and will gently exfoliate the skin.   If you squeeze the cleanser you can extract the oil from the almonds between your fingers, however, there is no oily residue when rinsing.  It also has rice bran which they say helps give gentle mechanical exfoliation. The bright green colour comes from chlorophyll water extracted from alfalfa. To scent they used a combination of blue chamomile, rose and sage essential oils and gardenia extract.

I have used Herbalism before, but that was a while ago, so I used my memory and looked at the texture and how it functions from images online and vlogger videos.  These demonstrated how it was used and the general texture when wet and dry.  From observation, I noticed that it needed some manipulation to make it into a paste and, when wet, had a milky and grainy texture.  I think the milkiness comes from the clay and the oils in the almonds. One vlogger said they didn't appreciate the strong vinegar scent, which lead me to believe there was a notable amount of vinegar in the formulation.

So how did I make it?

I didn't want to go out and buy additional ingredients so I used ingredients I already had in my pantry and work-space. I had most of the ingredients except the chlorophyll liquid so I used chlorella powder which has a high level of chlorophyll; about 3-4%.  I also didn't have gardenia extract so I left it out.

You will need:

2-3 bowls or containers Scales Spoons or things for stirring Dinner/butter knife for stirring

The Formulation

1       Ground almonds                  57.00
2       Kaolin Clay                     15.00
3       Ground Rice                     2.00
4       Chlorella Powder                4.00
5       Rosemary and nettle decoction   05.00
6       Glycerin                        12.00
7       Rice vinegar                    04.50
8       Rose essential oil              00.10
9       Chamomile essential oil         00.20
10      Sage essential oil              00.20



I started by making a decoction.  A decoction is like a herbal tea. I used 2.5g dried rosemary leaves and 2.5g dry nettle leaves and popped them in a tea bag.  I let it steep in 95g of water and left to simmer in a double boiler for 20 minutes. I let the tea cool to room temperature.

  1. Combine stages 1-3, stir with a spoon and set aside

  2. Combine stages 4-10 in another container and stir the liquid well

  3. Mix stage 3 and 4 and stir


At the latter stages of stirring I used a strong dinner knife as it is a thick paste and hard to blend together.  Next, roll it out, cut it and put it in a container.

How to use

Simply break off a piece of the paste and roll it in your hand.  Add a small amount of water until it is a soft to loose paste and mix with your hands until the consistency is as above (far right). Massage onto wet skin and rinse with clean, warm water.

Note on shelf life

I don't know how long this will last. I expect a few months at least due to the high levels of glycerin and vinegar, but I can not guarantee the shelf life as I haven't tested it or observed it for any length of time. But it was a fun thing to make and has given me plenty of ideas for future projects.