There has been a lot of talk about making sure you wash your hands regularly to avoid catching the Coronavirus, but what about sanitizing your face?

One of the main reasons that it’s important to wash hands regularly is to avoid transmitting the virus when you brush your hair from your forehead, scratch your nose, rub your eyes… in fact, research shows that on average, people touch their faces 23 times an hour.

Transmission works both ways, so sanitizing your face as well as keeping your hands clean could play an important part in minimising the spread of germs. The question is, how can you most effectively sanitize your face, without damaging your skin? And with the shops full of bare shelves in the soaps and scrubs aisle, where can you find a product to sanitize your face with?

We’ve come up with four simple solutions, using ingredients that may be more easily available, or even something that you already have in your home. This is especially important as more of us are asked to isolate and stay at home.

Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleanser

Distilled from the leaves of the native Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia, tea tree oil is a natural product with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties. It can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions including acne – so not only will it sanitize your face, it’ll be great at helping to combat any blemishes too.

Using an oil based cleanser for skin prone to spots or acne may seem counter-intuitive, but in fact it’s not oil that causes the problem, its actually bacteria, dirt and fungus. Stress can also be a factor, something that a lot of people are experiencing a high level of right now.

In contrast, oil is actually essential for clear, healthy skin. When you use products which contain harsh chemicals, the essential nutrients your skin needs are stripped away, causing an excessive amount of sebum to be produced by your glands. On the other hand, using oil based products will heal your skin, keeping it nourished, moisturized and happy. This is known as the ‘oil cleansing method’.

The tea tree oil facial cleanser uses a mix of four different oils – castor oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil and tea tree oil – to create a light, moisturizing mixture that will leave your face sanitized and glowing.

Tree Tea Oil

Here’s how to make it:

  • ¼ cup castor oil – well known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties
  • ½ cup jojoba oil – an astringent which is high in vitamin E and antioxidants
  • ¼ grape seed oil – moisturizes without leaving greasy skin
  • 15 drops tea tree oil

Sterilize a small lidded jar or other similar container (you can sterilize by boiling in a saucepan with the lid on for ten minutes). Add all the ingredients to a clean glass bowl, whisk to combine, and then carefully pour the mixture into the jar.

To use the oil, simply wash your hands, then put a small amount of oil on your fingertips and massage your face gently for one minute. Run some hot water onto a clean washcloth, then drape it over your face and leave it until the cloth has cooled. Then rinse the washcloth and wipe your face to remove the oil, before patting your face dry with a clean towel.

If your skin is sensitive, you can add more grape seed and jojoba oil and reduce the castor oil for a milder formulation.

Apple Cider Vinegar Exfoliant and Toner

Often said to have been a favorite of Cleopatra as part of her beauty regime, apple cider vinegar is a great option as a natural face sanitizer. This is in part due to malic acid, a key ingredient of apple cider vinegar, which exfoliates the skin. Exfoliation is important as it can promote turnover of cells, restoration of pH levels in the skin, and also clarifies and helps clear and prevent clogged pores and acne. It’s worth noting that it’s never a good idea to put neat apple vinegar on your skin as it’ll be far too strong, so make sure it’s well diluted.

Here’s how to make it:

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water

Place both ingredients into a sterilized container with a lid and shake well. To use, first wash your face with water, then take a clean cotton ball or pad and dab the mixture gently all over. You can then apply your usual daily moisturizer.

Honey and Lemon Cleanser and Moisturizer

This one is so easy to make, and really beneficial to your skin, with honey acting as an anti-ageing remedy that also sanitizes your face effectively. Both honey and lemon are natural antioxidants, in addition to honey providing the benefit of moisturizing and antibacterial properties which complement the vitamin C, antimicrobial and astringent properties of the lemon. Plus it feels and smells great!

Here’s how to make it:

  • 1 tbsp organic honey
  • Juice of half a lemon

Mix together, then apply as a mask (making sure to keep well clear of the area around your eyes). Leave the mask on for 20 minutes, then wash with warm water followed by cold water. Finish up by patting your face dry with a clean towel.

Sanitized Face

Lavender Face Scrub

This works really well in combination with the apple cider vinegar exfoliant and toner, or it can be used as a standalone face sanitizer if you prefer. Lavender is really good for your skin, with soothing anti-inflammatory properties, and the ability to moisturize while cleansing thoroughly due to its antibacterial nature. Another great option for spot prone skin or acne.

Here’s how to make it:

  • 1 tsp dried lavender
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp oatmeal
  • A large spoonful of honey

Grind all the dry ingredients together, then mix with honey and transfer to a small, clean jar. Use your fingers to scoop a small amount of the mixture into clean hands (or use a clean q tip if you prefer), mix a little in your palm, and rub wash your face with the scrub before washing off with warm water.

Alternatively, if you like the idea of using lavender as part of the oil cleansing method described above, there are plenty of other useful recipes for lavender oil facial cleanser.

I’ve sanitized my face, what next?

Natural ingredients aren’t just for your face, you can find lots of useful ways to use them for a whole range of sanitizers for the rest of your body and even your house. A quick search on the internet will help you to discover lots of new and interesting ways you can create your own products quickly and easily, with great results. It also avoids leaving your house unnecessarily and you can keep yourself as safe possible.

But for now, follow the suggestions above to make sure you keep yourself germ free, cleansed and happy – your face and your health will thank you.