How to Use the Waterless Face Wash Method

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I’m thinking waterless face cleansing is an odd topic for me to blog about, but I found myself talking about this three times in the last week with my friends. When I was considering if I should even post about this, I realized I wanted to get back to posting about topics that I actually discuss in person. Here goes! Back to basics, right?

About 5 years ago I was on a photography set with make up artist Margaret Avery. We got talking about skin care because I was complaining about overly dry, flakey skin. I’ve struggled with this my whole life and washed, scrubbed, peeled, scrubbed to get rid of the dryness. Margaret taught me about cleaning my face using a waterless technique. I’ve been using this process ever since and it’s simplified my skin care. Before you begin reading the how-to portion of this you might be thinking: I have oily skin. One of my friends with oily skin that had little ‘bumps’ used this and the bumps cleared up in two days. Give this a try for a week and fine turn the process to fit your skin.

What do I like about the waterless face cleaning method?

Two things happened for me: it rebalanced the oils in my skin after about 2 weeks and it reduced my break outs to almost none. Margaret said something that really resonated with me. She said you can wash your face, but you have to remove bacteria from your skin. I was washing away and stripping oils, but not removing bacteria, so I’d get the occasional break out. Because of this change in thought process, I’ve revamped my skin care routine. Here’s the how to instructions. Make sure you flip through the images above for a visual step-by-step


Waterless Face Cleaning Supplies

Waterless Face Cleaning Process

  1. Rub coconut oil all over your face and massage in circles to remove dirt and make up. Rub eye makeup off gently.
  2. Using a dry cotton pad, remove coconut oil.
  3. If you were wearing heavy eye make up, you can wet a cotton pad to remove the coconut oil from your eye area.
  4. Using an acne pad, swipe over skin avoiding the eye area.
  5. Moisturize

My Favorite Skin Care Products

I mentioned I have really dry skin, so most of the products are geared towards dry, aging (yikes!!!) skin. I’m almost 40, so I gotta take this aging skin thing seriously. The struggle is real. The skin care company I’m loving right now is Herbivore. You will see a lot of Herbivore fan love in this post. The oils and face masks are must haves. The face mask exceeded my expectations this past winter. It truly brightened up my skin after the recommended four applications when you first start using the mask. I use Herbivore oils instead of a moisturizer, and I’ll use a little LaMer under my eyes.

A look at each product


Herbivore Orchid Facial Oil: I use this product before a moisturizer because sometimes moisturizers are too heavy. These oils are amazing and work well at making your skin look dewey and healthy. I thought the floral smell would set off my allergies, but it didn’t. The smell makes the experience so luxurious. I’ve tried the Orchid Oil, and look forward to trying others.


Herbivore Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask: Hands down my favorite mask for removing dry skin and brighting up my complexion. I was a little skeptical of a natural product, but this one wow-ed me so much the search for a mask is done. I want to try their other masks because this mask performed so well.


Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist: Refreshing in the summer, moisturizing in the winter. I’ve also tried the rose lip polish and conditioner and love them too.

LaMer: I know this product is a bit controversial. It’s expensive, and rumored to be Nivea Cream (they smell exactly the same!). This has worked for me for over 10 years. I use it under my eyes in the summer and lightly all over in the winter. This product has a high price tag, so if you decide to splurge, ask one of the LaMer product representatives to show you how to use it properly. You have to warm it between your palms. It’s a process, and worth learning how to do correctly. I’m a fan, something in this works, and well. I do want to mention that I let the face oils do the heavy lifting for moisturizing. I use the LaMer if I need it, like in January, I’m using it.

After following this process for years I’ve learned a few key things:

  • – If my skin breaks out, it’s because I slacked with sterilizing my skin with an acne pad.
  • – I try to moisturize when my skin is damp.
  • – I change how much moisturizer I used seasonally. If not, I tend to break out.
  • – It took me months to figure out the formula that works for my skin, it’ll take time to figure out your perfect mix.

Travel Tips

We travel a lot and I try to be a carry-on-only gal. I hate checking luggage and if we don’t have a direct flight, I definitely won’t check luggage. Ever. I’m pretty slimmed down on what I take with me. In the slide show above I share my system of small plastic containers and baggies.

– I put the coconut oil and dry cotton pads in one baggie. I’ve have had the coconut oil leak if it’s a long flight, so the baggie here is key. The leaking is minor, so it doesn’t ruin the dry cotton pads.

– The acne pads go in a baggie, and I put a few drops of the liquid from the container to keep the pads moist.

– I always buy travel size or ask for a deluxe sample size so I can refill the container. Herbivore makes travel size in many of their products that have passed my leak test. The roll on oil is top notch because it lasts for well over two weeks.

This post is not sponsored, however I did ask a few of the companies mentioned to send samples so we’d have good looking product to photograph for this post. 

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