DIY Cleansing Oil: How To Make Your Own Skincare At Home

Make Your Own Homemade Oil Cleanser With These Easy Tips

The cleansing oil method is an effective, minimal, and zero waste skin care secret that can purify, balance, and moisturize the skin.

And guess what?

All you need is a DIY cleansing oil.

Say goodbye to expensive products or 10-step skincare routines and say hello to personalised skincare that works for you with these easy tips on making a homemade oil cleanser.

What Are The Benefits Of The Oil Cleansing Method?

DIY Cleansing Oil by Prostock-studio

We’ve all been through that phase of using a million different cleansers with the promise that they can illuminate and purify our skin, get rid of excess oil or fight acne. 

The reality is that most of these traditional cleansers are formulated to clean your skin, but they also strip its natural oils. 

When this happens, our skin works hard to produce more oil than normal, causing oily skin dryness and blemishes.

Instead, the oil cleansing method works based on the idea that “like dissolves like”

If we choose to simply dissolve our original oil (the sebum) with new and pure natural oil, we can clean our skin without disrupting its balance.

Oil cleansers are more gentle than soap or detergent cleansers. They can help maintain your skin’s natural lipid barrier which protects against diseases and environmental damage.

Oil cleansing is suitable for all skin types and can be done before going to bed, when removing makeup, or in the morning.

Best of all, you don’t need to rush out and spend a fortune on cleansers.

All you need is a blend of oils that suit your skin, a reusable glass dropper bottle, and a cotton or bamboo fibre cloth pad. 

So, how do you make your own oil cleanser?

We’ll show you.

DIY Cleansing Oil: 5 Easy Tips To Make Your Own At Home

1. Choose The Right Oil For Your DIY Cleansing Oil Recipe

DIY Cleansing Oil by madeleinesteinbach

What oils can you use as a cleanser?

There’s no one right answer overall, but you’ll need to find the right oil that works for your skin type.

To help you narrow it down, follow these three basic parameters for your DIY oil cleansing recipe. 

Oil Quality

You must choose high-quality, cold-pressed oils that have not been obtained by chemical extraction methods. 

Opt for unrefined and organic oils as they have the most natural benefits. 

Oil Properties

Although you can use just one oil type in your cleanser, a balanced mix of oils can do wonders for your skin.

Every oil has a unique fatty acid profile which gives it certain beneficial properties. You can use them to create a blend profile which compliments or balances out each property.

Comedogenic Scale

Have you ever heard of the comedogenic scale? 

On a scale from 0 to 5, it is based on the absorption rate of oil and measures the likelihood that it will clog your pores. 

That said, we shouldn’t choose oil based on this assumption alone.

Some oils with a higher comedogenic scale (for example, avocado oil) might do wonders for extremely dry skin.

Some other oils, like castor oil, which has a very low comedogenic rating, might be drying to the skin because of its pulling and anti-inflammatory properties—but this also makes it ideal in DIY cleansing oil for acne prone skin.

This is why mixing different oil types can bring the right balance.

2. Apply The Four Oils Strategy To Your Homemade Face Cleansing Oil

DIY Cleansing Oil by Andres Victorero

Which oil is best for oil cleansing? 

All oils are moisturizing, but beyond that, they all have their own unique properties that make them differently suited for different skin types.

A DIY oil-based cleanser can have but isn’t limited to: 

  • Castor oil: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, and pain-relieving properties
  • Coconut oil: Anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and anti-aging properties
  • Hemp seed oil: Oil-reducing, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties 
  • Grapeseed oil: Anti-microbial and anti-aging properties; high in omega-6 fatty acids
  • Sweet almond oil: Anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting properties; Rich in retinol-boosting Vitamin A
  • Olive oil: Antibacterial emollient with occlusive properties (seals in moisture)
  • Jojoba oil: Moisturizing, antibacterial, and oil controlling properties
  • Argan oil: Healing, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Avocado oil: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties; Rich in vitamins and fatty acids
  • Rosehip oil: Antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
  • Primrose oil: Elasticity enhancing, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Tamanu oil: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, analgesic, and wound-healing properties
  • Sea buckthorn oil: Antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-aging, anti-actinic, and anti-psoriatic properties
  • Grapefruit oil: Pigmentation regulation, antioxidant, wound healing, and anti-inflammatory properties; Encourages collagen production and fights free radical damage
  • Lavender oil: Anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties
  • Neroli oil: Antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, and cell regenerative properties. 
  • Tea tree oil: Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

These oils are divided into four categories: cleansing oils, core oils, luxury oils and essential oils. 

If you choose your oils based on the four categories, you’ll create an effective and balanced DIY oil cleanser. This is known as the ‘four oils strategy’ and here’s how it works. 

Cleansing Oil

The base of your DIY cleansing oil mix should be an oil with cleansing and antibacterial properties, like castor oil 

Castor oil has astringent properties and works beautifully in drawing impurities that can cause potential acne breakouts off your skin. 

The quantity of castor oil you can use will depend on your skin type. Start with 30% of your whole formulation and work your way down if you have dry skin.

Too much castor oil can be drying, so use it sparingly if you have dry skin. 

If you have extremely dry or very sensitive skin, you can completely skip the castor oil and add a small amount of coconut oil instead. It has natural anti-bacterial and cleansing properties.

Be mindful that in cold temperatures, coconut oil will solidify. You could use fractionated coconut oil, which does not solidify, but it will have a different fatty acid profile to coconut oil.

Core Oil

Choose the oil that works best for your skin type. Add up to 50% of this oil to your castor or other homemade cleansing oil base.

Depending on your skin type, you could choose between hemp seed oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, etc. If you want, you can also mix two different oils at 25% each.

Luxury Oil

For the remaining 20%, you could add a more luxurious oil with unique properties. These are normally expensive but they can complement your oil blend.

Some “luxurious” oils are, for example, argan, jojoba, tamanu oil, sea buckthorn oil, evening primrose oil and rosehip oil—which makes a great DIY oil cleanser for mature skin

If you prefer to stick to using only your core oil/s, top up your core oil percentage by 20%.

Essential Oil

This step is optional and skip it if you have very sensitive skin.

If you want to include essential oils in your DIY cleansing oil, adjust your oil base to leave room for up to 0.5% maximum of essential oils of your total recipe. 

So, what essential oils are in DIY oil cleansers?

Choose essential oils that are suitable for the face, such as lavender, sandalwood, tea tree and frankincense.

Among the citrus essential oils are grapefruit, sweet orange and neroli. 

Bear in mind that citrus essential oils contain photosensitizers, so make sure to wear them at night or avoid any sun exposure.

3. Make Your Own Cleansing Oil Formulation

DIY Cleansing Oil by microgen

How do you formulate cleansing oil once you have all your ingredients?

To create your facial cleansing oil recipe, start with your cleansing oil base. Depending on your skin type, use up to 25-30% of castor oil (unless you’re using coconut oil instead). 

Add 50% of your chosen core oil. Either one oil at 50% or two oils at 25% each. Next, add your luxury oil for the remaining 20%. Finally, add 0.5% of your chosen essential oil. 

If you want a simple oil cleanser, you could just stick to the cleanser base and core oil. The most common combination is 50% castor oil and 50% olive oil. 

You could even take it further with a DIY cleansing oil emulsifier like CreamMaker Fluid which is vegan, cruelty-free, preservative-free, and derived from vegetable glycerol and coconut oils. 

It helps bind the oil to water (which it can’t do normally). This emulsifying cleansing oil is much easier to wipe off and thoroughly cleanse your skin. 

Pour all oils into an amber dropper bottle. Shake well and allow them to infuse overnight. 

4. Create The Right Cleansing Oil For Your Skin Type

DIY Cleansing Oil by Enecta Cannabis extracts

Now that you know how to choose the oils and essential oils that work better for your skin, you can have fun and try to make your own DIY oil cleanser at home.

Here are some recipe recommendations and ratios you can draw inspiration from. As you can see, you can add as many oils as you like as long as you follow the ratios in the four oils strategy. 

Feel free to swap the oils around according to what you think works best for your homemade oil face cleanser. 

DIY Oil Cleanser For Oily Skin, Combination Skin, & Acne Prone Skin

  • 25-30% castor oil 
  • 50% core oil: grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, safflower oil 
  • 20% luxury oil: tamanu, sea buckthorn oil, argan oil 
  • Optional 0.5% essential oil: lavender, tea tree, palmarosa, lemongrass, geranium, grapefruit, sweet orange, neroli

DIY Cleansing Oil For Normal Skin

  • 20% castor oil
  • 60% core oil: sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, rice bran oil, sunflower oil, olive oil 
  • 20% luxury oil: evening primrose oil, rosehip seed oil, argan oil, jojoba. 
  • Optional 0.5% essential oil: lavender, geranium, sandalwood, frankincense, cedarwood

DIY Oil Cleanser For Very Dry/Sensitive skin

  • 0%-10% castor oil
  • 80% core oil: avocado oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, rice bran oil, sunflower oil
  • 20% luxury oil: neem oil, jojoba, argan

5. Learn How To Use Oil Cleansers In Your Daily Routine

DIY Cleansing Oil by Mathilde Langevin

Applying your oil blend couldn’t be easier. All you need is a soft washcloth or reusable cotton round. 

1. Wash your hands well, dry them and then squeeze 4-5 drops of the oil into the palm of your hand.

2. Distribute the oil between your hands and start massaging it all over the face, including the neck, in circular movements. This will take you between one to three minutes.

3. Dampen your face cloth with warm/hot water, squeeze any excess water out and place the hot towel over your face for a few seconds. Repeat if necessary, making sure to cover the neck area as well.

4. Massage your skin before removing the cloth. If you feel you still have some of the cleansing oil left on your skin you can use a simple wet towel to wipe it off. 

5. Dry your face with a towel and enjoy the amazing feeling of soft, purified skin!

You can use this method once or twice a day. For example, you could apply a more cleansing blend at night and a moisturizing oil blend in the morning. 

Closing Thoughts On How To Make Cleansing Oil

By opting to switch to an oil cleanser (DIY style) can simplify your skincare routine with an all-natural product that can replace makeup remover, cleanser, and moisturizer all in one.

As with many natural switches, your skin may undergo a transitioning period and there is still a chance that you will have some skin blemishes during the adjustment period. 

This can typically last between two to three weeks. 

If you feel that this method is not working well for you, experiment with different oils to see if your skin responds better.

Don’t forget to share this easy DIY oil cleanser recipe with a friend for a clean, green skincare routine.