Cleansing with Oil + 8 DIY Oil Cleansers That Will Transform Your Skin

Cleansing with oil is one of the most effective ways to remove makeup and works well for all skin types. From dry skin to acne-prone skin, sensitive skin to oily skin, balance and detox can be achieved by incorporating oil cleansers in your daily beauty routine. I’ve also rounded up 8 of the BEST DIY oil cleanser recipes for your specific skin type!

Jar of cleansing oil, white towel and dropper bottle

Traditional cleansers often strip the skin of their natural oils which can cause damage to the skin barrier. Often times whatever pre existing condition your skin is experiencing can get worse with a soap based facial cleanser.

Making a DIY cleansing oil can be as simple as pouring a quarter sized amount of any type of oil into your palm and massaging your skin with it! Remove the oil with a hot washcloth and you’ve just oil cleansed. It’s really that simple! Preferably you should use a cleansing oil in addition to another oil but technically, oil works as a gentle and thorough cleanser.

The Best Oils for Oil Cleansing:

Different oils that can be used to cleanse the skin are olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, rosehip oil, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil and grapeseed oil.

There are 2 main “cleansing oils” that should be added to one of the previously mentioned oils. Those two cleansing oils are castor oil and hemp seed oil. Castor oil is added typically for dry skin DIYs and hemp seed is added for oily/acneic skin DIYs.

Benefits of the Oil Cleansing Method:

  • Balancing-ditching the soap keeps the skin in balance by not interrupting the skin barrier.
  • Detoxes the pores gently.
  • Removes dead skin cells.
  • Gently removes stubborn waterproof makeup.
  • Does not strip the skin’s natural oils or disturb the acid mantle.
  • Can relieve and reduce skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
  • Encourages blood flow.
  • Improves skin tone.
  • Nourishes and protects eyelashes.

I wrote an entire post on Everything You Need to Know About The Oil Cleansing Method. I also wrote an oil cleansing troubleshooting post as well if you’re looking for more reasons and encouragement to start oil cleansing!

Oily/Problematic Skin and Cleansing with Oil:

Did you know that cleansing with soap based cleansers can actually make acne worse according to this study?

It may seem counter productive to use oil on oilier skin types. What is interesting is that using oil on oily skin actually balances the skin, halting over production. Oil dissolves oil or like dissolves like. Often times oily skin overproduces oil because the skin is getting a signal that it needs to overproduce oil. This signal often comes from harsh skincare products that strip the skin of it’s natural oils and dry it out in order to reduce breakouts and excess oil.

One more aspect to consider is that in order to fight breakout causing bacteria, you need good bacteria. It’s just like in the gut. You’ve got to have a balance between the good and bad bacteria or your health gets out of hand. Oil cleansing keeps good bacteria in tact. 

If you are concerned about acne, you will want to choose oils that are high in linoleic acid such as hemp seed oil, argan oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil. Choosing essential oils like tea tree oil and lavender can also be helpful.

How Does Cleansing with Oil Work?

By massaging the oils into your skin, you are forcing the oil into your pores. Massaging also encourages blood flow and oxygen to the cells for added detox. 

Once you add a hot towel, the steam will open up the oil soaked pores so that the oil can come out-as the oil is purged from your pores, impurities will follow. 

The massage and hot towel will also help soften dead skin and the washcloth will help remove it leaving your skin soft and smooth!

The oil will help balance your skin by either convincing your skin to stop over producing oil or by depositing much needed oil.

How to Cleanse with Oil:

  1. Apply about a quarter sized pump or scoop of cleansing oil to the face.
  2. Massage the skin in circular motions, paying special attention to the eyes if there is eye makeup to remove.
  3. Apply a hot damp washcloth and allow it to cool over the face.
  4. Rinse out the washcloth and apply it hot to the skin once more to insure dirt, oil and makeup removal.
  5. Follow up with a toner and moisturizer.

For best results, oil cleanse in the evening. I splash my skin with cold water in the morning and that’s it. If you feel you need to cleanse in the a.m. use a gentle cleanser like THIS ONE.

Be sure to find a SOFT washcloth. I like to use muslin baby washcloths. You can find them HERE. 

Finding the best cleansing oil recipe for your skin has a lot to do with your skin type. Some cleansing oils or balms contain clay which is great for added detoxing benefits. However, if you are excessively dry, you may want to shy away from some clay because they can be drying.

The Best DIY Oil Cleansers for Dry/Aging/Sensitive Skin:

 This Anti Aging Oil Cleanser Recipe contains rosehip, shea butter and cameilia oil with a blend of carrot seed, geranium and lavender essential oils. I added the dry skin friendly rhassoul clay for detox and skin smoothing benefits. 

This Pink Rose Cleansing Balm contains Sacha Inchi oil and marula oil. I added French pink clay which is gentle on sensitive and dry skin types. The smell is incredible with Rose Absolut and Ylang Ylang oil. 

The Rose Clay Oil Cleanser is similar to the pink rose cleansing balm because they both contain rose clay but this one doubles as a face mask for dry skin. It contains rosehip and jojoba oil as well as eucalyptus and lavender.

The Oil Cleansing Method Cleanser was the first oil cleanser I ever made and it become so popular that I now sell it in my skincare shop. It is a clean version of the Eve Lom Oil Cleanser and contains apricot kernel oil and cocoa butter and a powerful blend of clove, chamomile and eucalyptus oils. You can buy it HERE. 

The Best DIY Oil Cleansers for Oily/Acneic Skin:

This DIY oil cleanser contains French green clay and tamanu oil, two of my favorite ingredients for acne-prone skin. They work incredibly together to detox, soothe and dry out overly oily skin gently. I also added tea tree as the only essential oil because it has powerful antibacterial, anti fungal and anti-inflammatory action all on it’s own. 

This DIY Oil Cleanser is extremely simple-there is no heating involved, you simply mix the oils together in a pump bottle. It contains tamanu and jojoba oil with lavender and tea tree. It’s the perfect quick and simple DIY if you aren’t too sure oil cleansing is for you and experience problematic skin. 

Activated Charcoal acts as a powerful extractor and can even draw out splinters and venom from the skin! This activated charcoal DIY can not only be used as a cleanser. It can also be used as an exfoliator and a mask. I only recommend it for those of you looking for serious detox. It is a messy product that can be hard to remove. It contains hemp oil and bentonite clay with a blend of lavender and tea tree. 

Non Comedogenic DIY Cleansing Oil

I formulated this facial cleanser with all non-comedogenic oils. This means none of the oils will clog your skin because they rate a 0-1 on the comedogenic scale. It is another oil cleanser that does not require heat and can be made in minutes. It contains hazelnut, hemp, Sacha inchi and shea nut oil with lavender, patchouli and geranium essential oils. This recipe is probably my most popular cleansing recipe at the moment. This is a perfect cleanser if you are concerned about anti aging and breakouts. 

Having an oil based skin care regimen will do wonders for every skin type. 

Cleansing with oil works for most people. We no longer should fear putting oil on our skin because no matter what skin type we have, our skin needs balance when it comes to producing it’s own natural oils. Choosing a natural cleansing oil over a soap based cleanser can make a huge difference in your skin.

xx, Jenni


Collage of different DIY oil cleansers

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