DIY Cleansing Oil and How To Use The Oil Cleansing Method

Recently I’ve been super into natural beauty products – I want them all. I’ve been kind of turned off by a number of chemicals and weird ingredients in a lot of the products I use, and once again I’ve spent a little too much time on Youtube watching people with beautiful skin claim using  cleansing oil is their magical solution. So, I decided to try it again.

I’ve used oil based cleansers in the past and loved them – The Body Shop’s cleansing balm as my go to for a long time and more recently I gave their Chamomile Cleansing Oil ago (I liked that one slightly less). I’ve also used coconut oil for a long time to remove my makeup and have had some pretty great results. Having done some reading though, there are all kinds of oils that can be of huge benefit to your skin. My essential oil collection is slowly growing and I use them for almost everything now, as well as adding wheat germ, jojoba, olive, avocado and sweet almond oil into a bunch of little remedies. I’m still that person that puts coconut oil on all of her problems.

If you’re interested in a breakdown of all the oil based products I use in my daily life now, give me a shout and I’ll get that done soon too – it’s a game changer.

Back to cleansing oils, though. Liam bought me a book for Christmas of natural beauty recipes – things like face masks, body butters, shaving creams, cleansers, moisturisers and serums, all of which sound gorgeous but most of which I haven’t made yet. It occurred to me a little while ago that my most popular post ever on Brianneetc was a home made coffee mask, which I’ve recent;y revisited and edited because it was such an old, bad post you’d laugh if you saw it. I really do enjoy making these things, so I figured it was the time I restarted again.

Armed with Holistic Habit’s advice on Oil Cleansing and a loose recipe for a tip top cleansing oil, I took a trip to Holland and Barrett a few weeks ago to pick up some castor oil. Shortly after I was back again to try out their other oils (my store stocks jojoba, almond, avocado, wheat germ, and grapeseed). I was grabbing the odd essential oil as I went. After frantically scrubbing out my old Chamomile cleansing oil bottle, I started to experiment with ratios.

Making your DIY cleansing oil

Here’s what my book recommends:

  • 30% astringent oil: 70% conditioning oil for oily skin
  • 10% astringent oil: 90% conditioning oil for dry skin
  • 20% astringent oil: 89% conditioning oil for combination skin

You can use more than one of each type of oil and the ratios don’t have to be spot on, I just use them as a general guide.

I use castor oil and sweet almond oil as my astringent oils, with sunflower, wheat germ and rosehip for my conditioning oils. As a standard mix, I’ve also added a few drops of lavender and tea tree essential oils to the base mix, and will occasionally just drop a few extras into the mixture when it’s in my hand if my skin needs a little extra TLC.

Astringent oils are what will cleanse your skin – castor oil, sweet almond oil, or hazelnut oils are good options here. I find castor oil a little thick and it can be quite drying, so I don’t use it alone. For your conditioning oils, you can use apricot kernel oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil or sunflower oil, though there’s a lengthy list of conditioning oils with different benefits. Essential oils are nice to add in for some scent and extra skincare benefits if you feel you need them. Tea tree takes care of my spots and I add lavender as it’s super soothing, particularly as I use this before bed most nights so use this as a winding down ritual. I also occasionally throw in some clary sage, bergamot, ylang-ylang, patchouli, neroli, rosemary, frankincense, geranium or rose otto.

How to use

I find this cleansing oil a perfect way to take off my make up most of the time, but I’ve had a particularly glam day I’ll quickly use some coconut oil to remove the worst of my makeup before going in with this. Note if you’re planning to use it around your eyes, tea tree can be irritating as hell if you blink it in so please be careful! I’ll take a few minutes to apply a small amount to my face, really massaging my skin and taking some time to inhale whatever lovely essential oils I have in there that night. It’s a good time to relax and wind down.

While massaging, I’ll usually have a hot face cloth soaking in some water – I use as hot as I can stand. I then ring out all of the excesses and just place the warm, damp cloth over my whole face for a few more minutes. I’ll take the time again to soak in the benefits of the essential oils, allow my face to steam and relax in the shower while it works its magic.

When I’m ready I’ll use some warm water and gently wipe away the excess cleansing oil – and all the day’s grime and makeup that remains. This leaves my skin super soft, clean feeling and well moisturised.


I recommend trying this in small doses to start you off, especially if your skin is particularly troublesome. There are articles all over the internet talking about the benefits of each type of oil, and I’d recommend really doing some reading before you spend a tonne on expensive cleansing oils. Make this in small batches and tweak the ratios as you go to find what works for you. It took a few combinations to find what works for me, but now my skin has never been better!

Recommended reading:

The OCM on Purified Skincare – has some really great information about different oils to use for your skin type.

Oil Cleansing on CrunchyBetty – a really fab blog post breaking down how it works, what to use and some ratios to mix with. Also some fab oils for your skin type.

Troubleshooting the OCM on OverthrowMartha – details on how to alter the method for your skin type.

Do you use cleansing oil in your skincare routine? Would you be interested in reading more about the oils I use in mine? Let me know in the comments!


Brianne xo

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