DIY Organic Oil Cleanser-for Oily Skin.

DIY Oil cleanser for oily skin

Oil cleansing is a fantastic way to detox your skin without over drying it or desensitizing it. Most people that have oily skin believe they should not use oil on their skin but it’s actually a fantastic idea. One easy way to oil up is by making a DIY oil cleanser-for oily skin. It’s easy, works wonders and smells amazing! 

I started making my own skin care because I wanted to stop using chemicals on my skin.  For most of my career in the skin care industry I used Dermalogica.  I loved this line of skin care.  They had beautifully smelling products with great results.  They claimed to be “all natural” which was good enough for me.  After doing research on all the harmful ingredients that are in skin care I started looking at the never ending ingredient list on the back of my beloved Dermalogica products.  Propylene Glycol was listed near the top even in a simple toner.   It was time to re-think what I was putting on my skin.

Having a background in skin care and working with some of the most exclusive skin care lines, I realized that cleansers can come in many different varieties.  When doing my own cleansers, I prefer to stick with a DIY oil cleanser. 

First of all, The Oil Cleansing Method has literally saved my skin and second, DIY oil cleansers don’t need a preservative, don’t contain water and are much easier to make and better for your skin. 

Jojoba and Tamanu oils are the absolute best for oilier skin types.  In fact, I love tamanu oil so much it merited it’s own post.  Jojoba is very similar to our own skin’s sebum so when used on the skin, our skin gets the message to stop over producing oil.  Castor oil is the cleansing oil and very necessary in an oil cleanser.

I absolutely love the smell of lavender essential oil and tea tree essential oil together.  I think they are the best oils for blemished skin.  They are both antibacterial, anti fungal, anti inflammatory and anti viral.

DIY Oily Skin Cleanser

DIY Oil Cleanser

1 TBSP. Castor Oil (find it HERE)

1 TBSP. Tamanu Oil (find it HERE)

6 TBSP. Jojoba Oil (find it HERE)

8 drops Lavender Essential Oil (find it HERE)

4 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (find it HERE)


  1. Using a quarter sized amount of oil cleanser, massage your face for at least 1 minute.
  2. Apply a very warm towel to your skin and let it sit on your skin until it cools.
  3. Repeat the warm towel 1-2 more times.
  4. Finish up with a toner and moisturizer.

I absolutely love using a DIY oil cleanser.  Believe it or not, it is one of the most effective yet gentle ways to cleanse your skin.  So often a soap based cleanser will strip the skin of it’s natural oils prompting the skin to over produce oil.  Out of balance skin is so often correcting when using an oil cleanser.  The best bonus is that it thoroughly removes stubborn eye makeup all while nourishing the lashes!

I have linked the ingredients that I personally use and trust.  High quality ingredients is KEY to a successful DIY.

By the way, my label is from my collection of 10 labels that you get when you sign up for my email updates!  Sign up below and if you already have and did not receive the label pdf. comment below and I’ll send them to you!


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xx, Jenni


DIY Oily Skin Oil Cleanse

Jennifer Phillips
Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the natural skin care blog, Jenni Raincloud.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  1. August 18, 2013 / 10:16 pm

    Wow…this is amazing! I am totally going to try this one! Is this safe on the eyes? How did you get a hold of all this wonderful recipes? Does it take make up?

  2. August 19, 2013 / 1:58 pm

    This recipe will take off eye make up, it does not burn my eyes but I do keep them shut until I’ve removed all of the cleanser. I have been doing lots of research and have formulated my own recipes! I like to experiment and my mother loves to test them! Essential oils are the best skin treatment so I add oils according to what skin issue I’m trying to address! Thanks for your comment!

  3. October 5, 2013 / 2:41 pm

    I am truly delighted to read this post regarding cleanser recipe which contains plenty of helpful facts, thanks for providing these data. Great article, exactly what I needed.

  4. Karin
    October 19, 2013 / 10:06 pm

    This sounds great! Thanks for sharing. I want to whip up a small batch for my 12 year old daughter to test out. I’ll leave out the lemon EO, though, because that can cause photosensitivity in the skin.

  5. Faith
    November 10, 2013 / 10:39 pm

    What’s the difference between guar gum and xantham gum? Can I use xantham gum in this?

    • November 14, 2013 / 6:08 pm

      Faith-Honestly there isn’t much of a difference between the two. Guar gum was easier to find (they have organic guar gum at my local target so that’s why I went with it. I have heard several people say they like the results of xantham gum better. For sure use xantham gum-they are both meant to thicken! Thanks for coming!

  6. November 18, 2013 / 4:56 pm

    I was wondering what the shelf life of this would be. Thanks for the recipe. I am going to give it a try.

    • November 18, 2013 / 7:17 pm

      I honestly don’t know-I have made it many times and have used it within a couple of months. I would say at the very least the shelf life is 3 mos. At the most 6 mos. There are no preservatives in this and when mixing water and oil you have to be careful because bacteria can form. I find that it will smell bad when it goes bad. You can add a natural preservative like Vitamin E to help prolong the shelf life. Honey and the essential oils do help to kill any bacteria as well. I hope that helps! Thanks for visiting!

      • Jaclyn
        June 5, 2014 / 3:03 pm

        Yes! I have been scouring the web…this is the blend I am looking for. Glad to hear it has a decent shelf life, too. What a cool blog! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. This was my first visit, but I’m excited about reading on:)

  7. December 18, 2013 / 6:40 pm

    Have you ever made a facial cleanser with Soapwort? I’ve been experimenting with it as a main ingredient for a skin cleansing lotion/gel

    • December 18, 2013 / 10:40 pm

      Mimiface, No, I’ve never heard of it! Keep me posted and I’ll do some research!

  8. Dana
    January 11, 2014 / 9:38 am

    Is this recipe good for acne prone skin? My 17 year old son has a HORRIBLE time with acne. Want him to try oil cleansing, but I know he won’t take the time to do it 🙁 looking for a good, quick, natural alternative for him

    • January 11, 2014 / 3:23 pm

      I wouldn’t suggest it for acne. When skin is really irritated and out of balance I believe the recipes with the less ingredients are the best. Just a castile soap and water would work. The ratio is 4 parts water to 1 part soap. Have you seen my post on a skin clearing serum? It is just aloe and mainly tea tree essential oil, with a few other blended in. Very simple and won’t clog pores. He needs to be drinking a ton of water and being careful with what he is eating. Unfortunately it is probably hormones. Until those level out it will be a struggle, but if he keeps his skin clean and uses essential oils he can control it. Hope this helps!

    • Misty
      December 18, 2014 / 2:46 pm

      I love this recipe but changed it just a bit to meet my needs! Instead of the olive oil I used 2 TBS emu oil and 2 TBS of grapeseed oil. I have several friends who have used it as well as I have used it and it cleared up our acne. My teenage daughter and my daughter in law have used it as well, both who have really bad acne on their shoulders and back, and it has cleared it up completely. When I am slacking and not making it for them their acne comes back.

  9. dina
    January 17, 2014 / 3:03 am

    can I use xantham gum instead of guar gum?

    • January 17, 2014 / 8:22 am

      Dina, Absolutely! Xantham gum will thicken the cleanser just as well as guar gum. In fact, I’ve heard several people say they like it better. I haven’t worked with it so I don’t know. Once my guar gum runs out I’ll try it! Thanks for the comment!

      • dina
        January 23, 2014 / 5:12 am

        thank you very much for your immediate reply! how much vitamin E can I put in the mixture?

  10. Jennifer K
    February 25, 2014 / 9:30 am

    I have some dark spots from sun damage and would like to address those as well as the dry (mature) skin. Do you think Frankincense would be a good addition?

  11. Kylie
    April 14, 2014 / 9:20 am

    Hi Jenni! I make alot of your recipes and really love them. I’m wondering if there is a sub for the lemon in this cleanser. I noticed lemon is on the list of Do Not Use List if you are pregnant. I’m in my first trimester. Should I just omit it all together or is there something similar that could replace it? Thanks!

    • April 14, 2014 / 9:47 pm

      Kylie-I would just omit it. You can use any oil you’d like in your cleanser that’s not on the list! Thanks!

  12. omolade Adeshina
    September 27, 2014 / 9:14 am

    I think this formular/recipe is for dry skin, pls can this also work for oily skin?

  13. Jennifer Marshall
    November 16, 2014 / 1:38 pm

    I want to make this for a friend, but she doesn’t like lavender. Any suggestions for alternatives?

    • November 19, 2014 / 1:31 pm

      I like peppermint in cleansers-it’s refreshing and a bit cooling! Rosemary oil is minty too. Frankincense is gentle and wonderful for the skin. Ylang Ylang is great for balancing the skin and smells very sweet and flowery.

  14. Brittney
    November 21, 2014 / 11:39 pm

    I love you skin care recipes. I swear I made this face wash a few months ago and just ran out. I absolutely loved it and wanted to make it again, but as I was going over the ingredients I don’t remember the citric acid and neodefend being a part of it before. I was wondering if you updated it to add theses? If I were to use potassium sorbate in place of the neodefend, would it be an equally substitution?

    • November 26, 2014 / 2:56 pm

      Brittney-Yes it is different! I found out that castile soap has a very high pH which can be irritating to the skin so citric acid lowers the pH. Also since we are mixing water and oils, bacteria will be a problem unless you are going to use your batch within 2 weeks. Neodefend is a preservative. I have heard potassium sorbate is a natural preservative so yes, I think you could use it instead of neodefend!! Thanks!

  15. Aqua Leo
    February 10, 2015 / 5:21 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your recipes! I’m so happy that I have found your page! You are saving lives!! Thank You!!! I have one question! I have fully read EVERYTHING but I didn’t see the approximate shelf life after the Citric acid and Neo Defend was added. Can you please tell me how long this formula would last in a dark sealed jar?

    • February 11, 2015 / 8:48 am

      Actually, I am not quite sure. According to neodefend, you should be able to keep it around 6 mos. I have never had mine for that long so I’m not sure! You for sure could keep it at least 2, especially if you were using it without dipping your hands in it-like a pump? Thanks for your kind words!!!

  16. Armeen
    June 6, 2015 / 12:13 am

    Lovely read… Please help me with a cleanser to be made at home without Castile soap as it has lye in it.. Am in India and cannot source it too… Also want a face wash, serum, Nd moisturiser recipe.. Have dry freckled fine lines , am age 42… Have extreme climate 44degree heat…
    Basically want a day and night regime Nd recipes for it…
    Thank you

  17. brittany
    July 20, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    hello this is such a wonderful recipe, and i plan on trying it. i do plan on getting the preservative, with doing so how long will this last? and should i still store in the fridge when i am using the preservative? i am pregnant and breaking out all over my back too so this seems like its mild enough when using lavender to use on my back aswell. 🙂 so excited to make this.

    • July 21, 2015 / 7:30 pm

      Brittany-This should last anywhere from 3-6 mos. outside of the fridge. Good luck, I hope you can see some relief! It should help! I used oils all through out both my pregnancies with great success!

  18. Jelena Juric
    August 8, 2015 / 9:31 am

    I really like this recipe but it’s just a tad too oily for me. How do I make it less oily? thank you!

  19. Armeen
    August 10, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Hi…thank u for sharing reciepes…am awaiting a reply from you end for June 6th 2015 post… Will be very helpful
    Thank u

  20. Mysweetrose
    December 26, 2015 / 6:02 pm

    Should the ph be a bit higher for this cleanser? Some of your later posts show the ph is better around 6? I made this with distiller water and got a ph of 4. Thank you! 🙂

    • December 26, 2015 / 8:49 pm

      My Sweet Rose-I’m super surprised your pH is that low with castile soap-it should be more like 10. I believe a cleanser should be around a 7-9. It might be your strips? I find those aren’t very accurate. Thanks!!

  21. Israel
    April 19, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    Hello Jenni,
    can u possibly create a recipe for a Moisturizing Beard Wash/Cleanser. I have quite a number of Herbs that I would like to infuse into the distilled water that I want to use and I also have about 5 to 6 oils that I would like to incorporate along with the NeoDefender?
    I can’t seem to find a recipe anywhere for a Beard Wash or what may be called a Beard Shampoo.
    I had a terrible experience of ordering a Beard Shampoo and it STRIPPED all of the oils from my Hair and Skin and left my Beard feeling CRUNCHY. So crunchy that it was painful to touch.

    • Jenni
      April 28, 2016 / 2:01 pm

      Isreal-I have been thinking on this since you wrote this comment. I haven’t come up with anything yet but I’ll continue to work on it! I have you looked into a shampoo for hair not beards? Something that is very moisturizing and gentle? Also, conditioning your beard hair with an oil after a wash would help so much. Also, check into The Oil Cleansing Method. I have never really thought about this method in terms of beard hair but I think it would greatly soothe your skin as well as moisturizer you beard.

  22. Silverose
    April 23, 2016 / 10:01 am

    Hi, Jenny! I wanted to ask about shea butter in this recipe, because it will harden after some time for sure. I would like to replace it with some liquid oil – could you please give me a hint how can I substitute shea butter in this cleanser? Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Jenni
      April 28, 2016 / 1:55 pm

      Silverose-Shea butter will harden from the liquid form into a pliable consistency but with this cleanser, I find that it still works as long as you shake it before each use which is necessary anyway since water and oils don’t mix. I love shea butter and what it does for the skin but if you would like to omit it you could use the same amount of any oil you’d like. Sweet almond oil, rosehip seed and apricot kernal oil are all great!

      • Silverose
        May 16, 2016 / 6:16 pm

        Jenni, thank you so much for your helpful answer. I’ve added shea butter and it worked. The only problem is – when I add citric acid to this cleanser, it instantly (in seconds) looses it’s foam and becomes watery…The only thing that makes it possible to use is guar gum, because it made my cleanser more gel-like. Maybe it’s because I use a different castile soap, I really don’t know. Do you have any ideas how to solve this problem? I would be very thankful for your answer! 🙂

        • Jenni
          May 23, 2016 / 7:46 am

          Silverose-Yeah, it’s an issue with homemade cleansers. If you ask me, they’re a bummer. I actually just changed this recipe over to an oil cleanser because of the not so great results of using a preservative, citric acid and castile soap. Guar gum does give it a gel consistency which is why I use it-that’s the best texture you can accomplish when adding water. Sorry to be NO help!

          • Silverose
            July 21, 2016 / 10:04 am

            Thank you so much, Jenni. You were very helpful. At least now I know that it’s the best I can get. It doesn’t bother me so much to use it. I don’t mind the lack of foam. Just wanted to use it with my husband. He, on the other hand loves when cleansers foam a lot. Maybe it would be a good idea to just put it into a foam pump and omit the guar gum 🙂 Still thank you very much for your reply!

    • Jenni
      May 30, 2016 / 8:17 am

      Zoe-No emulsifier is needed when there is no water.

  23. August 5, 2016 / 8:10 am

    Good morning! Can you please send me the 10 labels? I’ve been subscribed for some time now. Thank you

    • Jenni
      August 9, 2016 / 4:22 pm

      Sure thing Martha!!

  24. Cecilia Fritsch
    August 18, 2016 / 11:08 am

    Hi Jenni! I love your blog and you’re such an inspiration to me and my DIY adventures! I was wondering if I could replace the jojoba oil for meadowfoam seed oil? My face breaks oil when I use jojoba oil on it… Everywhere else is fine (go figure…)! Thank you!

    • Jenni
      August 26, 2016 / 2:25 pm

      Cecilia-Thank you so much! You could totally replace with meadowfoam-i love meadowfoam, it’s very light and great for skin!

  25. Fatima
    January 19, 2017 / 6:07 am

    Hi Jenni…have you tried using reetha to wash hair as an all natural shampoo? I think its called soapnut in English. I’ve used whole nuts and powder with great success. My dandruff cleared up forever. You could find them in any Indian grocery store.

    • Jenni
      January 23, 2017 / 9:08 am

      Fatima-I haven’t, but that’s super interesting! I suffer from dry hair but I have an oily scalp-I know that’s from an imbalance caused by shampoo. I’ll look into it! Thanks for sharing!

  26. July 5, 2017 / 1:27 am

    Hi That was a great post your recipe is one of a kind, I really liked it. I learned a lot. It is the quality of the content that matters most. Staying naturally beautiful with style. l also wrote about something similar, you can check it out here

  27. August 30, 2017 / 9:31 pm


    I never thought that essential oil is also a cure for oily skin. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I don’t have the oily face but I can recommend this to someone I know. For sure she will be thankful as she is also looking for something that will help her deal with the problem of having an oily face.

    • Jenni
      September 1, 2017 / 8:52 am

      Wendy-Thank you for sharing!!

  28. Jannymarie
    December 30, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    Hi Jenni! – I am totally confused now! After reading about your fiasco with boils which resulted from using castor oil thta was not cold “processed,” I was cautious in my search for a quality brand. Then when I clicked on the link for the castor oil you recommend (in above recipe), I see that one is described as “expeller pressed.”

    If cold “proccessed” means the same as cold “pressed” then this brand (Mountain Rose Herbs) would not be what I thought you were saying was the type we needed to incorporate into any OCM.

    Can you please clarify this for me before I place an order? Thank you!

    • Jenni
      January 1, 2018 / 10:58 am

      Jannymarie-I’m not sure what you mean about my fiasco with boils and castor oil not be cold pressed. I trust MRH for every ingredient however not all of them are cold pressed. Cold pressed is always the best but as long as the oils are high quality there shouldn’t be issues.

  29. May 11, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    I live for this dyi!! My skin tends to be a little greasy in the mid-afternoon and after trying out a few expensive facial products but this dyi has worked much better for me!!

  30. January 20, 2021 / 1:46 am

    Thanks for sharing skincare tips. Keep sharing.

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