DIY Skin Clearing Serum…..

DIY skin clearing Serum

Lately I’ve been focused on DRY SKIN.  I have been neglecting you all out there that are suffering from break outs!  I do have personal experience with acne.  When I was in my teens I had bad skin.  I had the usual hormonal issues plus (like most teens) I was under a lot of pressure and stress.  Not knowing any better, my mother took me to a dermatologist who promptly handed me a prescription for antibiotics and Retin-A.  She also suggested I use Clinique.  Really?  I don’t have an issue with Retin A but the antibiotics I used for about a year wrecked my immune system and compromised my gut for many years to come.  This was back when probiotics were unheard of.  To top it off, the acne did not budge.  If I had known that my diet had a huge effect on my skin as well as the products I was using, maybe I could have gotten some relief.

If you are suffering from acne and are on antibiotics, I urge you to stop taking them.  Take a good look at what you are eating as well.  If your hormones are out of balance and your stress levels are high this can wreak havoc on your skin.  Skin issues come from the inside.  Two easy things you can do for your skin are drinking a ton of water and getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night.  Healthy skin is not achieved just by using the right products.  You must address the whole body.

Today, I’m going to show you how to make a very simple serum.  It is great as a moisturizer for those of you who are excessively oily.  I suggest using coconut oil to cleanse your skin.  Find out more about the Oil Cleansing Method HERE.   I know that sounds scary but it is proven that LIKE DISSOLVES LIKE.  Coconut Oil has been proven to heal acne.  It effectively cleans and even removes eye makeup. Did you know coconut oil is a powerful anti fungal??!  I have a post on how to make a toner out of apple cider vinegar/green tea toner which is great for blemished skin.  You can find that post HERE.  Now, that we’ve covered a cleanser and toner, let’s tackle a serum/moisturizer.  This is a very simple serum.  I believe that in many cases, simplifying your beauty routine can really help your skin respond in a positive way.  Using one base lets the essential oils really do their thing.  After all, essential oils work on a cellular level.

Aloe Vera gel is light.  It’s healing, hydrating and won’t clog pores. Tea tree essential oil is anti fungal, antimicrobial, and anti bacterial.  It is known to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide but without the side effects.  Ylang Ylang helps to balance oil production and Lemongrass is an effective acne treatment due to it’s anti inflammatory properties as well as it’s detoxifying and regenerative qualities.  Lavender is calming and also anti fungal, anti inflammatory and antibacterial.  I used a 2 ounce glass bottle with a dropper for this serum.  You can find them HERE.

DIY Skin Clearing Serum


DIY Skin Clearing Serum

1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel (find it HERE)
10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (find it HERE)
5  drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (find it HERE)
2 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil (find it HERE)
7 drops Lavender Essential Oil (find it HERE)

1. Mix all ingredients and shake.

Use this serum in the evening after you have cleansed and toned your skin.  Remember, cleansing your skin and removing your make up every night is a must.  You may also use it as a light moisturizer during the day.  Aloe hydrates and soaks in quickly.

Remember that beautiful skin starts from the inside out.  Drink 1 quart of water per 50 pounds of body weight a day.  Lay off the fried foods, fast foods and SUGAR!  Get at least 8 hours of sleep and find ways to reduce stress.  Once you have remedied lifestyle issues and establish a skin care routine using products that are organic and chemical free, clear skin will happen naturally.  Blemished skin is a sign something isn’t right on the inside.  Finding the root of your acne could require some investigative work, but once you do you can remedy breakouts once and for all!  Good luck!!!

xx, Jenni


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DIY skin clearing Serum

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. January 8, 2014 / 1:13 am

    Really taking care of health is very important as its directly impact on your skin. Jennifer…fabulous information you have shared here and this definitely gonna helpful for people.

  2. Michelle
    January 10, 2014 / 9:47 pm

    I made the serum, it smells insanely good 🙂 I do find that it burns for about a minute after applying it, does anyone else have that reaction?? I do tend to have sensitive skin and it goes away so I’m not worried, merely curious! I’ve only used it twice so I can’t comment on the results yet.

    • January 11, 2014 / 3:34 pm

      I haven’t heard of it burning before, but I have noticed that sometimes aloe can burn-that sounds crazy, I know. Is your skin dry, or dehydrated? When skin is really dry adding a lotion or aloe can sting. If it continues to burn you could use it as a spot treatment. Thanks for your comment!!

    • Christine
      July 15, 2015 / 4:26 am

      Maybe you have put too much essential oil. Try putting less

  3. January 14, 2014 / 7:11 am

    Just wondering what size bottle you used to put the mixture in?

    • January 15, 2014 / 7:00 pm

      They are a 2 ounce glass bottle dropper-I have linked it on the post! Thanks!!

  4. Rhanda
    January 30, 2014 / 11:47 pm

    I’ve been using this for a couple weeks and the results are great! Is it essential to keep aloe in fridge? How long do you suppose shelf life is? I love that these natural products actually work!

    It does sting a little for me too but I like it. I have slightly sensitive skin and it leaves me a little red but goes away quickly. So worth it to me!

    • January 31, 2014 / 2:57 pm

      I don’t keep my aloe in the fridge. I don’t think it’s necessary-did you make 2 ounces? 2 ounces or less is fine out of the fridge. Shelf life of most aloe vera gels is about a year. Thanks!

      • Nina
        April 8, 2015 / 9:17 pm

        Hi! I will try this serum recipe but i have a question. Could i use this serum the same time with another collagen serum i got? Thank you so much for answer in advance!

  5. Kathy
    February 12, 2014 / 6:58 am

    I have dealt with acne problems for years and all the dermatologists have always given me antibiotics. I stopped these meds recently and started using coconut oil and other essential oils to combat cystic acne, scarring and combination skin. I am thrilled to say my skin has cleared and have minor little scarring left to treat so I can go foundation free for the first time since my early 20s! I am looking to make something for my man, he has bad acne breakouts, reddening and the pitted look on his face. Would this serum suffice? I would like to give him a whole new skin care regime, thanks so much for your recipes I love them!

    • February 12, 2014 / 3:05 pm

      Kathy-that is wonderful news!!! I’m so glad you’ve cleared up and ditched the drugs! I would suggest this serum for anyone dealing with breakouts and inflammation. Not only will it help clear, but it will calm everything down too. I hope this helps!!

  6. Kerry
    February 13, 2014 / 8:35 pm

    If I use almond oil will it have the same skin clearing benefits? Love your blog btw!

    • February 13, 2014 / 10:16 pm

      Kerry, almond oil is amazing for the skin, but everyone’s skin responds to different things. If it were me I would for sure try it. Keep me posted!

  7. TKO
    February 21, 2014 / 12:10 pm

    Would it be ok to substitute organic jojoba oil for the aloe vera? I have it on hand and have used it as a moisturizer with good results (no breakouts). Also, do you recommend using this serum only until the acne is under control or continuously? I’d like to try your Vitamin C serum, but I have acne issues in addition to my aging skin, so I’m not sure which direction to take. Thank you!

    • February 21, 2014 / 4:28 pm

      Hi TKO-Yes, you could use Jojoba instead of Aloe. If your skin responds well to it then go for it! Aloe is water based and super light so that’s why I suggest it for acne. This serum is not harsh nor does it contain chemicals. Jojoba oil is good for your skin and you could use it as a moisturizer forever-the essential oils are great for all skin types but are particularly good for acne-but they won’t dry you out or make you sensitive. So yes, you could use this serum for as long as you want. The vitamin C serum is awesome for aging. It will not clog pores and you could even use the l.ascorbic acid with your jojoba oil. You could do the Clearing Serum in the morning and the Vitamin C in the evening. I think you would love the results!

  8. Julie
    February 26, 2014 / 7:39 am

    I have been suffering with acne for the past 6 months. I am taking a multi vitamin and acidophilus pill also. I quit using all cleansers, mask, toners and all these chemicals that estheticians were recommending me.

    I was applying Josie Maran Oil only and removed my makeup with a moisturizing towelettes. Washed my face with water and moisturizerd. It has helped 50% but I am hoping that if I try your cleanser toner and moisturizer i will get better results.

    I must admit I eat crap about 3 times a week and chocolate is my addiction but I hate my acne and that should be enough to start eating smarter.

    Here goes to a better me!

  9. Lisa
    March 8, 2014 / 8:45 am

    I have been trying to treat menopausal acne (it’s awful!) and wondering if Jojoba Oil can be used in place of the Aloe Vera? Thanks!

    • March 8, 2014 / 9:52 am

      Lisa-What are you trying to do by substituting the oil for aloe? Do you need more moisture? Jojoba is a great choice for overly oily skin because it is most similar to our natural sebum so it gives the skin the signal to stop over producing oil. I use the aloe because it is so light and absorbs so quickly plus it is 100% non-comedogenic(will not clog pores). You can sub the jojoba absolutely. Everyone’s reacts differently to things so if it works for your skin, stick with it! I personally chose aloe because I prefer the lightness of it so that I could apply a moisturizer on top of the serum because I am so dry. That was a wordy way to say-yes-jojoba would be a good alternative! Thanks!

  10. Trina
    May 12, 2014 / 11:32 pm

    I just made this a couple days ago for a gift, but it was missing the lemon oil so I was waiting to gift it until it came in the mail. Normally I use a serum I concocted through another post you have. I decided to try it and I absolutely love it! I doubled it up because my bottles are a tad bigger. So the lemon came today and I just added it, shook it up and applied it after I oil cleansed and boy did it sting around my upper lip and middle cheeks!! I had to follow with the other serum I use daily! Is this normal you think from the lemon? Or do you think it was from the aloe and the concoction of oils sitting in the bottle marinating with each other?

    • Penny
      June 12, 2014 / 10:29 pm

      Hi Trina, I can’t imagine lemon stinging but I’ve never used it on my face before. I noticed that the recipe calls for lemongrass, though, and not lemon. Perhaps the stinging is because of your particular combination of oils…? I’m interested to know if you’re still using it and how it’s working!

  11. La Fatma
    June 12, 2014 / 7:34 pm

    Hi Jenni,
    can we use other moisturizer after applying this serum? please advise me 🙂 thank you

    • June 15, 2014 / 8:34 am

      La Fatma-Absolutely! Let the serum soak in first, then use your moisturizer after. Thanks!

  12. Suzanne
    July 7, 2014 / 3:42 pm

    I was wondering if witch hazel could be used in place of the aloe vera gel? Thanks for all of your interesting info.

    • July 7, 2014 / 4:48 pm

      Suzanne-Yes, instead of a serum, it would be more like a toner or spritzer. Thanks!

  13. Susie
    August 2, 2014 / 3:55 am

    Hi do I need moisturizer after applying this serum? I made mine (great recipe!) and I really love it, I was wondering if you have a diy moisturizer to apply after applying this serum?

    • August 2, 2014 / 7:18 pm

      Hi Susie! No, unless your skin feels like it needs more moisture, the serum is enough. I do have a couple of DIY moisturizers-Here and Here. Thanks!

  14. Julia
    August 12, 2014 / 2:26 pm

    Hi Jenni! (love your blog!!)
    I have all the ingredients for this serum except the lemongrass- what do you think? Should i order it or can I try without it? TIA

    • August 13, 2014 / 9:23 pm

      Julia-Skip it. Melaleuca and Ylang Ylang are the powerhouse oils in this one!

  15. Kenzie
    September 24, 2014 / 12:13 am

    Hi Jenni! I have a question. How are you supposed to use this exactly, like step by step? Do you use it like you would in the oil cleansing method? Are you supposed to wash it off or leave it on overnight? I guess I’m just kind of confused and would just love a reply.
    Thanks so much!

    • September 24, 2014 / 6:37 pm

      Hi Kenzie! You would use this in the evening after cleansing and toning your skin. Apply a thin layer and leave it on overnight. If you need to apply a moisturizer on top wait until your skin absorbs it. Hope this helps!

  16. Mrs. C
    October 2, 2014 / 9:15 am

    Jenni, I am becoming obsessed with your website! I made this serum last night and have been oil cleansing (jojoba and castor) for a few days now. I’m trying to get my super oily/acne prone skin under control. I love, love, love this serum! It kind of stings my face too at first but then goes away. My skin is uber-sensitive though so I’m not too concerned. My ultimate goal is to be foundation free! After using this serum only once, I am not wearing foundation today, for the first time in a looooong time – just a little concealer. Boy does that feel nice! I don’t have any questions, just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your site and recipes. Thanks for all the great info!

  17. Susie
    October 3, 2014 / 10:59 pm

    Hi jenni, can i add carrotseed oil and frankincense into this serum? Or would it clash witth the other oils

  18. Katie Bussing
    October 25, 2014 / 2:23 pm

    Hi, I have been researching different DIY natural remedies for acne, and I have been using an all natural sensitive skin face wash and quit using all commercial acne products a for a couple years now, I have tried coconut oil for a moisturizer, and I have tried it as a face wash/eye makeup remover, and I also make my own toner with green tea, witch hazel and lavender oil. I wear makeup only about twice a week and I do clay masks once a week. I said all that to say that no matter what I have tried my acne will NOT go away!! I mostly have it bad along my jaw line and when I changed to all natural products my acne got a little better but even after all these years (im 26 now), nothing I try seems to make any difference to the acne along my jaw. I also tried eating gluten and sugar free for over a month and that didn’t seem to help either, my complexion didnt change at all while I was on that diet, and in general I eat pretty healthy, drink lots of water and never eat pop or candy, so I’m literally at a loss as to what more I could do. Sorry this is such long post I’m just so fed up that nothing works for me.

    • October 28, 2014 / 5:36 pm

      Katie-You really have tried everything!! When I hear about acne near the jaw line I always think of a hormone issue. Acne can be so hard to get rid of and the process of getting rid of it can be a long one. I deal with a lot of blackheads and have to be very careful with keeping my hands off my face, changing my towels and sheets every other day and thoroughly cleansing my skin morning and night. When acne is on the jaw, it almost always is exacerbated by resting your head on your chin or by a dirty cell phone even. Take a good luck at how you sleep as well. If your hands are on your jaw line, this could be the culprit too. Good luck, I hope find a solution!!

  19. Lydiah
    November 9, 2014 / 6:19 am

    Hi Jenny,thanks for the superb work you doing.I live in Nairobi(Kenya),just wondering whether the shipment of the oils would affect their quality considering its quite a long journey and the conditions during shipment.Thanks

  20. Bella Duprey
    November 15, 2014 / 11:40 pm

    hello! i was wondering if this would take the place of a moisturizer, or would it take the place of an acne treatment?

    • Bella Duprey
      November 15, 2014 / 11:41 pm

      or if it took the place of both that would ebe amazing also 🙂

    • November 16, 2014 / 11:08 am

      Bella-That would depend on how oily your skin is. Many people are oily enough to just use aloe as a moisturizer. For me, it’s no where near enough. I need more hydration. If you are really oily you for sure could use this as a moisturizer and acne treatment!!

  21. Luna Camelli
    February 2, 2015 / 3:16 am

    How long does this serum lasts before it ‘expires’ ?

    • February 3, 2015 / 8:16 pm

      Luna-It lasts for about 2 mos. It’s hard to say with aloe vera. Some are stable because there are added preservatives. Others are more natural and need to be kept in the fridge for longer use. It just really depends on the brand of aloe.

  22. Stephanie
    May 13, 2015 / 10:17 am


    Where do you get your glass 1oz dropper bottles? Every website I look into has insane shipping cost and amazons selection is mediocre. I would love to buy in bulk so I can make for friends and family? Any suggestions?

    • May 16, 2015 / 3:04 pm

      I usually use Amazon but I also use They have high shipping but they have 1 ounce bottles with droppers. I would not give up on Amazon. I find that with these types of bottles, I don’t search anything too specific. I usually just type in glass dropper bottle and lots in all sizes come up. I believe I have them linked in this post.

  23. Rebecca
    May 24, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    I keep reading conteadictory things about coconut oil. Some say it’s great for skin cleansing, but many say it can be comedogenic..?

    • May 27, 2015 / 1:35 pm

      Rebecca-Coconut oil is antibacterial and anti fungal and so many people have great results when using it with problem skin. It also is a very light moisturizer. It does rate in the mid-range on the comedogenic scale but I rarely pay attention to that. It’s so much more about what your skin responds to and unfortunately that can be a lot of trial and error.

  24. Robin
    May 30, 2015 / 2:50 pm

    Hello. I have recently made this serum for friends and am looking forward to positive results. Would this serum be helpful for someone with Eczema? Thank you.

    • June 2, 2015 / 1:51 pm

      Robin-I don’t think that it would be very helpful. Seems like with eczema you need something really nourishing and thick. Aloe is so light that I don’t think it would make much of a difference. I have never experienced eczema or known anyone personally who has so I’ve been timid to make a diy recipe for it but I might go ahead just based on my research.

  25. maria
    May 31, 2015 / 2:25 am

    Hi Jennifer
    I have just recently found your website and excited to start trying your recipes.
    Would love to make this for my sister but she is allergic to aloe. What can I substitute for aloe? Thanks

    • June 2, 2015 / 1:55 pm

      Hi Maria! Oils that are good for clearing are jojoba and tamanu. I love tamanu-in fact I have a post on it HERE. Hope this helps!

      • Maria
        June 2, 2015 / 11:00 pm

        Hi Jennifer ..thanks for the reply. Will try it with the jojoba and will let you know how that comes out!
        Can you please recommend recipes for a cleanser/toner/moisturizer for someone who suffers from rosacea??

        • June 3, 2015 / 11:15 am

          Maria-I’m not too big on homemade cleanser recipes because of pH issues. I will work on a toner and moisturizer for rosacea-there are lots of oils that can help relieve the condition I just need to work on it! Thanks!

          • Maria
            June 3, 2015 / 4:25 pm

            Thank you! !!

  26. May 8, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    Hi Jenni!

    I’m really interested in trying out your recipe! 😀
    But is there anything I can replace Ylang Ylang oil with???

    • Jenni
      May 11, 2016 / 4:40 pm

      Rachel-You can skip it if you like-I use very little because it can help regulate oil production. The main ingredient that is of most important is melaleuca!

  27. Arriane
    May 26, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    I have the body shop tea tree oil. Can I use that? Also, when I buy my essential oils, how do I know it’s safe to use on skin? Lastly, I heard coconut oil is comodigenic. I was going to try your cleanser too.

    • Jenni
      May 27, 2016 / 8:13 am

      Arriane-I wouldn’t use tea tree oil from body shop. I suggest using Spark Naturals for all your essential oils-they are undiluted, unadulterated and the highest quality. Without high quality essential oils, your DIYs won’t be as effective at all. On the Spark Natural’s website they include a description of each oil telling you what they can be used for and if they need to be diluted before putting on the skin. Plus, if you are following my recipes, they are greatly diluted in a diy product. Coconut oil is one of those that clogs some and not others. Coconut oil is actually anti fungal and has helped many, many skin conditions but it has also been known to clog some people as well. DIY skin care/natural skin care is trial and error, just like any other type of skin care. You have to take some chances to find out what your skin will respond to. You can use my coupon code JENNIRAINCLOUD at Spark Naturals for 10% off!

  28. Manu
    September 25, 2017 / 3:43 am

    Please tell me a substitute for Ylang Ylang ?

    • Jenni
      October 10, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Manu-I would just skip it.

  29. Manu
    September 25, 2017 / 3:44 am

    Any substitute for Teatree oil ?

    • Jenni
      October 10, 2017 / 5:25 pm

      Manu-Tea tree is such a great oil for acne so unless you are allergic I would keep it in the recipe.

  30. Raquesha Wilson
    December 5, 2017 / 9:00 am

    Does this help with cystic acne. I need help repairing the scarring

    • Jenni
      December 9, 2017 / 11:50 am

      Raquesha-I don’t believe this DIY will be very helpful with cystic acne. It would help heal once the acne is under control though. I would look into using THIS DIY mask to pull out impurities. I would also look into Juice Beauty products, you can find them on Amazon.

  31. Michelle
    December 29, 2017 / 10:42 pm

    Hi Jenni,
    I happen to stumble upon your site and made this aloe vera serum. I love it!!! I was wondering if I can add some clove essential oil? If so, how many drops would you suggest?

    • Jenni
      January 1, 2018 / 10:52 am

      Michelle-You sure could but add only a couple drops sense it’s such a hot oil.

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