Your Ultimate Guide to Oil Cleansing [DIY Recipe]

Updated: Jan 25

When I first heard about cleansing your face with oil I thought “What? No way, not me!” See, for majority of my adolescence and early adult life, I was suffering from pretty severe case of acne, and for ever and ever I was told to keep any type of oil away from my face. Oil-free face wash, oil-free moisturizer, nothing or some harshly exfoliating treatment for the night. Well, it didn’t help the acne, possibly even made it worse. But I bought the whole rationale of it, if acne is due to excess oil (sebum) in your pores, then keep the oil as far as possible away from your face.

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Oil Cleansing allows oil to dissolve and remove excess oil from skin. Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Well, it turns out, this was wrong. Still, when I decided to give the oil cleansing method a try, it was with great apprehension. But it didn’t take me long to become a total believer. It turns out that only oil can dissolve oil, hence if you want to clean the oils and excess sebum out of your pores, call oil to the rescue!

Additionally, using oil on your face ensures that your face doesn’t come in contact with harsh soaps or other toxic chemicals. The hyped “anti-bacterial” soaps cause only harm, stripping the face of the essential oils needed for the skin’s health and vibrancy. When face is stripped of these oils, it tries to overcompensate by over-producing the sebum and so the cycle goes.


It is okay to use a single oil for oil cleansing, however a mix of two or three oils, chosen for a specific skin type might work best.

Since different oils have different properties, they are suited for different skin types:

  • Avocado oil - nourishing and rich in essential and trace minerals and Vitamin A

  • Sunflower oil - high amounts of vitamins A, B, D and E, minerals, lecithin, unsaturated fatty acids, and is easily absorbed into the skin

  • Grapeseed oil – high content of essential fatty acid, linoleic acid, it also has astringent qualities and is good for oily and acne prone skin

  • Sweet Almond oil - monounsaturated oil with medium viscosity, it won’t leave the skin greasy

  • Hemp Seed oil - high in omega fatty acids and proteins, readily absorbed into the skin

  • Rosehip oil - rich in essential fatty acids and a natural source of the antioxidant Vitamin C and Vitamin E, excellent in treating many skin conditions

  • Castor oil - high in ricinoleic acid, which gives it its high viscosity; it acts as a humectant by attracting and retaining moisture to the skin


Below are only suggestions. Feel free to play around.

  • Dry skin: 6 parts avocado, 3 parts of sunflower, 1 part castor (use less if skin is extremely dry)

  • Normal skin: 8 parts sunflower, 2 parts castor

  • Oily/ Acne prone skin: 4 parts hemp seed, 4 parts grapeseed; 2 parts castor

  • Aging skin: 2 parts sunflower, 4 parts almond, 3 parts rosehip, 1 part castor

For any mixture of oils, you can add a few drops of essential oils to enhance results and for the sheer pleasure of an enticing aroma. But really only a few (1-2 per 1 ounce of oil to avoid any burning in the eye area). Here are some essential oils with great benefits for the skin (I'm linking to my favorite therapetig grade essential oil company, Edens Garden):


It is so simple and yet so pleasurable, I like to make a little ritual out of it. If you wear make-up, there is no need to take it off prior to oil cleansing. I oil cleanse only at night, but I guess it would be ok to do it twice a day as well.

  1. Mix your oils into a bottle (it’s best to have one with a dispenser so that there is no risk contaminating it by sticking your fingers in there)

  2. Prepare a clean washcloth or small towel

  3. Make sure your water from the faucet is very warm, even hot. Place and soak your washcloth under the running hot water

  4. Get a quarter size of the oil mixture into the palm of your hand

  5. Massage the oils into your skin for a minute or two. Relax and enjoy.

  6. Wring the water out of the washcloth and place it on your face for half a minute or so and then wipe off the excess oil with it.

  7. Clean the washcloth under the hot water, wring, and wipe your face once more.

That’s it. All make-up should be gone, your pores should be nice and clean. With zero harsh chemicals, only pure cleanliness from nature. I like to wipe my face with a little toner like the rose toner I wrote about here.

I hope you are going to become a convert like I did. It really made a huge difference in my skin. I hope it’ll work for you as well. Enjoy!

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