Homemade Facewash — The Oil Cleansing Method

posted by Andrea | 02/23/2011

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to try homemade cleaning and beauty products.

I started small, by replacing a few of my cleaning products with vinegar {I’ll talk more about this later}. Then I started using vinegar and safety pins as an alternative to fabric softener.

However, the one homemade product I’m most excited about is my homemade face wash.

The Oil Cleansing Method

Yup, we’re washing our face with oil — which I know sounds absolutely ridiculous. But believe it or not, my skin has never looked better!

I did a bit of research and found that traditional cleansers strip skin of its natural oils, leaving it tight and dry {which is why I had to slather lotion on my face at least 4 times a day}.

However, the oil cleansing method uses caster oil to cleans the skin, and sunflower oil or olive oil to moisturize the skin; resulting in soft, glowing skin without the need for extra lotions or products. {I’m not a dermatologist, but if you’re interested, you can read all about the Oil Cleansing Method here.}

Don’t worry, it’s REALLY simple to make, and practically free!

Ingredients:.

1. Caster Oil — found in the laxative section of your grocery store

2. Sunflower Oil or Olive Oil – we’re using sunflower oil

3. A small plastic bottle with tight sealing cap – I found mine in the travel-size section for 89 cents

4. A soft washcloth


Making the Oil Cleansing Face Wash

Mix the two oils in a small, flip-top plastic bottle according to your skin type.

NORMAL SKIN: Mix one-part caster oil with one-part sunflower oil.

OILY SKIN: Mix two or three-parts caster oil with one-part sunflower oil.

DRY SKIN: Mix one-part caster oil with two or three-parts sunflower oil.

Using the Oil Cleansing Method

  • Pour a quarter-size amount of the oil mixture into your hand
  • Gently massage the oil into your skin for about one minute
  • Run a clean washcloth under very warm water
  • Lay washcloth over your face and let it sit for another minute – this is key to “steaming” the impurities out of your pores
  • Rinse washcloth and gently rub the remaining oil, dirt, make-up, and residue off your face
  • Repeat rinsing if necessary
  • Enjoy really smooth and moisturized skin with out the need for lotion!

Why I LOVE the Oil Cleansing Method

1. It’s really inexpensive. If you already have sunflower oil or olive oil in the house, your total expense will probably be less than $3.00. And you’ll be able to make enough face wash to last you for many months!

2. It removes make up. The oils naturally remove makeup, so you won’t need to buy pricey makeup removers anymore.

3. It’s SO moisturizing. Dave and I have been using this method for almost a month now and have only used face lotion a few times {compare to multiple times every day}.

4. I feel like I’m at the spa. When I have the hot washcloth on my face, steaming my pore, it feels like a mini facial.

5. I only have to wash my face once per day. I use the oil cleansing method at night, when I’m in the shower. Then in the morning, I simply splash warm water on my face.

6. It’s all natural. Even though I’m still not a hard-core “green” gal, I do think it’s important to reduce the amount of chemicals we put into our bodies and on our skin. So I love that I’m using a product that are safe to eat!

7. It makes my skin feel so soft. Like I said earlier, my skin has never looked better — and this is reason enough for me!!

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139 comments

  1. Heather @ Mrs. Southern Bride

    02/23/2011

    I’ve been replacing my household cleaners & beauty products with all natural ingredients lately. I haven’t tried this face wash though, so I’ll read more on it! I’ve been using just a small dab of baking soda mixed with water for a quick, all natural face scrub when needed.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Heather.
    I was actually looking for some face “scrub” ideas so I might have to try baking soda. I also thought of making a salt scrub but haven’t looked into it yet.

    [Reply]

    KimH Reply:

    I would suggest using sugar instead of salt in a face scrub. I love salt scrubs for my legs and arms… but I personally think salt is a little harsh for the face..
    At Wholesalesuppliesplus.com they have slews of really neat items you could use for a face scrub that is less harsh than salt.. Here are a few ideas I saw to use for a scrub..
    Orange or lemon peel (dried & pulverized) Almond kernels, chopped oats, poppy seeds, pomegranet powder, & strawberry seeds.
    Not only are they all natural, they all add a component of good for your skin too.

    [Reply]

    JenniferA Reply:

    Just be careful with using sugar on your face. It is really necessary to wash it off really well if you have acne. Sugar tends to allow bacteria to grow if it is not washed off properly. Baking soda is a really nice way to exfoliate, and it can be used more than once a week. I am an esthetician, and I use baking soda rather than pay for expensive miroderms.

    [Reply]

    Leah Reply:

    Careful with Sugar in your face scrub. I had one I got from Bath & Body almost 10 years ago. Never had an ant problem until that product was in my bathroom, and then suddenly they were everywhere — In my bathroom! At least they were never in the kitchen. Odd, but something that really bothered me about the sugar scrub.

    [Reply]

  2. Megan Camp

    02/24/2011

    Wow. I’d never heard of this method. It’s interesting enough that I might try it. I just went to a Mary Kay party and just can’t see myself spending $13/bottle when I need 3-4 to get the full effect. I’ll all about quick and efficient, especially when homemade. I’ll have to read up on it as well.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, this method is much cheaper than anything you can buy from the store…or from Mary Kay!
    And it works as face wash, makeup remover, and moisturizer all in one. Can’t get much better than that!

    [Reply]

  3. Mariposa

    02/24/2011

    I just started using this method last week! I really like it. On the nights my face seems a little dry, I use coconut oil for a moisturizer. I love the subtle sweet smell of it. :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay, glad to hear it’s working for you too!
    Thanks for the coconut oil tip. I’ve heard lots of good feedback from others who also use coconut oil, so I guess I’ll have to give it a try.

    [Reply]

    Princess Leia Reply:

    Fyi, if you have sensitive skin and always need “non-comedogenic” cosmetics, etc., coconut oil may not work well for you.

    If you _can_ use it though, it’s awesome and has some anti-bacterial qualities too. I’ve started using it on my daughter’s diaper rashes and she LOVES it (it works too!)!

    [Reply]

    KinH Reply:

    I started using coconut oil as a deodorant and it works great (until I have hotflashes..lol) It really does. Wonderful stuff.

    [Reply]

  4. Winson

    02/24/2011

    have you thought about using jojoba oil? It’s probably a bit more expensive but some said the oil construction is actually very similar to our own.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hmmm… I don’t think I’ve ever heard of jojoba oil. But now I’m curious! I guess I’ll have to look into it.

    Thanks for the tip :)

    [Reply]

  5. Betsy (Eco-novice)

    02/24/2011

    Well, shoot, I may need to try this. I have some castor oil leftover from when I was thinking of using it to put myself into labor (didn’t end up doing it). You are very convincing!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Betsy…you should definitely try it!
    And aren’t you so proud of me for “going green”??

    [Reply]

    Betsy (Eco-novice) Reply:

    Very proud. You could write a guest post for my blog about all your greeny ways if you wanted.

    [Reply]

  6. Stephanie

    03/05/2011

    I have read about the Oil Cleansing Method before elsewhere and I think it sounds like such a great idea! I think this is definitely something I’ll try at some point. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Stephanie…it’s a great, frugal way to “go green”. I also love how soft my skin is now.
    Definitely give it a try!

    [Reply]

  7. Do-It-Yourself: Homemade Face Wash :: Money Saving Mom®

    03/17/2011

    [...] Organized Living shows you how to make your own face wash. Do you have a fun and frugal DIY idea to share? I’d love to hear about it! Read the [...]

  8. Shari

    03/17/2011

    Thank you for sharing. I absolutely LOVE this idea and can’t wait to try it. Always looking for ways to reduce the chemicals we’re exposed to and save some money at the same time! I was curious does it work for removing eye makeup like mascara?

    [Reply]

  9. Jennifer

    03/17/2011

    This really intrigues me…….I have read about it on other blogs, but I worry because I have oily, acne prone skin……thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Actually, this method works WONDERFULLY for oil skin. I read all about it and oil actually dissolves oil — so using the caster oil will actually help to draw the oil out of your skin {in a healthy way!}.
    My good friends has extremely oily skin and lots of acne and her skin is looking much better now that she’s using this oil cleansing method! Give it a try!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    Thanks! My daughter is going through that breakout stage and would love for her to try this too! Now, if I can only convince her that this is better than that Clearasil junk! lol

    [Reply]

    Princess Leia Reply:

    Put in a few drops of Tea Tree Oil as well for acne-prone skin. It’s got antiseptic qualities.

    [Reply]

    birthrightrose Reply:

    Lavender also has antiseptic qualities I just learned this week at Dr. Mercola’s health site. It smells much nicer than tea tree IMHO. We always add a few drops to our little fingertip spary bottles with water and Grapfruit Seed Extract as a natural hand sanitizer. I wa happy to learn it was doing more good than just smelling pretty!

    [Reply]

  10. Brea

    03/17/2011

    I’m looking forward to making and trying this. How does it smell or is there something that can be added to smell a certain way?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Brea, this oil face-wash has absolutely no smell {and I have a really sensitive nose!}. I wouldn’t suggest adding any scents to it as that could potentially aggravate your skin.

    [Reply]

    Princess Leia Reply:

    Adding high-quality essential oils is usually ok. I like lemon, personally because it helps me wake up, but if you do this at night, add some lavender to help calm you down! But test a small sample first to make sure you’re not allergic if you’ve got sensitive skin.

    [Reply]

  11. Sarah

    03/17/2011

    I’ve been doing this for about 9 months – it’s fantastic for oily skin. Hard to imagine but it works.

    [Reply]

  12. Lynsie

    03/17/2011

    This really works for me! There are some other oils you can use, for different needs. I add a teensy bit of tea tree oil to mine to help with breakouts (too much and it will dry you out). And I use a mix of castor with olive and jojoba oils. Experiment to see what works best with your skin!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the tip on the tea tree oil…I’ll definitely have to look into that!

    [Reply]

  13. Princess Leia

    03/17/2011

    I’ve been using the OCM for about a year now and LOVE it! I used to have two crows feet under each eye, but now I’m down to just one (that I’ve had since I was about 12, so there are many years to make up for there)! I’ve recently started using my OCM mixture to shave with as well and have never had smoother legs/pits. Yes, my razor gets mucky and has to be cleaned out, but it’s really been amazing. And the leftover gets rubbed on my pregnant belly to help with stretch marks!

    Try to use cold (expeller)-pressed Castor Oil as the heated variety kills off some of the good stuff.

    Add some tea tree oil (but not too much) for acne-prone skin.

    [Reply]

  14. Tracey

    03/17/2011

    I have been using raw honey to wash my face for about 9 months now. At night I leave it on like a mask for about 20 minutes. I love it! I used to feel so dry having used conventional face wash but not now! I also use straight olive oil to moisturize my face just in the a.m. In the p.m. the honey does the trick just fine.

    I use the olive oil to remove eye make up, but have also used coconut oil to remove make up as well…

    All natural ingredients and wonderful for your skin!

    [Reply]

  15. Deb

    03/18/2011

    I have heard that Milk of Magnesia makes an excellent facial mask – will definitely try your recipe.

    [Reply]

  16. Stephanie

    03/19/2011

    I guess I’ve never heard this before but when it says “Mix two or three-parts caster oil with one-part sunflower oil.” How much is one, two or three parts? I’m assuming they are taking an entire bottle of castor and sunflower oil but what if I want to do just enough to fill up a little bottle to use?

    [Reply]

    Cassie Reply:

    Hey, I wondering the exact same thing. So I google’d it, and this is what I found. :)

    bahtsata…

    Best Answer – Chosen by Asker

    if you have a recipe and it says 1 part water to 2 parts flour, it is a ratio. it can be written 1:2, or 1 to 2. it is helpful if you want to vary the sizes of the batches you are making. for example let’s say you are making something small. 1 ounce water and 2 ounces flour. or if you want more, 1 cup water and 2 cups flour. hope this is helpful.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You’re exactly right…thanks for answering this question!

    [Reply]

    Cassie Reply:

    No problem! :) I was trying to figure it out too, so I thought I would share it with other’s who were wondering too. Hehe. :)

    [Reply]

    Stephanie Reply:

    Thanks I did understand that I think what was getting me was I have a 3oz bottle and trying to measure out that ratio. But I google how to measure an ounce and 2 Tbps equal 1 oz. I am looking forward to trying this tonight. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  17. Cassie

    03/20/2011

    Hey Andrea! I just wanted to let you know I tried this tonight and I love it! I normally have very dry skin, no amount of washing or putting lotion on it, was working. Well, My face looks so smooth, feels smooth and feels clean! The only change I made was, I couldn’t find sunflower oil (I checked at two different stores) so I used Safflower oil. After some research online I was convinced it was okay to use this in place of sunflower oil. And it still worked great! Thank you soooo much for posting this. It worked great for me! :) I plan on blogging about it and putting a link to your website, so people can come to your website for the steps on how to do it, if that’s alright!

    Have a great night!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Cassie, Glad to hear the oil cleansing method is working for you too! I was really skeptical at first, but my husband and I agree that we will never go back to “regular” facewash again!
    Oh, and there are plenty of other oils that work fine in place of Sunflower oil — you can even use olive oil if you have that in the house already.

    [Reply]

    Cassie Reply:

    As long as this continues to go as well as I think it’s going to, I will never go back to “regular” facewash again! I plan on recommending this method to many friends and family and giving them a link to your website. :)
    I was going to use the olive oil I had around the house and then I realized I only had a tiny bit left, so I needed to buy more oil anyway, and I was looking for the sunflower oil and I couldn’t find it, by I saw the safflower, and I was like hmm i’m going to see if this works. :)

    [Reply]

  18. Stephanie

    03/21/2011

    I also wanted to know if this is good to remove eye makeup. I didn’t try it last night on my eyes because I wanted to ask first.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, it work great to remove eye makeup — I don’t use anything else!

    [Reply]

    Stephanie Reply:

    It did awesome. I’m so excited about using this and so far so good. Love the fact that it doesn’t irritate my skin as most products do. Thanks!

    Do you happen to have a great homemade scrub?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    The best suggestions I’ve received for homemade face-scrub is to mix baking soda and water to make a paste. I used to think sugar or salt would work, but then heard lots of mixed reviews and negative “side affects” so I’m sticking with baking soda now!

    [Reply]

  19. Tiffany @ Home Grown Families

    03/21/2011

    THis is soooo great!!! I can’t wait to try it!!
    \Tiffany

    [Reply]

  20. Emily

    03/25/2011

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could hug you! I read about your face cleaner on moneysavingmom.com but had to come back your site to thank you! When I read that you put lotion on your face up to 4 times a day, I KNEW you had to have a clue about dry skin. Mine is just that bad. I started using the cleaner that night and it has made such a HUGE difference in my skin. I received some good/expensive moisterizer for Christmas which was helping, but my face was ALWAYS so dry after cleaning it. This has made my face so soft and CLEAN. My pores have never looked better! Just wanted to say thanks for posting :) I also love that it gets rid of mascara.

    Emily

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Awww…thanks Emily!! I’m so glad the facewash is working for you!

    I was super annoyed with my REALLY dry skin too, so I figured there had to be others out there with dry skin — or just others looking for simpler, cheaper, better way to wash their face.

    Thanks so much for sharing your success!

    [Reply]

  21. Do-It-Yourself Face Wash (Oil Cleansing) «

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    [...] is the recipe I decided to try.  I tend to have drier skin, at least right [...]

  22. First ‘Oil-ternative’ Challenge Planning Stage « The Minimoilist

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    [...] ironically named for my purposes oil-cleansing method. As the ingredients are only castor oil, olive oil and a flannel, it meets my criteria (provided I [...]

  23. Feeling Disorganized? 5 of Our Fave Websites. | Your Baby Booty

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    [...] like face wash! {side note: I (sarah) have been using the oil cleansing method that is explained here and it is fabulous. My normally oily-ish skin is now -relatively- normal. It’s a real time [...]

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  25. sarah

    05/14/2011

    What about putting on sunscreen afterwards? Does it just make your skin ultra greasy? I currently use face lotion with an spf 15 or higher.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Sarah, your face will NOT feel “greasy” after you wash with the oil. It just feels very soft and usually pretty moisturized.

    I always do the oil cleansing at night and then simply rinse my face with warm water in the morning. And I often wear SPF face lotion in the morning too…with no greasy feeling.

    [Reply]

  26. Jenny C.

    05/19/2011

    Andrea, are you and your hubby still liking the oil cleansing method? I’m on the verge of trying it. I have struggled with problem skin since my teens and taking tons of antibiotics and bought oodles of prescription things and high end cleansers/products. I guess this just sounds too good to be true! But, I guess I figure what have I got to lose. So just wondered if you were still commited to it . . . Thanks for your wonderful blog :-) Blessings, Jenny C.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Jenny,
    YES!!! we are both still using the oil cleansing method every single day. We both use it at night, when we take showers…because it’s a little less “messy” to work with the oil in the shower.
    Then, in the morning, we just wipe our face with a warm washcloth or splash some watter on our faces.

    We aren’t necessarily using this method to control acne, but I can tell you that my skin is super soft and a lot less dry now that I’ve been using the oil cleansing method for several months!

    Hope you love it too!

    [Reply]

    karlyn sweet Reply:

    Hi Andrea, I tried this cleansing method and I love it also.. I was just wondering if my skin would be more prone to sunburn because of the oils i’m putting on it..I’m very fair skinned and outdoors a lot..I know I can wear sunscreen daily but that kind of defeats the natural cleansing method..

    [Reply]

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  28. Sherry England

    11/07/2011

    I wonder how organic coconut oil would work? I use it as a moisturizer on my face anyway.I will try it for cleansing w/o using it as a moisturizer.When I was younger I had oily/combo skin and in the last few years (thyroid) has caused extremely dry skin and I have ezcema due to candidasis.Excited to see how it works.I use and make alot of natural products and avoid chemicals like the plague!!Thanks so much for the cleansing recipe.

    [Reply]

  29. faith

    12/09/2011

    here is my testimoney i was sick for good 2years,
    i was having blemishes all over my cheeks, i tried so many doctors but no solution was found.
    till a friend of mine introuduce me one.DR GBOCO.he told me that he will cast a spell and after that it will be okay i never believe it,he requested some items for me which i did after 3days the spell was cast and i was totally heal,i was so happy that i got myself back again…i will advice you to contact gbocotemple@yahoo.com..faith

    [Reply]

  30. 12 Do-It-Yourself Projects I Plan to Attempt in 2012 :: Money Saving Mom®

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    [...] March: Homemade Facewash [...]

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  32. Nikk K

    01/06/2012

    I made this and used it for the first time today. I have horribly dry skin so I made the dry skin formula. My skin feels so great! I put on my mineral foundation afterwards and my nose area is still a tiny bit flaky but it already looks so much better and I know it’ll take more than 1 time to fix my skin. I can’t wait to use it everyday. It also got rid of the dryness around my jawline. And it wasn’t messy like I thought it would be. Thanks for sharing this! I’m ready to get rid of my Mary Kay stuff :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — so glad this worked for you! We’ve been using this facewash for almost a year now and my skin has never looked better — even throughout my pregnancy! We are both hooked now and will never go back to the harsh, drying chemicals in store-bought face wash!

    [Reply]

  33. Cheryl McInerney

    01/09/2012

    Hi,
    I have been using your method for two weeks now and my skin has never been better. I’m going to feature it and your blog on my blog tomorrow. I love checking your blog everyday always find something useful. Have a great day.
    Cheryl

    [Reply]

  34. Beth Miller

    01/10/2012

    VERY intriguing! I MUST try this. I think cold pressed oil would be best, and I would need to add a bit of pure tea tree oil to the mix for acne prone skin. It’s funny how oil absorbs oil. I actually do a lot of work on my cars, and instead of using chemical cleanser to clean the oil/grease off my hands, I actually rub olive oil into my hands then wash with soap and it take the grease off. So I can see that this would work!
    I would be interested in learning what you have heard or know about “oil pulling’. Have you ever tried it? Experience? What oil did you use? If you haven’t tried this would you be willing to?

    [Reply]

  35. no salt water softener

    01/11/2012

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really recognize what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also talk over with my site =). We will have a link change arrangement among us

    [Reply]

  36. Kassie

    01/24/2012

    What about combonation skin? I have dry skin around my nose really badly, But sometimes my forehead can get really dry and flaky and other times really dry. Or would I just use the dry method for this?

    [Reply]

  37. Juliette

    01/28/2012

    I am a sucker for packaging. However, when first introduced to the idea of oil cleansing frowned deeply. I just had an awful make over at the mall and wasn’t in the mood. Some how I found a forumula online for an oil cleanser and went forward. That was 6 months ago. My skin, while difficult, looks so much less tired and weathered. I love taking my make up off at nght, a task, I dreadfully hated. Oil DOES NOT make you oily. Do not confuse it with baby Oil.
    You will be sorry you did not try it sooner..

    [Reply]

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    [...] This homemade facewash (that works so well!) cost less than six dollars to make and will last more than a year. All of those recipes take only a few minutes (less time than it would take to run to the store for them!) and will save you money. [...]

  39. Sara Z.

    01/30/2012

    I’ve been using this method for almost two years. It works very well in the winter time. I find that using this to clean my face plus a good cream moisturizer keeps my terrible dry winter skin under control. In the summer time, though, I have found that this cleanser is too much. I switch to a store bought cleanser until the dry air of fall hits again :)

    [Reply]

  40. Liked it: Oil Cleansing Method « Tried it, liked it

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