With nourishing camellia oil and vitamin E, this simple and gentle DIY cleansing oil shows you don’t have to break the bank to get results.
Makeup remover is one of those things that seems so tedious to buy. I see my makeup coming off all day on my shirts. Why isn’t a wet washcloth good enough? If only things were so simple. Tugging at your skin can cause premature aging, and damage to your skin, while waterproof makeup doesn’t seem to budge when you actually want it to. My favorite makeup remover is the Tatcha Camellia Cleansing oil, a product that will set you back $48 for the full size. It took me over a year to get through the sample size that I originally purchased, but that was during the pandemic, when I was wearing makeup sparingly and infrequently. So, now I’m facing (ha) a dilemma, do I drop almost $50 on a product I know I like, do I try to find a cheaper version, or do I try to make it myself.
My favorite dupe of the Tatcha oil is the DHC cleansing oil, which I compare to the Tatcha oil in this post. Both work brilliantly, but after searching up the ingredients, I realized that not only could I make it with ingredients I have or can easily access, but I can also create a more affordable and environmentally friendly version.
Why Make a DIY Cleansing Oil
If cleansing oil is widely and affordable available, why should I go through hassle of making it myself? If you have found this post, I’m sure you have a few of your own reasons already! When you make something with your own two hands, you have total control over every step of the process. The products we put onto our skin, especially oils, absorb quickly. Since I have the control over what ingredients go into my own DIY oil cleanser, I can make sure they are the best quality.
Furthermore, by knowing where the ingredients come from, you can make sure to purchase from ethical and sustainable brands. If I see a product marketed as sustainable or environmentally friendly, it can be hard for me to find proof of those claims. Knowing I am not supporting bad working conditions or deforestation is an added bonus of making something myself.
How to Make a DIY Cleansing Oil
My two favorite aforementioned cleansing oils have either rice bran oil or olive oil as the base. The DHD oil does not have Camilla seed oil, but I am adding it in my version. When making face products from home, I want to try and source the best quality ingredients I can. If you want to add a fragrance, an easy way to do this is with essential oils. Since this is a wash off product, the risk of skin irritation from fragrance is low. Please test any product on a small area of skin before use. The ingredients listed below are from the brands I recommend using. You should be able to use a different brand for similar results, but the specific product information like ethicality will not apply.
DIY Cleansing Oil Ingredients
Thrive Market Organic Rice Bran Oil:
Cost: $8 on sale currently, $14 usually NOTE: They do have a $5 monthly membership fee, but you can do a 30 day free trial if you just want to buy this product.
Value: $8/~1000 ml = $0.008 yes, you read that right! It is less than a penny per ml if you can snag it on sale. That monthly membership fee may be worth it. If not on sale…
$14/~1000 ml = $0.014 still less than a penny
Where to Buy: Online
Ethicality: Thrive Market is ethically sourced, and this product is vegan. They are a certified B Corporation which means that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Environmental Sustainability: This oil is organic, GMO, and BPA free.
Ingredient Toxicity: No EWG data available. I am rating this low since it is naturally derived. Please do not use if you have any allergies to this ingredient.
Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Cost: $10 for the smallest size, and $308.75 for the largest with two other sizes in between. If you are looking for high quality olive oil to use in cooking as well, I would go for the biggest size you can afford. Otherwise, just buy the small one for this recipe, and check out one of the other brands I mentioned above for slightly more affordable yet still very high quality olive oil.
Value: $10/~473 ml = $~0.02 $10/~18,927ml = $0.00053/ml
It is here that I realized how expensive cosmetics actually are. I paid 40 cents per ml for a face oil, when olive oil (which can remove even waterproof makeup pretty easily on its own) from a very high quality brand is less than two cents at the least value conscious size.
Where to Buy: Online (or at any food store if you forgo this brand). Quality here does matter. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your face.
Ethicality: I have been ordering from this company for years. Everything is ethically sourced and you can even learn from them who and where each ingredient is grown.
Environmental Sustainability: Very sustainable and in glass packaging. The large bottles of olive oil are in plastic, but it is recyclable.
Ingredient Toxicity: 1
Mountain Rose Herbs Camellia Seed Oil:
Camellia Seed Oil is known for its amazing benefits to skin and hair. A little goes a long way. This is also a great oil to add into other products you have in your skincare routine.
Cost: $16.50 for the smallest size. They offer larger sizes, but I don’t recommend buying them since only a small amount is needed for this recipe.
Value: $16.50/118 ml = $~0.14
Where to Buy: Online
Environmental Sustainability: Very sustainable and in glass packaging. The only plastic is the plastic seal that is required by law.
Ingredient Toxicity: 1
Mountain Rose Herbs Vitamin E Oil:
Vitamin E Oil is a natural preservative, and great for the skin.
Cost: $12.75 for the smallest size. They do offer larger sizes, but I don’t recommend buying them since only a small amount is needed for this recipe.
Value: $12.75/59ml = ~$0.22
Where to Buy: You can buy online, or find this in health food stores. Be mindful, they may not have the same standards for safe skincare as Mountain Rose Herbs does.
If you would like to add an essential oil for fragrance I would also recommend Mountain Rose Herbs. I like this essential oil in particular because it has skincare benefits built in. You can leave it fragrance free if you so choose.
DIY Cleansing Oil Supplies
If you do not have any of the following, I recommend buying used from your local thrift store for the most ethical and sustainable option. I link the items that I am using, some of which were purchased secondhand, or as gifts. The items not linked I do not have specific brand information for.
How Long Does Cleansing Oil Last?
Store-bought cleansing oil has the shelf life listed on the packaging. For this DIY cleansing oil, I am following these tips for preserving homemade products in order to extend the shelf life (I promise I’m not sponsored by Mountain Rose Herbs but please if you are reading this hmu). I cannot guarantee the shelf life for a certain period of time, but when I have followed these guidelines the product has stayed fresh for +6 months. Refrigerating the oil cleanser will also help it to last longer, but may alter the consistency depending on the temperature.
DIY Cleansing Oil Recipe
This recipe is provided in both ratios and measurements so that you can create a cleansing oil to fit your needs.
- 90% Olive or Rice Bran Oil – this oil is the largest percentage because it acts as a carrier oil, which is an oil that is used as the base for a product in order to dilute a strong oil, such as the vitamin e oil which is too potent to put on skin alone.
- 8% Camellia Oil – You could use more Camellia Oil, but this oil is expensive, and while the benefits to hair and skin are wonderful, you don’t get many of them in a wash off product. I wash my face after using a cleansing oil, but if you did not, you would retain more of this product. You can also use this product on its own for added benefit.
- 1% Vitamin E Oil – To act as a preservative, the Vitamin E oil should be at least 0.3%, and no more than 1% of the amount of oil you use. Since this formula is all oil based, we can use up to 1% vitamin E oil. Vitamin E oil does not irritate my skin, but perform a patch test, and start with less first. Yes this is not precise math because technically 1% of less than 100 % is less than 1, but we are going to make this simple.
- <1% Essential Oil – I would start with a few drops and work your way up from there. Essential oils can quickly become overwhelming if you aren’t careful.
Example DIY Cleansing Oil Measurements
Example with a 50ml bottle:
- 45 ml olive or rice bran oil (carrier oil)
- 4 ml camellia oil
- 1 ml vitamin E oil (my scale will not do less than 1 ml, but you could use less by utilizing your dropper or straw)
- 5 drops of essential oil
If you do not have a kitchen scale, before sanitizing your bottle, measure how many teaspoons of liquid fit in it. Make sure that you can get the lid on with that amount of liquid inside the bottle. Follow the same proportions with teaspoons.
Example with a 10tsp bottle:
- 9 tsp olive or rice bran oil (carrier oil)
- 3/4 tsp camellia oil
- 1/8 tsp vitamin E oil
- 5 drops of essential oil
Instructions for Preparing the DIY Cleansing Oil
Sanitize your glass bottle, cap, and funnel (straw or pipette too if they are not single use) in boiling water and/or rubbing alcohol to prevent any bacteria from growing inside of your DIY cleansing oil. Allow everything to dry completely before filling.
If using a kitchen scale, place your bottle on the scale without the top. Put the funnel in the top. Make sure that you zero out your kitchen scale so that the weight with the bottle and the funnel on the scale says 0.
Fill the bottle with 90% of the carrier oil. For my bottle, which was 50ml, I filled it 45ml full of olive or rice bran oil.
Zero out the scale. Pour 8% camellia oil into the glass jar, or use a pipette or straw if the amount is small. For my size bottle, I used a straw to add 4ml. Because I zero out the scale, it is easy to see when I reach 4ml.
Repeat the process with a clean pipette or straw for the 1% of vitamin E oil.
Add your drops of essential oil if you desire fragrance. Go a few drops at a time, swirling and smelling to make sure it is not too strong.
Close the bottle tightly, and store in a cool dry place.
Both versions of the oil cleanser worked well to remove waterproof and staining makeup. I am using a damp microfiber cloth to remove the excess oil and makeup. My skin feels moisturized and clean.
How do I Zero Out a Scale?
- To zero out your scale, press the button that says “Tare”. This will make the weight on the scale say “0” even if something is on it. This is helpful so that you don’t have to add up each measurement.
Tips for Making DIY Cleansing Oil
- Make sure to zero out your scale after each ingredient so that you get accurate measurements
- If you are close to the number you are trying to reach on the scale, you can use the pipette or straw to achieve the correct amount.
- If you go over the amount of an ingredient, you can adjust the proportions of the other ingredients. This DIY is forgiving.
- Less essential oil is more. Essential oils can quickly become overpowering.
What DIY Should I Try Next?
Do you like to make beauty products at home? What oils are your favorite to use in skincare? Let me know in the comment section below.
Pin It For Later
- Olive or Rice Bran Oil (10%)
- Camellia Oil (8%)
- Vitamin E Oil (1%)
- Essential Oil (<1%)
- Kitchen Scale or Measuring Spoons
- Pipette or Straw
- Dark Glass Container with Pump
Example with a 50 ml bottle or 10 tsp bottle
- 45 ml or 9 tsp Olive or Rice Bran Oil
- 4 ml or 3/4 tsp Camellia Oil
- 1 ml or 1/8 tsp Vitamin E Oil
- 5 drops of Essential Oil
- (If not using a kitchen scale, see note) Sanitize your glass bottle, cap, and funnel (straw or pipette too if they are not single use) in boiling water and/or rubbing alcohol to prevent any bacteria from growing inside of your DIY cleansing oil. Allow everything to dry completely before filling.
- If using a kitchen scale, place your bottle on the scale without the top. Put the funnel in the top. Make sure that you zero out your kitchen scale so that the weight with the bottle and the funnel on the scale says 0.
- Fill the bottle with 90% of the carrier oil. For my bottle, which was 50ml, I filled it 45ml full of olive or rice bran oil.
- Zero out the scale. Pour 8% camellia oil into the glass jar, or use a pipette or straw if the amount is small. For my size bottle, I used a straw to add 4ml. Because I zero out the scale, it is easy to see when I reach 4ml.
- Repeat step 4 with a clean pipette or straw for the 1% of vitamin E oil.
- Add your drops of essential oil if you desire fragrance. Go a few drops at a time, swirling and smelling to make sure it is not too strong.
- Close the bottle tightly, and store in a cool dry place. See full blog post for storage tips and shelf life.
If you do not have a kitchen scale, before sanitizing your bottle, measure how many teaspoons of liquid fit in it. Make sure that you can get the lid on with that amount of liquid inside the bottle. Follow the instructed proportions with teaspoons.