How to Make Homemade Facial Cleansers for Oily Skin

by Willow Sidhe ; Updated July 18, 2017

Close-up of a witch hazel flower growing on a tree.

nanoqfu/iStock/Getty Images

The most important thing you can do for oily skin is keep it clean using an oil-free cleanser, according to MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Making homemade facial cleansers for oily skin ensures that you don't use any irritating ingredients that may worsen the condition. In her book “Naturally Skinsational,” Sue Dolan recommends cleansing oily skin with an astringent substance, such as witch hazel extract or apple cider vinegar. Combined with a gentle soap and humectant, these ingredients clean the pores and remove excess oil without stripping the skin of its natural attributes.

Add the liquid castile soap and vegetable glycerin to a small mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. This mixture forms a gentle base for natural facial cleansers.

Add the witch hazel extract, a natural astringent that helps reduce excess oil production. Stir into the soap and glycerin mixture until well combined.

Stir in the apple cider vinegar, another natural astringent that helps balance the skin's pH levels and prevents excess oil production.

Add the essential oil, and stir again to combine. For oily skin, choose a citrus-based essential oil such as lemon, orange, neroli, grapefruit or lime. Cypress or eucalyptus oil may also benefit oily skin.

Transfer the homemade facial cleanser to a glass or plastic storage bottle, and store in a cool, dry place. To use, gently massage into the face using circular motions with your fingertips, and rinse with tepid water.


  • If apple cider vinegar is not available, or you prefer not to use it, substitute the same amount of herbal tea made with astringent herbs such as yarrow, parsley or thyme. To make herbal tea, steep 1 tsp. dried herbs in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, and strain.

    For best results, use the homemade facial cleanser twice daily for oily skin: once in the morning and once before bed. Follow with a light, gentle moisturizer.

    If you have oily skin and acne, add 1 tsp. echinacea tincture to the cleanser.


  • MedlinePlus: Oily Skin
  • “Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art”; Kathi Keville, Mindy Green; 2008
  • “Smart Medicine for Your Skin”; Jeanette Jacknin; 2002
  • “Naturally Skinsational: Rejuvenating Skin Care Recipes”; Sue Dolan; 2009

Photo Credits

  • nanoqfu/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.