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DIY Green Tea Oil Cleanser for Dry Skin

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Learn how to make a hydrating DIY oil cleanser for dry skin. Inspired by Korean skincare, this combined facial cleanser and makeup remover has an incredible green tea scent. It’s infused with green tea for anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and soothe dry, sensitive skin.

DIY oil cleanser with green tea

Last year I shared my 2-ingredient emulsifying cleansing oil. That recipe was created out of my desire to make a water-soluble oil cleanser with only naturally-derived ingredients.

And most importantly, I wanted to create a recipe that worked. Many homemade oil cleansers don’t contain emulsifiers or surfactants, which means they don’t truly cleanse the skin.

I still love that original cleanser – so much so that I haven’t bought another store bought oil cleanser since creating it. But that particular recipe is very simple, as my main goal was to make it both effective and inexpensive.

So I wanted to expand upon that recipe, and offer a cleanser that was a bit more luxurious while still being easy to make.

And since my latest skincare obsession is green tea, it seemed fitting to make a DIY oil cleanser with green tea.

This green tea oil cleanser is a gentle, natural alternative to store bought facial cleansing oils. It’s extremely easy to make and can be made two ways: as a one-step oil cleanser or as a simple pre-cleansing oil to remove makeup.

It’s also extremely hydrating. Not only is green tea full of antioxidants, but it’s also been shown to help improve the skin’s moisture retention.

As a result, this oil cleanser is perfect for those who tend towards dry skin.

But before we get into the recipe, if you’re interested in learning more about the oil cleansing method and the benefits of oil cleansing, check out my original post on the topic.

What inspired this oil cleanser

After a particularly rough year of retinol-induced skin sensitivity, I found green tea-infused products to be incredibly useful in my healing.

Recently, I shared one of the recipes that helped my skin recover: my green tea overnight mask.

That product did wonders for my skin. So, adding green tea to my cleansing oil was yet another easy way to include it in my skincare routine.

However, green tea cleansers are by no means a new invention. Korean beauty brand Innisfree makes a green tea cleansing oil that’s quite popular.

While I’ve never personally tried the product, I loved the idea of a green tea oil cleanser and thus was inspired to make my own.

Korean inspired DIY oil cleanser

I love Korean skincare, but am very limited in the products I can use. My skin cannot tolerate a long list of ingredients, including fragrance, which unfortunately the Innisfree oil contains.

So I tend to stick to Etude House’s SoonJung line, which is formulated specifically for sensitive skin, and a handful of products from COSRX.

I imagined the Innisfree oil would smell like strong green tea, which I enjoy. So I wanted to create my own version that I could use without irritation.

Luckily, there’s a completely natural way to make a green tea oil cleanser for dry and sensitive skin types.

Thanks to two naturally-derived green tea ingredients, this cleanser smells like strong green tea without any synthetic fragrances.

DIY oil cleanser with green tea

This oil cleanser is crafted with two different kinds of green tea ingredients: green tea infused oil and one of my new favourite DIY ingredients, green tea wax.

Using them together adds an extra element of luxury, but you can also choose one or the other.

Both provide potent skin benefits. And whether you use green tea infused oil or green tea wax, both create a deeply coloured, strongly fragranced oil cleanser.

This recipe is customizable in other ways as well. You can also choose how you’d like your cleanser oil to be used.

Depending on whether or not you include the emulsifier in this recipe, you can create a water-soluble oil cleanser, or a simple makeup remover (also sometimes called a precleanse oil). More information on this later.

Ingredients for homemade green tea oil cleanser

Green tea infused oil

One of the best ways to imbue an oil with scent is – you guessed it – infusion. Therefore, infusing this oil cleanser’s base with green tea leaves was the perfect way to begin the formulation.

Green tea infused oil has a strong green tea scent that won’t disappoint green tea lovers.

And of course, green tea’s colour also gets passed along in the infusion process, giving the finished product a rich green tone.

Making your own green tea oil is incredibly easy. It’s similar to making tea, but with oil instead of water. You can find full instructions in this recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Green tea infused oil

Green tea infused MCT oil

Benefits of green tea infused oil for skincare

While green tea oil’s scent and colour are attractive characteristics, infusing this oil cleanser with green tea is not just for aesthetics.

A variety of other benefits are infused into the oil as well, including green tea’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

There’s a reason green tea is included in so many skincare products. Green tea has been shown to be incredibly useful for a wide variety of inflammatory skin conditions, including rosacea, acne and eczema.

Its potent soothing properties make it especially useful for those with dry or sensitive skin, as well as acute issues such as sunburn or irritation.

Overall, green tea makes a wonderful addition to any natural skincare routine, but this is merely scratching the surface of its well-documented benefits.

For more detailed information on green tea for skincare, you may want to read my green tea overnight mask post.

Which oil should I use for this DIY oil cleanser?

Just like my original cleansing oil recipe, I used caprylic/capric triglycerides, otherwise known as MCT oil, as the base.

The choice of oil is extremely important for this particular recipe. This is because heat is required to infuse the green tea into the oil.

Most liquid carrier oils are not heat stable, and therefore not ideal for heat infusion.

Liquid oils are comprised of 3 main kinds of fatty acids: saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

At high heat, unstable polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids begin to break down and oxidize. This makes popular oil cleansing choices such as jojoba oil and grapeseed oil less desirable for heat infusion.

Only saturated fatty acids remain stable at high heat. So, it’s ideal to use an oil comprised of mostly saturated, heat-stable fatty acids in this facial oil cleanser.

Homemade green tea cleansing oil
Not many oils fit this narrow criteria except for fractionated coconut oil, MCT oil and squalane oil.

Squalane is my favourite skincare oil for most purposes. However, it’s thin and watery and doesn’t have much substance.

When it comes to a facial cleanser, you will want a richer, more viscous texture, which is why I chose MCT oil for this recipe.

I recommend MCT oil over fractionated coconut oil for most skin types due to how each oil’s fatty acid profile interacts with the skin.

I go into more detail about this in my original cleansing oil article, so you may want to read it if you’re interested in the difference between the two oils.

CreamMaker FLUID

As I previously mentioned, I had been determined to make an emulsifying oil cleanser with naturally derived ingredients.

So after months of scouring the internet, scrutinizing ingredients lists, and testing various ingredients, I finally found the perfect emulsifier to create an easy oil cleanser at home.

It was an ingredient I’d never seen mentioned before, and it was hiding in plain sight on one of my favourite web sources for cosmetic ingredients.

CreamMaker FLUID is an easy-to-handle liquid ingredient that blends 3 natural emulsifiers: sorbitan laurate, polyglyceryl-4 laurate, and dilauryl citrate.

True to its name, it was created for making lotions and creams, but it also makes an excellent emulsifier for an oil cleanser.

This emulsifying property is what allows the oil cleanser to rinse away so easily, taking makeup, grime and surface oil along with it.

You’ll know it’s working when the oil turns milky and opaque once it mixes with the water you use to wash your face.

All three of CreamMaker FLUID’s ingredients are emollient, skin-conditioning, and PEG-free, making the product suitable even for sensitive skin.

When used in a cleanser, it lends a nourishing texture and feel that helps leave skin clean, yet moisturized. It’s also extremely gentle and never stings or burns.

Using this ingredient is easy: simply pour into your oil and mix. It’s ready to use straight from the bottle and incorporates easily.

CreamMaker FLUID forms stable emulsions without a co-emulsifier, which means it requires no heating or complicated mixing steps.

Note: Depending on your area, CreamMaker FLUID is also sometimes sold under the name PlantaMulse Liquid.

Green tea wax

Did you know that green tea leaves are covered by wax?

If you haven’t yet seen my green tea overnight mask or my nourishing hand mask recipe, it’s likely that green tea wax is a new ingredient to you. And it makes a luxurious (but optional) addition to this oil cleanser.

Green tea wax is harvested from the waxy, protective substance that defends green tea leaves from the elements. And according to SkinChakra, it’s chock full of antioxidants, fatty acids and sterols that can aid our skin health.

A little goes a long way with green tea wax. It’s incredibly pigmented, and a small chunk will turn an entire batch of oil cleanser a deep green.

It’s also strongly scented, which helps contribute to this cleanser’s pleasant green tea fragrance.

Homemade oil cleanser infused with green teaHowever, as much as I love green tea wax, it’s not the most easily accessible ingredient. Depending on where you live, it may be expensive or difficult to source. So green tea wax is a completely optional addition to this DIY oil cleanser.

You can still achieve a bright green tea colour and an incredible scent using only green tea infused oil.

How to customize your oil cleanser

As mentioned earlier, only one green tea ingredient is required for this oil cleanser. Using both is optional.

In fact, combining green tea oil with green tea wax creates a very dark and murky shade of green. This makes for an interesting cleansing experience, but it doesn’t necessarily translate well in photos.

So for the purpose of photographing the product, I made a batch of oil cleanser without green tea wax.

If for aesthetic reasons you would also prefer a lighter green oil, you may want to omit the green tea wax as well.

But if you’re looking for a potent green tea fragrance, I definitely recommend using it.

In my own personal batches of oil cleanser, I prefer using green tea oil that’s been infused for a long time. I also add a generous amount of green tea wax for a strong fragrance and extra antioxidant properties.

The finished product turns out much darker than most store bought facial oil cleansers such as the Innisfree, but it’s a lot of fun to use.

How to make a precleanse oil

Another thing to note is that you don’t necessarily need to include the emulsifier in this recipe.

If you’re looking for an easy homemade makeup remover, or a DIY precleanse oil, there’s an option for you too.

To make a pre-cleansing oil, simply use the infused green tea oil as is with a cotton pad. Then, follow it up with your favourite facial cleanser.

However, if you want an oil cleanser that emulsifies and rinses off with just water, you’ll definitely want to add the CreamMaker FLUID. Without the emulsifier, you will need a second cleanser to remove the oil.
DIY precleanse oil cleanser for removing makeup

How to enhance your oil cleanser’s texture

If you’ve read my other oil cleanser recipe, you may notice that one ingredient is missing: Cera Bellina wax.

This texture enhancer adds a smooth viscosity to formulas and helps give skincare products a slippery, gel-like texture.

I usually add Cera Bellina wax to my homemade oil cleansers. However, its one drawback is that it also imparts cloudiness to formulas.

Adding Cera Bellina turns this cleanser cloudy and milky instead of a translucent green.

Since colour was such an integral part of this particular recipe, I chose to leave out the Cera Bellina. But if improved viscosity and slip are attractive to you, and cloudiness is not a concern, you can also choose to include it.

DIY oil cleanser instructions

For ingredient measurements, substitutions, and detailed instructions on how to make your own oil cleanser for dry skin, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

How to make the green tea infused oil

  1. Place loose green tea and MCT oil into a heat safe container such as a Turkish coffee pot.
  2. Place the container into a shallow water bath on medium heat. Allow the tea to infuse into the oil for 20-30 minutes until bright green and fragrant. Stir occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool to a safe temperature.
  4. Using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, strain the green tea leaves out of your green tea oil.

How to make the oil cleanser

  1. Place green tea oil in your Turkish coffee pot or heat-safe container, and place it into a shallow water bath on low heat.
  2. Add green tea wax and promptly remove from heat once dissolved.
  3. Allow your oil cleanser to cool. Then, add CreamMaker FLUID and stir to incorporate.
  4. Using a funnel, transfer the cleanser to a glass pump bottle.

How to use your oil cleanser

This green tea oil cleanser is very versatile. Depending on your preference, it can be used as a light morning cleanser or for a deeper cleanse in the evenings.

DIY oil cleanser for dry skin with green tea

To use your oil cleanser, begin with dry skin.

Massage a generous amount into skin, spending extra time on oily areas such as the nose or forehead. Since like dissolves like, an oil cleanser can help dislodge oil clogs and blackheads that may occur in these spots.

Once you have massaged the oil into your skin, wet your hands with warm water and massage again. The oil cleanser will turn milky as it begins to emulsify.

Rinse with warm water until your skin feels clean. Depending on which makeup or skincare products you were wearing, you may wish to use the oil cleanser twice.

Silicones, for example, can be more difficult to remove. So if you wear a lot of silicone-containing products, your skin might not feel clean after one wash.

To use the cleanser as a pre-cleanse oil or makeup remover, soak a cotton pad with green tea oil and gently glide it over your face to remove makeup and impurities.

Once you’ve finished pre-cleansing, follow the oil cleanser with your favourite facial cleanser, preferably one that’s gentle and natural. I love this Korean beauty cleanser made especially for sensitive skin.

As for cotton pads, I love Muji’s cotton ecru, but reusable cotton pads or wipes are an even better choice.

You can also use this oil cleanser to make your own makeup remover wipes. Simply follow my easy tutorial and switch out the micellar water for your oil cleanser.

Oil cleanser storage and shelf life

Store your oil cleanser in a cool, dark place, such as a cupboard. This recipe is free of water, so it doesn’t require a preservative of any kind.

You can also opt to keep it in a dark glass pump bottle for good measure, as over time, light can degrade the antioxidants in the green tea oil and green tea wax.

Light exposure will also fade the cleanser’s lovely green to a brownish colour. So, you should keep your cleanser protected as much as possible.

Admittedly, I like to see my cleanser’s colour, so I keep mine in a clear bottle and in a dark cupboard between uses.

MCT oil lasts 2+ years once opened, and CreamMaker FLUID lasts 2 years from the date of manufacture. However, green tea wax is best used within 12 months.

So I would recommend using your oil cleanser within a year. But with regular use, this should not be an issue – I go through mine very quickly.

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DIY green tea cleansing oil
Cleansing oil with green tea

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Yield: 1 bottle

DIY Green Tea Oil Cleanser for Dry Skin

DIY oil cleanser with green tea

Learn how to make a hydrating DIY oil cleanser for dry skin. Inspired by Korean skincare, this combined facial cleanser and makeup remover has an incredible green tea scent.

Active Time 40 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

Green Tea Infused Oil

Green Tea Oil Cleanser

Tools

Instructions

    1. Before beginning to make your homemade oil cleanser, you’ll need to make green tea infused oil. Place green tea leaves and MCT oil into a heat safe container such as a Turkish coffee pot or heat-proof glass measuring cup.
    2. Place the container into a shallow water bath on medium heat. Allow the tea to infuse into the oil for 20-30 minutes until bright green and fragrant. Stir occasionally.
    3. Remove from heat and allow to cool to a temperature that's safe to handle.
    4. Using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, strain the green tea leaves out of your green tea oil. If you're not using Cera Bellina wax or green tea wax to your oil cleanser, you can skip to step #8.
    5. Return your strained green tea oil to your Turkish coffee pot or heat-safe container, and place it back into the water bath.
    6. If you're adding Cera Bellina wax to your oil cleanser, turn your heat to medium. Add the wax and allow to dissolve, ensuring it's completely incorporated before proceeding to the next step.
    7. If using green tea wax, turn your heat to low. Add the wax and promptly remove from heat once dissolved.
    8. Allow your oil cleanser to cool. Then, add CreamMaker FLUID and stir to dissolve.
    9. Using a funnel, transfer the cleanser to a glass pump bottle.

Notes

Substitutions

  • You can also substitute fractionated coconut oil for MCT oil. However, fractionated coconut oil contains lauric acid, which can be comedogenic for some people. So I highly recommend using MCT oil.
  • Squalane oil makes a great substitute for MCT oil, but it's more expensive and will give the oil cleanser a watery consistency.

Optional ingredients

  • Green tea wax is optional if you're infusing your MCT oil with green tea. But you can use both ingredients for a darker colour and a stronger green tea fragrance.
  • Cera Bellina wax adds a gel-like texture and slippery feel to this oil cleanser, but it will give the finished product an opaque, whitish appearance. Skip it if you'd like your cleanser to be a translucent green.
  • CreamMaker FLUID is what allows this oil cleanser to emulsify and rinse off with water. However, you can opt to skip it if you'd like to make a simple makeup remover or pre-cleansing oil.

Storage and shelf life

  • Keep your oil cleanser in a cool, dark place.
  • This recipe is free of water, so no preservative or refrigeration is required.
  • For best results, use your oil cleanser within 1 year.
  • Storing your cleanser in a dark glass pump bottle helps prevent colour fading. However, if you'd like to admire its lovely colour, you can also opt to keep your cleanser in a clear bottle. Just take care to store it promptly in a dark cupboard between uses.

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Christie

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

This is just perfect for me because I have very dry skin!

Kyla

Wednesday 1st of July 2020

I hope it helps, Christie! I have very dry skin too, and I find this oil cleanser really helps. :)

Michelle

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

This sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing all the information and tips, too. Those are always so helpful.

Kyla

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Thanks so much, Michelle! I'm so happy you find them helpful. 😊

Cari

Thursday 18th of June 2020

Thank you for all of the information. This looks like a great recipe!

Kyla

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Thanks, Cari!

Cyna

Sunday 14th of June 2020

Wonderful recipe, Kyla! I love the different ways that the cleanser can be customised.

Kyla

Monday 15th of June 2020

Thanks so much, Cyna!