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Homemade Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleanser

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No, this is not food. It feels wrong, I know. Maybe even a little shocking and misplaced, but I promise you’ll love this homemade tea tree oil facial cleanser I made for you.

A few weeks ago, I decided to gradually go chemical free. It was challenging at first, but once I experienced natural, wholesome products in there raw state, I was hooked.

It all started when I made Homemaker Chic’s recipe for Citrus Body Sugar Scrub. I’ve never experienced anything so lush and fresh. It left my body feeling silky smooth and moisturized–there was no need to apply lotion after the shower. It’s better than any scrub you’ll find in the store for a fraction of the cost. The recipe made 6-8oz. jars of scrub. I kept two jars for myself and gifted the rest. The quality is unbeatable and the savings are incomparable. It is Noelle’s scrub that gave me the nudge I needed to go chemical free. I thought, “If this scrub is so amazing, then there must be tons of other homemade alternatives floating around the inter web that are just as awesome. There were, and there are.  I’ll never return to synthetic and commercial products again.

I recently made Amber’s homemade deodorant recipe from Mama’s Blissful Bites. Wanna learn how to go green? Amber has you covered. The girl is a walking leaf. Several people–my mother included–claim I’m one step away from becoming a hippie. Being a hippie would require me to trash my hip leather pumps for canvas, or is it hemp? Either way, this gal isn’t parting with her beloved shoes. Nope. No way. Ain’t gonna happen.

The question “Does your homemade deodorant work?” arises quite frequently in conversation. I don’t smell. I haven’t been told I smell. So, I guess the answer is yes. Yes, my deodorant works. It’s made with coconut oil, so it also moisturizes and smooths my pits. Sexy, right?

I struggle with acne. At 29 years of age, I still struggle with acne. It’s depressing and frustrating and stressful–a breeding ground for acne. After making the sugar scrub, I was on a mission to find a homemade alternative to replace all of the facial cleansers that have ever failed me. My acne derives from hormonal irregularities, which is why it is so hard to rid my skin of the obnoxious inflammation. It’s a gigantic pain in the arse, really. One zit after another. Geez, I’m 29, when will it end? I’ve tried everything on the market. Proactive, Obagi, Skin Medica, and the list goes on. I’ve even tried oral medication from a dermatologist. It was a futile effort. Not only did none of these methods work, but they cost me a small fortune.

Enter the oil cleansing method. After extensive research, I found an article about using oil as a cleansing method. What? I thought oil caused acne? Fact:  It doesn’t. That’s a misconception. Bacteria, dirt, and fungus cause acne…even stress, but not oil. Oil is essential for healthy and clear skin. Who knew! When you use harsh chemicals on your skin, it strips your skin’s essential nutrients, causing your glands to produce an excessive amount of sebum. Unlike commercial cleansers, the oil cleansing method nourishes and heals your skin.

Homemade Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleanser

I started using the oil cleansing method (OCM) almost a week ago. I’m not lying, I could tell the difference after the first use. My skin was clean and moisturized all at the same time. My skin appeared smooth and had a natural glow. Could this be real?

Oh yes!

Homemade Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleanser | -7720

How does OCM work? It’s made from a combination of four natural ingredients that aid in healing and contain anti-inflammatory properties:  castor oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, and tea tree essential oil.

  1. Castor Oil- It’s known for its powerful anti-inflammatory, cleansing, and healing properties. A little goes a long way. You’ll want to invest in good quality, cold-pressed castor oil.
  2. Grape Seed Oil- It’s high in vitamin E and antioxidants, and it’s also known for its astringent properties. It aids in moisturizing the skin as well as calming/reducing inflammation. This thin, light oil coats the skin without clogging pores.
  3. Jojoba Oil- This oil is almost identical to the chemical structure of our skin’s natural oils. It moisturizes without leaving the skin feeling greasy.
  4. Tea Tree Oil- This oil has properties that aid in curing infectious organisms and is an excellent natural remedy for fungus and bacterial skin irritations–perfect for fighting acne.

All of these products can be found conveniently on Amazon.

Will OCM work for everyone? Nothing is a guarantee. You’ll have to find what works best for you. For me, OCM is a miracle worker. I’m head-over-heels in love.

Homemade Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleanser | -7725

If you would like to read more about the oil cleansing method, visit The Oil Cleansing Method website.

Onto some boring blog chores. As you may already know, Google Reader fell off the face of the Earth July 1st. Unfortunate, really, because I adored Google Reader. You can now follow my blog on Bloglovin’. It’s equally as lovely as Google Reader; I promise. I know change is hard, but we’re being forced into it here.

If you follow me on Facebook and you want to receive all of my status updates, then you’re going to need to refer to this tutorial by the ever so lovely Stephanie over at Eat. Drink. Love. She explains everything you need to know. Basically, Facebook wants money in order to share all of my posts to all  of my readers. I’m not giving them my money, so there’s a trick that you can do on your end in order to see every single post and blog update. It’s a simple two step process–nothing complicated. Why Facebook has to complicate things, we’ll never know.

Homemade Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleanser
Author: Jennie
  • 1/4 cup castor oil
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup jojoba oil
  • 15 drops tea tree oil
  1. Add all four ingredients to a clean bowl; whisk to combine.
  2. Store in a clean glass jar with a lid–I used a mason jar.
How to use:
  1. Wet your fingertips with the oil. Gently massage the oil into your skin for 1 minute, making sure you migrate to your neck region. Do not scrub the oil into your skin!
  2. Wet a clean washcloth with hot (as hot as you can tolerate without burning yourself) and place the cloth over your entire face. Steam your face until the cloth cools. Repeat if desired. I usually steam my face twice.
  3. Rinse the washcloth and wipe the oil off of your face.
  4. Pat your face dry with a clean towel.
  1. I only use this method once a day, usually in the evening. Too often could potentially cause irritation and result in dry skin. In the morning I wash my face with water only using a clean washcloth.
  2. If you have sensitive skin, try reducing the amount of castor oil or adding more grape seed and jojoba oil.
  3. Eliminate the tea tree oil, and this makes for a great eye makeup remover.


51 Responses to “Homemade Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleanser”

  1. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — July 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I’m so intrigued by your all natural stuff, I wanna get into some of these!!

    I’ve heard that about oil and this cleanser looks amazing, I’m so happy it’s working for you!!


  2. #
    Amber @ Mamas Blissful Bites — July 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I love this and I can’t wait to try it! I am only missing one ingredient so when I hit the store, it’s mine!!! Tea tree oil has amazing cleansing properties so I am def looking forward to this! Thank you for sharing my green hippie friend :)


  3. #
    ashley - baker by nature — July 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I love the idea of this! A must try :) xo


  4. #
    Liz — July 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I have made my own body scrub…and loved it. I could use this cleanser, too…who knew you could still get zits when perimenopausal??? It’s ridiculous!


  5. #
    [email protected] & Trinkets — July 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Tea tree oil is also great for dandruff. I got hippie tea tree oil shampoo from Vermont, and not even Head and Shoulders works as well. I never thought about it as a facial cleanser. I’ll have to try this out. I love the smell of that oil, too.


  6. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — July 3, 2013 at 11:33 am

    This is so awesome, Jennie! I love posts about homemade beauty treatments and this looks like it would be so refreshing!


  7. #
    Samantha Samonte — July 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Sweet! I too go all natural as much as i can… Can’t wait to try this! Here’s a link on Olive Oil! and how it can do good stuff for you too! Well aside from using it on food =D =)


  8. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — July 7, 2013 at 12:53 am

    I love this! I have been wanting to try to make my own body products and this looks so easy!


  9. #
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked — July 7, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I actually laughed out loud at the armpit – sexiness line (you’re awesome). This is so cool, Jennie! I’ve been watching what I eat in regards to where its from and how it’s raised so now it’s time to start thinking about the products I use. I’d love to try both homemade cleanser and body scrub. The Husband gets terrible blemishes on his face (and we’re almost 33) so maybe this would help him out. You rock for embracing your hippie side! ;)


    • Jennie replied July 8th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks, Nancy. I’ve had an inner hippie for as long as I can remember. Just recently, I decided to let her free. I’m rolling with it, and, so far, I love it. Adult acne is the worst. I’m old now. Go away!


  10. #
    ESMoon — September 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    This looks like a winner!!! I have had Success with All of these ingredients (I have yet to use castor oil). I will be making this and using it for my son! Thank you!!!!!!!


  11. #
    Rachel S — November 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I also use OCM and it works great. I’m about to turn 28 and I’ve struggled with hormonal acne. I have finally found some supplements that are helping DIM and saw palmetto are helping me balance out and get rid of those nasty xenoestrogens. I also use some bioidentical progesterone to supplement until I get things sorted. Hope that helps. Daniel Amen wrote an awesome book explaining the female hormone cascade and what can go wrong. It’s really helped me take control of my health. Glad to hear you are doing the same!


  12. #
    Sophia — January 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Greta homemade recipe! Tea tree oil is such a great ingredient. I hope you will have some DIY moisturizers soon. I use Shielo moisturizer and I love this one but I will be also glad to try out a homemade recipe.



  13. #
    Cindy — January 21, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Hi! I love tea tree oil from Chamuel Products. They sell on Amazon and have an incredible Tea Tree Balm. I use it all the time on scrapes, itchy bug bites, dry skin, etc. It is fabulous and even mild enough for my kids. There store is at:


    • Jennie replied January 28th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation, Cindy!


  14. #
    Trying it out — January 30, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I have started using this method of cleansing my face about a week ago. I have a few questions about it.

    Instead of putting the hot washcloth on my face to steam, would it work just as well to massage the oil into my face before I get in the shower and then allow the steam from the shower to open my pores, and rinse off the oil after a few minutes? (I am just not a fan of breathing through the wash cloth).

    Also I have found that I have gotten more black heads since I have started doing this, more than I have ever had really. But since I have seen so much success in other people I am not giving up on it just yet! I have read that jojoba oil can be a comedogenic (can clog your pores). If I try the same recipe minus the jojoba oil, do you think that would stop the blackheads and still be effective as a cleanser? Thanks!


    • Jennie replied January 30th, 2014 at 1:41 pm


      I’ve been using this method for over 6 months now, and I love it. I’m happy to hear that you’re giving it a try.

      I have used both the washcloth method and the shower method, so feel free to use the method that you like best. I usually only use the washcloth method when I don’t need to get in the shower. Jojoba oil is the only oil that resembles our body’s natural sebum, making it easier for the body to absorb. As far as it being comedogenic, I haven’t heard that. All of the research I found regarding jojoba oil claims that it’s non-comedogenic.

      As for the increase of black heads, I think what you’re experiencing is completely normal. Your skin goes through a period of transition for the first 6-8 weeks after you start using this method. I experienced the same thing. After the first month, you should notice your skin begin to clear and become smoother. Right now, your body is clearing out all of the impurities, which is what I love about this method. I struggled with horrible black heads, calcium deposits, and cystic acne (caused by a hormonal imbalance) before I started using the oil cleansing method. Now, after 6 months, my skin is clear, smooth, and moisturized. I only have to clean my face once daily. I no longer use moisturizer, and my skin is no longer being stripped and dried out by harsh cleansing methods.

      If you don’t notice a change after the first 6-8 weeks, I would recommend replacing the jojoba oil with melted coconut oil. I just recently tried this, and it works great. Coconut oil is a great anti-inflammatory and doesn’t clog your pores. I also use coconut oil as a moisturizer during the winter when it’s bitter cold outside. If you’re going to use coconut oil as a moisturizer, a little bit goes a long way.

      I hope this information helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me.

      Happy cleansing!


  15. #
    Best antibacterial foot soap — April 24, 2014 at 2:11 am

    I had a great time reading your post.. Tea tree oil can sometimes cause allergic reactions or skin irritation, especially if applied undiluted. So one must use it properly..


  16. #
    Alisha — January 20, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Try raw honey to cleanse your face in the am….maybe even mixed with some oatmeal…I have been doing this and I am so far loving it, idk about the results yet because I to have hormonal acne issues, it is horrible on my back, neck and jaw line. I have spent SO MUCH MONEY on all different things and it just doesn’t do a thing, I am now using progesterone cream and that is helping with my menstrual cycle regulating, cramps, fatigue, cold sweats etc…I had no idea a tubal ligation would meddle in your hormones, but ladies it does!!!


  17. #
    Victoria — April 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Hi, great post! I started using this method a few weeks ago and loved it. I made my own before reading your article out of just olive oil and grape seed oil. I live in a small rural town and without ordering the oils online they can be somewhat hard to find (ex. Jojoba oil) . My skin felt great, but out of laziness and being in and out of town I slacked off and my skin went nuts! I have always had acne prone skin and at 28 I felt like I was 16 again (breakouts) so I started doing more research and learned about the benefits of tea tree oil, which lead me to your blog. My question is, I have all of the ingredients except for the jojoba oil. I am anxious to start using the OCM again and was wondering if I can make a cleanser with everything but the jojaba oil and if so what ratios should I use?
    Thanks so much! Look forward to a comment from you on this.



    • Jennie replied April 8th, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Victoria! Thank you so much for stopping by. You can use this method without the addition of jojoba oil; it works just a good. I love jojoba oil, but find that it’s very expensive, so I started leaving it out. You can also replace it with coconut oil, which is what I’m using right now. Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it’s perfect for acne-prone skin. Follow the recipe as directed, only leave out the jojoba oil or replace it with melted coconut oil. Good luck!


  18. #
    LaCharmine L.A. Jefferson — August 25, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I’m so glad I came across this. I’m so tired of store bought cleansing. I’ve been using essential oils in my haircare regimen. I’m glad to know that I can use them for cleansing as well.


  19. #
    Kadi — September 30, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I was wondering why you said not to scrub into your face. I have an electronic facial cleansing brush…would this be okay to use with the oils?


    • Jennie replied October 1st, 2015 at 6:58 am

      Hi Kadi! Using an electric facial brush with the oil cleansing method isn’t recommended. It’s not meant to be scrubbed, rather gently rubbed on to the face.


  20. #
    Victoria — December 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I would assume, that this OCM is supposed to be applied to a fresh face. Is there a recipe you have to make a tea tree face wash, for washing off makeup first?


    • Jennie replied December 2nd, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Victoria! Thanks for stopping by. This is a great question. I apply the oil directly to my dirty face. It’s great for removing makeup, especially eye makeup, so I never wash my face before applying the cleanser.


  21. #
    Brandy — February 14, 2016 at 2:39 am

    I just started using Tea Tree Oil for my skin four days ago, and I can see how good it is. It is amazing how the effects of the results are seen pretty soon. Thanks for sharing, Jennie.


  22. #
    Annah — June 8, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you so much for this! It has taken me so long to find this recipe along with how to use it, how much of it to use, how often to use it and what to do with my face in the in-betweens! It has baffled me how difficult it is to find all this information in one place. I received all of my products in the mail today and am about to mix it up! I also received ingredients to make a manuka honey/turmeric face mask to do three times a week. Looking forward to putting your recipe to good use! 


  23. #
    laura con — August 1, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Tea tree oil is very strong in fighting against bacteria because it has strong antibacterials. To use it bare, you can plunge a cotton piece into the oil then place it on the affected skin. ITS VERY STRONG THOUGH – and I have sensitive skin. I like Tea Tree oil mixed in other products. Citrus Clear products use Tea Tree Oil, and I found that the Citrus Clear products worked better than just using plain tea tree oil. Especially cause my skin is so sensitive. No breakouts since I started that routine.


  24. #
    Manon — December 3, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Thanks for this recipe, I just made it and excited to try it! I stored it in a plastic soap dispenser, is that OK or should I really use glass because of the tea tree oil in it?

    Many thanks!!


  25. #
    almostnatural — January 27, 2017 at 3:26 am

    That’s a lot of oil in the recipe. Does it keep indefinitely?


  26. #
    Kelly — January 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    This might be a stupid question… I have everything I need, but was wondering if the grapeseed oil was the 100% pure that you find in the cooking section at the store? I just wanted to make sure I’m not making a huge mistake before I put this stuff on my already terrible skin


    • Jennie replied February 2nd, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Hi Kelly! Not a stupid question at all. You can use grapeseed oil from the cooking section. It’s really all the same. Look at the ingredient list to make sure there aren’t any additional additives. I like to buy organic when I can. Cheers!


  27. #
    Brandi — April 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      I am currently using a natural line called Enessa, I am not sure if you have heard of it. But I am using a “lavender balancing cleanser”, jojoba oil with clove for my cystic acne, and then a jojoba based oil mixture for my moisturizer, and a seaweed/Dead Sea salt based exfoliator 1-2/week. I haven’t been using hot water/steam. I am still getting cystic acne on my chins and pimples on my forehead, and blackheads on the sides of my nose. My pores appear large and clogged. I’ve been doing this for a little over a month. 
      I know this is a different method than you are using but did you see a difference right away or did it take time? 
      I am interested in trying your method but fear how my skin will react. Does your face feel greasy at all? Do your cysts, pimples, and blackheads stay away?


    • Jennie replied July 11th, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Hi Brandi! Thanks for stopping by. I’m not familiar with Enessa. If it’s irritating your skin, I would discontinue and try something else. I have extremely sensitive skin, and the oil cleansing method works best for me. I also use charcoal soap, which has done wonders for my acne. I use the charcoal soap in the morning and the oil cleansing method at night. Not only does it remove makeup, it cleanses the skin without stripping away your natural oils. It took about a month for me to start seeing a difference in my skin, but I never experienced any skin irritation. My skin never felt greasy. It leaves your skin feeling clean without feeling dry and tight after every wash. 


  28. #
    Melissa — July 3, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    I’m about to make my mixture and use it for the first time. I’m using castor oil and safflower oil +  tea tree oil. I’m only going to do 1 Tbsp castor oil and 3 Tbsp safflower oil (dry skin) to start. I was wondering how many drops of tea tree oil to add to that amount? And you said to skip the tea tree oil if you’re using as eye makeup remover? Is it bad for the skin around your eyes?


    • Jennie replied July 11th, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Hi Melissa! Thanks for stopping by. I would add 6-8 drops of tea tree oil to your mixture. The eye area is sensitive, so I tend to avoid using the oil mixture with the added tea tree around the eyes. You can always try it and if you don’t have a reaction, then I’d say you’re good to continue using it. My skin is extremely sensitive, so I like to avoid it. 


  29. #
    Marissa — June 7, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I’m really excited to make this today and try it, do you think that I could use it on acne on my body? I have always struggled with cystic acne on my shoulders and chest, as well as foliculitis on my thighs. I’ve heard natural remedies are the best way to go for these cases, but I want some input. 
    Thank you! 


  30. #
    Amanda — September 20, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Love this article! I have a need to try this facial cleanser. Thanks a lot for sharing the great article.



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