Learn how to make a DIY facial oil using plant-based carrier oils and therapeutic essential oils, great for anti-aging, mature skin or dry skin. Plus find out how to use a facial oil and how to make a custom face oil blend for your skin type.
If you’ve ever been to a spa for a facial, or visited an upscale beauty store, you’ve seen the beautiful glass bottles of facial oil on the shelves.
Perhaps like me, you are almost afraid to touch them because they are so expensive and fancy looking. Maybe you sneak a dropper-full from the tester on your skin but don’t dare look at the price.
I’ve drooled over plenty of expensive facial oils and purchased a few too – but it’s nice to know that there’s a DIY alternative to what could be a very expensive facial oil habit.
What is a Facial Oil?
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You may be wondering what all the hype is about facial oils anyway. What exactly is a facial oil and how is it different from a serum or a moisturizer? Is it an extra step we don’t need, or is there a legitimate benefit? Let’s take a look into it…
A natural facial oil is a blend of plant-based carrier oils and beneficial essential oils, intended to nourish, deeply hydrate and protect our skin.
- Facial oils have no added water and are not emulsified like a cream or moisturizer
- Unlike water-based serums, facial oils (sometimes called facial oil serums) are oily to the touch, but absorb into skin quickly
- Natural facial oils (unlike mineral oil) mimic the skin’s natural sebum production and don’t clog pores
- As we age, our skin produces less oil and facial oils help add oil back, helping us combat wrinkles and dry skin
- Contrary to popular belief, facial oils can be beneficial to people with oily skin because they help regulate oil production and fight bacteria that causes acne
- Facial oils protect skin from environmental damage from sun and chemicals in air (although they do NOT provide sunscreen protection)
I’ve written about my love of facial oils before and if you want to see some of my favorite facial oil brands, check this post: Favorite Facial Oil Serums.
If you are not inclined to DIY, there are plenty of great natural facial oils available – from luxurious Vintner’s Daughter (have not tried this one) to mid-priced Beautycounter (their Facial Oils are amazing!) to budget Acure (a great low-priced option). The more expensive facial oils tend to use unique combinations of carrier oils and have a complex essential oil scent. Lower priced facial oils tend to be pretty simple.
But if you are inclined to make a DIY facial oil, the benefits are huge: 1.) You control the ingredients (see how to make a custom facial oil blend at the end of this post), 2.) You’ll save money (yes, some outlay for ingredients but you can use them for other DIYs) and 3.) You can proudly say “I made this myself!!”
Best Facial Oil Ingredients
As I mentioned before, natural facial oils are a combination of carrier oils and essential oils. Be aware that not all facial oils on the market are made with natural ingredients.
Petroleum-based mineral oil and artificial fragrances or parfums are NOT what you want in your facial oil. Look for these natural ingredients instead:
Plant-based Carrier Oils
The best carrier oils to use in facial oil come from vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. These plant-based oils are a natural source of antioxidants, polyphenols, and essential fatty acids, and are very nourishing and hydrating to your skin.
Certified organic carrier oils are preferred but not necessary if you can’t find or afford the organic version. Just make sure you buy from a reputable source. Some of my favorite carrier oil sources are Aura Cacia, Now Brands and Inesscents.
I won’t attempt to list every carrier oil available, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Jojoba oil (used in my recipe below)
- Sweet almond oil
- Argan oil
- Apricot kernal oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Rosehip seed oil (used in my recipe below)
- Calendula oil (an herb-infused carrier oil – used in my recipe below)
- Tamanu oil
- Avocado oil
Natural Essential Oils
Essential oils are extracted or distilled from the petals, leaves, bark, stem, and roots of plants. They are powerful substances, with therapeutic qualities as well as lovely natural scents. In facial care, essential oils are beneficial for stimulating skin cell production, improving circulation, neutralizing bacteria, calming inflamed skin and more.
Because essential oils are so powerful, using the proper dilution ratio is important. Most sources recommend a dilution rate of 2 – 2.5% for skin care products, which would be between 18 to 23 drops of essential oil for 1-oz (30ml) of carrier oil.
So many different essential oils are beneficial for skin care that I won’t attempt to list them all here. In my facial oil recipe below, you’ll see that I used rose geranium, frankincense and lavender essential oils.
I am not loyal to a particular brand of essential oils, and I have not used any of the popular MLM brands. Here are some of the essential oil brands I can find easily, either at local stores or online:
- Veriditas by Pranarom (Certified Organic)
- Aura Cacia (both organic and non-organic)
- Now Brands (both organic and non-organic)
- 365 Brand from Whole Foods (non organic)
FYI – a great resource for using essential oils: The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
RELATED: Homemade Cleansing Balm
How to Use a Facial Oil
The most important thing to know about a facial oil is that a little goes a long way! Facial oils are most commonly used to moisturize skin but can also be used for cleansing.
As a moisturizer, you will only need a few drops of oil for your entire face. Best practice is to rub the oil between your fingers and then pat or smooth around face. Pro tip: Spritz face generously with toner before patting on oil to help seal in moisture.
Have you heard of the oil cleansing method? Your facial oil can also be used a face cleanser by rubbing the oil into DRY skin and following a similar routine to what I outline in my DIY cleansing balm post.
Nourishing DIY Facial Oil Recipe
OK – are you ready? Let’s save some money and DIY the heck out of this facial oil idea!
This nourishing facial oil recipe is good for most skin types – but especially great for those with aging, mature or dry skin – a category I fall right in the middle of! See below for tips for making a custom facial oil for your skin type.
For the carrier oils, I chose the following:
Jojoba oil – Very similar to the oil produced naturally by our skin, jojoba oil is lightweight and quick-absorbing, leaving no oily residue.
Rosehip seed oil – Very fast absorbing and loaded with Vitamin C and A, rosehip seed oil is popular for aging, mature, and dry skin because it helps with collagen production and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Calendula oil – Calendula is an herb known for soothing and healing skin. The organic calendula oil I buy is infused in a base of olive oil and sunflower oil.
For the essential oils, I chose the following:
Geranium or Rose Geranium – Soothing and calming to skin, with a lovely woodsy rose scent (and much cheaper than Rose Absolute).
Frankincense – Can reduce fine lines and scar tissue as well as soothe blemishes and calm inflammation, with an earthy, woodsy aroma.
Lavender – Soothes and heals irritated skin, with a calming floral scent.
Mixing up your facial oil couldn’t be easier. Simply pour the carrier oils into a glass bottle (a mini funnel comes in handy for this.)
Amber colored glass bottles are preferable to keep light from degrading the oils. Then add your drops of essential oils. (Most essential oils come with a built-in dropper, making this very easy.)
Give it a little shake and your homemade facial oil is ready to use!
To use facial oil, squeeze a few drops or a dropper full of facial oil onto fingers. Rub fingers together and then lightly spread and pat over face and neck. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
To use facial oil, squeeze a few drops or a dropper full of facial oil onto fingers. Rub fingers together and then lightly spread and pat over face and neck.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Customized DIY Facial Oil
Now that you know so much about facial oil ingredients, you can see you easy it is to customize your own facial oil. As long as you follow the basic proportions of carrier oil vs. essential oil as outlined above, you’ll be good to go!
Here are a few essential oils beneficial for particular skin types:
Aging/Mature Skin: frankincense, myrrh, rose
Dry Skin: geranium, sandalwood, neroli
Oily/Acne Skin: clary sage, rosemary, basil, tea tree
Sensitive Skin: lavender, chamomile
For even more help in choosing the best essential oil combinations for your skin type, I recommend this post or an essential oil book like the one previously recommended. Have fun with it!!
Do you have a favorite facial oil?