This creamy Mint Julep Cleansing Oil came about as a bit of an accident. I had “Julep oil cleanser” on my to-do list as a recipe request, and without referring back to the original request, I got all excited about an oil cleanser that smelled like a mint julep. Bright, juicy lime and cool, fresh peppermint. Yum, right?! However, upon referring back to the original request, I discovered that Julep was the brand, not the cocktail. Whoops. Oh well—no reason I can’t do both!

For this cleansing oil I decided to try including a solid emulsifying wax as one of the emulsifiers—I had a few inquiries about it when I published my last cleansing oil recipe, and I wanted to give it a go. I opted for BTMS-50 as I loved the idea of a conditioning cleansing oil, but you could use a different complete emulsifying wax if you don’t have BTMS-50. Our other emulsifier is polysorbate 80. If you don’t have it, olivem300 (NOT 1000!) or Turkey Red Oil should do the trick as an alternative, though I would avoid Turkey Red Oil if your skin is sensitive as it can be irritating to the skin in higher concentrations.

To recap why we need emulsifiers in an oil based product—they are what makes this a cleansing oil. Our water phase is the water we are washing our faces with! The inclusion of emulsifiers allows the cleansing oil to work up into a lovely creamy cleanser when we wet it, and also allows it to rinse off cleanly and easily. It’s delightfully simple and wonderfully effective! The cleanser is also quite concentrated as it’s effectively water-activated, and you add the water at the time of use, making this Creamy Mint Julep Cleansing Oil a good choice for travel.

I decided to take advantage of the water-activated nature of this cleanser to add some water-soluble silk peptides; they’ll dissolve once the cleansing oil is blended with water, so we don’t have to worry about them being gritty as we generally do in oil-based products (they’re still gritty, they just won’t be when we use the cleanser). If you don’t have ’em, colloidal oats would be a neat alternative—otherwise, just leave them out. No biggie.

For essential oils we’re using a simple yet mouthwatering blend of bright, juicy lime and fresh, tingly peppermint. I didn’t include enough peppermint to get much of a cooling chill (the blend is definitely predominantly lime), but you could always add more if you decide you want a chilly, tingly pop in your cleansing oil!

Because we’re using a solid emulsifier in this cleansing oil you will have to heat it through to melt everything together, meaning it’s a bit more time consuming to make than my Grapefruit Deep Cleansing Oil. I did try to melt this together in a double boiler, but I never got all the way to fully melted, so I switched to a saucepan. It may just be the elevation here making the BTMS-50 less inclined to melt, but whatever the case, it’s easy enough to fix with a bit of direct heat. Just be sure to keep a close eye on the mixture so you don’t scorch it, which is a thing you can do without the insulating goodness of a water bath.

And… yeah. That’s it! Melt, stir, and you’re done! I think you’ll love this Mint Julep Cleansing Oil. I love how it has a bit of thickness to it so it’s easier to steer in my palm and isn’t as drooly as a fully liquid cleansing oil, and I think you’ll appreciate the inclusion of a more common emulsifier to keep the shopping list to a minimum. Happy making!

Mint Julep Cleansing Oil

10g | 0.35oz BTMS-50 (USA / Canada) or other complete emulsifying wax
20g | 0.7oz Polysorbate 80 or Olivem 300 (USA / Canada)
30g | 1.06oz rice bran oil
19g | 0.67oz castor oil
20g | 0.7oz grapeseed oil
0.5g | 0.018oz vitamin E oil

1g | 0.03oz powdered silk peptides (wondering about substitutions?) (optional)
50 drops lime essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil

Weigh the BTMS-50, Polysorbate 80, rice bran oil, castor oil, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E into a small saucepan and melt everything together on the stove top over low heat. Once the mixture is fully melted and transparent, remove it from the heat.

Stir the mixture as it cools; some wisps of thickening will start to appear quickly, so ensure you are stirring around with a  flexible silicone spatula to combine everything and keep that thickening well distributed.

Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the silk and essential oils, and decant into a squeezy tube or bottle. I filled one 60ml/2fl oz bottle and one 30ml/1fl oz bottle, so I’m set for home and away!

To use, I like to wet my face a bit with a warm, wet washcloth, and then massage about 1/2 tsp of the cleansing oil into my skin. I’ll then rinse/wipe that off with the washcloth and follow up with some face cream.

Because this cleansing oil is 100% oil based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.

Want to use a different carrier oil? Read this for information on how to make good substitutions.

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