This silky smooth Eucalyptus Mint Cleansing Oil is really quite lovely; freshly herbal and minty, with a touch of a cooling tingle that definitely helps perk one up first thing in the morning. I tried a new solubilizer and I really like it—the cleansing oil rinses off beautifully and isn’t too drying. It comes together quickly and easily, and I’ve included a big list of substitutions and alternatives at the end of the recipe so you can easily adjust it and make it work with whatever you have on hand.
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I’ve been wanting to try Cromollient SCE (Di-PPG-2 Myreth-10 Adipate) for ages; it seems to be the cleansing oil solubilizer of choice at /r/DIYBeauty. So, when I had a chance to place an order with Lotion Crafter last year I was sure to order a small bottle. Cromollient SCE not only functions as the ingredient that facilitates easy wash-off in our cleansing oil; it’s also an emollient, improving the feel of the product while we use it, and of the skin after we rinse it off. It has also been found to be useful in reducing required combing force when used in shampoos. It’s a clear liquid with a pH of 6, and is generally fairly unassuming.
The carrier oil blend is pretty typical for a cleansing oil: it’s inexpensive. I mostly used safflower oil as I have quite a lot of it, plus a bit of castor oil for a cleansing boost. You can use pretty much any blend of inexpensive liquid oils you have on hand. Bonus points if it’s an oil reaching the end of its shelf life; you’ll use it up pretty quickly in a cleansing oil as it’s both a product that requires lots of oil, and it’s a product you’ll use quickly. Please do stick to inexpensive ones as much as you can, though—after a very brief interlude on your face they’re going straight down the drain, so unless that argan oil is going to expire in a month and you can’t think of a single other project to use it in, cheaper oils are the way to go!
Our essential oil blend is fresh Eucalyptus Radiata and bright, punchy peppermint. The two compliment each other brilliantly, with the eucalyptus mellowing out the peppermint, and the peppermint brightening the softer eucalyptus. I’ve kept the amounts of both quite low, and I encourage you to do the same. Even at 0.25% the peppermint is quite chilly on the face, and I’d be concerned about any more being irritating.
I’ve included a small percentage of cetyl alcohol to give the cleansing oil a bit more viscosity. I tried two different versions: one with 3% and one with 6% (removing or adding from the safflower oil). At 3% it’s definitely still very liquid, but it’s got more body that a purely liquid cleansing oil. At 6% it’s still liquid, but noticeably viscous—I preferred that, so that’s what’s written here. You’re welcome to use 3% (or any other number, really), or if you’d like to avoid the fuss of heating you can leave it out altogether. The melting of the cetyl alcohol is the only somewhat fussy bit about this oil—it really comes together in a flash! Flash-ish enough that you’ll never have to run out 🙂
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Eucalyptus Mint Cleansing Oil
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Once the cetyl alcohol has melted, remove the measuring cup from the water bath and dry it off. Stir to combine, and leave the mixture to cool, stirring occasionally.
When the measuring cup is barely warm to the touch, add the vitamin E and essential oils and stir to combine. It’s not strictly necessary to wait until the cleanser has cooled this much, but since we can avoid exposing our essential oils to heat, we might as well.
Once everything is all mixed up, transfer your cleansing oil to a 120mL/4oz bottle.
To use, dispense a nickel sized amount of cleansing oil into your palm, and work it up with a bit of warm water. Massage that into your face before wiping it off with a damp microfibre cloth.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this cleansing oil does not contain any water, 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!). Be sure to keep it dry to ensure it lasts as long as possible—don’t let any water get into the container and it should easily last a year.
- You can use a different inexpensive carrier oil in place of the safflower and/or castor oil
- You can use Polysorbate 80 or Olivem300 in place of the Cromollient SCE
- For the cetyl alcohol:
- You could use stearic acid instead, though I’d use stearic at 3%
- You could use 10–15% of a soft butter, like mango or shea, adjusting the amount of safflower oil to keep the recipe in balance
- You can replace it with more safflower oil for a less viscous final product that does not require any heat to make
- You can also use more cetyl alcohol for a more noticeably viscous product; reduce the safflower oil by an equal amount to keep the recipe in balance
- You can use eucalyptus globulus essential oil instead of radiata. I haven’t tried all the different varieties of eucalyptus; I suspect many of them would work well, but I would avoid the lemon version as it smells strongly of bug spray.
- You can also use a different blend of essential oils