Coconut Make up Remover and Cleanser

My mother in law, Jeannie, and I have totally bonded over thrift stores/op shops/charity shops ... whatever you want to call the magical places where you get to sort through racks and shelves of other people's junk in search of treasures. And you are giving money to charity at the same time! What a concept.

Today at a charity shop in Paddington, Jeannie found a tiara headband and a flowery skirt for my lucky girl (to match the fairy wings that have already been bought ...), and I found these gorgeous little bottles. I think they'll be perfect for some of the cleansers and moisturisers I've started making.

"What?!" you say ... yes, I've started making my own beauty products. It's actually pretty easy. When I got cancer a couple years ago I had a good look at chemicals in my life, and (I'll be honest with you) beauty products are pretty bad as far as chemicals go. Look at the back of any moisturiser bottle and you'll see what I mean ... So I started buying organic cleansers and shampoos and moisturisers, but they can be a bit expensive.

Last month I finally got up the courage to try some recipes from a book on my shelf called Bodyworks: Restoring Wellbeing with Homemade Lotions, Potions and Balms. I'll never look back!

One of the most magical ingredients for cleaning your skin is Coconut Oil. I'd never bought it before this, but now I love it. It has a gorgeous light coconutty scent, it's wonderful for the skin, it tastes great, and it's meant to be good for your immunity and health. And I got a 500 mL jar of organic coconut oil (above) for $8 that will last me for ages.

Here are two of my new standards (adapted from Bodyworks: Restoring Wellbeing with Homemade Lotions, Potions and Balms) for you to try ... I recommend you give them a go for yourself then start saving jars for Mother's Day presents!

NOTE: See if you can get virgin coconut oil ... less processing is generally better.

Coconut Make Up Remover

3 Tbs coconut oil
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or apricot kernel oil
*Try to use organic ingredients when you can

Put the oils in a small pot or jar,  and mix them. Dip a cotton ball in the mixed oil and gently wipe your eye area. Rinse off with water and follow with your regular cleansing regime. This will cost you less than $1 a batch.

NOTE: It's best to make homemade beauty products in small quantities, to keep them fresh. Try to get organic ingredients when you can, you deserve it! Also try to store them out of the light (which can oxidise some oils) and use a fresh cotton ball or Qtip each time.

Coconut Honey Cleanser

5 Tbs coconut oil
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or apricot kernel oil
2-3 tsp boiled water
2 tsp (raw if you can find it) honey
10 drops lavender essential oil*

*Always keep essential oils out of the reach of children
**Try to use organic ingredients when you can

As I learned this morning (having freshly run out of cleanser), there are two ways to make this cleanser:

1. The original way, which is much like making mayonnaise … in which you slowly drizzle a warmed water/honey mix into the warmed oils as you stir, stir, stir. Keep stirring. Drizzle slowly. It should thicken as it cools and you’ll have a beautiful creamy cleanser. (But I’ve never been good at making mayonnaise …). Add the essential oils at the end.
2.  The lazy way!
Put all the ingredients into a small bottle or pot and shake, shake, shake! This doesn’t give you a creamy cleanser, but let’s be practical here … when you want to throw this together while your two year old is pulling on your pajama leg it doesn’t really matter if it’s creamy or not. If you do this the lazy way, though, just be sure to shake your cleanser before each time you use it as the honey tends to like to remove itself from the mix.

Also, I was up for something different and added lemon essential oil instead of lavender. Zing!

This cleanser feels a little oily when you rinse it off, but I find that by the time I've dried my face with a towel it feels amazing and not oily at all. In my estimation this organic cleanser will cost you around $2.00 per batch.

I hope you enjoy giving these a try! More to come ... and I'll work on some great coconut oil food recipes too!
Amanda xx


  1. Hi Amanda, after actually looking at what it is in the products I buy (scary!) I am trying to overhaul all my products for more natural solutions. Some things are proving to be easier (soap, detergent, toothpaste…) but I am finding makeup and beauty products quite hard, unless I want to pay a ridiculous amount. I am definitely going to try these ideas, as I haven’t really given the make-it-yourself thing a try yet. Thanks for the ideas!

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  3. I know, it's really incredible what the beauty industry gets away with! And I reckon once you start looking at labels, you can't go back. I love making potions like this ... and knowing that I can pronounce every ingredient!

  4. Hi Amanda, thanks so much for your blog. I love how you make everything seem so achieveable. I gave this cleanser a try & love it's unique efficacy, but had a problem with shelf-life. Admittedly I didn't sterilise the jar properly(!), but do you have any other tips for increasing longevity (I did only make a small amount)?

  5. With all these oils just what is the cleanser part? I mean what actually scrubs out the pours? My skin is oily to begin with in the T zone and I think I would get pimples around my mouth and nose if i put that all on my face.

  6. @photographingalaska It sounds counterintuitive, but oils can actually be good for oily skin, pulling away dirt etc but leaving moisture there so the body doesn't feel the need to overproduce oils of its own. Plus, coconut oil is antiseptic, meaning it should minimise the little infections that cause pimples. But saying that, I want to back up this statement with science - so let me get back to you!
    Thanks for the great question :)

  7. I use organic coconut oil for my moisturizer. Works great!!

  8. Where can you get lemon essential oil?

  9. I made this cleanser twice and it works very well on my skin. But I can't seem to get it creamy. I used a double boiler to warm the oil. Separately boiled the water and added the honey. Then added the water and honey to the warmed oils. Stirred til my arm fell off still a liquidy cleanser. What am I missing?

  10. @H.F. Ah, that's coconut oil for you! It's a liquid at 30degC or above ... so if you live in a warm place, or your keep your cleanser in a sunny spot, it'll stay runny and separated. In the fridge, it'll harden up - though with the extra oils in there, not entirely. I find it works best at a cool room temperature, if possible.

    If you can't get it to mix properly, leave it runny and just give it a stir or shake before using. The honey tends to separate out regardless. Let's be honest, that's part of the reason they add all those extra chemicals to the shop brand cleansers :)

    Have a great week! Axx


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx