Homemade Face Wash for Oily Skin - Dr. Axe

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Homemade Honey Face Wash for Clear Skin


Homemade face wash - Dr. Axe

Looking for a face wash for oily skin or just a simple face wash? You’ve come to the right place. This homemade face wash for clear skin recipe can do wonders for your skin, particularly if it’s oily and prone to acne. It’s also a great face wash for dry winter skin.

While most store-bought facial cleansers have artificial ingredients and can be pricey, this DIY facial cleanser can be made with four simple ingredients in under two minutes.

Key Facial Cleanser Ingredients

1. Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains three fatty acids — capric, caprylic and lauric acid — that possess both disinfectant and antimicrobial properties, helping to protect against as well as heal microbial infections. Studies indicate that it’s effective against bacteria-related issues like skin infections. Studies show that virgin coconut oil improves the symptoms of skin disorders by moisturizing and soothing the skin, plus it’s both anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants.

If coconut oil bothers your skin or you have an allergy, consider substituting argan oil, jojoba oil or buckthorn oil.

2. Raw Manuka honey

Did you know that honey is antibacterial? It actually reacts with the body’s fluids to make hydrogen peroxide, creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria.


3. Apple cider vinegar

ACV contains specific components like acetic acid, lactic acid, succinic acid and citric acid, all of which have been shown to inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes, the specific strain of bacteria responsible for causing acne. These beneficial components may also reduce scarring. It’s also why it makes for a good facial toner.

If you have an issue with apple cider vinegar, go with coconut vinegar instead.

4. Tea tree oil

Research shows that tea tree oil can be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide for the treatment of acne, but with less irritating side effects. In a 2017 study conducted by the The Australasian College of Dermatologists, researchers evaluated the combination of tea tree oil gel versus a face wash without the tea tree oil. Subjects applied tea tree oil twice a day for three months and assessed at different points along the way. The study concluded that tea tree oil can significantly improve mild to moderate acne.

Related: Combination Skin: What It Is, How to Tell If You Have It & Best Skin Care Routine

How to Make and Use

Making this DIY facial cleanser couldn’t be much easier. Heat up the coconut oil (if it’s not already liquid) in a small pan at very low heat.

Add to a small glass mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients  and mix together until well-combined. Pour into a glass bottle and store in cool place.

For using before bed and/or first thing in the morning, moisten your face with lukewarm water. Put a small amount of the facial cleanser in your palm and rub your hand together, then gently apply to your face, mostly with your fingertips.

Clean your face for 20 to 30 seconds before then rinsing off with lukewarm water. Pat dry with a clean towel.

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Homemade face wash - Dr. Axe

Homemade Face Wash Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 3 min
  • Yield: 30 uses 1x


This homemade face wash for clear skin recipe can do wonders for your skin, particularly if it’s oily and prone to acne.


  • 1 tablespoon organic virgin coconut oil — or try jojoba, argan or buckthorn oils
  • 3 tablespoons raw Manuka honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 20 drops tea tree essential oil (should be USDA Certified Organic)


  1. Melt the coconut oil in a pan over low heat
  2. Once melted, remove from heat and add to a small glass bowl.
  3. Mix all ingredients together until well-combined.
  4. Pour into a glass bottle and store in cool place.


To wash face, moisten your face with lukewarm water. Gently apply facial cleanser to your face, mostly with your fingertips. Clean your face for 20 to 30 seconds before then rinsing off with lukewarm water. Pat dry with a clean towel.


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  1. Marion Van Driel on

    This is referenced in uses for lemon essential oils, which isn’t mentioned in this recipe. Should the tea tree oil be replaced with lemon EO?

  2. Bio Look on

    Very Informative Article! Great list, thanks for sharing. Even with all the new healthy beauty product available to us, keep posting.


  3. Atlea on

    I made this and I already notice my blemishes fading. How do I stop the conut oil from clumping up? The coconut oil is in big chunks while the rest of the ingerdents are very liquidy. Am I supposed to whip this up?

  4. Ann on

    Where is the olive leaf extract? I was reading the benefits and this “fabulous” face wash was listed as one of the benefits of using olive leaf extract but I don’t see it listed as an ingredient?

    • David K on

      Honey which is popularly known as the nectar of gods is an ancient remedy to cure either health or skin problems. Enriched with numerous nutrients, honey is good to maintain optimal health. Using a honey face mask can aid in treating many skin problems such as acne, scars, pigmentation, dark spots, dry skin and many.

  5. Trena on

    Dr. Axe, thank you for this. Going to try it for my acne prone sons. Two questions:
    1. Does the honey have to be manuka or can it be regular honey?
    2. I am always careful not to wash coconut oil down the drain. Will rinsing in the sink cause problems with clogging?

    • Ethan Boldt on

      Manuka is expensive so you can go with regular honey. Ideally it’s organic and raw, though. Trader Joe’s has this kind and it’s under $10.

      Don’t put your coconut oil down the sink. Instead, place in a plastic bag or cup and dispose of it in the trash.

    • Jsw on

      I would invest in the Manuka Honey! The antibacterial. Antioxidant levels are FAR superior to other organic raw Honey. ( Due to the Manuka tree)

  6. Natalie on

    Hi Doctor. I have just started to use the coconut oil.and tea trea oil.cleanse tone and moisturize 3 step body shop tea tree oil.then finish with coconut oil as moisturizer. Shocked that my normally oil skin is not so oily.However I would like to know what I can do about my acne blemishes. Please advice.I do have Autoimmune disease and diabetes.. But the dark marks on my face and back really do depress me.always covering up. I feel bad about my dark marks.please can you help.Thank you. Natalie

  7. krystal fields on

    Coconut oil has caused me to have even more breakouts. Is there a different oil you’d recommend for this recipe? Thanks!

  8. Janith on

    First let me say that I recently (month ago) started using the anti-aging serum recipe and it has done wonders! I saw a difference within a week of use and my skin just keeps getting better, amazing! I used tea tree in my serum b/c I suffer from malia and have been for 15+ years. I will definitely make this face wash. Is there any other advise you can give me to help with this type of acne? i’m almost 40 (very healthy and have been) but I can’t seem to get rid of it! BTW, I’ve used several of your DIY recipes and have not been disappointed, your advise and knowledge is very much appreciated! Thanks!

  9. Taj on

    Hi Dr. Axe, I am using your acne wash with a great hope as i have spent lost of money on many different things to get rid of acne. I never had acne after puberty but since last year i have started getting them back. I am 32 yrs of age and nothing even changed in my diet.
    I have oily skin but i am applying this face wash twice as per your instructions.
    Please advise after how many days or weeks i can see results because i still see new acne here and there on my face.


  10. AT on

    I have been using this face wash for a week now and Voila! I have not gotten a single new acne. Thank you so much Dr.Axe. Appreciate all your help. Just to add, since i breakout using coconut oil, i swaped it with organic Hemp seed oil. would really appreciate your thoughts on hemp seed oil.

    Thanks again,

  11. Jennifer on

    I LOVE this face wash but I just discovered I am very sensitive to coconut milk/oil. Is there a different oil that I could use in place of the coconut oil?

  12. Avery on

    Dr. Axe,
    I suffer from Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea which is the lowest form of rosacea. I have a lot of redness on my cheeks and chin as well as dryness and roughness, is there any remedy you would recommend to help relieve this? I am 19 years old and have already tried nearly everything and I am looking for any sort of relief!

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      Skin conditions like this are often symptoms of something going on in the gut! I would focus on healing your gut, check these out:
      Also, tips in this article may be beneficial as well:

  13. Pebble Tedford on

    Hi Dr Axe….Interesting article and recipe. I have been using coconut oil as a night time moisturizer. I do have a tendency to have pimples occasionally…..never grew out of puberty I guess. ha I love the feel of the coconut oil but am wondering if I should leave it on…..thanks

  14. Naman on

    I can’t find Tea Tree Oil here in Kuwait, except at The Body Shop (which was kind of pretty expensive for a student like me), so I went ahead and made a mixture of honey, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil. How long should I put this mixture on my face? I’m currently doing coconut oil pulling and during that time I apply this.
    Also should I add baking soda in the mixture fot it to work more effectively in removing pimples I have on my face?
    Will this mixture work for healing scars?
    I heard some keep this mixture on their face all night long, is that appropriate?
    and can I just wash the pillow sheeting/case/cover every week or I’ve to wash the entire pillow every week?
    Oh one more question, I use an exfoliater made of lemon essential oils I think, should I use that before applying the mixture or after I’ve applied this mixture and washed it off?
    Thank you, for this wonderful recipe Dr. Axe!

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      It can be very beneficial to the skin with healing acne and potentially healing scars. I would leave the honey mask on for 10-20 minutes and then wash it off. Be careful with using citrus oils on the face as it can make the skin very sensitive. I would do this before you do the honey mask. Also check this out:

  15. Lori on

    Jenee, I too have oily and acne prone skin but have been using essential oils on my face for about 3 months and cannot believe the difference. I haven’t been using it to cleanse just as a moisturizer so I’m going to try this too. My skin is soaking up the oil and seems to be creating less of it’s own oil. I know sounds strange but my face hasn’t looked better!

  16. Tina on

    Why Melaleuca oil and Not Tea Tree Oil. You said in your statement to use Tea tree oil, but the reciepe says Melaleuca?? Also is this good for mild acne on face? How much Tea Tree oil instead of Melaleuca?

  17. Lyn on

    Is it a must to keep in the refrigerator? And if so is it because of the probiotics why it needs to be refrigerated? Also can this be made without the probiotics for acne prone skin?

  18. Kristin on

    Is this safe for Dry Sensitive Skin? Also I have tried Honey in the past and it seemed to make my skin worse- is this just a cleansing stage or can some people not use Honey? After your acne clears is it safe to keep using this cleanser? Thanks,

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      Everyone is different! Definitely listen to your body but most people do well with using honey as a face wash. You can follow it with a moisturizer. You can keep using the cleanser after acne has cleared

  19. Tamara on

    Dr. Axe, I just made up this face wash for my teen and my self. I am 52 with recurrent acne, do you recommend a moisturizer after using this wash? Today I did not use any as I thought the coconut oil might be sufficient but over the long term I may need something additional. Also for my teen daughter, should she use a spot treatment after washing? She has quite a bit of acne. :)

  20. natalie on

    What about adding in sea salt to act as more of an exfoliant, using maybe once or twice a week? Or what are your suggestions?
    I am excited to start using Manuka, my sister introduced us to it & your articles.
    My 16 yr old daughter struggles with persistent acne. We are users of doTERRA brand essential oils (which we love!) & I have tried many regimens along the way using oils. She is good about her hygiene routine but bad with diet, supplement & h2o intake. She’s also on estrogen which I believe is building up in her liver etc. It’s hard to get a good consistent plan with teenagers! :) Any advice is helpful & much appreciated! Thx!

  21. Hilton Tobin on

    Dr, Axe ,
    I have started using saw palmetto for one month now and my hair loss is increasing. I have been using a myriad of raw food supplements for nine months such as moringa , kelp , bhringaray , pumpkin seeds , bee pollen , vitamin C , nutritional yeast , ashwagandha , sarsaparilla and spirulina and caco and red marine algae . I have had monthly B12 injections and ingest green organic smoothies daily. My skin looks great but hair loss is still increasing. I am 48 and lack exercise and regular sleep patterns but I am not obese and look years younger. I also ingest ground flaxseeds and still hair loss is increasing.
    I know it will be a waiting game. Should I follow your above program as mine has failed me. I have hair loss at the front part of the hair and not at the crown. What can I do Sir ? I really need help. Thank-you !
    PS. Flaxseeds and Nutritional yeast and Moringa and Spirulina contain B vitamins but still increased hair loss.

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I would check out these articles and posts:

  22. Chris on

    I have Perioral Dermatitis. Will this remedy help clear it up? Can you give me any other natural remedies for this annoying skin problem? What causes it? What I should & should not be doing, eating etc…. Please help!! Thank you

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I think this recipe could be a great option and know many cases that have been similar and seen results! Much of the time, skin issues are actually signs of something going on within your gut. I would focus on your diet and eliminate grains and sugars. I would also follow the healing diet.

      • Chris on

        Thank you for the help. I’ve also been told to try applying plain organic yogurt with active culture on the infected area 2x’s a day. Is this also a good remedy?

      • Dr. Josh Axe on

        I’ve had patients see results doing this in addition to the honey and tea tree oil mask. Everyone’s body is different so I would try it and see how your body does with it.

  23. Aida on

    What is the shelf life of this honey cleanse since it does not contain preservatives. And can lemon or orange essential oils can be add for fragrance. Or vitamin C , E and Rosehip essential oil instead of tea tree oil for us with fine lines and dry skin.

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      If using raw honey, it should last for months! Lemon or orange essential oils can be added for fragrance but be careful. Citrus oils can cause your skin to be sensitive to sunlight so I would recommend lavender or something like that for scent instead. You can definitely add in those other ingredients as desired.

  24. Joanne Copperthite on

    Would this be good for washing off make-up or should you use another cleanser first? Should you leave this on for a few minutes, i.e. like a mask, or just smear it on and rinse off? THANKS!


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