Homemade Cleansing Balm for Dry or Mature Skin

One of the reasons I started formulating my own skin care was because I fell in love with Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm…although I didn’t love the $60 price tag. As much as I would love to be able to afford that on a regular basis, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. So I set on a quest to make an easy homemade cleansing balm, with ingredients that fit my budget.

When you’re starting out in DIY skincare, it’s best to start by learning the basics. Although the ingredients in this cream cleanser are super simple, the final product still feels luxurious when applied to the skin.

Cleansing balms are great for any skin type, but especially good for dry skin. For people (like myself) with more oily skin, I use the double cleansing method. First step: I remove makeup, dirt, and oil with a cream cleanser. Second: I follow up with a homemade facial cleanser or homemade soap.

About the ingredients

Shea butter

Shea butter is an amazing moisturizer that is high in oleic acids making it perfect for removing makeup and pollution while still nourishing dry skin.It helps give the balm some thickness so it is more easily applied to the face and neck. Head’s up: when you’re making this, do be aware that shea butter can get grainy if heated or cooled too quickly. My favorite is from FairTaleGhana. It’s the highest quality shea butter I’ve ever used, fair-trade and comes directly from Ghana.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is a lightweight oil high in natural antioxidants and vitamin E that is a perfect compliment to shea butter. If you can’t find it, you can easily substitute with jojoba oil.

  • You can use this homemade cleansing balm as an overnight facial treatment to wake up with hydrated, smoother and more youthful skin. You can also use as a spot treatment for breakouts and as a deep conditioning hair mask!
  • If your balm is too runny or too hard, you can remelt the product and add either more oil to make softer or more shea butter harden.

At a glance:


Intermediate: Requires ingredients available at health food stores or online

Skin feel:
Hydrated and clean

All natural?
Yes, absolutely 

Shelf life:
Around 1 year

4.05 from 47 votes

Basic Cream Cleanser for Dry or Mature Skin

Cleansing balms are great for any skin type but especially good for dry skin. For people (like myself) with more oily skin, I use the double cleansing method. First step: I remove makeup, dirt, and oil with this cream cleanser. Second: I follow up with a homemade facial cleansing soap.
Keyword Anti-aging, Dry skin
Type Cleanser
Level Intermediate
Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional time 5 minutes
Cool down 1 hour
Total Time 10 minutes
Amount 2 ounces


  • 1 ounce Shea butter 50% 50%
  • 1 ounce Sunflower or Jojoba oil 50%
  • 4 drops (no more than that!) skin-loving* essential oil of your choice. My favorites combos are lavender and frankincense or rose geranium and patchouli.    Optional


  1. Melt the shea butter on low heat in a double boiler. You can improvise by putting a glass bowl in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir shea butter until melted. Transfer melted shea butter into a room temperature bowl immediately to prevent it from getting grainy.
  3. Add sunflower (or jojoba) oil to melted shea butter. Stir until thoroughly blended.
  4. Pour the mixture into a glass container. Leave the mixture on the countertop to cool for 45 minutes. Again, if you cool the shea butter too quickly, it can become grainy.
  5. Optional step: After 45 minutes, the mixture should be cooler but still in a liquid state. Add the essential oils.
  6. Pop the jar into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool further.
  7. When cooled, the mixture should be the consistency of a rich, creamy, and smooth balm.
  8. To use, take a small scoop of the cleansing balm into the palm of your hand. Massage into to the face, neck and eye area. Massage into skin for 2 minutes. Wipe with a microfiber damp microfiber cloth and watch all the grime of the day melt away.

Recipe Notes

*Some essential oils especially citrus oils can cause skin sensitivities.

DIY Beauty Guide

Curious about DIY beauty but don’t know where to start?

Download our free guide and let us help take the mystery out of homemade skincare.

About the author

I’m Drew, creator of Botaneri and an artisanal skincare formulator and certified aromatherapist who is here to help take the mystery out of DIY natural beauty. I started creating my own plant-based skin and body care products at home to deal with my own skin issues.

What I love most is helping people create luxurious and effective self-care products right in their own kitchens. It’s a lot easier than you think. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you.


  • Yan Li
    December 29, 2019

    Just found your website, love every articles and pictures there, This is my first try to make a cleansing balm. The next one will be the Ila Spa Rose Facial Oil.

    • Drew Lepp
      December 30, 2019

      Yay!! I’m so happy, Yan! Both are great starter projects. Let me know what you think 🙂

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.