A small bottle of oil

How To Get Essential Oil Off Skin: 3 Easy Ways

Essential oil is great for our skin, but hard to remove. Here are our top tips to wash it off effectively.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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Essential oils are widely used in skincare and provide a wide range of benefits. The popularity of oil products is only growing as more and more people realize the potential that can be unlocked thanks to their potent effects.

However, due to how concentrated essential oils can be, removing them from the skin can be a pretty challenging and frustrating task!

Thankfully, we have your back. Here are our top tips on properly washing away those slippy essential oils from your skin.

The benefits of essential oils

First, though, let’s talk about the good stuff. Sure, oils can be a bit of a headache to wash away, but you should never forget how amazing they are at their job, or take for granted the positive impact they can have on your skin.

Essential oils are derived from certain plants’ leaves, bark, roots, fruits, and flowers. They are full of natural goodness and can provide a host of advantages for the skin. Here are some of the things they can do.

  • Moisturize and hydrate the skin
  • Smooth and heal dry skin
  • Protect against free radicals
  • Scrape away dead skin cells
  • Treat acne
  • Reinforces the skin’s barrier

So basically, they can do almost everything!

The best ways to remove essential oil from the skin

Sure, essential oils are amazing, we get it… but jeez they are tricky to wash off the skin! Their rich and watery consistency makes them a tricky foe, but with a few simple tips and tricks, you can clear them away with ease.

Use soap and water

Okay, this sounds obvious, but before rushing to cosmetic solutions, at least try the old-fashioned method first. Soak a sponge or cloth with lukewarm water and apply regular hand soap. Using a circular motion, rub the soap and water into the oil until it begins to break up and disappear. Don’t use hot water as this can dry and irritate the skin.

Use rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a great cleaning tool because it is a powerful drying agent. The alcohol acts to soak up and dry the essential oil in a quick time, which makes it an ideal option. Simply pour a little on a cotton pad and wipe in a circular motion over the oil until it is gone. Easy.

Use carrier oils

Carrier oils can be used to weaken and dilute essential oils to make them easier to remove from the skin. An added bonus of carrier oils is they help to neutralize the potency of essential oils, which makes skin irritation less likely. Apply some carrier oil to a cotton pad and gently rub over the essential oil until it is gone.

Some examples of great carrier oils are:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Almond oil
  • Jojoba oil


Essential oils can bring a host of benefits to the skin, but they can also be difficult and tricky to remove. By implementing simple techniques like the ones listed above, essential oils can be washed from the skin with ease and speed.

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This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.