Could the Oil Cleansing Method be Your Answer to Clear Skin?
After a lousy stint with a foaming facial cleanser, I had finally had enough with soapy face wash. I wanted to use something as natural as possible with the fewest natural ingredients I could find.
I’ve run across a few articles that talk about the water cleansing method, but I was hesitant to try this out because it didn’t seem very cleansing at all, not to mention drying. I wanted something a bit more moisturizing that still offered cleansing benefits. That’s when I came across the oil cleansing method.
Alright, so it might seem a bit odd to consider cleansing your face with oil, especially if you have oily skin to begin with. But contrary to popular belief, the oil cleansing method doesn’t cause oily skin or acne at all. That culprit is usually a combination of poor diet choices and hormone imbalances. Also, make you you know what oil is best for your skin type.
Using oil as a cleanser will actually help clear your complexion, leaving your skin moisturized, supple, and glowing!
Why is this?
So first let’s talk about what happens when you use conventional cleansers….
Conventional cleansers dubbed with the “oil free” stamp of approval are designed to strip off the skin’s natural oils. This adulteration contributes to that tight, itchy, squeaky clean feeling. This = BAD! Soapy, foamy, stripping cleansers cause more harm than good. Plus, they age your skin by drying it out, making it easier for wrinkles to form. Many dermatologists will say that you need to remove your skin’s natural oils in order to clear it…
But I beg to differ! Our natural oils are there for a reason. They protect our skin from the environment, keep it moisturized, and support a strict PH balance that keeps acne causing bacteria in check.
When the natural oils are removed, our skin begins to overcompensate by producing more and more oil. This is the same thing that happens when you wash your hair too often. Your hair gets greasier and greasier, and pretty soon, you can’t go a single day without washing it.
That being said, your skin can also become too dry when using conventional cleansers because the skin is not able to compensate for the loss of oil. This creates just the opposite…dry flaky skin that seems impossible to deal with.
Using the oil cleansing method will fix both issues. No matter what skin type you have, the oil cleansing method allows your skin to balance itself, bringing it back to its natural state and unique constitution with just one or two ingredients. There are no harsh chemicals involved. No suds that will strip your oils. And this = GOOD.
How Does the Oil Cleansing Method Work?
According to basic chemistry, oil dissolves oil. Or even more simply “like dissolves like”. The best way to nurture your skin’s natural oils is to use other oils that are similar in composition to cleanse it. Once you find the right mix, oils can effectively remove impurities and bacteria from deep within the pores. The oil cleansing method will dissolve blackheads, extract whiteheads, and balance dry, oily, sensitive, and acne prone skin while nourishing and moisturizing it. You’ll never need to buy another cleanser or moisturizer again! How cool is that?
“So what do we do?” I’m glad you asked!
Let’s Get Started
I personally love using hemp seed oil and keep a little squeeze tube of it in the shower (I also REALLY love to use jojoba oil too). It works great as a makeup remover and will even remove waterproof mascara (be careful not to get it in your eyes!). I will usually massage the oil into my skin for around 2 minutes to really get the grime off and to create some good circulation. This will help de-puff the area around your eyes and reduce dark circles. Plus it feels relaxing, so why not right?
If coconut oil doesn’t work for you, I would recommend pure extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a wonderful moisturizer and will nourish, heal, and support all skin types.
Here’s a few oils that you may want to consider:
• Avocado Oil– For all skin types, especially dry, itchy, sensitive, or aging
• Apricot Kernel Oil– For all skin types, especially dry, sensitive, aging, or normal
• Grape Seed Oil– For all skin types, especially acne-prone or oily
• Jojoba Oil– For all skin types, especially acne-prone, oily, sensitive, or normal
• Kukui Nut Oil– For all skin types, especially dry or normal
• Sweet Almond Oil– For all skin types, especially oily or normal
For a complete list on comedogenic oils, read this post!
Contrary to popular use, I don’t recommend using castor oil as a facial cleanser. In my personal experience, using castor oil as part of the oil cleansing method has been a bit harsh for someone with sensitive, acne prone skin like mine (waaay too drying), but if this oil has worked well for you ,then by all means, use what works. The trick to using castor oil is using the correct ratio of castor oil and carrier oil that works best for you. If your skin feels too dry after using it, use a bit less castor oil. Experiment and you’ll find what ratio is best for your skin’s needs.
Here’s some popular castor oil ratios if you’d like to give castor oil a go:
• Oily Skin– 30% castor oil to 70% carrier oil (like Coconut oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil…ect!)
• Normal Skin– 20% castor oil to 80% carrier oil
• Dry Skin– 10% castor oil to 90% carrier oil
• Very Dry Skin– 0% castor oil to 100% carrier oil
A handy ratio to keep in mind is the thirds ratio.
Put the oils in a small squeeze bottle and shake it up. Keep it in the shower for easy use. You can add 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil if you so desire for a more luxurious cleansing experience. I like tea tree, lavender, or rosemary essential oil the most! You can get the BEST essential oils HERE.
Be sure to check out my article on which essential oils are best for your skin type.
2. Massage it in
Apply a quarter sized amount of oil into the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together and then , while your face is still dry, rub the oil into your skin in a circular motion and relaaaax. Massage your skin for at least 2 minutes. This will release tension, improve circulation, and firm up the skin.
3. Open the Pores
Once you have finished massaging in the oil, apply a nice hot washcloth over your face for 10-15 seconds to open your pores. Steaming your face like this will extract impurities and bacteria, replacing the icky oil with fresh nourishing oil.
4. Wipe Off
Use the hot washcloth to gently wipe away the oil. Wring out the washcloth and apply it over the face one more time to make sure that you’ve extracted everything. Gently wipe your face again. Your skin should feel soft and clean.
How Often Should I Use The Oil Cleansing Method?
You shouldn’t need to use the oil cleansing method more than once a day. I like to use the oil cleansing method before bedtime mostly because I like going to sleep with a clean face with no makeup, but you can certainly use this method in the AM too. In the AM, I usually just spritz my face with rosewater and massage it around and then dab it dry. rosewater is glorious! Learn how to make your own here.
How to Boost the Effectiveness of the Oil Cleansing Method
The easiest way to “kick it up a notch” is to add a drop or 2 of your favorite essential oil to your EVOO or whatever oil it is that you’re using. This will make your cleansing oil more luxurious and customized to your exact needs. Essential oils are very concentrated, so you only need a few drops for them to be effective. Never put essential oils directly on the skin because they can be quite irritating or even burn the skin.
For a beginner’s guide on essential oils, check out this article.
Feeling stressed? Add some lavender or rose.
Feeling down? Add some neroli, lemon or any other citrus essential oil.
Have acne? Add some tea tree oil, lemongrass, lavender, geranium, peppermint, rosemary, helichrysum or sandalwood.
Dry Skin? Add lavender, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang, or chamomile.
Oily Skin? Add Lemon, cypress, lavender, juniper, grapefruit, cedarwood, or lemongrass.
The combinations for essential oils are endless and you really can’t go wrong when choosing which ones to use since all essential oils are antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and just down right beneficial for the skin in general (think anti-aging!).
The Pros and Cons of the Oil Cleansing Method
• It’s great for the skin and works for every skin type.
• Helps to clear up acne
• Combats dryness and irritation
• Makes the skin glowy and dewy
• Prevents wrinkles
• It’s super natural with no harsh chemicals
• It’s a fantastic makeup remover…and CHEAP
• It doesn’t strip away the skin’s natural oils
• Replaces both cleansers and moisturizers
• It can take time for your skin to adjust (usually a few weeks)
• It can be more expensive than a normal cleanser depending on which oils you use
• Your skin may become dry at first
For more on the oil cleansing method, check out these articles:
The Complete List of Comedogenic Oils
Oils not working out for you? Rose water can help!
The Enhanced Oil Cleansing Method
Lazy Girl’s Approach to the Oil Cleansing Method
How to Get Picture Perfect Skin with Oil Cleansing
Oil Cleansing Method for Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea Prone Skin
How I Wash my Face with Honey and Jojoba Oil
Using the oil cleansing method will brighten and nourish your skin and will even help clear acne! Let me know how your oil cleansing experience went in the comments below =)