oIL cLEANSING rECIPE + iNFO
The reasons we have so much trouble with mainstream skin care products are numerous, but a reason in particular: These products strip the oil out of our skin, leaving our largest organ trying to repair itself by replacing the oil stripped away. This leaves us in a cycle of being tight and dry followed by the inevitable oil slick. Each time we strip the oil away, our skin over-compensates for the lack of moisture by creating more oil
When cleansing and moisturizing your skin, it is imperative that you keep in mind that oil dissolves oil. Your skin naturally lubricates itself with oil.
I admit, I was skeptical before I first tried this, since my skin is naturally oily and I wasn’t sure it would work for me. My two middle children (Son 16 and Daughter 17) also has very acne prone skin and was afraid that a method like this would bring back the acne… We were wrong!
What is Oil Cleansing?
Though it sounds somewhat crazy at first, the idea of using natural oils to cleanse the skin gently actually makes a lot of sense. The basic idea of oil cleansing is to use natural oils in specific combination to cleanse the skin and naturally balance the skin’s natural oils. This produces much more nourished and moisturized skin that traditional soap and detergent based facial cleaners. As the website dedicated to the oil cleansing method explains:
“The basic concept of this skin care and cleansing method is that the oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores. The steam will open your pores, allowing the oil to be easily removed. Should you need it, the smallest drop of the same oil formula patted over damp skin will provide the necessary lubrication to keep your skin from over-compensating in oil production.”
Even Acne.org explains the benefits of oil cleansing:
“Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to desolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.”
But Does It Work?
When I first started using Oil Cleansing, I had an adjustment period where my skin got worse for about a week. Most resources I’ve seen suggest that this is a detox reaction as impurities are pulled from the skin, and this is definitely what it seemed to be for me. After that, my skin gradually improved and by 3-4 weeks of using only oil cleansing, I had no excess oil, no dry skin, and no blackheads…
What You Need:
Want to try Oil Cleansing and see the results for yourself? All you need are a couple of natural oils and a clean wash cloth!
The most common oils used are Castor Oil and Olive Oil, though any natural oil can be used. Castor Oil is naturally astringent, so it helps pull impurities from the skin, making it ideal for oily or combination skin (and even dry skin in lesser amounts). Castor oil should never be used undiluted on the skin, and I always add at least twice the amount of other oil as Castor Oil when making an oil blend.
My favorite other oil to use is Hazelnut Oil, though olive, sunflower, safflower, or even coconut oils work great.
What to Do:
If you are new to oil cleansing, it may take a couple of tries to figure out what blend of oils works best for you. Personally, I use a mix that is 3/4 olive oil and 1/4 castor or hazelnut oil and it is perfect for my skin. Other articles I’ve seen and friends who also use the method recommend these ratios:
Oily Skin: 1/3 Castor Oil or Hazelnut Oil and 2/3 Olive, Sunflower or other oil
Combination Skin: 1/4 Castor or Hazelnut Oil and 3/4 Olive, Sunflower or other oil
Dry Skin: All nourishing oils like olive oil, or a very small amount ofCastor/Hazelnut Oil added to the nourishing oils.
To find out the best blend for you, I recommend starting with the suggested amounts above for your skin type and adjusting if needed. When starting mix up a very small batch (1 teaspoon castor oil to 2 teaspoons olive oil, etc) until you figure out the right blend for you.
I’ve also found that even pure coconut oil works great once skin has adjusted, though it can be drying on some skin types. You can use a half and half mix of coconut and olive oil and blend in a blender to create a cream!
To Wash Face With Oil Cleansing:
In the shower or at the bathroom sink, pour about a quarter size amount of the oil blend into your hand and massage into the skin on your face (don’t wet skin first). Use smooth circular strokes and let this also be a gentle facial massage.
Massage for at least a minute (two minutes is better) or until you are sure that the oil has saturated your skin. This will also remove make-up very effectively, so there is no need to remove make-up first. You can even leave the oil on the skin for up to 10 minutes to really deep clean pores.
Place a clean washcloth under very hot tap water (or shower water) until it is completely soaked and quickly wring it out. Open it and place over your face. This will create steam against the skin to remove the oils and any impurities in the skin. Leave the wash cloth on for about a minute, or until it cools. Repeat if needed with the other side of the washcloth and then use the corners of the washcloth to gently remove any remaining oil. There will still be a thin layer of oil on the skin and this is beneficial.
Typically, no moisturizer is needed after the adjustment period, but if you still have dry skin, try reducing the amount of astringent oil and using a tiny bit ofhomemade organic lotion to moisturize skin. If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend, rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow
Notes on Oil Cleansing:
Don’t be surprised if you find you’ve unblocked an oil flow for the first few days. Once you remove the plugs from your pores, they will begin functioning properly again. It is normal for it to take a week or so for skin to adjust, and you may even see more oily skin or more breakouts during this time as impurities leave the skin. If you can, resist the urge to use harsh soaps or facial cleansers during this time, as it will make the adjustment period take longer. Perfect skin won’t happen overnight and while it should take a few applications to achieve your goal, you should notice a huge difference in your skin after the first deep cleansing. Give your skin a few days to adjust and adapt to being clean and clear of blockages; the new oil coming from your skin is actually a good sign and will balance out very shortly.
- Danielle Lasit