I feel so late to the game on this one! But I had to share because it really is a pretty awesome cleansing method. I started looking into it because I tend to wear more full coverage makeup so taking it off is a hassle. It made sense to me that oil dissolves oil so using oils to clean my face would be cleaner and easier. I hate those makeup wipes that I have to seriously scrub onto my face to get anything off!
The oil cleansing method basically uses natural oils to cleanse the skin and balance the skin's natural oils. It sounds scary to place oil on your face because we've always heard that oil causes acne. Actually, it is dehydration that causes acne and skin problems (among other factors like hormones, food, etc.) When our skin is dry, it makes it harder for our skin's oil to secrete and lubricate our skin. Instead, it becomes thick and hardened and gets lodged in our pores, creating corks of dried out sebum. (Sebum is that oily waxy stuff that comes from our pores- i.e. the stuff that gets suck on a Biore nose pad when you pull it off your nose:) Most people then think they have to wash off all the oil and this can cause more drying of the skin and more oil production that clogs our pores.
I don't get acne but I do get dry and flaky skin, especially in winter. The general recipe for cleansing oils includes castor oil which is the cleansing oil in the equation. Castor oil helps to clean out the pores and purify the skin. Castor oil is very drying and should always be combined with another more nourishing oil. Mixed in with the castor oil can be your choice of any natural oils meant for various purposes and skin types.
- Sweet almond or Grapeseed – Especially suited for oily skin
- Jojoba – Great for all skin types, but particularly good for acne
- Avocado or Apricot Kernel – Great for dry skin
- Dry skin: 3:1 ratio olive oil to castor oil
- Normal skin: 1:1 ratio of olive oil to castor oil
- Oily skin: 1:3 ratio olive oil to castor oil
You can also purchase a commercial cleansing oil- I've been using the Josie Moran argan cleansing oil. I like it but it costs $32 for 6 oz. (Sephora.com). It is nice because it contains the ingredient polysorbate that helps to emulsify the oil- this means that if you use the oil cleanser in the shower, it will come off easily and not coat your tub (causing slippery tub).
However, I realized I could make my own cleansing oil using high quality natural oils and no chemicals for way cheaper. Here's my own cleansing oil recipe:
1 oz of organic olive oil
1/2 oz. grapeseed oil
1/2 oz of castor oil
3 drops of lemon essential oil
1 drop of Vitamin E
I estimate that it costs me about $2-3 to make a 2 oz bottle. I use all high quality organic and cold pressed oils too and know exactly what is going on my face and into my skin (I do not add any chemicals so it feels really luxurious and healthy).
Here's my cleaning method:
- take nickel size amount of oil onto dry hands.
- warm oil between your hands then massage onto dry face
- oils won't burn your eyes so you can massage on eyes to take off mascara too!
- take a hot washcloth and wring out water
- place towel on face to steam face and open pores, releasing the natural oils into your skin
- remove towel when cool
- I like to repeat with hot towel 1-2 times and wipe off cleansing oil completely.
I use it nightly and actually moisturize with my own moisturizing oil recipe:
1.5 oz. grapeseed oil
1/2 oz argan oil
3-5 drops Vitamin E oil
3 drops of lavender oil
This is my complete nightly routine and I've been doing it for two weeks now. My skin has felt more moisturized and there is no sign of stress like redness or dryness. I've noticed the pores on my nose have diminished so it is cleaning out whatever sebum is in my pores. It doesn't make my face oily at all. If I've had a long day with a full face of makeup, I might follow up the oil cleansing with a gentle exfoliator like my Murad exfoliating cleanser with AHA. This helps to really get into my pores and clean out all the gunk from the day.
Let me know if you decide to give this method a try! It is certainly a game changer for me and I don't think I'll ever go back to harsh cleansers that dry out my face.