Photo by Taras Kalapun
Using oil to “wash” your face. Seems a little counter-intuitive, right? Especially if you already have oily skin.
I have been blessed that I’ve always had fairly good skin, without many breakouts, but I did struggle with dry and tight skin that I constantly had to slather moisturizer on, especially in the winter time. However, my luck ran out when my typically normal skin started freaking out on me about a year ago.
I tried switching to the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), thinking my skin was reacting to chemical cleansers and lotions that I was using, but it didn’t work, and in fact, my skin started to get worse. So, I began trying lots of other options, even going back to my previous routine of conventional drugstore products, and it still did not get better. I had breakouts, and especially around my mouth and nose my skin was getting really dry, and red and flaky. I didn’t know what else to do.
Then, I read a post over at Naturally Knocked Up about the OCM, and saw that she used a different type of oil and in different quantities than I had originally tried. So, I decided to try it again and see what happened.
This time, my skin reacted much better, and looked better almost overnight. Definitely within the first week of using this method, my skin cleared up – the dry, red patches were gone and overall the skin on my face looked much healthier.
I’ve been using this method for about a month now, and although I’ve heard that some people experience a transition period where their skin gets worse before it gets better, that has not happened for me – I’m not sure how it could have gotten much worse anyway! My skin is not perfect all the time now, I still get the occasional breakout, but it is so, so much better than it was before, and without the use of harsh chemicals or ingredients, so I can live with that!
The idea behind the oil cleansing method is similar to the no ‘poo method for washing your hair. Your skin produces natural oils which are stripped away by conventional soaps and cleaners, that are full of ingredients that should be avoided, and then have to be added back in through lotions and moisturizers, which are also full of nasty ingredients, or your skin can react by overproducing oil, both of which can in turn clog pores and cause breakouts.
Photo by Liz
How to Use the Oil Cleansing Method to Wash Your Face
1. Create your oil mixture based on the needs of your skin. You can use either olive oil or sunflower oil as your base oil, and then you add castor oil to it.
I use sunflower oil now after reading Donielle’s post, and actually find that besides it working better for my skin, I like it better because the smell is not as intense as olive oil. Also, I found castor oil in the pharmacy section at my local grocery store.
The ratio of the oils depends on your skin type.
- For dry skin – use 1 part castor oil to 9 parts olive or sunflower oil. (This is the ratio I use)
- For normal or combination skin – use 2 parts castor oil to 8 parts olive or sunflower oil.
- For oily skin – use 3 parts castor oil to 7 parts olive or sunflower oil.
You can adjust your oil mixture as needed . The castor oil is used for cleansing, but may also be drying to your skin, so if you notice that your skin is getting dry and tight, you can cut back on the amount of castor oil in your mix. Or, if you feel like your skin is breaking out and over oily, try increasing the amount of castor oil. You might have to do a little trial and error to see what works best for your skin type.
Fortunately, these oils are quite affordable, and you only need to use a small amount, you can make up a small batch to see if it works, and if it doesn’t, you will not have wasted a ton of money like you would if you were buying a new product from the store every time. For my first batch this time around, I used a 1/2 tsp, so my mixture was 1/2 tsp. castor oil and nine 1/2 tsp (4 1/2 tsp) sunflower oil, so it was a small amount, but it lasted me for two weeks while I tried it to make sure it worked for me.
2. Before bed, pour a little bit of your oil mixture in your palm and then gently massage it into your face. Then take a hot and steaming washcloth and place it over your face until it cools, and repeat this a few times. The steam from the washcloth helps to dissolve the oil and pull impurities out of your skin.
Then gently rub your face with the washcloth to exfoliate a bit, and pat dry with a towel. If you feel like you need a little moisturizer you can rub a few drops of jojoba oil or coconut oil into your skin.
You can cleanse this way every day, if you feel like you need it, but some people find they only need to use this method every other day.
3. Also, in the morning, you can “wash” your face by just placing a hot and steaming washcloth over your face (without rubbing the oil mixture in) and repeating a few times. You can also use this to cleanse your face in the evenings on the days that you don’t use the oil mixture.
What I like the best about this style of washing my face, besides the fact that I know all of the ingredients in the oil mixture and I can make it myself at home, is that it kind of feels like a spa treatment when I put the hot washcloth over my face and steam my skin. It also leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft, I am very happy with the results!
I encourage you to give the Oil Cleansing Method a try for washing your face and see if you notice the difference in your skin!
What do you think about the Oil Cleansing Method? Is it something you think you could use to wash your face, do you have any questions for me about it?
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