When I first read about oil cleansing years ago, I thought one thing:
Y’all are insane.
How could adding oil to my seriously oily skin be a good idea? Wouldn’t using oil to wash my face not cause me to break out even worse than I already was? How could oil clean my face at all?!
So I didn’t give it a try for another year or so. Until I had to see for myself what all the hype was about. Then my tune was more like:
Holy sh*t. This actually works really well.
While oil cleansing might seem counterintuitive, it actually makes a lot of sense. Especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin. Let me explain.
WHAT IS OIL CLEANSING EXACTLY?
Simply put, oil cleansing is washing your face with oil. You can use a variety of oils, but one of those oils has to be castor oil. We’ll get into the other oils later. Oil cleansing is simply finding the best combination of oils for your skin type, then using those oils to remove dirt, bacteria, impurities and dead skin cells.
Oil cleansing will also gently exfoliate your skin while leaving you with fresh, dewy, hydrated skin. That’s the beauty of oil cleansing. Consider this: when you wash your face with the majority of cleansers – you’re stripping away your natural oils, which are not only protective of your skin, but also the best moisturizer for your individual skin.
When we strip away our natural oils, one of two things happens. If you’re prone to oily skin – your skin will overproduce oil.
If you’re prone to dry skin, you’re washing away what precious natural oils your skin is producing!
Basically, this is the opposite of what you want to do.
Oil cleansing is a natural, healthy, effective way to wash your face with stripping your skin of natural oils. As an added bonus, oil cleansing is the perfect way to remove makeup. It easily removes foundation, blush, mascara, eyeliner – all of it. And it does so with no harsh chemicals or disruption of the natural balance of your skin.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
It balances oil production.
It’s a fact that oil dissolves oil. This is what makes oil cleansing so beneficial for oily and acne-prone skin. Like I mentioned above, when we strip our face of its natural oil, it produces more. Or, if you have dry skin – you’re making it that much harder for your skin to retain hydration.
It’s the perfect makeup remover.
I wear makeup pretty much every day. Not a full face, but I’m usually wearing tinted SPF, mascara, eyebrow filler and maybe a little bronzer. Prior to oil cleansing, I had to wash my face not once but twice (!) and then use makeup remover when I got out of the shower to remove my mascara.
Oil is the perfect makeup remover. It dissolves all makeup and will even take off waterproof mascara!
It gently exfoliates removing dead skin cells, blackheads dirt, and bacteria.
Because you’re using a washcloth to remove the oil from your face, this will gently exfoliate. When removing the oil, you use a hot washcloth in gentle, circular motions. This is a great way to remove dead skin cells and leave you with fresh, glowing skin.
It hydrates your skin perfectly.
I can’t emphasize this enough. Because you’re not stripping your skin of its natural oils, your oil production is naturally balanced through the oil cleansing method. Whether you have oily or dry skin, this will help your skin normalize its oil production.
Have you ever noticed that your skin feels a bit tight after cleansing? That’s because you just washed away all that precious oil, now you have to add it back and most people use moisturizers full of synthetic, toxic ingredients. This is entirely avoided with the oil cleansing method.
It leaves you looking fresh, dewy, healthy and hydrated.
Oil cleansing removes oil, balances sebum, gently exfoliates, minimizes pores – all of this adds up to beautiful, glowing skin. This is the most natural, organic way to care for your skin.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
First, determine your skin type. Oily and acne prone? Dry and aging? Balanced?
When I was first introduced to oil cleansing, I used the recommendations from this website and still use the percentages, but mix up the oils I use.
- Oily skin: Try a blend of 30% castor oil to 70% sunflower seed oil.
- Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% castor oil to 80% sunflower seed oil.
- Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% castor oil to 90% sunflower seed oil.
For oily prone skin, I love using argan oil and olive oil with my castor oil. For dry skin and balanced skin, I think sunflower is still a great recommendation. I just prefer argan and olive for oily and acne prone skin (which is what I definitely have).
Because oil cleansing is becoming so popular, many companies are now jumping on the bandwagon and making oil cleansing products.
There are two issues with this: the first being that they charge an exorbitant amount of money for something that is very cheap to make and you could easily make at home. The second is that many companies also add unnecessary, toxic ingredients. Don’t waste your money on this stuff. If you don’t want to make it yourself, I do make oil cleansers via Ancestral Organics.
If you have oily and/or acne prone skin, check out the Clear Cleansing Oil.
If you have aging or dry skin, check out the Youthful Cleansing Oil.
If you just have normal skin, check out the Balance Cleansing Oil.
How To Cleanse
Once you’ve determined your skin type and have your oils mixed up in the proper ratio, use about half a teaspoon and massage it into your dry skin. Using circular motions, massage the oil all over your face. I even rub it onto my eyes when they’re closed to remove mascara. Massage all over your face and neck for at least two minutes.
Once you’ve massaged the oil all over, run your washcloth under hot water. Wring it out, then lay it over your face to steam. This will open your pores. After about 30 seconds, wipe off all the oil, makeup, debris, bacteria, dead skin cells, etc.
Repeat this two or three times, until the everything is completely removed and your skin is totally clean.