May 21, 2014

How to Cleanse Your Skin Using the Oil Cleansing Method

Oil Cleansing

Oil cleansing........evvvver heard of it? Chances are, you've seen these little bottles of oil around the block but have been a bit scared off by the thought of putting straight oil on your face. From the time we were a part of the puberty gang, most of us were taught that anything with the word "oil" in it, especially near or on our faces, was BAD BAD BAD. I mean, we practically had the stuff coming out of every pore and gland on our entire body, why the hell would we willingly add more to the mix?!

Well, I'm here to tell you that oil can be good for our skin. Have you ever heard the phrase "eat (good) fat to lose fat"? This is somewhat along the same lines. Using cleansing oils to "break down" the oil, makeup, and grime on our faces can be a really effective and nourishing way to cleanse our skin. The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) is nothing new and has been around for decades, however, the beauty industry is really starting to embrace this method and as the trend is picking up steam, there are all sorts of different oils for just about every skin type out there. I think it's important to note that just with everything else health and beauty related out there, oil cleansing might not work for everyone. While this is a great method of cleansing without stripping the skin (and in some cases, balancing overactive oil glands for those who are oily in some areas and dry in others) there are some skin types that may not benefit from this method. One skin type in particular that comes to mind are those that suffer from deep-set, cystic acne. Frequently with that type of skin, there are deeper rooted issues going on under the surface, that topical methods either don't help, or can just plain exasperate further. Any other people with serious skin conditions (and by serious, I mean being treated by a dermatologist) should discuss any new method, treatment or product with their doctor before proceeding as to not worsen an existing problem.
There are two main "types" of oils, Conditioning and Astringent. Conditioning oils are nourishing and moisturizing to the skin and are typically great for dry, sensitive and aging skin (examples: Almond, avocado, hemp seed, olive oil). Astringent oils have a drying effect and can be really good for combination and oily skin (examples: Hazelnut, castor, borage, grapeseed). A lot of times they will refine (shrink) pores and tighten loose skin.
There, now that that's out of the way, let's discuss how to cleanse the skin using oil:

1 | Prepare your materials. Get your oil, a clean/dry washcloth and a dry face or hand towel ready.
2 | Read directions on bottle. Some cleansing oils have you apply to dry skin, some have you dampen with water first. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's directions.
3 | Once applied to skin, use your fingers to rub the oil into skin in circular motions anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes (I recommend massaging the oil in longer especially if you have makeup on to make sure the oil really breaks down the makeup and penetrates the skin). Pay special attention to the inner cheeks, the nose, the chin and between the brows.
4 | Wet the washcloth with very hot (just below scalding) water, wring it out and place over your face. Apply the dry hand towel over the top to "trap" the steam in.
5 | Once the washcloth has cooled to room temperature, use the washcloth to wipe the oil from your face. 
6 | You can repeat steps 4 & 5 one to two more times until you feel you have removed all traces of makeup from your skin.
7 | All done! You will have a thin layer of oil left on the skin (this is normal). You can gently massage it into your skin. If you skin feels tight after cleansing, you can either rub a drop of your oil into your skin, or you can apply your regular moisturizer.

I have listed some of my favorite oil cleansers by skin type in the above collage (and the shopable image below), but you can also use various natural oils to cleanse your skin as well. Take a look! If you decide to make your own oil cleanser using any of the below oils, here are some helpful "recipes" taken from the Mommypotamus blog: 

Oily Skin
1:3 Ratio (1 part astringent oil to 3 parts conditioning oil)
Combination Skin
1:4 Ratio (1 part astringent oil to 4 parts conditioning oil)
Dry Skin
1:10 (1 part astringent oil to 10 parts conditioning oil)

Avocado Oil: Great for those with psoriasis, eczema and rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) and Vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E.
Borage Seed Oil: Great for those with rosacea, acne or eczema, promotes blood flow and reduces inflammation. Very calming.
Hazelnut Oil: Great for oily skin! Astringent-like properties. 
Hemp Seed Oil: Mineral rich, antioxidants, protein-packed. Great for eczema, psoriasis, acne and dry skin. Contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and E. High levels of chlorophyll.
And if you're anything like me, and you will be depending on the pros to formulate your cleansing oils, here are all of the choices that I have in my collage at the top of this post:


  1. Bobbi Brown has a great one that I how soft my skin feels after using it!

  2. Very interesting! Thanks for linking up with #BeautyBuzz!!! See you next week :)


    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the opportunity to link up! Have a great weekend!



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