Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Frugal Luxuries: Oil Cleansing Method

two finished cleansers - one lavender and one grapefruit
You can wash your face with oil. And your skin will thank you.


I have combination skin, the kind of combination skin that not only is dry in the dry areas and oily in the oily areas, but will also flake and peel in the oily areas and break out in the dry areas. Blessed, I know. I’ve been trying to find a good skincare method since I was 12. I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars trying this and that wonder product, I’ve listened to consultants, I’ve done it all within reason and available budget.

Over the years I’ve found a few things to be true about my skin:
  • “Professionals” would tell me my skin is oily, and I know there was an oil slick going across my forehead, but it still felt tight and dry
  • Exfoliation does wonders for my peeling areas
  • I tend to get hormonal/stress related acne, which I can’t do a lot about
  • Undiluted witch hazel was my best defense against acne, and still is
  • I have freckles, and I choose to embrace them
  • And the best thing I’ve ever done for my skin is slather it in oil

Really? Oil to cleanse your face? You may ask. Yes. Our faces produce a lot of oil, and the best thing to dissolve it is oil. Think of it like cleaning oil paint out of paint brushes – harsh chemicals will work, but oil will too. Oil to clean oil. It’s even recommended by acne.com members. And, if you have dry skin oil is of course going to help moisturize.

My basic method is this:
Mix equal parts canola oil and olive oil. Massage a dime to nickel sized amount all over my face. Place a hot, damp washcloth over my face, let it sit for a minute or so to steam the pores, then wipe off the oil. If my face feels too dry (yes, that can happen), I moisturize with a little extra oil. I do this every day that I wear makeup. Sometimes when I’m in a rush I won’t steam my face, I’ll just wipe it off with a warm washcloth.

The basic rule of thumb recommended by people using the oil cleansing method is to use equal parts castor oil (which is a drying oil, don’t use it alone) and olive oil. I use canola and olive, and I find that works great for me.  This last time I added a few drops of grapefruit essential oil to a 1/3 cup batch of cleansing oil. Smells amazing, and has astringent properties. 

The key with doing the oil cleansing method is finding the right combination of oils for your skin. You can use any type of oil – some are more moisturizing, some smell better, and some are a lot less expensive than others. Common ones are olive, sunflower, almond, grapeseed, jojoba, hazelnut, flaxseed, and evening primrose. You can use vegetable oil if you really want to and it works for you, you can’t get much more frugal than that! Play around with the types and proportions until you find a combination that works well for you. And remember to give it a few days – some people have a bit of a transition time where their face can purge old ickiness, but it does get better.

Below I’ve listed a few additional resources on oil cleansing:
The Oil Cleansing Method
How to Clean Your Face Naturally and don’t forget to check out the comments
WFMW: Facial Cleansing
Skincare 101: The Oil Cleansing Method

Have you tried cleansing your face with oil? If so - What did you think? If not - Will you give it a shot?

Stay tuned - tomorrow I'll be covering exfoliation with sugar!


~ Regan said...

Trying this... so far, I'm using castor and olive. Haven't gotten down the ratios quite right, so it seems very drying. I am going to add a lot mor olive, or maybe some veg. I also want to add some tea tree oil. Good news: I haven't broken out at all since using it! :)
Thanks Jessie, for sharing!

Jessie said...

I leave the castor oil out completely (that's the drying oil), and it still can leave my face a little dry.

The tea tree oil will help to kill off any bacteria, as will grapefruit or lavendar (which is why I added it to mine).

Good luck! :)

Dawn @ 5 Kids and a Dog said...

I just made up a little bottle of half and half castor oil to EVOO. I also have combination skin, and since I'm just trying this out I would rather start this way and then adjust as needed. Today was my first day using it. So far? I love it. I am going to buy some essential oil to add to it though, possibly tea tree.