I started playing around with natural beauty remedies a couple of years ago and two of the strangest (and increasingly popular) beauty treatments I read about were the no-poo method of cleaning your hair without the use of shampoo, and the oil cleansing method. The oil cleansing method involves washing your face with… you guessed it, OIL! I’m someone with combination skin that tends to get oily and shiny in the t-zone so the idea of putting oil on my already oily face was absurd. How could that work? I’ve spent so much time finding and buying products that are oil free, wouldn’t it just be throwing all that I’ve learned out the window? Yes. But guess what, it works!
Why using oil actually makes your skin LESS oily:
Oil dissolves oil. It’s that simple. When we put oil on our skin it actually dissolves any excess oil and dirt just like a cleanser would, but it doesn’t contain any harsh irritants that lead our skin to produce more oil to compensate. We actually need a healthy balance of oil on our skin. That’s why when many of us use harsh or stripping cleansers (don’t get me wrong, not all cleansers are harsh and stripping) to get rid of oily skin the skin actually starts to produce more oil to keep skin in balance. The oil cleansing method is a gentle and natural way to remove makeup, dirt, and oil buildup from the skins surface which helps keep pores from getting clogged and irritated.
What to use:
Oils that are perfect for the oil cleansing method include
- Castor oil (This oil is highly antibacterial but also drying, so it should be used in combination with another oil, called a carrier oil. The oils listed below are all perfect carrier oils)
- Jojoba oil (Good for acne prone skin. This oil’s chemical structure is very close to the chemical structure of the natural oils in skin and hair, so this oil is absorbed quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue)
- Grapeseed oil (Good for all skin types, especially oily)
- Avacado oil (Good for dry and aging skin)
- Sunflower Seed oil (Good for all skin types)
Notice coconut oil and olive oil are not listed here. It’s because these oils are much heavier and aren’t absorbed into the skin as effectively, so they tend to leave excess oily residue on the skin, clogging pores and creating dry patches. I actually used coconut oil on my face as a moisturizer for a long time but I wasn’t happy with the results. When I switched to a mix of Jojoba oil and castor oil I was really happy. Through my bad experience with coconut oil I realized that finding the right combination of oils for your skin type is very important.
The right oils for your skin type:
- Dry skin: Because castor oil can be drying, those with dry skin should use a minimal amount of castor oil. Avocado oil, Jojoba oil, and sunflower seed oil are all good for dry skin. Try using 2 parts jojoba oil and 1 part castor oil and don’t be afraid to play around with the carrier oils (anything I listed that isn’t castor oil). You can use 1 part sunflower seed oil, one part avocado oil and 1 part castor oil if you want. It takes awhile to figure out what works best for your skin, but you will amazed with the results when you do.
- Combination Skin: People with combination skin should use a bit more castor oil. Think 1 part castor oil and 1 part jojoba oil (or grape seed, or sunflower seed oil). Once again, don’t be afraid to play around with the oils you use.
- Oily Skin: People with oily skin should use 2 parts castor oil and 1 part carrier oil.
I bought my Jojoba oil at Market of Choice but I know the oils can be ordered online or found at many natural food stores. I have a container of castor oil combined with jojoba oil but many people like to just combine them every time they’re going to use them. Essential oils can also be added to your mixure. Tee tree oil is a great essential oil for acne prone skin. Whatever your skin care need, there is an essential oil to fill it.
What to do:
Many oil cleansing method lovers recommend taking your time to massage the oil mixture into your skin then heating up a washcloth and laying it over your face to steam the skin. This opens the pores and allows the oil mixture to penetrate deep into the pores and cleanse them of dirt and impurities. Once the washcloth has cooled they recommend gently rubbing the washcloth over the face to remove any excess oil, dirt, makeup, ect. from the skin. This steam and rub method can be repeated a couple of times or until you feel that your skin is clean and any excess oil has been wiped away. With this technique just make sure you don’t get the washcloth too hot. This can end up drying your skin out or shocking the skin which leads to extra oil production. Also don’t scrub your skin with the washcloth as this is irritating. After you’re finished you can choose to apply night cream or go without, depending on how you’re feeling.
Oil Cleansing method and the Clarisonic:
I love my Clarisonic so I am always trying to find natural cleansers and skin remedies to use with it. A couple weeks ago sanseref commented on one of my posts:
“Do you think it [The Clarisonic] could be used with just honey? What about combining this with the oil cleansing method? Rub the oil on, use the Clarisonic, then steam the face?” ]
This is such a great question and after trying it my answer is, yes, the clarisonic can be used with the oil cleansing method. The Clarisonic helps massage the oil into the pores for further absorption eliminating the need for the towel. I also skipped the steaming step when using the clarisonic and just rinsed my face with lukewarm water after I was finished using the clarisonic. If you do have a Clarisonic and try this method, just make sure to clean your brush heads THOROUGHLY after use. Actually, even if you’re not using it with oil remember to clean it after every use. If you don’t, bacteria can form on it and be transferred to your skin. I always rinse mine with hot water, then use a little witch hazel on it, then rinse it with hot water again. Cleaning it with an antibacterial soap would work as well, just rinse it thoroughly. I also lightly dry my brush head with a clean towel, then take the clarisonic apart to let each part dry. Storing your Clarisonic in the shower or another moist humid area can also encourage bacteria growth so try not to leave it wet.
How often should I use this method:
It’s different for everyone. I like to use this method when my skin is feeling particularly dirty and oily but I don’t use it every day. This is also the perfect thing to use if you wear a lot of makeup and want to remove it completely. It’s not necessary for some people to use this method every day, other people love to use it every day and swear by it. It really just depends on how you and your skin are feeling. Play around with it, and most importantly, give this method about a month or two before you give it up completely. It can cause flare ups of acne for the first couple of weeks because your skin is expelling more impurities than usual or just because your skin isn’t used to it yet. Try it a couple days a week for a month or so then decide if you like it or not. As with all beauty remedies, it isn’t for everyone. It’s also important to give up any harsh or irritating cleansers while trying out this method as using them both together can really confuse skin and cause acne flare ups and excess oil production. If you’re trying out the oil cleansing method but only using it a couple days a week, use a gentle cleanser the other days of the week to keep your skin happy and healthy.
Good luck! Let me know how the oil cleansing method works for you!