When I first heard about cleansing my face with oil I thought “No way, not me!” See, for the most part of my adolescence and early adult life, I was suffering from a pretty severe case of acne, and forever and ever I was told to keep any type of oil away from my face. The going prescription was oil-free face wash, oil-free moisturizer, and some harshly exfoliating treatment for the night.
Well, it didn’t help the acne, and possibly even made it worse. But I bought the whole rationale of it, if acne is due to excess oil (sebum) in your pores, then keep the oil as far as possible away from your face.
The Oil Cleansing Method
It turns out, I was wrong. Still, when I decided to give the oil cleansing method a try, it was with great apprehension. But it didn’t take me long to become a total believer. It turns out that only oil can dissolve oil, hence if you want to clean the oils and excess sebum out of your pores, call oil to the rescue!
Additionally, using oil on your face ensures that your face doesn’t come in contact with harsh soaps or other toxic chemicals. The hyped “anti-bacterial” soaps cause only harm, stripping the face of the essential oils needed for the skin’s health and vibrancy. When the skin on the face is stripped of these oils, it tries to overcompensate by over-producing the sebum and so the cycle goes.
If your goal is to remove makeup and leave behind some natural oils on your face, oil cleansing can be a reasonable option. The oil applied to the face will dissolve makeup and some oil-based dirt and sweat.Dr. Carmen Traywick
Best Oils for Oil Cleansing
It is okay to use a single oil for oil cleansing. However, a mix of two or three oils, chosen for a specific skin type will work best.
Since different oils have different properties, they are suited for different skin types:
- Avocado oil– nourishing and rich in essential and trace minerals and Vitamin A
- Sunflower oil– high amounts of vitamins A, B, D and E, minerals, lecithin, unsaturated fatty acids, and is easily absorbed into the skin
- Grapeseed oil– high content of essential fatty acid, linoleic acid, it also has astringent qualities and is good for oily and acne-prone skin
- Sweet Almond oil– monounsaturated oil with medium viscosity, it won’t leave the skin greasy
- Hemp Seed oil – high in omega fatty acids and proteins, readily absorbed into the skin
- Rosehip oil– rich in essential fatty acids and a natural source of the antioxidant Vitamin C and Vitamin E, excellent in treating many skin conditions
- Castor oil – high in ricinoleic acid, which gives it its high viscosity; it acts as a humectant by attracting and retaining moisture to the skin
Simple Cleansing Oils for Different Skin Types
Below are only suggestions. Feel free to play around.
- Dry skin: 6 parts avocado, 3 parts of sunflower, 1 part castor (use less if the skin is extremely dry)
- Normal skin: 8 parts sunflower, 2 parts castor
- Oily/ Acne-prone skin: 4 parts hemp seed, 4 parts grapeseed; 2 parts castor
- Aging skin: 2 parts sunflower, 4 parts almond, 3 parts rosehip, 1 part castor
For any mixture of oils, you can add a few drops of essential oils to enhance results and for the sheer pleasure of an enticing aroma. But really only a few (1-2 per 1 ounce of oil to avoid any burning in the eye area). Here are some essential oils with great benefits for the skin (I’m linking to my favorite therapeutic grade essential oil company, Edens Garden):
- Lavender, Rose, Geranium for drier skin types
- Lemongrass or Ylang Ylang for oilier skin types
- Frankincense, Myrrh, Neroli for aging skin
How to Oil-Cleanse?
It is so simple and yet so pleasurable, I like to make a little ritual out of it. If you wear make-up, there is no need to take it off prior to oil cleansing. I oil cleanse only at night.
- Mix your oils into a bottle (it’s best to have one with a dispenser so that there is no risk contaminating it by sticking your fingers in there)
- Prepare a clean washcloth or small towel
- Make sure your water from the faucet is very warm, even hot. Place and soak your washcloth under the running hot water
- Get a quarter size of the oil mixture into the palm of your hand
- Massage the oils into your skin for a minute or two. Relax and enjoy.
- Wring the water out of the washcloth and place it on your face for half a minute or so and then wipe off the excess oil with it.
- Clean the washcloth under the hot water, wring, and wipe your face once more.
That’s it. All make-up should be gone, your pores should be nice and clean. With zero harsh chemicals, only pure cleanliness from nature.
Questions about Oils Cleansing for Face
If you are just starting with this method, you might have some questions:
How often should I oil cleanse?
It’s okay to do it every day. I would not suggest oil cleansing in the morning unless you slept in your makeup (which of course, is a big no-no). But doing it nightly is perfectly fine.
Should I tone after oil cleansing?
It is totally up to you. I prefer to tone afterward. Maybe it is because I love my rosewater toner so much:). But if you find that your skin tends to be very dry and does better without toning, then there is absolutely no need to tone.
Do you moisturize after oil cleansing?
Again, I do because I want to use my Hyaluronic Acid Serum and my Face Oil with all their benefits to regenerate the skin during the night. I can imagine that someone with oily skin might find it sufficient to oil cleanse and then just leave the skin alone. Personal preference.
I hope you are going to become a convert like I did. It really made a huge difference in my skin. I hope it’ll work for you as well. Let me know, if you have any questions about this cleansing method. Enjoy!