If your skin is naturally oily (like mine) don’t be put off by the word “oil” in the title, this cleansing method works on all skin types. And if you’re concerned about acne, and how cleansing your skin with oil might accidentally flare it up, rest assured you have nothing to worry about.
What is Oil Cleansing?
This is a new topic for me also, as I’ve only just started this type of cleansing myself. Oli Cleansing is simply using a specific combination of natural oils to cleanse the skin and balance the skin’s natural oils. Makes sense, right? This method results in skin that is much more moisturised and healthy.
Here, theoilcleansingmethod.com (the website dedicated to this method of cleansing) explains that:
The Oil Cleansing Method operates on the premise that oil dissolves oil. Your skin naturally lubricates itself with oil… Do not be afraid of applying oil to your face. Oil, alone, will not produce blemishes. Pimples, cysts, zits, blackheads, whiteheads…these are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the buildup of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it… It is there for the benefit of your skin, allowing it to function properly. It is naturally occurring. Not only does your natural oil help lubricate, but it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your skin so that it may do it’s job.
Does The Oil Cleansing Method Actually Work?
When I first started using Oil Cleansing, I went through a period of adjustment where my skin got worse for about a week. This is apparently normal though as it is thought to be a detox reaction to the impurities being pulled from the skin, which made sense to me. After this short detox period, my skin has started to gradually improve and I’m beginning to see less excess oil, less dry skin, and less blackheads… Wooooo! I’ve read that it can take around 3-4 weeks of using only oil cleansing for your skin to fully reap the benefits of this form of cleansing, but every person is different. Just know your skin will love you for it in the long-run.
How to Oil Cleanse
Keen to try Oil Cleansing out for yourself? Great! It’s really simple to do.
Castor Oil and Olive Oil are the most common oils used, though you can use any natural oil. Castor Oil is great in that it naturally helps pull impurities from the skin, making it an ideal oil to use if you have oily or combination skin. Just make sure you dilute the Castor Oil before using it, it should never be used undiluted on the skin. It is recommended that you add twice the amount of other oil as Castor Oil when making an oil blend.
Now, the growing practices for Castor Oil are quite controversial, as during harvesting and manufacturing, workers can be exposed to a toxic compound that is removed during processing. The finished Castor Oil is safe and not toxic, so there’s nothing to be concerned about there, but a lot of people (including me) choose to avoid this oil due to its unsustainable growing practices. A great substitute for this oil is Hazelnut Oil.
Olive Oil is a favourite of mine to use, though coconut, safflower, or sunflower oil work well too.
Oil Cleansing Instructions
If you’re new to Oil Cleansing, it may take a couple of attempts to figure out what oil blends work best for you and your skin type. I personally use a blend that is 3/4 olive oil and 1/4 hazelnut oil, and this works really well for me. Other articles I’ve read have recommended these ratios:
- Dry skin: All nourishing oils like Olive Oil, or add a very small amount of Hazelnut/Castor Oil to the nourishing oils.
- Combination skin: 1/4 Hazelnut or Castor Oil and 3/4 Olive, Sunflower, or other oil.
- Oily skin: 1/3 Hazelnut or Castor Oil and 2/3 Olive, Sunflower or other oil.
To find out the best blend that works for you, I’d recommend starting with the suggested ratios above for your skin type and adjusting it overtime if needed.
How to Use:
- At the bathroom sink or in the shower, pour around a quarter size amount of the oil blend onto your hand and massage it into the skin on your face. Make sure your skin is dry, don’t wet it first. Let this be a gentle facial massage and use smooth circular strokes to rub the oil in. Massage for 1-2 minutes or until the oil has saturated your skin. You can leave the oil on for up to 10 minutes to really clean your pores.
- Place a clean washcloth under really hot tap or shower water until it is completely soaked, then wring it out. Open it and place over your face. This will create steam against the skin to remove the oils and any impurities in the skin. Leave the washcloth on for about a minute, or until it cools. Repeat if needed with the other side of the washcloth and then use the corners of the washcloth to gently remove any oil remaining on your skin. There will still be a thin layer of oil on the skin and this is beneficial.
- No moisturiser is generally needed after the adjustment period.
- It’s normal for the skin to take a week or two to adjust, and your skin may become a bit oilier and breakout a little more as impurities leave the skin. If you can, resist the urge to use harsh soaps or facial cleansers during this time, as it will make the adjustment period take longer.
- If you do this in the shower, make sure to clean the shower floor regularly so it doesn’t get slippery!
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products.
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Have you tried oil cleansing before? What ratios do you use? Share in the comments below!
Wells, Katie. (January 9, 2019). Oil Cleansing Method for Naturally Perfect Skin. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/7569/oil-cleansing-method/
Why Cleanse with Oil?. The Oil Cleansing Method. Retrieved from https://theoilcleansingmethod.com/why-cleanse-with-oil/