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Is the Oil Cleansing Method the Answer for All-Natural Flawless Skin?

March 12, 2014

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Have you ever read the ingredient list on a bottle of store-bought facial cleanser? Yikes! All those chemicals, sulfates, and preservatives are not only bad for your health, they can also be quite irritating to your skin. Turns out there’s a better way to wash your face, no chemicals involved, and it doesn’t involve buying any obscure or expensive products. That better way is oil cleansing. Sure, it might seem counterintuitive to cover your face in oil, but trust me. Once you give it a try, and see the glowing skin it reveals, you’ll wish you’d discovered it sooner. 

How Oil Cleansing Works

Oil cleansing works because of the principle that “like attracts like.” You wash your face with plant oils, which then stick to the oils in your skin (sebum) and dirt. When you rinse away the plant oils, all that excess sebum and dirt rinses right away with it, and you’re left with a clean, clear complexion. Plus, your skin will be more nourished because the plant oils leave behind omega-3 fatty acids that keep your skin soft, elastic, and hydrated.

How to Use the Oil Cleansing Method

Oil cleansing can replace both your makeup remover and facial cleanser because it gently but effectively removes cosmetics, sebum, sweat, and dirt. Cleaning your face with oil is a simple four step process.

1. Making gentle, circular motions with your fingertips, work about ½ teaspoon of oil onto your face. Massage your skin for about 30 seconds for regular cleansing, or up to two minutes if you are wearing a lot of makeup or have a significant amount of dirt, sweat, or oil on your face. 

2. Moisten a washcloth with warm water. You should make the water as warm as you can comfortably tolerate. Wring out the washcloth and place it on for face for 10-15 seconds to dissolve the oil.

3. Rinse your face with warm water until all of the oil is removed. You can use a moistened washcloth to wipe oil away or simply splash water on your face. 

4. Gently pat your skin dry using a clean towel.

Which Oils Should I Use?

One of the great things about oil cleansing is its versatility. You can use a wide variety of oils, or even a combination of different oils. Popular oil choices include castor, hazelnut, jojoba, olive, chamomile, sweet almond, grapeseed, apricot kernel, argan, avocado, and sunflower seed oils. Here are some popular oil blends to help get you started:

Oily and Acne-Prone Skin: Castor and Hazelnut Oils

Castor and hazelnut oils excel at removing excess sebum from the skin, making them perfect choices for oily skin types. These oils can be over-drying if used straight, so it’s a good idea to add them to a milder oil, like jojoba or sunflower. A good guideline is to mix 1 part castor or hazelnut oil with 2 parts jojoba or sunflower oil. 

Dry Skin: Avocado and Argan Oils

Avocado and argan oils are super moisturizing, making them an excellent choice for dry skin. If you find these oils a little too moisturizing for your skin type, add a bit of castor or hazelnut oil to make the cleanser a little more astringent. Start with 1 part castor or hazelnut to 3 parts avocado or argan, and adjust as necessary until you find a combination you like. 

Combination Skin: Jojoba and Sweet Almond Oils

Jojoba and sweet almond oils are perfect for combination skin because they are both gentle and mildly moisturizing, and similar to the natural sebum your skin produces. Mix these two oils 50/50 for a balanced skin cleanser. 

Sensitive Skin: Jojoba and Chamomile Oils

If you have sensitive skin, you need to be careful to choose oils that won’t irritate your skin and that have a calming effect. Jojoba and chamomile oils are the best choice to start with. Jojoba is very gentle because it is very similar to your skin’s natural oils, while chamomile oil helps reduce redness, irritation, and inflammation, making it an excellent addition to jojoba oil. A good guideline is to mix 1 part jojoba to 2 parts chamomile oil. 

Normal Skin: Grapeseed, Apricot, and Castor Oils

If you have normal skin, an oil mixture that is neither too astringent nor too moisturizing is best. A mixture of 1 part castor oil, 2 parts apricot oil, and 2 parts grapeseed oil makes a cleanser that is ideal for most normal skin types.

It make take your skin a week or two to adjust to the oil cleansing method. Commercial cleansers are harsh and remove too much of your skin’s natural oil, so when you first stop using them, your skin may begin to temporarily produce too much or too little oil. After a week or two of using the oil cleansing method, your skin’s oil production will balance out, revealing clear, healthy, beautiful skin. 

Have you tried the oil cleansing method? What’s your favorite oil combination? Share in the comments below!