Several months ago I stopped washing my face with soap. Ha! I can’t help furrowing my eyebrows as I write that as it does, indeed, sound kind of gross at first read. Let me explain further. After struggling with acne and the constant nagging question of which face wash, moisturizer, spot-treatment, etc. to buy, I found myself desperately searching the internet for some solution to the endless frustration. I stumbled across a Crunchy Betty article detailing what is called the “Oil Cleansing Method.”
Why It Works
The oil cleansing method is effective for many reasons. First of all, it makes use of castor oil, which has anti-inflammatory as well as antiseptic properties, making it a powerful healing agent which can help to draw impurities out of your skin. Second, believe it or not oil actually helps to dissolve dirt, oil, and impurities in your skin (this is why many effective eye makeup removers are oil-based). Furthermore, since you are not stripping your skin of its natural oils by washing it with over-the-counter face washes (which can contain all sorts of chemicals and detergents) your skin is given an opportunity to find balance. Your skin won’t need to frantically overproduce oil to compensate for your face wash, thus leaving your pores relaxed and clog-free.
Another pleasant side-effect of this face washing method is that you won’t need to buy and use over-the-counter moisturizer any more, which may also contain strange chemicals that can be absorbed into your body through your skin. If you are interested in finding out more about the toxicity of your current skincare products, a great website is the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database which rates numerous products based on their hazard level.
If you are ready to give the oil cleansing method a try, here’s what you’ll need:
- Castor oil
- A second carrier oil (see notes below)
- A small dropper bottle or other container
- Essential oil (optional)
The carrier oil is a second oil you’ll use to dilute the castor oil, which can be very thick and actually slightly drying if used alone. I started this adventure by using olive oil, which is moisturizing, convenient, and great for all skin types. Some other great options include:
- Jojoba (great for acne prone skin)
- Sunflower Seed (normal skin)
- Sweet Almond (normal to oily)
- Avocado (normal to dry)
As far as essential oils are concerned, they are optional but can enhance the healing properties of your castor oil mixture. Lavender and chamomile essential oils, for example, can help calm irritated or inflamed skin. Tea Tree oil, with its antiseptic properties, make it a great choice for acne prone skin. Make sure to test these essential oils (diluted always) on the inside of your wrist a few hours before planning to use them on your face for the first time. Also, remember that not all essential oils are skin-friendly, so do some research first before adding them to your oil cleansing regimen. My favorite essential oil brands are Aura Cacia and Now.
How you mix your oils will depend on your skin type. Basically, you’ll want to use more castor oil if you have oily skin, and less castor oil if you have dry skin. Here’s a simple guideline:
- Oily Skin: Try a blend of 2/3 Castor Oil to 1/3 carrier oil. (for example: 2 Tablespoons castor mixed with 1 Tablespoon olive oil)
- Balanced Skin: Try an equal blend of Castor Oil and carrier oil.
- Dry Skin: Try a blend of 1/3 Castor Oil to 2/3 carrier oil.
To this mixture of oils you can add any essential oils if you are using them. I usually mix up a 3 Tablespoon batch of oil at a time, which lasts me for several weeks. I like to add about 5 drops each of lavender and tea tree essential oils for their soothing and antiseptic qualities.
The “How To” Section
Once your oils are all mixed up and ready to go, here’s what to do:
- Place a generous amount of oil (about a teaspoon OR two droppers full) in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together to warm it up.
- Using both hands, massage the oil into your face, using gentle circular motions. Give your face a nice massage and try to relax.
- After a minute or two, soak a washcloth in hot tap water, wring it out, and place it gently over your face to steam your skin.
- Wait until the washcloth cools and then use it to carefully wipe any excess oil from your skin.
- That’s it! Behold your radiant, clean skin. If your skin feels a little dry still, you can rub a few drops of oil between your hands and press it gently into your skin.
I use the oil cleansing method to cleanse my skin several times a week, and simply rinse my face with lukewarm water on my off days. In addition to simply being a great daily cleanser, oil is a powerful makeup remover and the only one I use anymore (on the rare occasions when makeup meets my face).
It may take several weeks for your skin to fully adjust, so be patient and let me know how it goes. If your skin gets dry in between oil cleanses, simply rub a few drops of oil between your fingertips and press it gently into your skin. I hope that you’ve found this article both informative and helpful, and that you give this method a try. I love how natural it is and how much my skin seems to glow after I wash it using oil!
If you’re interested in reading more about the Oil Cleansing Method, another great resource is: TheOilCleansingMethod.com.
Prefer to Buy Pre-Blended Oil?
Check out the Creative Simple Life Etsy Store for our 4-in-1 Face & Body Oil. This special blend can be used for oil cleansing and moisturizing, as a makeup remover, massage oil, or as a bath oil! Choose from two great scents (lavender or geranium) or choose unscented! Purchase some here!
Resources to get started: