I'm pretty surprised I haven't discussed this on the blog. I tried this about two years ago and failed, but have revamped my technique and started up again. I heard about this when I became more aware of carrier oils and their many uses for our hair AND skin. If this is your first time hearing about this then sit back and absorb what I'm about to discuss.
The Oil Cleansing Method
The Oil Cleansing Method, or OCM is cleansing your face with a certain oil or a mixture of oils. You rub the oils into your face and neck and then allow a hot clean washcloth to warm the oils by placing it on your face until it cools. Now there are more particulars such as which oils to use, carrier and essential along with others but you have just been briefed on the basics of the method.
The Skincare Industry
The skincare industry has taught us that oil is bad! Bad, bad, bad but yet we don't want wrinkles and dry skin and oils help with both of those issues. It's pretty much a contradiction in what consumers want and what the beauty industry is trying to sell us. If you suffer from acne then you know the vicious cycle we find ourselves in with the cleaning, toning, moisturizing, spot-treatments, blah, blah, blah.... You can spend hundred of dollars trying to first dry out your skin and then add the moisture or the natural oils that your products have depleted without having an oily face.
How it works
First off, oil and water do not mix yet oil can dissolve other oils. Our skin naturally produces oils because our skin needs it and although you may feel that applying oil to your face will bring an oily clogged up mess, it will do just the opposite. OCM is using oils to naturally dissolve the dirty oils or impurities on your face without stripping it by the usage of chemicals. This method removes makeup, including eye makeup, better than any product on the beauty isle. You may also NOT need a moisturizer afterward but depends on you and your skin.
What to use
This is the tricky part. The method requires a carrier oil and many using this method believe in using Castor oil and olive oil in varying degrees according to your skin type: oil, dry, or normal. There are so many other wonderful oils out there so don't feel you HAVE to use just those two. You can mix your carrier oils too and if you choose to use Castor oil you will want to mix it with another oil. Castor oil is thick and another oil like olive or grapeseed oil will work well with it. Here are some benefits to all the oils you can use:
Coconut - This favorite oil is antimicrobial, full of antioxidants, and super moisturizing.
Grapeseed – excellent for all skin types, especially oily skin.
Avocado – really good for dry and aging skin.
Olive – excellent for all skin types.
Apricot Kernel – wonderful for dry and aging skin.
Argan – good for all skin types, and even better for aging skin. This is tons pricier than the other oils, but full of moisture.
Castor - is a great antibacterial and is the best for cleaning skin.
Almond - great for oily skin.
Adding essential oils is great for fragrance or for their benefits as well. I add a few drops of lavender oil in my mix since it's a great disinfectant and helps to kill bacteria. Many essential oils have healing properties so you may want to add one. An essential oil is not necessary but if you are a mixtress you may have one you already like.
How to do it
You will need:
Your oil or oil mixture
at least one washcloth
hot running water
Wash your hands and place about a quarter size amount of your oil mixture in the palm of your hand and add a few drops of your essential oil if you have chosen one. Rub in your hands to warm the oil then rub them on your face and neck always rubbing in an upward motion. This is removing the makeup, impurities and dirt off your face. Massage the oil in for two minutes. Wash your hands well and proceed to the next step.
The next step is to steam the skin so pick up your clean washcloth and let it soak in the hot water. I use a bowl for this or you can use your sink but make sure it's clean. Now remember to use warm or hot water but not scalding because we are trying to open the pores not gives ourselves 2nd or 3rd degree burns! Lay your washcloth on your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. Once it has cooled wipe the oil from your face gently. If you feel you need to do it twice then either clean that first washcloth well or use another one and repeat the process of soaking it in hot water. Apply on face, allow to cool and wipe away any excess oil gently. No scrubbing the face!!
You may want to splash your face with cold water to close the pores you have opened but not everyone does this. It's truly up to you.
Now you are done with cleansing your face. If your face feels tight apply some oil as a moisturizer and it can be the oil you chose or some other oil like coconut. Coconut oil provides deep and real moisture and strengthens underlying tissue.
- You are going to go through many washcloths. I picked up some extra ones since I usually use two each time I cleanse my face especially if I wore makeup.
- Always use a clean washcloth as the dirt and impurities will be on a used washcloth and you don't want that back on your face.
- Don't over cleanse your face by doing this too often. You can irritate your skin by doing this too often. Some do this nightly, every other day or a couple of days a week. Twice a day may be too often. You can splash your face with clean water in the morning or like me I just splash my lavender water on my face from my spray bottle.
- Not every oil works for everybody so don't give up if one oil is not for you. I tired this about two years ago and used Castor oil and olive oil and hated it! I now use Jojoba oil /lavender oil mix that I have found is working great for me. Back when I first researched about this method all these other oils weren't really mentioned but it seems more people are using different oils to fit their skin type.
This post is long and I apologize but I wanted to make sure you understood the method and how it can be useful for you. I'm going to save a lot of money doing this because my normal routine was pricey and this is much cheaper. I also love the idea of using natural ingredients to cleanse my face and will soon be using natural or more natural body washes as I find myself gravitating to more Natural ways of living. I am no expert on hair or skin but just like sharing the many ways of keeping ourselves beautiful.
Take care of your beautiful skin Naturals,