Though it sounds somewhat crazy at first, the idea of using natural oils to cleanse the skin gently actually makes a lot of sense. The basic idea of oil cleansing is to use natural oils in specific combination to cleanse the skin and naturally balance the skin’s natural oils. This produces much more nourished and moisturized skin that traditional soap and detergent based facial cleaners.
The basic concept of this skin care and cleansing method is that the oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores. The steam will open your pores, allowing the oil to be easily removed. Should you need it, the smallest drop of the same oil formula patted over damp skin will provide the necessary lubrication to keep your skin from over-compensating in oil production.
Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principles of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum or oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.
Is it effective?
This is the part I’m most excited to share! Even in third trimester of pregnancy, when my skin usually goes a little hormone-crazy, I have ZERO breakouts, red pots, or splotches! For the past two months, I’ve been using only oil cleansing (and occasionally, a plain antibacterial microfiber cloth to remove makeup if I don’t need to completely cleanse skin again).
When I first started using Oil Cleansing, I had an adjustment period where my skin got worse for about a week. Most resources I’ve seen suggest that this is a detox reaction as impurities are pulled from the skin, and this is definitely what it seemed to be for me. After that, my skin gradually improved and by 3-4 weeks of using only oil cleansing, I had no excess oil, no dry skin, and no blackheads.
I cringe when I think of the dozens of chemical laden products I used, especially in high school, to try to keep my acne under control! The skin care industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it seems that the best solution is one of the most simple, inexpensive, and easy!
I asked several friends and family members who now use the oil cleansing method how it has worked for them, and they seemed to have the same results. Some even noted that the combination of oil cleansing and taking Gelatin daily has been the best anti-aging treatment they’ve discovered!
Oil Cleansing Ingredients
Want to try Oil Cleansing and see the results for yourself? All you need are a couple of natural oils and a clean wash cloth! The most common oils used are Castor Oil and Olive Oil, though any natural oil can be used. Castor Oil is naturally astringent, so it helps pull impurities from the skin, making it ideal for oily or combination skin (and even dry skin in lesser amounts). Castor oil should never be used undiluted on the skin, and I always add at least twice the amount of other oil as Castor Oil when making an oil blend.
There is some controversy over the growing practices for Castor Oil (the harvesting and manufacturing exposes workers to a compound that can be toxic, but it is removed in processing), so many people choose to avoid this oil. The finished castor oil is not toxic, so there is no concern there, but for those who don’t want to use it due to its un-sustainable growing practices, hazelnut oil works wonderfully in its place.
My favorite other oil to use is Olive Oil, though sunflower, safflower, or even coconut oils work great.
If you’d rather not order big quantities of all of these oils to make your own, I highly recommend this handmade blend that smells divine and works really well for oil cleansing.
The proper way of doing it
If you are new to oil cleansing, it may take a couple of tries to figure out what blend of oils works best for you. Personally, I use a mix that is 3/4 olive oil and 1/4 castor or hazelnut oil and it is perfect for my skin. Other articles I’ve seen and friends who also use the method recommend these ratios: