Everyone wants supple, clear, glowing skin that ages with grace and exudes good health. In order to have healthy skin, we obviously first have to start with a nutritious diet and look at our lifestyle for factors like stress, sleep, happiness, exposure to environmental toxins and so on.
While lifestyle and nutrition play enormous roles in the health an appearance of our skin, we can still do a lot to affect it’s health and beauty by what we put on it and how we treat it with products and cleansing agents.
Unfortunately a lot of commercial cleansers for skin strip the skin of the naturally occurring oils that keep the skin hydrated, elastic, and balanced which can ultimately do more harm than good. I would like to share my experience of a skin care method called Oil Cleansing Method which I have personally used for several years that completely transformed the condition of my facial skin.
Oil cleansing is a method by which a suitable oil or blend of natural oils are massaged into the skin of the face for several minutes in order to remove makeup, cleanse the pores and skin oils, and provide an invigorating facial massage.
Prior to oil cleansing I suffered on both ends of the skin spectrum from severe acne for many years following high school all the way to the other end of the spectrum with skin so dry and irritable it would crack, peel, and hurt. I was constantly in battle with my skin until I realized that harsh cleansers were causing the irritation and that my irritated skin was then a perfect environment for acne breakouts. Then I would be so stressed out by my skin problems and how badly my skin looked and felt, that my stress would further worsen the problems. It was a bad cycle.
Eventually I read about the oil cleansing method a few years back and after only a short period, I can say that I literally have ceased to have acne altogether and also almost never suffer from dry or peeling skin on my face other than the coldest part of the harsh NY winter. I get a lot of compliments on how nice my skin looks and whereas I use to never leave the house barefaced, I almost never wear makeup anymore.
What’s great about the oil cleansing method is that it is appropriate and beneficial regardless of your skin type or the skin ailments you may be dealing with because even if you have skin that tends to be oily, the natural sebum of the skin is still essential to skin health. Because the oils on our skin are suppose to be there, we can use various oils to cleanse the naturally occurring oils and to balance the oil level of our skin without leaving it dry. When we strip the oils completely, the skin must overcompensate to replace them, thus leading to a state of imbalance.
These instructions suggest a blend of sunflower seed oil and castor oil. I started with a blend of castor oil and jojoba oil but now I usually use coconut oil (and not just for oil cleansing, but for EVERYTHING related to body care).
These instructions are found on Theoilcleansingmethod.com
Your Personal Oil Blend
The starting point for creating your own, personalized skin cleansing oil blend is knowing your general skin type. Those with dry skin will want less Castor Oil. Those with oily skin will want to blend in more. Finding your perfect combination of oils will probably take a little bit of trial and error, so start with very small batches. Once you know what your ratio of oils looks like, you’ll be able to blend much more at a time for convenience.
Some suggestions in creating your blend of deep cleansing oil:
- Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil.
- Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil.
- Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil.
You can vary these percentages to match your own skins needs. If your skin feels too dry, you’ll need to use less Castor Oil and replace it with more Sunflower Seed Oil. Keep in mind that Castor Oil is the drawing, cleansing, and purging oil for your pores. The Sunflower Seed Oil is to dilute the Castor Oil in viscosity (thickness) and additionally provide moisture, nutrients, and other benefits. My own, personal blend, for my sometimes oily, sometimes dry, frequently flakey, and easily irritated skin is about 25% Castor Oil to 75% Sunflower Seed Oil. I mix and store my mixture in a clean four-ounce flip-top bottle for convenience. When you go to replenish your oil blend, I suggest cleaning your bottle thoroughly with dish soap or the dishwasher. Better yet, if you can replace the bottle, this is ideal. We want to be extremely cautious in introducing bacteria to the bottle.
The Oil Cleansing Method
First and foremost, this is typically done in the evening, prior to bed. There should be no need for deep cleansing in the morning if you’re waking up with skin cleansed the night before. In the morning, a quick wipe with a warm washcloth should suffice. We don’t want to overcleanse our skin as this will serve only to irritate and cause more oil production. The objective of using this method is to deep clean while balancing our skins oil production at the same time.
- You’ll need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water.
- Pour a generous puddle of oil into the palm of your hand. Roughly, the size of a quarter, but more is acceptable. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and smooth over your face.
- Begin massaging the oil into your face. This will remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities, so there is no need to use a makeup remover or wash your face prior to the massage. I’ve found that this removes even my stubborn waterproof mascara and concealor.
- Using slow, firm motions across the skin, massage the oil deeply into your pores. Take your time and focus on your problem areas. You want the oil to work into your pores so that blackheads and the like can be dissolved and steamed away.
- As you’re massaging, let your mind drift off to something calming and breathe deeply. Take this time to relax and release some of the stress that your body is harboring. Sit down, breathe deeply, and take your time. Give the oil enough time to work on dissolving the impurities in your pores and give yourself enough time to unwind. Picture what your face would look like if it were completely clear and free from blemishes. Focus on that image and know that it is attainable. Trust that it is attainable. Accept that it is attainable. You can have clear skin, free of blemishes and you will have clear skin, free of blemishes. Focus on perfect skin and breathe deeply.
- Once you’re satisfied that your pores are saturated and you’re feeling calm, pick up your washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. Cool water will not open your pores, nor will it remove the oil efficiently. We’re not scalding our skin, we’re steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. We’re essentially steaming our skin as an esthetician would, but without the luxury of a steam machine.
- Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores releasing the impurities. Wipe the oil gently away and rinse the washcloth well in hot, running water. Hold the washcloth to your face again, allowing it to cool. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub, as you’ll find it’s completely unnecessary and your skin will be soft, smooth, and free of flakes without the additional manual exfoliation and irritation that will result. Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.
- Have no fear of the oil, as the steamy washcloth will remove it. The Castor Oil, though it is an oil, will help with the removal of the other oils, as well. It is our main cleansing oil and is easily removed with warm water.
- If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend, rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow!
How often should you do the oil cleansing method? It depends on your skin type and your needs. You will probably not need to do an in depth cleansing more than a few times per week, but basic oil cleansing can be done daily to remove makeup or environmental grime. Experiment with this method for at least several weeks because for some people, it may take awhile to adjust and to find the right oil blend, and the skin may need to detoxify a bit as well.
I hope you have found this information useful and that this method works as well for you as it has for me.