Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Oil Cleansing Method - How to Clean Your Face With Oil

The Oil Cleansing Method - How to Clean Your Face With Oil
I've heard about the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) for years now. I've heard all the raves about how everybody's skin cleared up and was amazing after switching to OCM. However, I just never really thought about trying it out. I mean, I was happy enough with my usual face wash routine. Sure I had to make sure to apply a moisturizer daily and before makeup. Yes, sometimes my face would be dry after a wash. Yes, my complexion wasn't as smooth as it used to be but isn't that how it always is? 

In a word, no. No, apparently your face does not need to suffer so much. It doesn't need to be too dry and while I'm sure your complexion is bound to change a bit as we age, it can look much younger than you give it credit for. 


After a particular rough winter, I was tired of dealing with my face. It was always dry. I finally had the ingredients I needed to try the Oil Cleansing Method so I did it. I finally caved in and started using OCM. 

What IS the Oil Cleansing Method? 

The Oil Cleansing Method is washing your face with oil. Oil?? Won't that wreck havoc on your skin and make you breakout even worse? Nope! Want to know why? OCM won't ruin your face because "like dissolves like". It's an odd little science fact but it's still true. A great way to remove the oil and dirt from your face is with oil. OCM can help clear up acne and balance your face so that it's not dry.

Why Would You Want to Use OCM?

1) The Oil Cleansing Method can help clear up acne and balance your face so that it's not dry.
2) It's all natural. No need to wonder what ingredients or chemicals are going on your face.
3) Face wash and makeup remover in one!
4) Since it's oil, it won't strip your skin of its natural oils (once again helps with the dryness) 
5) Works as a moisturizer as well! If you don't use OCM every day it's possible that you might still occasionally need a moisturizer but I only use OCM every few days and I no longer need a moisturizer.

How to Use the Oil Cleansing Method

1) Figure which oils you want to use and mix them up. (see below for list)
2) Get face slightly wet.
3) Message oil onto face for 1-3 minutes.
4) Get a wash cloth wet with hot (not too hot) water, squeeze out excess water and place on your face. You are essentially steaming your face. 
5) Gently wipe off the oil.
6) Rinse off wash cloth and wipe off face one more time for good measure.

That's it. You are done. OCM can be done morning and evening or just evening. I actually only use OCM if I've been wearing makeup or my face feels especially gross. 

What Oils to Use and How Much?

As I mentioned, there are tons of oils to choose from. Generally with OCM, you use castor oil as your first oil and then you choose a second oil based on your skin's needs. 

Some Second Oil Choices

Jojoba - all skin types, acne prone skin
Apricot Kernel - normal, dry, aging skin
Sunflower Seed - all skin types
Avocado - aging, dry skin
Grapeseed - all skin types, oily
Sweet Almond - all skin types, oil
Olive - all skin types
Coconut - all skin types, dry, aging*

*Note while coconut oil is generally a great oil choice it can be a comedogenic and clog pores for some people. Much like being used as a moisturizer; it is great for some and not for others. 

The castor oil is used because it's a great cleanser and anti-bacterial. However, since it's also a drying oil there are different ratios for oily, normal, and dry skin types. Please note that these ratios are just a starting point. Odds are that the ratio you choose based on skin type will work for you but if it doesn't then make some adjustments to the ratios. Just remember that more castor oil equals more drying.

OCM Ratios

Dry Skin: 1 part castor oil, 2 parts oil of choice
Normal Skin: 1 part castor oil, 1 part oil of choice
Oily Skin: 2 parts castor oil, 1 part oil of choice.

The OCM Challenge

My skin was dry and had a few break outs when I first started the Oil Cleansing Method. Nothing too horrible but definitely not what I wanted. I mixed up my oils (I use half castor oil and half coconut oil) in a 4 oz mason jar, got out my towel, and turned on the hot water. (For reference and perhaps a tip, I use the hot water from my bath tub. My sink water takes forever to heat up and isn't a strong flow for some reason so instead I used the tub water which heats up fast.) As I applied the oil to my face, I thought it was strange. It's not everyday I slather on oil and there's definitely something that just feels "wrong" about it. However, I continue on. I get my towel wet with hot water and apply the towel to my quite oily face. Wait for it to cool down and then I start wiping my face clean. I was wearing makeup before washing my face. Well the makeup is now gone, including my mascara. Often times when I washed with soap, the mascara would remain leaving those dreaded raccoon eyes. Not with OCM! Mascara comes right off! I notice that despite just slathering my face in oil, it feels clean. However, my face doesn't feel like it's had all the moisture sucked out of it like it does when I use face wash, instead it feels normal..balanced. Not dry, not oily. This is how my face should feel.

Fast forward, 2 weeks into the challenge. I continued using OCM through these 2 weeks. I generally only washed my face if I had been wearing makeup which probably meant 3-4 times a week. Now like all new regimens, there was a bit of detox that my face had to go through. I notice this whether I switch to a natural alternative or just another product so I'm not to surprised that at about the 1 week mark, my face decided to break out (didn't help that I had eaten way too many sweets that week too). This would be the point where many would give up. However, you need to press on through the detox and things will get much better. Least that's what I've learned with all my other natural product changes. So I kept at it and sure enough my face cleared up and has stayed clean since. I no longer need to add a moisturizer after washing my face or when applying makeup and my skin looks younger to me. I decided to add some tea tree essential oil to my oil mixture as an added way to keep acne away and I like the fact that it gives my oil a slightly more enjoyable scent (castor oil has a strange scent to me). I have to say, I love OCM! I wish I had tried it years ago when I had first heard of it. Better late than never! 

If you aren't in love with your face wash routine, I definitely recommend giving the Oil Cleansing Method a try. 

This post is part of my Natural Beauty series. For more information and other great natural beauty recipes check out the series.

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