Oil on Oil. I know…sounds a little dirty right? Actually it’s?very clean! Washing one’s face with oil may initially seem odd, especially if you already have oily skin, clogged pores, or breakouts. That’s what I thought at first too! But as odd as it may sound, it’s actually a very effective (and is now my preferred) way to cleanse the skin of makeup, excess oil (stay with me…I’ll explain), and debris. The actual term for this handy method is ‘The Oil?Cleansing Method’.
What exactly is The Oil Cleansing Method?
Your face already contains oil (duh!), so when washing your face with oil it dissolves oils and impurities that are stuck in your pores. Like attracts like and oil dissolves oil; so this is especially beneficial for oilier skin types. It also helps to prevent stripping the skin of its natural lipid barrier which plays a key role in the skin’s function of protection and helps keep the body’s natural balance of oils in check.
Unfortunately, many of the foaming facial cleansers (especially those designed for oily or acne-prone skin) contain harsh detergents and other irritant ingredients that strip the skin of this barrier. What this does is make the skin more susceptible to irritation, inflammation, spread of bacteria, and vulnerability to the sun’s UV rays and other environmental aggressors. For drier skin types, this method not only helps to rehydrate the skin but also helps to keep the moisture in and prevent water loss through the skin (the technical term for that is “trans-epidermal water loss” or TEWL).
Are you one of those lucky ducks with already perfect skin?
I’m jealous, I admit it. But guess what, The Oil Cleansing Method will enhance your gorgeous skin even more and will also help you maintain that perfect glow! Oil Cleansing leaves your skin feeling dewy, fresh, and soft. That dew kissed look is very “in? these days and radiates youth and vitality. Another bonus: most of the oils used for oil cleansing have their own inherent anti-aging properties?they actually help soften wrinkles and reduce fine lines! Love it.
We all have our little daytime and nighttime skin care rituals.
Washing your face should fall into both categories, and The Oil Cleansing Method can dramatically cut down the time it takes to do your daily routines. Light steam from your shower or a warm washcloth applied to your skin for about ten seconds prior to cleansing are both good ways to soften the pores. ?Once your pores are open and your skin is damp from the steam, you are ready to cleanse. Dampening the skin prior to applying the oil is helpful because the moisture will provide lubrication and help spread the oil, so a little bit of oil will go a long way. A quarter-sized drop or less will be sufficient for the entire face and neck.
Massage the oil onto your skin, just as you normally would with a regular face wash?except you won’t have to worry as much about eye irritation or accidentally inhaling foam bubbles (it’s not pleasant, trust me). Then, gently rinse with warm water and a washcloth. Voila! Simple as that! For a fun, albeit yucky little experiment, try removing your oil with a damp white washcloth. You will be shocked at the amount of gunk that comes off, even if you don’t wear makeup! ?Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel and enjoy your silky, soft, glowing, and yes…CLEAN skin?even the most stubborn makeup will come off. Depending on your skin type and the time of year, you might not even need to moisturize after doing the oil cleansing method.
There are so many natural oils?how do I know which to choose?
Now when I say natural oils, I am not referring to mineral oil (baby oil). Mineral oil is a highly refined petrochemical which can be toxic and also suffocates the skin. Though certain oils are preferred for certain skin types, there is always room for experimentation. You can use the oils alone, or you can get creative and add some essential oils to enhance for a wonderfully aromatherapeutic effect.
Here is a quick little guide for my favorite cleansing oils for different skin types?you will notice that some oils are great for all skin types:
For acneic skin:
For normal or combination skin:
Sunflower, grapeseed, jojoba, argan, baobab, sweet almond oil, or rosehip seed
For normal to dry skin:
Jojoba, grapeseed, argan, rosehip seed, coconut, olive, avocado, or apricot kernel oil
For super-dry skin:
Avocado, rosehip seed, coconut, olive, sesame or apricot kernel oil (for dry skin)
For the body, I recommend plain coconut oil. It’s easy to apply, absorbs easily, smells ah-mazing, and provides hydration and protection for hours.
Do you want my BEST cleansing oil recipes?
As a bonus to everyone who purchases my book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself (available next month from several online retailers), I am giving away my best blends of natural cleansing oil recipes that combine the oils mentioned above with the best essential oils for each skin type and condition. Get on the list so you can be one of the first to know when the book is available. Sign up HERE. It’s free.
To purchase the majority of the oils mentioned in this article, check out Mountain Rose Herbs.