The Oil Cleansing Method

The Theory Behind The Oil Cleansing Method

The easiest way to understand the logic behind cleansing with oil is to put it in the simplest terms instead of scientific mambo jumbo. So this is how I like to think of it; we wash our dirty greasy clothes and dishes with a detergent to get them clean. Well traditional face washes use detergents to clean the oils off our faces and bodies.  Most people think stripping the oils off as a good thing because oil causes blemishes. Wrong!! Oil alone does not cause blemishes but a combination of factors such as dirt, dead skin, makeup, etc mixed with the oil causes them.  Our skin and hair produces oils (sebum) naturally  so when you strip off those oils your body produces more to make up for the loss. So now you’ve created a cycle of overproduced oils created by your skin making it  much more likely of breaking out due to the extra oil. This is where the oil cleansing method (OCM) comes in, many oils are very similar to what our bodies naturally produce, these oils  make great cleansers. The oil can reach further into the pores then detergents and suck out grime and other oil while at the same time keeping your skin balanced.

 What Is Used In The Oil Cleansing Method

In the traditional oil cleansing method  castor oil and EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) are the two basic ingredients to get started.’

  • Castor oil is your base, this means this is the oil that is the cleanser, it also draws out impurities similar to the way clay masks. Castor oil is very thick and can be very drying on the skin so you need to dilute the oil with a carrier oil.
  • A carrier oil also known as base oil or vegetable oil, is used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin in massage and aromatherapy. They are so named because they carry the essential oil onto the skin.

You can use another carrier oil such as:

Jojoba is closest in properties to skin’s own natural oils and helps to balance skin’s oil production. Studies have shown it reduces the appearance of pores over time and can also reduce superficial wrinkles and stretch marks.

Grape seed oil is very rich in linoleic acid, a fatty acid which helps in maintaining the cell membranes as well as the skin.  Its regular application can help in treating many of the skin problems such as acne. Many women use grape seed oil for face acne because of its anti-inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. Its regular applications helps in preventing the pores from clogging, thus reducing  acne breakouts.

Olive oil also has a similar pH as the skin so it helps support the protective acid balance of the skin. It also has a high antioxidant content so it is one of the best anti-aging moisturizer around.

 I do not recommend coconut oil as it is in fact comodegenic.

I like to use the grape seed oil and castor oil combination.  Mixing the two oils to create your own personalized face wash is very easy. The oiler your skin is to begin with dictates the ratio of castor oil to the carrier oil. If you have oily skin, start with 3 parts (3 tsp.) castor oil to 1 part carrier oil. Combination skin can use the same  ratio as oily but if you find this to drying switch to equal parts castor oil and carrier oil.

Carrier oils are plain oils with no frills attached. Essential oils, however, are usually considered “treatments” of some sort.  But I will get into  essential oils on my upcoming posts. If you get your combination mixed and you don’t love the smell you can add a few drops of essential oil to scent the mixture such as  jasmine, orange, mint, etc.

Before You Get Started Please Read!!

Do not use pure castor oil!! I did thinking to get all the gunk in my pores up at once, I know most of you know what I’m talking about if you have ever looked at the magnification side of your makeup mirror. Now imagine all that surfacing at one time… It looks like this picture below. Then those red bumps surface more into white heads, little ones everywhere.  Please also note even with the dilution of the carrier oils castor oil will still draw up lots of gunk. Most people will break out for a few weeks when first starting this method. This is temporary, please do not give up on it till you have at least given it two weeks or don’t even bother. It has been the hardest thing for me to have my skin look even worse than when I began, but now a week and a half in I’m loving the results of the cleared up areas. This will keep me going until my face has cleared completely. I know that it is working, my magnification mirror does not lie!

How To Get Started

What you Need:

1 washcloth (I prefer microfiber clothes)

Hot, running water.

Your OCM blend.

What to do

  1. Prepareyour oil blend using the right ratio of castor oil to your choice of carrier oil. Run the hot water to warm up.
  2. Cleanseyour face by rubbing oil all over  your face, you don’t have to remove makeup first the oil gets it all off easily. Massage in for at least 2 minutes then allow to sit on the face for at least a  minute or two.
  3. Removeoil by saturating washcloth with the hottest water you can stand. Please don’t get it  scalding, just hot enough where it is hot but not to the point of burning you. Cover your face with the hot washcloth and press  until cool. Rinse the washcloth. Repeat the process until the oil and all the grime has been removed from your face, you will be able to tell by the feel of it. I  prefer to do this treatment in the shower, less mess and your pores are already steamed open so you almost don’t need to cover your face with the washcloth.

When To Use OCM

It is recommended you only cleanse with OCM at night because small traces of oils can be left, this does not make a good base for makeup or other products. In the mornings simply rinse your face with water or a very mild cleanser.

You do not need a toner as the oils involved has astringent properties as well as moisturizing agents. If you feel on the dry side simply pick your carrier oil and rub a bit extra on your face (at night only).

Have you ever tried using oil to clean your skin? What was your experience? Has this article convinced you to give it a try?

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