Friday, January 14, 2011

Let's Talk Skin: The Oil Cleansing Method

Ok, I know you may be wondering, why on earth would I recommend using oil on the skin? Simply put, cleansing with oil is a gentle way to remove dirt, bacteria and excess oil from your pores. Surprisingly, water does not dissolve oils, but oils do. This is why most commercial facial cleansers are comprised of harsh sufactants.These harsh surfactants strip away your skin's natural sebum, leaving it dry and irritated. Do not be afraid of applying oil to your face. Oil alone does not cause pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts...these are the results of several different factors, such as: hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells, and the buildup of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it, and it is there for the benefit of your it will function properly.

Now, while we are talking about clarifying your skin externally, let's touch on the internal importance. WATER..if you have acne prone skin, drink up.

Now, most oil cleansers combine 50% Castor Oil to 50% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but you can pick the best mixture for you. Castor Oil is used as the base in the oil cleansing method because it helps to draw out toxins, slough dead skin cells, excess oil and dirt from your pores. The secondary oil acts more like a moisturizer and carrier oil to deliver theraputic properties deep into the skin. I have combo/acne prone skin, so I use 60% Castor Oil, 20% Sweet Almond Oil and 20% Grapeseed Oil. I also add a few drops of tea tree and peppermint oil to my mixture.

Here are wonderful oils for certain skin types:

  • Oily Acne Prone Skin: Grapeseed Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Flax seed, Neem Oil, Almond Oil, Castor Oil
  • Dry Mature Skin: Evening Primrose Oil, Olive Oil, Avacado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Sensitive Skin: Meadowfoam Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Rosehip Oil
Here are some wonderful essential oils for certain skin types:
  • Oily Skin: Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, Lavender Oil, Rosewood Oil, Bergamont Oil
  • Dry Skin: Cedarwood Oil, Rose, Myrrh, Chamomile, Pachouli
  • Acne Prone: Frankincense, Lemon Grass, Clary Sage, Tea Tree, Peppermint

The Oil Cleansing Method Directions:
  • 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. I use Grapeseed oil as my moisturizer, because it is a natural astringent and is the lightest of all the oils. Trust me, it does not make your skin feel oily. 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!

  • Word of the not reuse the same wash cloth if you have not washed it. Wash cloths harbor bacteria which is a major culprit of the little nasty critters we hate..yikes!
Remember, choose the oil blend that works for you...

where to buy: Any health food store, Whole Foods, EarthFare, Vitamin Shoppe, Nutrition World

Happy Health

credits: info found at


  1. Shavonna Bush says: I tried to comment on your blog but i wasn't able to for some reason. But here's my comment: I have oily skin so I always try to stay away from oil based products BUT this actually makes sense! I'm definitely going to try this this weekend! Great info! Thanks!
    (copied from facebook)

  2. @ Shavonna..glad you enjoyed the info. I used to be the exact same way..I stayed away from oil based cleansers, but this method has been the truth. I didn't realize that staying away from oils causes the skin to over produce excess oil which can cause breakouts. I have been using this method for about 7 months now and it is the only thing that has worked for me consistently and it's all natural, which is a huge plus. Let me know what you think, hopefully you will be able to post on the blog

  3. I saw the mixture that you use for your combination skin, but I have very oily skin. What mixture do you suggest. Thanks!

  4. Greetings Anon 4:49..thanks for your comment. Based on the oils that work best for oily skin, I would say Jojoba, Castor Oil and Almond Oil..I recently changed mine to this because I find that my skin is a tad oilier than I thought..this mixture has worked great for me and these are oils that work great with oily skin..but you will have to play with different mixtures. It took some testing on my part to see which mixture worked best for my new mixture is 50% Castor Oil 25% Jojoba Oil and 25% Almond Oil...I hope this helps

  5. i stumbled on your site after reading moptopmaven's blog about skincare. your wording is almost the same (95% from this post, to the toner, to the scrubs) yet i do not see where you referenced you got this information from her. in school this style of writing was called plagiarism. i think it's great to be inspired by someone but you should give credit where credit is due.

  6. @ Anon, actually, at the bottom of the page you will see the credit reference which is from . So, if the info is on Moptopmaven, then perhaps this is where she also obtained her info.. Thanks for your comment

    1. Thanks for the info! Trying this right now! I have dry, sensitive, rosacea facial skin...going to try a few drops of castor & flax seed in olive oil.

  7. Can you recommend an oil mixture for dry skin.

  8. Would you suggest using a facial steamer instead of a wash cloth.

  9. I really appreciate all of your blog post. They have been so helpful. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!