Everything You Need to Know About Cleansing Your Face with Oil
OUR SKIN LOVES OIL
That's why it produces it's own! Sebum, the oily substance produced by glands of your skin, is vital to our skin's health. Unfortunately, purity culture has left us feeling we need to use harsh, striping products to actually be clean. But, if our skin didn't like oil, it wouldn't be equipped to make it in the first place!
Traditional facial cleansers can irritate the skin, lead to dryness, or increase acne. Worse yet, many agree that the more we wash away the natural oils on our skin, the more it tends to produce to compensate. That means someone with overly oily skin may be able to reduce their skin's oil production simply by washing their face less! Cray counter-intuitive, huh? This means that using oil to clean our skin not only purifies and nourishes but also balances oil production.
All that aside, cleansing our skin is still a vital part of ensuring it is adequately taken care of. Lots of crap like dirt, make up, and other pollutants (the actual reason our pores clog - not oil!) are easily trapped in our sebum and should be regularly removed to promote skin health.
But how does washing with oil make a difference in our facial care? Well, as we know, thanks to our high school chemistry teacher, like dissolves like - and who said we wouldn't use anything they taught us in school!
Oil-based cleansers help to lift and remove unwanted particles while leaving behind the same nourishing environment your skin loves while helping to retain moisture. Additionally, botanical oils used for cleansing also have healing or soothing properties, and other skin-boosting benefits.
When viewed this way, we can begin to understand why the oil cleansing method (OCM) is the ideal way to care for and honor your skin. Continue below to find out what it is and how you can get started cleansing your skin in this nourishing way.
The part I love the most about this cleansing method is how it makes me feel and look - like a mother fucking royal ass bitch.
OIL CLEANSING METHOD
For the OCM, you'll need a few basic things to get started. An oil cleanser or oil(s), a washcloth, and warm water. That's it!
Premade Oil cleansers are great because they have been expertly forumated with several nutritious oils for specific conditions or balancing the skin. Still, it is also super easy to make your own.
Totally into DIYing your skincare? The most basic of OCM recipes calls for castor oil mixed with a carrier oil of choice.
Castor Oil - is high in ricinoleic acid, which is not found in many other plants, making this oil a valuable source. It is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing, helping to defeat skin redness and irritation. On its own, castor oil can be very drying but used in combination with other oils, and it creates a superb foundation for the oil cleansing method.
My Favorite Carrier Oils for Use on Skin:
Find out more about these fantastic carrier oils here.
Oily Skin 2 parts castor oil to 1 part carrier oil
Combo 1 part castor oil to 2 parts carrier oil
Dry Skin 1 part castor oil to 3 parts carrier oil
Start out by mixing smaller batches (say 1 tsp. per part), adding an extra part of castor oil, or adding a part of carrier oil until you find the right ratio for your skin.
Why is it important to measure in parts? Because then you will know exactly how to recreate or adjust on your next go around.
How will you know what's right for your skin? Let your intuition and trial and error guide your blending.
Oil Cleansing Instructions
Step 1: MASSAGE
To really get the benefits of this method, you will need to use a generous amount of oil. Place a dropperful or two in the palm of your hand and gently massage over face and neck. Spend 30 seconds to a few minutes (the longer, the better) massaging the oil into your skin, paying extra attention to dry or problem areas. Since oil doesn't make suds like soap does, this part of the process is what helps remove dirt and old sebum. Wanna upgrade? Consider getting a facial massage tool, like a jade roller, and give way to an extra special massage time.
Step 2: STEAM
After massaging, soak a washcloth in warm water, and place over the face until cooled, allowing the steam to gently open pores. Be sure not to burn yourself, as steam can get quite hot. This will help achieve a deeper clean that, over time, will improve complexion and eliminate blackheads!
Step 3: REMOVE
After giving your skin time for pores to open and the oil to get in, gently remove residue with the met washcloth, scrubbing in light circular motions. If desired, pat a few drops of oil over the face as a moisturizer to finish off the process.
Repeat as often as necessary, as little as once a week and not more than twice a day. I find once a day to be best for my skin.
A few things to note...
While some will find an oil that works for them immediately, many have reported needing an adjustment period. It's not uncommon to experience a breakout. Allow your skin a few weeks to adjust to the method, especially if you are entirely new to natural skincare, but discontinue use if anything more than a mild irritation occurs.
You may also find that your skin responds best to an OCM/traditional cleanser combo, and that is perfectly great! Just be sure not to mix with a cleanser that had sulfates or silicones, lest your skin get super confused.
While many like to add essential oils to their cleansing oils, I would not recommend it. Essential oils are highly concentrated and often misused. When misused, they can cause severe skin irritation or rashes and can even. Especially when starting out, it's best to keep things simple and build as you learn what works well for your skin.
Plus, essential oils use up a ton of resources! Why use it on something you are just going to wipe off anyways? This is one of the reasons why I only use them in my facial oils, and only then in small amounts.
Do you wash your face with oil? Let me know in the comments down below!
And if you are interested in developing an at-home facial care routine and are ready to start learning more about them, or simply want some extra tips for your existing regime, download my free Step by Step Natural Facial Guide! In this guide, you will learn each step and the full process of giving yourself an at-home facial, the Fecund Herbals way, with any natural facial products you may have on hand!
Author Bio: My name is Katya Herb, owner of Fecund Herbals. I am an herbalist from Chicago with a passion for skincare, radical self-care, and all things plant-related. I first came to herbalism to address some unresolved pelvic issues but grew to love the vast healing, and nourishing potential plants have on our bodies and minds.
My goal with Fecund Herbals is to promote radical healing and self-care through my herbal product offerings, as well as through education. Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know about new posts, promotions, and more!