The Oil Cleansing Method
i have been a Clinique 3-step girl for as long as i can remember. the night & morning routines were: oil-free foaming face wash + oil-free toner + oil-free moisturizer. and it worked for me, but once i started learning more about living more holistically, i started to think about switching to a natural, non-chemical based skincare routine. what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we eat & drink; our skin is our largest organ, and it absorbs the products that it's exposed to. i started thinking, "well, if i'm eating well and nourishing my body in that way, wouldn't it be good to nourish my skin & body from the outside, too?" i listen to the Balanced Bites podcast and the Paleo Women podcast (both of which i HIGHLY recommend. they're so informative & those ladies literally feel like my friends now) regularly, and these women often talk about the oil cleansing method. learn more about the original method here. it's really cool!
in summary, the oil method cleanses your skin well because oil dissolves oil -- the natural, therapeutic oils that you clean your face with work to unclog your pores and dissolve the oil & dirt that has developed on your face throughout the day. no chemicals or additives included!
before i tried the oil cleansing method (OCM), i read practically every website & blog post out there about it. oil-free products had been my thing for the longest time; i was nervous that these oils would make my skin all clogged and worse, even though i'd been told by all the bloggers out there that it doesn't work like that.
aaand here i am to tell you that they were totally, completely, 100% RIGHT. i've been doing the oil cleansing method for almost four months now, & i'm happy to say that it's done nothing but INCREDIBLE things for my skin. keep in mind that everyone's skin is different and these potentially may not be the results for you, but here's what the oils have been doing for me (i've got combination skin) :
1.) SO MOISTURIZED. from the night i started the oil cleansing method to now, i have not needed to use my (previously very beloved) Clinique gel moisturizer once. not one single time! the oils i've been using are super moisturizing -- but not in an overbearing, oily way. my skin is soft & smooth & glow-y!
2.) i don't have to use makeup removers. previously, i'd use a Neutrogena makeup remover wipes for my face. the oils, though, both remove makeup (waterproof mascara and all) AND cleanse my face.
3.) it's been excellent for sunburn. if i (accidentally) get a sunburn while i'm outside, it's so nice to wash my face with these oils. it really calms the burning feeling down and makes the redness go away a little bit!
4.) it's relaxing. it just is!
5.) my skin definitely isn't as oily as it was pre-OCM. with my Clinique and drugstore foam face washes, i'd often find that, by the end of the day, my skin was oil-ridden and felt clogged. i think that this is because those face washes (that have some chemicals in them), would strip my skin of its natural oils (to make it less oily), and then my skin would have to produce more oil to compensate for the lack of it. now, though, it seems that my skin's oils are completely regulated, and it doesn't need to overproduce.
6.) also on that note...no more breakouts! major WIN!!!
SO. here is what i do :)
the oil cleansing method
NOTE: because the oil cleansing method is pretty potent, i don't do feel the need to do it every night. i usually do the OCM every other; on the off nights, i wash my face with raw honey!
a.) i blend a 1:1:1 ratio of grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, and castor oil*** in my hand or a small Dixie cup. i use a teaspoon measuring spoon.
b.) i massage my face with the oil blend, making sure to really get it into my pores.
c.) in the shower or the sink, i run a facecloth under the hot water, and then place it onto my face. i press the washcloth into my face for 10 to 20 seconds, letting the hot water steam my face, take off makeup/sweat, & unclog pores.
d.) i massage any leftover oil back into my face, and then repeat step c.) about two or three more times. if there's any excess oil, i gently wipe it off with the washcloth.
e.) then, i clean the cloth under cold water and let it dry for my next use.
f.) after patting my face dry, i'll often use a homemade toner to rebalance the pH of my skin, Thayer's Witch Hazel, or a clay face mask. or nothing at all!
g.) on the off chance that a part of my skin is dry and needs some extra moisture, i use a little bit of jojoba oil and a few drops of lavender essential oil and massage it into my skin. these are my favorite oils to use for moisturizing!!
h.) then, i brush my teeth & go to bed!
**the first two or three nights of doing OCM, i had to play around with the oil combinations to get the best one for my skin's needs. it was easy to tell when my skin felt too saturated and when it felt dry. it will be for you, too!
about the oils i use:
NOTE: these are the oils that have worked super well for my normal-to-oily, combination skin. there are many other facial oils out there, and i encourage you to do some googling and read posts by other bloggers about the oils & decide what's best for you. here are some to consider: coconut, jojoba, argan, avocado, or hemp seed oil.
castor oil is good for acne-prone skin, as it is a natural astringent. it pulls dirt from the skin, unclogs pores, and can help fade scars. it's got a lot of Ricinoleic acid, which combats breakout-causing bacteria.
sweet almond oil is another that's suggested for acne-prone skin, as well as all other skin types. it's an emollient, which means it gets well absorbed into the skin and moisturizes effectively. it's very anti-inflammatory and calming, and it can reduce the prospect of wrinkles.
grapeseed oil is one that's recommended for normal to oily skin, which is what i have. it's good for helping to moisturize, as well as unclog & tighten pores.