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The oil cleansing method is a skin care regimen that is based on the solubility principle of like dissolves like. In other words, oils should be used to clean dirty oils from the skin. It is an easy to adapt process that can be customized for individual skin types.
oil cleansing method

The oil cleansing method has been a godsend for me. I used to clean my face with a very expensive French botanical cleanser. It was the only thing that actually cleaned my pores with one step. A few years ago the EU issued new guidelines that banned one of the active ingredients, so the company changed its formula and the product became less effective for me.

I searched for a new product but as I have aged my skin has become more sensitive. Over the last few years I have been transitioning to more homemade natural products.  When I ran out of my facial cleanser, I finally looked around for some natural alternatives. I came across the Oil Cleansing Method and I have been a fan ever since.
Most of you will probably frown at the suggestion of using oil to clean your face. TV advertising has told us that oil causes problem skin. The truth is that our skin has natural oils that must remain on the skin as a protective layer. Problem skin occurs when the production of that oil goes into overdrive or too much oil is stripped from our skin. So the objective in order to have healthy glowing skin is to find a balance.

The Oil Cleansing Method

The oil cleansing method uses oil to remove dirt from the skin but leave enough protective oil. It is a deep cleaning and must be done regularly but not too often or your skin will become very dry (that is not a mistake). I have found that I do not need to clean my face everyday, every other day works pretty well for me. On the other days I just wipe my face gently with a warm wet wash cloth and I am finished.

Before I tell you the details there are a couple of things I should tell you upfront. First, the first few days of using this method can be a little unnerving. Your skin has been accustomed to producing a lot of excess sebum (oil) to compensate for the drying cosmetics you have been using. Until your skin adjusts, it will appear extremely oily. If you can give it a few days, it will be worth the journey.

The second thing is that it may take a few tries to find the right oil blend for your skin. There are cleansing, drying oils (castor oil) and moisturizing oils (avocado, sunflower seed, etc.). You will need both types to properly clean your face.

Now that my skin is aging, I use a blend that is 10% castor oil, 45% avocado oil and 45% apricot kernel oil. I also add essentials oils for aging skin. My current blend includes a few drops of geranium and frankincense.

Generally the recommended blends are as follows:

  • For Oily Skin: 30% castor oil to 70% moisturizing oil.
  • For Balanced Skin: 20% castor oil to 80% moisturizing oil.
  • For Dry Skin: 10% castor oil to 90% moisturizing oil.

Depending on your skin type start with the above proportions and adjust as needed. Only make a very small amount until you find what works for your skin. You will know that you used too much castor oil when your skin feels dry. Please be very careful to keep the container and the oil blend free of bacteria.

You will want to have a good quality castor oil. Other oils used in a cleansing blend are:

  • Apricot Kernel (dry, aging, and normal skin)
  • Argan (all skin types, especially aging skin)
  • Avocado (dry and aging skin)
  • Grapeseed (all skin types, especially oily)
  • Jojoba (all skin types, especially acne-prone skin)
  • Olive (all skin types)
  • Sunflower Seed (all skin types)
  • Sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)
oil cleansing

The Method is Simple

Run warm water in the sink or shower. You do not need to wipe makeup off of your face, the oil take care of it. Rinse your face. Pour a quarter sized amount of oil into your hands and massage face for 2 minute. Always massage  your face using an upward motion. Let the oil rest for another minute.
Take a clean washcloth and wet with warm almost hot water. Put the washcloth over your face to allow the steam to open your pores for 10-15 seconds. Rinse washcloth, rewet and steam a couple more times. Then rinse washcloth again and gently wipe the oil from your face.
You may not need to moisturize using this method, I do. I actually use rose hip seed oil around my eyes and on my face but it is a personal choice. If you want to moisturize you can also use a few drops of the cleansing oil.
Many folks add essential oils to the blend for additional benefits. Some commonly used include:
  • carrot seed oil (normal & dry skin)
  • chamomile (combination, dry, damaged, and sensitive skin)
  • frankincense (aging skin)
  • geranium (all types)
  • lavender (normal, dry, sensitive, & damaged skin)
  • jasmine (all types)
  • rose hip oil (normal & dry skin)
  • tea tree (oily skin)

My skin has never been smoother and I have no problem with blemishes. If something pops up I just smooth the oil mixture on and steam and it disappears by the next day. The method can be used morning or night but if you tend to rush out in the morning I would recommend cleansing at night and a splash of warm or cool water in the morning.

For more detailed information visit the oil cleansing method.

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