Oil Cleansing Method

A few years ago, I started to take a long, hard look at the products I was using for my “beauty regimen.” I read the labels on soaps, moisturizers, toners, cleansers, etc. I wondered about the different ingredients, and how I came to have so many bottles of “potions” littering my bathroom.

I have oily, acne-prone skin on my face, so the thought of covering it with oils scared the heck out of me. I never had a problem with blemishes during my teen years, but my face “freaked out” in my early 20’s. Seemingly overnight, my face developed a layer of pimples that refused to go away no matter what I used.

I began to hear about the Oil Cleansing Method, but dismissed the success stories. After all, why on earth would I apply oil to a face that was already prone to develop zits? So, I continued to use over-the-counter medications, but nothing worked…..my face was still a mess. I finally went to see a dermatologist, she took one look at me and promptly wrote a prescription for accutane. I stared at the prescription for a week before deciding that I could not possibly ingest a pill that could cause birth defects (along w/other horrible side effects.) I admitted defeat, and figured I had nothing to lose….I decided to give the OCM a try. After the first time, I was surprised to find that all of the makeup was gone, and I was left with clean, soft skin….and most importantly, my face wasn’t dried out; which often happened when I used commercial cleansers.

The Method:
In a bowl, mix together 1Tbsp of castor oil & 1Tbsp of olive oil.
Rub mixture all over the face, spending a few minutes massaging the skin (carefully avoiding your eyes & mouth.)
Drape a hot washcloth over the face & relax for a few minutes, then using the washcloth, wipe off the oil. You can splash a bit of cold water on your face afterwards to close up the pores.
No additional washing necessary! Easy peasy!

The oils work to dissolve any dirt or makeup on the face. The hot washcloth works to steam the face and open up your pores. Castor is a good oil for drawing impurities to the skin’s surface and it’s nice and thick, so not too many drips. Some find castor oil to be too drying; if that is the case you can always up the amount of olive oil. There really are no set rules.

Now, there are many variations that can come into play…depending on what you’ve got in your cupboard. I have an endless supply of oils because of soap making, so I have used different oil combinations including hazelnut (astringent properties,) emu, grapeseed, neem (anti-bacterial properties,) hemp…the list goes on and on. The point is to use the oils that work best for your skin.

I also like to follow up with a toner, a simple mix of diluted apple cider vinegar (try 1 part acv, 3 parts water.) Just use a cotton ball to wipe the mixture all over the face. The most important thing is to follow up with a moisturizer.

I use a mix of light oils on my face as a moisturizer. While my face is still damp, I smooth on a combination of hazelnut, jojoba, emu, and fractionated coconut oil (I pre-mix the oils in a clean glass jar…great way to recycle small jelly jars!)...just a few drops are needed. Sometimes I’ll use oils infused with herbs like lavender, calendula and comfrey. Sometimes I’ll add essential oils like tea tree and lavender. I use light oils that are easily absorbed by the skin, and won’t clog pores. Again, just use oils that work best for you.

Now, my face is far from perfect, but compared to a few years ago….major improvement. I learned not to be afraid of oils. Our skin naturally produces oil to protect it from the elements, so no reason to be afraid!

I’ll admit, I don’t use the OCM method as often as I used to. I developed a soap that I love to use on my face…it is chock full of goodies like oats, essential oils, aloe juice, and skin-loving oils. I love using my handmade soap, but the OCM is a fantastic alternative to commercial cleansers & best of all….no more bottles littering my bathroom!