“The Oil Cleansing Method”
My current skin properties: oily, acneic, extremely sensitive
What is it?
So I know this is going to sound weird. Especially if you’re like me and have experienced problem skin for a little more than a minute (consisting of but not limited to: acne, eczema, sensitivity, etc). But for the past three months or so, I’ve solely cleansed my face with–get this–OIL! Now before you run away and call me crazy, hear me out.
Like many of you, I was extremely skeptical of the “OCM” known as the “Oil Cleansing Method.” I thought it was illogical and it certainly wouldn’t work for ME! I mean, come on, I’ve struggled with acne for a good ten years now (maybe more like 8 years) and you’re telling me o rub OIL on my face? Won’t that cause more acne?
WRONG! The misconception is that oil causes acne, but in reality our skin produces oil naturally that we NEED in order to maintain healthy-looking and healthy-feeling skin. Commercial skin products strip all the moisture out of our skin, causing us to buy more and more products to either fight excessive dryness or excess oil. Moreover, oil dissolves oil, which means that the “dirty” oil that accumulates on our faces from just living life will be wiped away once you cleanse with the right oils that NATURALLY remove the bacteria and dirt from our pores. Here’s snippet from Acne.org that explains it perfectly:
“Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.”
I know, personally, I have spent thousands of dollars on trying to combat my skin problems and it’s been a lose-lose situation. Maybe for awhile, it would seem to be under control, but it never lasted. I also know that my hormones are still out of whack from being pregnant for two years as well as birth control (which I hate due to side-effects like this) and only makes matters worse. However, I dared to give this a shot. I’m all about “all-things-natural” and figured things couldn’t get any worse. Besides, I would actually be saving a few pennies, and that always helps! I’m used to spending a minimum of $30/month of skincare products (usually double that), so now I only have to spend maybe $20 (and that’s being fancy) for oils that will last me monthssss at a time? Count me in!
So how does it work?
It’s quite simple, yet it comes down to a science. The easy part is the fact that you’re seriously just massaging oil into your skin. The harder, more scientific part, comes down to: what oils should I use? And that’s the part that takes some time. You will need a minimum of two oils and usually a maximum of three (it all depends on your skin’s needs). Typically, castor oil is considered to be the best oil used for the actual “cleansing” because it’s excellent at drawing out the dirt, bacteria, and other things that could be trapped in our pores–all the while healing the skin. (From personal experience, don’t use too much because it can be very drying! But again, to each their own). Some people use hazelnut oil in place of castor, but castor is definitely the more prominent choice. Your next oil needs to be one that will bring balanced moisture to your skin, such as jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, apricot oil, and some even prefer EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). It takes some playing around and can take time to figure out, but that’s it for that.
* Most “studies” or reviews from people who have tried this say to stay away from olive and coconut oil (particularly coconut oil) due to their comedogenic nature, meaning they have a tendency to clog the pores. Of course there’s always an exception and some people use it with no problem–but that’s fairly infrequent so why take the risk? With that being said, you have to find what works for you!
Then there’s the ratio portion of this whole ordeal. How much of each oil do you use? Well, we can only give a general idea based on skin types, but if I haven’t said it enough already: it’s a case by base situation and you’ll have to find what works for you.
For dry skin: Usually, it is said that you should have use more of the moisturizing oil; maybe about 2/3 of your moisturizing oil compared to 1/3 castor oil. Some people even think of it in fourths (1/4, 3/4, etc).
For oily or acneic skin: Most agree that having more of the castor oil is most effective.
For combination skin: Some say keep it half and half, while others believe you should keep the castor oil part lower.
* The best place to start is just 50/50 each. Then you will get an idea of which one you might need more of and you can always make adjustments later. The key here is to not make too large of a mix; that way, if it doesn’t work for you then you haven’t wasted a ton of oil.
* I am currently using a mixture of castor oil, jojoba oil, and tea tree oil. I chose castor oil over hazelnut because I’m allergic to hazelnut and jojoba oil because it’s said to be the closest oil to our skin’s natural oil (but with the mixed reviews, I’ll probably be switching this out soon). I also use tea tree oil because it is supposed to be very beneficial with fighting against acne, and I can attest to the fact that this is true. I don’t consider myself to have the perfect mix yet, but I can definitely tell a difference in my skin. I believe the skin tone is much better all around and it never feels dried out or excessively oily, which is what I’m used to dealing with. I have also not had any increased breakouts, which speaks volumes in and of itself. I look forward to continue using this method to heal my skin and bring it back to perfect health.
* Also! There’s this craze going on about how creating a oil mix (much like the ones used in the OCM) and applying them to your eyebrows and eyelashes, like a serum, will promote growth to these two places. Well, without even trying, my naturally thin brows have thickened up (in a good way) and my lashes have so much added volume! All of this was without trying; it’s just been a positive result of the OCM. So if anyone is wondering whether this works, it does!
* Another added bonus is that the OCM cleanses all make-up from your face, so you no longer have to spend more money on a make-up remover, because this all-natural remedy works! I rarely wear make-up but I’m getting more into dazzling up my eyes every now and then, and this works perfectly fine for removing all the “junk” at the end of the day.
How do you cleanse your face?
Once you have your oil mix, you take about a quarter-size amount, or however much you need to saturate your face, and run it between your hands–warming the oil. You then massage the oil into your skin and work the pads of your fingers in your problem areas in an outward motion–as if you are literally pushing the dirt out of your skin, because essentially, you are! Don’t beat your face up, just think of it like a nice facial massage you’re giving yourself for about 5-10 minutes.
Once you’re ready to remove the oil, you take a cloth and submerge it into hot, hot water. Sometimes my tap water doesn’t get hot enough so I boil water (not to the point it’s bubbling over) I pour it in a bowl, dip my cloth in it, wring it out, and press it against my first and hold it there for a minute or so to extract the nastiness. I repeat one more time (sometimes a third time) and that’s it! I wipe away the germs! As you can see, you will need to use a new cloth each time you wash or at least each new day. The oil cleansing method isn’t something that’s necessary to do twice a day; you’ll be able to tell once you start! It’s all based on how my skin in feeling. I know this method is working, because sometimes after cleansing at night–I wake up to my face feeling glorious and cleansing after my night of sleep if just totally unnecessary. But then there are days when I want or need to. This is all suited for the individual
Some do this and some don’t, but because I currently have “problem skin” I do also use an all-natural toner. My toner consists of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), which has a host of health benefits. Of course, it’s diluted with water because alone it would be way too harsh for my sensitive skin. I recommend always diluting it with water until you know how your skin will react to it. Not only do I apply ACV topically, but I drink a “shot” of it before bed because of all the health benefits of it. To read more about ACV and it’s benefits, do your own research and feel free to follow the link: Health Benefits of ACV
After applying this toner, I use my separate “moisture” mix of Vitamin E oil and Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil can also be used to apply directly to breakouts and dries them up pretty quickly.
If you decide to try the OCM, let me know how it works for you! I’m loving my all-natural skincare regimen!