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Oil Cleansing

Hey everybody! Happy autumn! Change is in the air right? Are you feeling like changing up your skin care regime? A recent FB post about oil cleansing seemed to get a lot of interest lately, so I decided to write a blog post about it. (P.S. As it gets cooler/dryer it’s a great time to try oil cleansing) Below you’ll find the reasons why oil cleansing makes so much sense as well as how to do it – Enjoy!

Reasons to Oil Cleanse:

1. It’s Science.

What’s the point of cleansing the skin exactly? It’s to remove oil/impurities right? Well…I’ll argue that oil does that better than your weird surfactant-containing cleanser. The reason? Like dissolves like. If you want to remove oil/impurities from the skin, the best way to do that is with an oil. I’ll admit – putting oil directly on your face seems a bit scary at first. All these big skincare/cosmetics companies have drilled “OIL-FREE” into our heads, right?! Don’t be afraid!

2. It’s working with our body – not against it! (what a chiropractic mentality!!!)

“Each time we strip the oil away, our skin over-compensates for the lack of moisture by creating more oil” (1)

If it’s acne you’re worried about, oil-cleansing should be your best friend. It turns out those harsh cleansers we bought from the drugstore when we were 15 were doing us more harm than good (curse you Neutrogena!) When we strip all that oil away, our skin freaks out and produces way more because our skin needs moisture.

“Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it. It is not a malicious force to be reckoned with; it is there for the benefit of your skin, allowing it to function properly. It is naturally occurring. Not only does your natural oil help lubricate, but it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your skin so that it may do its job.” (1)

3. Ditch those gross chemicals!

Would you feel comfortable swallowing a big spoonful of your current skincare product? Yeah…I’m guessing no. Then why would you slather it over your body’s biggest organ – your skin?! There are so many gross chemicals in skincare products. Want to look up your current product? Check out the Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep Database for more info. (P.S…..any other peeps out there use this cleanser as a teenager?! )

Chemical fragrances are found in most products which are typically endocrine disruptors – meaning they literally act as fake hormones in our body. If you are a teenager with hormonal acne, disrupting your delicate balance of hormones is going to do much more harm than good.

Just a side rant. Most of these skincare products are marketed towards women, right? Because society imposes ridiculous expectations/value on outward beauty upon women, we are typically the ones to buy this stuff. My question…if men used this stuff more, would people care more about its risks?! (Also cue conversation about period products/drugs/etc.) Just a thought…just another reason to oil-cleanse…F YOU PATRIARCHY.

4. Simplify your skincare regime, simplify your lyfe.

Do you use make-up remover, a cleanser, an exfoliator, a night cream, a day moisturizer? Your oil can literally fulfill all those purposes. When I go to bed at night after oil cleansing, my face feels clean and moisturized. I don’t wear much makeup, but when I do for special occasions, oil-cleansing removes it like a champ. Although I typically wear a moisturizer with some sun-protectant during the day, I don’t have to because my face has great moisture balance (I don’t use anything on more cloudy days). The cloth you use in oil cleansing acts as gentle exfoliation. Hate carrying around all those products when you travel? Replace them with one lil bottle!

5. Take a moment to take a breath.

Oil cleansing is f-ing luxurious and can be a great addition of selfcare in your life. If you have the time (check this out in the instructions) you can make this a 15 minute session to de-stress. I put a few drops of tea tree oil in my cleansing oil which I find so soothing. Even if I just have 3 minutes, oil cleansing feels so calming. Got acne? Odds are that hormone imbalance due to stress contributes to your problem….take a moment to de-stress.

6. Anti-aging – Nourish your skin with the good stuff!

You can buy/create a cleansing oil that’s great for your skin. Most carrier oils (olive oil/almond oil/avocado oil) and essential oils are rich in vitamins/antioxidants which combat the aging process. Furthermore, the oil is obviously so HYDRATING! What a great way to fight/prevent wrinkles. (2)

7. It’s personalized.

We all have different skin types. My skin tends to be drier and a little acne-prone for example. Oil cleansing is great because you can make an oil recipe that works perfectly for your individual skin type. Get the ideal moisture balance by mixing a drying oil (like castor oil) with a moisturizing oil (like olive oil) in a ratio that works great for you. Furthermore, you can change up your oil depending on your needs. Got acne? Add some tea tree or lavender essential oil. Want more anti-aging? Add rose essential oil/myrrh essential oil for anti-aging properties. (3) Do you like a particular scent? Maybe use hazelnut oil or almond oil. I tend to change up my oil recipe depending on the season (in the winter I use more moisturizing oils, in summer more drying oils). Do you just like change?!

8. Save MONEY!

Oil cleansing can be cheap AF. You can make your own oil with some castor oil and whatever oil you have in your kitchen for cooking (sunflower, olive, avocado oils for example). Want to spend a little money and not make your own? That’s cool too – there are a bunch of fun premade oils on etsy or from your local crunchy skincare product maker. Shop local people. Check out this local shop for homemade luxurious facial oil.

How to do it!

1. Make your oil – You need 2 oils, castor oil (drying) and a carrier oil (moisturizing) You can definitely get creative with this, but most sources suggest starting with a 50/50 mixture of olive oil and castor oil. Use cold-pressed, unrefined virgin oils when possible. I would mix them in a little glass dropper bottle like this.

2. Rub the mixture on your face (don’t wet skin first!) (start with a quarter sized drop)…take the time to really rub it in and take a moment of calm

3. Run a soft washcloth under warm/hot tap water (not too hot! We don’t want to cause inflammation!)

4. Got time? Take a seat and place the cloth over your face until it cools completely then gently wipe all the oil off.

5. In a hurry? Press the cloth over your face for 15 seconds then gently wipe the oil off – viola!

Other options:

Use hazelnut oil instead of castor oil

Other moisturizing oils instead of olive – almond oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil

Get fancy with Essential oils

Rose essential oil/myrrh essential oil for aging skin

Tea tree oil/lavender oil for acne-prone skin

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash


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