Monday, August 12, 2013

The Magic of Face Cleansing that is the Oil Cleansing Method

For the past week I have been cleaning my face each night with oil.

Yep, pure oil. Oil Cleansing Method or OCM for us cool peeps.

And I love it. My face looks and feels like magic (the youthful Harry Potter, happy kind, not the Magicians Lev Grossman kind), I have *less* (again: LESS) acne and basically it's like a party on my pores. A pores partay if you will.

You may think I am completely bonkers, but the oil cleansing method is actually a "THING". A Thing that I have pehshawed (shamefully) as being for the Other, AlreadyAcneFreePeople. You know who they are; the mystical perfectskinpeople.

However, I will assure you, there is a GatewayOilCleanser to this fantasticalness: Lush's Ultrabland. This Gatewaydrugcleanser actually looks more like a lotion- hence the higher acceptability quotient. After a week of using it though, it quickly became apparent that Ultrabland is really a glorified oil cleanser.

(My beautiful oils!)

So- when Yancy at FiveSeed made the sad and courageous decision to close up her natural beauty product shop and had a blowout sale, I took a deep breath and bought her Panacea oil cleanser and her Flower Elixer (which I had already purchased and loved). (ps- there are still some unbelievable products available at 40% off- check em out!).

I am converted. Forever. And so should you. Your face will thank you.

Why Oil Cleansers Actually Work:
We are so used to having a foamy, dry, oil sucking sensation from our cleansers equal "clean". However, the reality is that our face NEEDS oil to be healthy. Our skin secretes oil naturally, all.the.time.

You know how oil doesn't dissolve in water? As chemistry would have it, the concept of 'like dissolves like' means that oil dissolves oil. This means that we are allowing cleansing, natural, healing oils melt away and replace icky, dirty face-oil.

This beautiful, natural, healing oil PREVENTS your skin from working overtime to replace stripped away oils (like it would from traditional cleansers), which in turn prevents irritation, the overproduction of oil and in summation: acne. Booyah!

What Oils Work Best?
According to Crunchy Betty the number one reason why the OCM isn't working for you may be the use of coconut and olive oil. Apparently they are NOT ideal for cleansing and can cause acne and irritation (read the comments section for more personal stories on this).

I find Crunchy Betty's "Nitty Gritty on the Oil Cleansing Method" the best place for figuring out the type of oil that works for your skin and the ratio of mixing those oils. It all comes down to getting yourself some castor oil and finding the right carrier oil for you.

How Do you DO IT?
  • Massage a quarter sized oil blob directly onto your DRY skin. Massage slowly upwards for about a minute. 
  • Using a facecloth wet from very warm (almost hot) water, slowly and gently remove all traces of oil from your face. You can hold the facecloth on your face for several seconds for extra goodness before removing the oil. This 'steaming' of your pores by placing the washcloth on your face for several seconds helps remove impurities and really cleanse your skin.

(I actually finish with massaging the healing Flower Elixer for my sensitive, damaged and scarred skin...but you may find that you don't need anything else!)

  • You don't have to do this every night. I have been, and it's been wonderful, but maybe you'd like to start out with a MWF type routine. 
  • Instead of traditional cleansers on your "off oil" nights try something natural and less skin-confusing such as honey. (yep, I said Honey. I am just going all bonkers in this place! I wash my face with honey every morning and not only does it taste delicious, it works!)
  • Consider trying for a weekly or bi-weekly uber cleanse and a quicker, less oil and less massage-steam cleanser for your regular routine. (This description, at the bottom of the post, for the uber cleanse is fantastic).
  • Add a few drops of essential oils depending on what your skin needs! Just be sure to check for your own skin sensitivity to the essential oils first.

Have you tried OCM before? Go on out, give yourself and your face a green treat and come back here, letting me know how it went! I dares ya :)


  1. Where are you buying your oils? Since you are local to me I thought i would ask:) I have to say that for me castor oil is something related to inducing labour, and that was NOT a pleasant experience so I am prejudiced against castor oil. This method sounds really interesting. I will say though that running the tap for a long time is a problem for me though. Thank you for reminding me about cleaning with honey. I had tried that, it works really well but I stopped doing it for a reason that I no longer remember.

    1. i bought my oils from FiveSeed, so for the moment that's what I'm using. When that runs out I'll probably purchase my oils from Petes or Planet Organic.
      I didn't know castor oil was used for inducing labour! i can see that would have some difficult associations lol :)

      i don't actually let the tap water run. I find it wasteful and just can't make myself do it. Instead, I wet my facecloth directly before placing it on my face for 10secs to allow to the pores to open.

      Honey rocks. I am such a fan. :)

  2. YES! I have been doing this for a few months now, mostly because I figured it couldn't make my face much worse than it already was - oily and flaky with blemishes.

    Personally, I use Olive Oil and castor oil (about 80/20). I don't think I'll ever go back to anything else.

    1. yay! that is great news! it's frustrating that we're conditioned to believe that only purchasing a fancy, chemical laden product will work best for our skin.

    2. It is a shame. Like you, I have so many crazy allergies (like, I can't even use sensitive skin commercial soaps for more than a few days in a row - I use a homemade soap that my mom and I make for ourselves) that I've been seeking out more holistic options.

      Since trying this one, I've actually started adding some other homemade, natural things. Beach Spray for my hair (because it gets so staticy, it needs something), and recently even oil pulling. Several of my recipes I've pulled from - you might want to peruse her stuff too.

      I got lucky with the olive oil it seems, but I really love this method, and all of the different things it's opened up for me. Good luck!!

  3. Honestly glad to read this. Good stuff here and I might have to give this a go! :)

    1. good luck! come back and let us know how it goes if you do :)

  4. Right, I'm in I'll give it a go.. do you use a moisturiser afterwards or is that moisture enough? :-)

    1. woo! let me know how it works!

      I find it's definitely moisturizing enough... but I do also add a few drops of the flower elixer oil afterwards, so feel free to massage a small amount (like a pea sized) of your specialty oil (non castor for example, like jojoba) afterwards. :)

  5. I just wanted to say I love your blog! I've only been committed to yoga for six months but I'm already hooked! I'll definitely follow you.

  6. I was searching for yoga blogs tonight and yours is the first i found! Hello!
    My fantastic 98 years old grandmother is a producers of olive oil and her oil is everything that was allowed in her house to get close to our skin: as a cleanser, moisturizer, after sun...whatever beauty product we could be in need of was replaced with grandmother's oil!!

  7. Oh, fascinating and it makes so much sense. I definitely have to play with that.

  8. Thank you so much for posting this and I'm very sorry I didn't see it sooner! I have been keeping a very strict work schedule and have not allowed myself to catch up on blogs until I'm done. I'm not done yet, but close and I have been desperate to slack off a bit! :)

    Good news, though - I'll be offering this product again in the very near future for a limited time when my book is released!

    Thanks again! Loved your vacay photos. You look radiant!


  9. Thank you so much! That did the trick, you saved me more endless hours of searching for a fix.

    Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin


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