Before I started oil cleaning, I was very apprehensive about the idea of putting additional oil on my T-zone and my acne-prone areas, but I’ve learned that with the proper mix of oils and technique, the process is beneficial for all skin types: dry, combination, and oily alike. The important thing to remember is that there does tend to be a period of about a week required for your skin to adjust to a new method, so stick with it for a bit before deciding it’s not for you.
Oil cleansing could be beneficial to you if you feel like your current cleansing routine doesn’t remove all of your makeup, or truly get your skin clean and free of all dirt, debris, and general buildup. Additionally, if you have oily skin and aren’t adding enough moisture and essential oils to your face, your skin will naturally produce extra to compensate; oil cleansing can reduce overall oil production over time.
Image by iStock.com/CoffeeAndMilk
Customize Your Cleanse
To start — and honestly it’s the most fun part — you’ll pick out which oils you want to use. Castor oil is a good cleanser, but you can buy a pre-labeled cleansing oil from a number of skincare brands if you’d rather get straight to it.
I like starting from scratch so that I can customize my cleanse according to how my skin reacts that week. With a base of two parts castor oil, I like to add one part argan oil and one part jojoba oil. Additionally, I keep sweet almond oil separate from this mix in a dropper bottle for my immediate eye area, as I find it to be gentle.
Here is a list of oils your skin can benefit from during this cleanse:
- Argan oil: High in vitamin E and good for hydrating.
- Castor oil: A good antibacterial carrier oil and base for cleansing.
- Hempseed oil: High in omega-6 and 3 acids, this is a good oil for anti-aging properties.
- Jojoba oil: Technically not an oil, but a liquid “wax” with a chemical structure similar to oil. This can cause oily skin to produce less oil.
- Rosehip oil: High in antioxidants and good for dark circles/hyperpigmentation spots.
- Sunflower oil: High in nutrients and antioxidants good for many purposes
- Sweet almond oil: High in vitamin E and containing vitamin A, along with being fairly lightweight.
These are oils I would recommend staying away from as I have found them too heavy, or they have clogged my pores:
- Avocado oil: Too dense and fatty for facial use.
- Coconut oil: Too dense for facial cleansing, but great for body and hair moisture.
- Grapeseed oil: Similar to olive oil, I’ve found this to leave my skin feeling greasy. Some might find it acceptable, but really, there are better options.
- Olive oil: I’ve found olive oil too heavy for my face, but some might find it works well in small amounts.
If you’re a makeup wearer, I would recommend a gentle removal of makeup first. Although it’s not necessary, without the extra layer between your oil and skin, you’ll see the benefits more clearly. A gentle use of a makeup wipe or a wash with warm water will do.
Apply your custom blend of oils, enough to cover your face, but not so much that it’s dripping off of your chin, and massage over your entire face for a good minute. Allow the oil to soak in for another minute.
With a washcloth, preferably microfiber, fully soaked with warm water, begin to wash the oils from your face. I tend to stick to pressing down gently and then rinsing the cloth before pressing down again. Avoiding smearing motions as much as possible. After all the oil is removed, you’re finished!
I love hearing from NaturallyCurly readers so please let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried oil cleansing, what your results were, and what your favorite oils are!
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