A few years ago I learned about the oil cleansing method for face washing and shall I say, I am a lasting convert!
Lynsey’s blog was the first I read about this method, and after the initial, “What kind of crazy washes her face with OIL?!!” … it just made sense to me that mainstream face washes remove oil from your face, and then moisturizers replace it. There are businesses and industries and pink Cadillacs centered on this concept! Our skin has natural oils that are good for it. I read a few websites & blog posts and decided to give it a try. I started in January 2011 and have not looked back! It’s such a refreshing way to end my day and my face feels so soft and clean when I go to bed! This post is for all my friends who I tell about it, so you have a reference point for the process of making it.
I bought the oils & played like a mad scientist mixing oils recommended for balanced skin.
The bottle I use can be found at Target in the kitchen aisle for $3. For the first couple years I used a small glass bottle with a cork lid. After awhile, the cork would be wet from the oil and cork particles would break off into the mix… gross. Another note for the bottle: some oils settle down into the bottom more than others, so it’s good to hold the lid on & shake it once every couple days to keep it evened out. A third note for the bottle: when at the bottom of the mix, wash it out with soap or put it in the dishwasher. Yucky stuff can get caked up inside the bottle if it’s not shaken and washed occasionally!
These are the ingredients I used, though you can vary it widely according to your skin’s needs.
- Castor Oil – this is the cleansing agent. It draws, cleanses, and purges your pores.
- Sunflower Oil – the largest portion of the mixture. It helps dilute the castor oil and provide moisture & nourishment.
- Grapeseed Oil – contains linoleic acid, antioxident, astringent & anti-inflammatory properties, and pore unclogging abilities. Not essential to the mixture but I have noticed a difference for the better when I do include it.
- Jojoba Oil – (pronounced ho-HO-ba) is a special one with lots of uses (see Desert Essences website – that’s the brand I use)
- Neroli Oil – I read that this is beneficial for treating scars. Even though I haven’t ever had a severe case of acne or any noticeable scars, I’ve had my share of whitehead/blackhead doozies over the years that I messed with one times too many, that left darkened or indented spots on my face. Though I haven’t kept a scientific record of the progress of each individual blemish (ain’t nobody got time for that), overall I feel like my complexion has evened out. I have always had fair skin & rosy cheeks, but the redness in my face has subsided since I started using this method. The scars are hardly noticeable now. We could give Neroli oil a standing ovation for that. A little bit goes a long way and neroli oil is pricey, so for each batch, I maybe only drop about 5-10 drops in the mix.
The larger 3 bottles pictured above, I found at Wal-Mart. The smaller 2 (jojoba & neroli), I found at Drug Emporium. You can also order these off of Amazon.com.
According to the Oil Cleansing Method website here are some suggestions in creating your blend of deep cleansing oil:
- Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil.
- Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil.
- Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil.
I normally make 500ml at a time, which fits in this Pyrex liquid measuring jar:
I pour in the largest ingredient first (sunflower), then the next largest (castor) and then tweak it from there. My skin isn’t oily or dry, so I do the balanced recipe from the OCM website which is 1 part Castor Oil to 4 parts Sunflower Oil. Next I add Grapeseed Oil – however much I feel like putting in that day – it doesn’t really matter – and then the Jojoba Oil (about 10-15 squirts), and lastly the wonderful Neroli Oil (5-10 drops). Stir it up with a spoon or butterknife.
The amount of face wash that a 500ml Pyrex makes will fit in the glass bottle pictured above, as well as in a travel bottle pictured below:
Do not waste your time buying a plastic travel bottle from Wal-Mart. I’ve tried about 3 kinds from there and it has leaked out with each kind. This bottle pictured above, the Nalgene® Flip-Top Leakproof Bottle, is $1.99 at The Container Store. After 3 years of trying several things, I opted for this luxurious Cadillac of the travel bottle world, standing at a stout $0.79 pricier than its wannabes. Don’t drink the Koolaid. Buy the Nalgene Flip Top Leakproof Bottle.
Ok, now that you have the ingredients and the mix made, here is how to use it. Turn the faucet to hot to get it warmed up. I get 2 washcloths handy. Splash some warm water on your face. Pour a quarter-sized drop of the OCM mixture into one hand. Rub your hands together and then rub it onto your wet face. Massage it into your skin, all the way to your hairline and even down your neck. Let it stay on your face for a bit while you wash the oil off of your hands with some soap. Watkins Aloe & Green Tea is my favorite soap to use!
Wet one of your washcloths. Rub the warm wet washcloth over the oil on your face in circular motions to remove the oil. It is safe to use around your eyes and can even take off remaining mascara. (I just use store brand petroleum jelly to remove eye makeup beforehand.) The second washcloth is for drying your face and then drying up the puddles on the bathroom counter! I am infamous for my puddles!
All it takes in the morning time is a splash of water on your face and you are good to go! No need for doing the whole thing over again.
That’s it! It is your face wash and moisturizer in one. It doesn’t strip your face of its natural oils and so generally there is no need to add moisturizer after washing. Every few weeks, my face will feel a little bit dry, so I will use a teeny tiny bit of coconut oil for moisturizer.
All it takes is swiping one finger across the top of a jar of room temperature coconut oil, and a little goes a looong way. If I get too much, my face will sometimes break out the next day so I try to use this very sparingly. Speaking of break outs, the only times I have had any problem with whiteheads is when I DON’T use this mixture. Maybe I traveled and forgot to bring it, or maybe I collapsed before washing my face, and it shows up the next day or two! That is one reason I call this method a success for me! I only have problems when I don’t use it!
So I have ditched the Clearasil, the scrubbing, the Clinique special redness removers, and the wondering what facial product will work better next. These 2 products above are all I have used for 2 1/2 years and I’ve been very happy with them! It’s so relaxing and refreshing and leaves my face feeling cleaner than ever.
I keep all my bedtime bath stuff in a basket under the sink and love how long these simple products last! Even the big container of storebrand petroleum jelly (what, $2?) lasts for months and months as eye make-up remover.
For more than 2 years, I used the same batch of oils to make my face wash, which combined cost less than $25. That averages to less than a dollar a month! Compare that to $10-$30 for every couple months that I was spending on fancy facewash that doesn’t hold a candle to how wonderful this Oil Cleansing Method has been for me!
I would love to hear if any of you try it and how it works out for you!
For further reading, check out the Oil Cleansing Method website.