Now you are probably thinking that this is a gross idea and wondering why on earth anyone would do it (I know my other half still doesn't get it). I too was initially skeptical, as my face can be quite oily, and I couldn't see how putting more oil on it could help things! Despite this, and because at the time I had no alternative and nothing to lose, I decided to ignore my reservations and go for it. Needless to say I was really pleasantly surprised, even after the first day. My skin was soft, it wasn't greasy, and my face felt clean. Since then, it's only improved, and three weeks on, my skin has actually cleared up significantly.
The principle of the oil cleansing method is simple. We often buy into mainstream skin products which promise to clear the skin and clean it, but in reality these products often strip our skin of its natural oils. The skin then tries to replace this oil, overcompensating by creating more oil! Added to this, alcohol and fragrance (even in non scented and expensive products) irritates skin on a level you may not notice but does affect you.
Now don't get me wrong, I have come across a few cleansers in my time that haven't caused me too many problems, but I've never found one that has actually made my skin look and feel a lot better like this, genuinely. I'm actually so impressed. After three weeks of just washing my face in olive oil (and later, introducing castor oil) I've found my skin completely clear, clean, and less greasy! I think this might be because oil dissolves oil, when you wipe it away. Oil in itself isn't bad, your skin produces it because it needs it, the main cause of spots or breakouts is actually more often down to hormones, environment, and clogged skin. By working with your skin and not against it, the oil mixture will dissolve any natural oil that has become stuck in your pores and allow for a deep cleanse. I have found that not only is my face softer with less need for moisturiser, its now also much clearer and makeup sits much better on my skin!
Here is how it works;
You will need a blend of two oils. I started with olive oil for the first week or so, and honestly that worked well, but after reading into it more, I discovered that castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and is very cleansing. If your skin tends to be more oily or combination, you will want to use less castor as this as it can actually be quite drying. Castor oil isn't as easy to find as you'd expect, (try a pharmacy or the pharmacy part of your local supermarket). It takes a little bit of practice to get the mixture quite right, but as a general rule;
- Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% to olive/sunflower oil.
- Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% olive/sunflower oil
- Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% olive/sunflower oil.
- Create desired blend (this might take a few attempts to get a mixture that suits your skin best) and apply to face.
- Massage in circular motions (anti clockwise around the eye area, I learnt this from a make up artist, you should take your eye makeup off in this direction too to avoid encouraging lines!) I usually do this for about a minute to two minutes, because I am impatient and often don't leave myself much time in the morning, but for optimum results do this for 3-4 minutes. Take time on the areas you have problems with. It gets the blood flowing and allows the castor oil opportunity to sink through and really cleanse.
- This removes makeup too and seems to work well on my eye makeup!
- Lastly, get a washcloth and dip into hot water (obviously not too hot) and apply to face. This will remove all the oil.
Have you ever tried the oil cleansing method? What do you think?