Clean Hippie: Cleansing Your Face with Oil

Wait, OIL?

Yes, oil.

You probably learned in school that like dissolves like. So, why do we use water to wash our faces, when many of us have oily faces? Sure, we use soap, which helps, but it dries the skin. Some soaps also contain triclosan, an antibacterial ingredient which may also interrupt our thyroid and reproductive hormone systems.

Natural oils can dissolve the sebum (oil) from our skin and help clear our pores. Oil won’t dry your skin. In fact, many people who cleanse with oil don’t even need moisturizer. Oil doesn’t contain perfumes, and as long as you use the right kind of oil, it won’t interrupt your hormone activity.

I learned about the Oil Cleansing Method when I was trying to grow my hair out. I thought it was crazy at the time, but later I softened up to the idea. I read that many people see a marked improvement in the quality of their skin – fewer blackheads, no flakes, soft skin. These promises were enough to make a combination skinned girl like me curious. The Oil Cleansing Method website recommends a blend of castor oil and sunflower oil for cleansing and softening skin, and leaving it glowing.

Because I already had coconut oil in my bathroom cabinet for my hair, I decided to give the oil cleansing method a try with it. I did buy  a little bottle of castor oil, which you can find for only a couple of bucks in the laxative section of the pharmacy. I guess that the castor oil has a similar effect on the bowels as on the pores. Anyway, the general consensus is that castor oil is too drying on its own, so I mixed it with about the same amount of coconut oil and got to work.

Because coconut oil is solid up to 76 degrees Fahrenheit, I mix my oils as needed, rather than making up a bottle. The process of washing my face with this oil blend is quite relaxing at the end of a long, hard day. I give my face and neck a nice gentle massage with the oil. I pay close attention to any areas that need extra help (where I would have put pimple cream when I was a kid). One really neat thing about cleansing with oil is that you don’t need a separate eye makeup remover. Most eye makeup removers are mostly oil anyway, so on days that I wear makeup, I also pay special attention to my eyes (gently). Then I get a clean washcloth wet with the warmest water I can stand, and I hold it to my face, or lay it on my face, until it cools. I repeat this for a total of two or three times, and then gently, gently massage my face with the washcloth. You don’t want to scrub your face, it may irritate your skin. I usually don’t even dry my skin afterward (I didn’t do this much when I used soap or other cleansers to wash my face either). I don’t use a moisturizer either. The folks at the Oil Cleansing Method website say you don’t have to do this more than once a day. I just rinse my face and clean my eyes in the morning (environmental allergies leave me with some gunk in my eyes).

How have my results been? Mixed so far. I don’t have any more flakes, but I still have pimples. I have only been using oil to wash my face for two weeks, so some of the pimples I have, I had before I started. I have noticed a decrease in blackheads. My skin looks nicer to me, like it has more of a glow to it.

I’m wondering: Has anyone else tried the Oil Cleansing Method? What did you think of it? Do you still use it?

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2 thoughts on “Clean Hippie: Cleansing Your Face with Oil

  1. I was just talking about my this with my physical therapist today–a like minded holistic individual! She listened to the aforementioned Kathleen Show podcast, and switched to some of the products, including Argon oil for her face. While I don’t think she uses oil as a cleanser (I think she uses Dr. Bronner’s), she said she’s already noticed a difference with the oil. I look forward to making some similar switches. I just have to find someone to give my current products to–I don’t want to waste them!

  2. I have that problem with my current products as well. I am keeping them around just in case for now.

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