aka, my adventures in being a hippie, part 2. As a reminder, I previously posted about making my own make-up removing wipes. I still have a batch of those sitting around to use up, but I’ve found something even better! (Disclaimer: I’m not really sure how to organize this post, because it’s a lot of random information. So bear with me and read the whole thing!)
photo from ourvanity.com
I’d heard and read about this idea/routine called the Oil Cleanse Method a few time around the internet. It’s an all natural alternative to the whole face washing, acne-medicine routine. Basically, the idea is that by using natural oils, your skin/face will even out and produce less oil, which makes your face less greasy and therefore produce less acne. The warm washcloth also helps to pull out the gunk stuck in your pores (kind of like a mini steam facial.)
I had heard a little bit about this before, and then a few internet friends were discussing it again recently. My face was out of control after going off of birth control (and subsequently getting pregnant. Funny how that works- but that’s a story for another day.) Anyway, I decided to do a little research and consulted good ol’ Dr. Google. I recommend looking up as much as you want/can yourself, but here are a few websites I found most helpful::
What I learned was that you need two main things- a cleansing oil, and a moisturizing oil to balance it out. Everything I read recommended Castor oil as the cleansing agent (also confirmed by my friend Jess, who had been doing the Oil Cleanse Method for awhile.) The moisturizing part can be a lot of different oils- I’ve seen grapeseed, jojoba, sunflower, coconut, or even extra virgin olive oil. I had grapeseed and jojoba in stock, so I decided to use those.
The usual recommendation is to start out half castor and half moisturizing. If you tend to have oilier skin, add more castor oil; if you tend to have dryer skin, add less castor. (I started with 50% castor, 25% grapeseed, 25% jojoba. I noticed my face was drying out a little, so I added some more jojoba. I now use about 40% castor to 40% jojoba and 20% grapseseed oil. I also added a few drops of tea tree oil for the scent and antibacterial properties.) Whatever you decide to do, mix up a small batch ahead of time. I use a travel bottle thing from the Target dollar spot, like this:
Ok, now that we’ve got the basic information covered and you’ve got your mixture concocted, here’s what you actually do with the oils:
- Slather it all over your face, make-up and all. Rub it in a little, but not too much. Use this as excuse to give yourself a quick, gentle face massage.
- Get a (white) washcloth and run it under water as hot as you can stand. Drape it over your face and let the steam soak into your skin until it cools to room temp (about 30 seconds.)
- Rinse it off and repeat with new hot water until cooled to room temp.
- After two steaming washcloths, I start to wipe off all the stuff on my face (make-up, oil, etc.) Rinse and repeat with hot water. You shouldn’t have to rub very hard at all.
- I do it about 4-6 times or until I feel like my face is totally clean.
The whole process takes maybe 10 minutes at the very most, but more like 5 or so. Far less time than I spent scrubbing my face with acne medicine, then waiting for the spot treatments to dry so they wouldn’t stain/bleach my pillowcase. After I’m done, I spot-treat any bumps/acne with full strength tea tree oil. (I just dab some on a Q-tip and use as needed.) That’s it. No expensive medicine, no fancy lotions. Just my all-natural oils.
A few random tidbits that I didn’t feel like organizing into the post:
- When I first noticed that my face was drying from the routine, I just rubbed a little jojoba oil into my skin and let it soak, like lotion. My face was so much smoother even after just the first night.
- You have to give your skin a week or two to adjust. My face did kind of freakout the first few days, but it was obviously just the gunk being pulled out of my skin. (Gross, right?) But stick with it. After only a week or so, my skin was noticeably smoother. The zits I DID get healed far more quickly, too.
- Don’t feel like you have to do this every single night from the get-go. I just wouldn’t bounce back and forth between the natural oils and other acne medicine. I probably did this 3-4 nights/week at first, then nightly for a few weeks. Now that my face is pretty evened out, I only do it 2-3 times/week at the most. The other nights I just dab some jojoba oil on a cotton pad to remove all my make up. In the morning, I just rinse off with water in the shower or splash some cold water on my face. Honestly! That’s all it takes.
- If you notice your face is drying out too much (probably not as much of an issue now in the summer), adjust the oil ratio. OR just moisturize with one of the other oils after. I rub a little jojoba oil (my favorite) on my skin after it’s completely clean. I like the jojoba oil the most because it’s a lot thinner than the other ones, so it soaks into my skin more easily and never feels greasy.
- I’ve had terrible skin off and on since jr high. It was usually ok while I was on BCP, but when I wasn’t? Awful. I never had cystic acne or anything, but I always had at least a few big red zits/bumps. I’ve tried tons of OTC acne medicines with no luck. This, though, completely cleared up my skin.
- You really truly don’t need anything else. This works awesome as a make-up remover (even the waterproof mascara that I love.) I tossed out half my closet full of cleansers and spot treatments and all that stuff. It’s so much cheaper too!
- You can get most of these oils as a natural health store near you. However, the cheapest I’ve found was on Amazon. You can use the straight oils (jojoba/sunflower/coconut) as moisturizer as needed too. I use it on my arms/legs instead of lotion. It’s never slimy either, which is fantastic.
So there you go, my take on the oil cleansing method. Have you tried it? How’d it work for you and what combination of oils did you like best? If you have any questions, please let me know! I’m by no means an expert, and this is mostly just a summary of information I’ve found. But I’m sure other people reading can help answer any questions too!