Oil Cleansing 101

So, I’ve been making my own facial cleansing oil, and, just sayin’, it’s amazing.  A new friend explained the process to me and it seemed so basic and effective.. I knew I had to try it.  I’ve been using oils to cleanse my skin for a few years now, paying big bucks for expensive cult products like Eve Lom Cleanser and Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse.  While both these products hold a special place in my heart, I decided to try customizing my own to suit my exact and crazy complex (oily, combo and sometimes, excessively dry) skin type.

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Washing the day off can be daunting. We’re all tired-  falling asleep putting the kids to bed or tipsy from a night out on the town and the idea of a 4 step nighttime routine is about as appealing as a root canal.  But, taking your makeup off is simple and critical!  Sleep in your makeup and you will wake up with breakouts and blackheads and maybe even a little pink eye from crusty mascara.  Don’t do it.

Oil cleansing is the most effective way of cleansing, purifying and moisturizing at the same time- in as little as 2 minutes.  Once you get in the habit, you won’t want to be without it!   The basic idea is to use natural (organic, where possible) oils in specific combination to cleanse and naturally balance the skin. Don’t use soap or detergent- based cleansers on your face. You will strip away your natural oils, putting your skin on a merry-go-round that will be impossible to get off of.  The result will be oiler, more acneic or dull, parched skin that is very hard to reverse.  Great skin starts with good cleansing and oil cleansing will give you the nourished, moisturized and balanced skin you’ve been searching for.

Start with  Castor Oil.  It is naturally astringent, so it helps pull impurities, like yucky blackheads from the skin, making it ideal for oily or combination skin (and even dry skin in lesser amounts). Try to find organic if you can, but regular works fine too. You’ll need to add an uber moisturizing oil to the Castor, I use jojoba, but avocado, olive and sunflower work great too.   Use a dark glass bottle with a dropper… I bought mine for a couple bucks at Noah’s.  To create your personalized blend, here are some guidelines.


Oily skin

30% castor oil to 70% moisturizing oil

Normal  Skin

20% castor oil to 80% moisturizing oil

 Dry Skin

10% castor oil to 90% moisturizing oil

Once you’ve created your blend, add a few drops of Lavender oil or any scent you like (this step is not mandatory… just adds to the spa-like experience).

Step by Step:  At night, pour a generous amount of oil into your dry hands and rub together to distribute, smooth and massage over entire DRY face… this is all you need to remove face and eye makeup.. Even waterproof mascara comes off in a flash…pay close attention to any clogged areas and blemishes and go over those areas a few times.

Using a soft face cloth (I use a sponge cloth from The Body Shop- you can use a muslin cloth or a regular face cloth works perfectly well)… run under very hot water (as hot as you can manage)… and wring out.  Place over your face and leave there to steam out your pores for a few seconds to a minute…and repeat.  Using the corners of your washcloth, start wiping away the oil and makeup on your skin.  Repeat and keep rinsing until your cloth is perfectly clean.  Be gentle and don’t scrub.  You will easily take off the day and leave behind a tiny veil of oil to keep you moisturized and glowing all night long.  Follow with any serums/moisturizers you normally use or nothing at all!  If you still feel a little dry, work a few extra drops of oil into your damp skin and call it a night.  There is no need to repeat this process in the morning.  Just a quick cleanse will do  or even a splash of cold water to start your day.

Beware: Oil cleansing will detoxify and deep clean your skin, while returning it to an optimal moisture level.  Some initial breakouts may occur at the start, but stick it out and you will soon be blessed with beautifully balanced skin that will glow.  Trust me- it’s worth it!