new fangled face washing

I’m warning you now, this is a long post. Stick it out, it might be life changing.

I’m constantly reading about natural body and health care regimens. Usually composed of  strange ingredients, these techniques almost always require me to pull out my beaker and start a science lab in my kitchen. So I was pleasantly surprised when I decided to experiment with the Oil Cleansing Method, a natural face washing system.

Face, skin, oil are not usually words that one hears in combination relating to blemish-free, beautiful skin, but hear me out.

The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) is a system of utilizing pure oils in various combinations to remove everyday dirt from the face. From adolescence, we’ve been warned of the villainous effects of oil on our skin. Popular over the counter gels and washes labeled as “oil-free” are actually depriving our skin of its precious protective barrier. When stripped of its natural oil, an imbalance is created. Skin may overcompensate by creating more oil or halt its production all together causing severe dryness. OCM works by removing unwanted dirt (makeup too) and leaving skin’s natural oils intact.

As you can imagine, when we let skin do what its supposed to do, it starts to look like it should: dewy, fresh, moisturized, and clear. This really isn’t rocket science. But it is chemistry.

After about 4 months of diligent research, I decided to give it a try. Now, I’ve never had problem skin and even during my teens I only dealt with oiliness at day’s end or a mild blemish or breakout at most. I feel very grateful for this. I wasn’t looking to fix anything per se but my overuse of harsh chemicals and buying of plastic bottles needed to end.

OCM Skin Example

Different skin types need different combinations of oil. You might need to tweak your personal combination until you find the right balance. You will need two types of oil for this method. One is a cleansing oil and the other will have complementing results.

Dry Skin: 1/3 Castor Oil + 2/3 Olive Oil

Oily Skin: 2/3 Castor Oil + 1/3 Olive OIl

Olive oil is recommended for its moisturizing qualities and its neutral pH. Other pure oils can be used in place of it or in conjunction with it. Castor oil is used for its cleansing, antibacterial, and dissolving properties.

  • Jojoba (all skin types, but very desirable for acne-prone skin)
  • Sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)
  • Grapeseed (all skin types, especially oily)
  • Avocado (dry and aging skin)
  • Sunflower Seed (all skin types)
  • Olive (all skin types)
  • Apricot Kernel (dry, aging, and normal skin)
  • Argan (all skin types, especially aging skin)
  • Tamanu (all skin types)

Step 1: Gather supplies. You will need your oils and a wash cloth. Pour amount representing your skin type into palm of hand.

castor oilavocado oil

Step 2: Warm oils by rubbing hands together. Smooth over face in circular massage type motions. Don’t scrub. This step should take about 2-3 minutes and should be relaxing.

Step 3: Run your wash cloth under hot water. This should be as hot as you can handle. Ring out wash cloth and lay over face to steam. This step opens your pores so the oils can continue to benefit your skin at a deeper level.

Step 4: Once your washcloth has cooled, wipe remaining oils off of face in a gentle upward motion. And you’re done. Your face should feel fresh and moisturized. In dryer months you can use a few drops of your olive oil on spots that need it, but otherwise, you should not need moisturizer.

It has been 2 months since I first began this process and it has taken getting used to. Overall, I’m happy with the results. I’m no longer shiny at about 2pm and the blackheads I’ve fought with for years are greatly diminished. I cleanse every night because I am a makeup wearer, but a splash of cool water in the morning is all that I need.

Healthy skin cannot be achieved by cleansing only. A balanced diet rich in fatty-acids along with proper hydration will give you lovely skin. This method will not work for every skin type and if you have questions you should seek the advice of your dermatologist. If you’re tired of purchasing face cleansers that under perform, I think that you’ll find this regimen simple and satisfying. Life changing.

Or at least skin changing.

Taylor Ellen


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