What is oil cleaning and how does it work?
Oil cleansing is a very old method of cleansing skin, especially for the face. It might sound counter-intuitive because cleaning usually means getting rid of oil and dirt. How can apply oil "clean" the skin? The answer is pretty simple: like dissolves like. Oil can attach to oil easily to remove the impurities such as makeup and excess oils on the skin. It is very effective, natural, and economical way to clean and nourish our skin at the same time.
How to use oil to clean your face?
The procedure is straightforward. Put a few drops of oil of your choice in the palm of your hands, and massage onto the whole face. You don't need to wet the face with water first. Gently rub the oil over the area with makeup for one minute or two. Rinse with warm water and wipe with a washcloth. Repeat several times to make sure the dirty oil is all gone.
After that, you can use a toner like Witch Hazel, or skip the toner. Add face oil to moisturize. This can be the same as your cleaning oil or a different formulation.
Benefit of oil cleansing compared to store bought cleanser
Many people report a more hydrated, glowing skin with oil method. It is also very good with Acne and oil skin. The store bought cleansers for oily or acne skin are often too drying, resulting in the skin producing even more oil. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Oil cleansing method leaves the skin clean and soft. Depending on the oil you choose, it has different functions on our skin. One thing for sure, it does not have all the extra chemicals that have the questionable effect on our health. It is also very inexpensive. I like to keep bottles minimum in the bathroom. A simple oil as cleanser and moisturizer means less mess and more counter space.
What oil to use and how to blend your own
Use the best quality oil you can find. It does not mean the most expensive. There are tons of oil choices available online, at the drug store or supermarket. Look for organic, raw, cold-pressed, and 100 percent pure oils. If it has other ingredients listed on the product, it is not pure.
The choice of oils depends on your skin type. Here are some suggestions:
For normal to oily skin: sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, apricot oil, jojoba oil.
For normal to dry skin: olive oil, argan oil, rosehip seed oil, Avocado oil.
Castor oil is often suggested to add into the cleaning oil because it has great cleaning function. On the other hand, it is more drying. So use carefully. You can also omit Caster oil completely.
Coconut oil is another one to use with caution. It is very moisturizing, but some people find it pore clogging and gives breakouts as a face cleanser.
Everybody's skin reacts differently to different products. Like all the skin care products from the store, you have to try it to know what works best for your skin.
Blending your own facial cleansing oil
You can buy facial cleansing oils from stores or online, but they are usually overpriced. Why not make your own cleansing oils because it is so simple to make, and you have the control of ingredients.
The easiest way is to use just one oil, such as olive oil or grapeseed oil from the kitchen. If it works well, there is no need to complicate things.
Or you can mix your own oil blend. Pick two or more oils that fit your skin type. Add them in a bottle, shake to mix completely. Now it is ready to use. You do not need preservatives because there is no water involved.
If you use castor oil, keep the proportion about 10 - 30 percent of the final oil. If your skin is oily, you might be ok with more. If your skin starts to react with the oil, stop using it and change your formula.
The expiration date depends on how fresh is the oil of your choice, and if the oil is stored in a dark, cool place. Usually, the oil blend should last for 1-2 years, until it smells nutty and rancid.
When and how often to use the oil cleansing method
The oil cleansing can be used every day. Some people prefer to use it only at evening because of all the makeup and dirt from the day. Thre is no set rules about oil cleansing.
Some people like to use a foaming cleanser after oil cleaning to make sure the skin is super clean. Some like to use a toner such as Witch Hazel or herbal tea after oil cleaning. Play with the routine to see what works the best for your unique skin.
Sometimes simple is the best. One bottle of high-quality oil is better than a store bought oil with 20 questionable ingredients. More ingredients mean more chance of allergy and unknown reactions. Making our own oils is one step toward regaining control of our health.