oil cleansing method olive oil coconut oil

The oil cleansing method is a method of washing your face with oil, not stripping it off with harsh cleansers.  You moms might relate, but I haven’t consistently washed my face at night since I was childless and had teenage acne.  When I do have makeup to take off (see homemade makeup remover here, but this oil cleansing method also takes it off) I’d usually just follow up with using my kids’ baby wash.  In the shower I normally washed my face with shampoo.  Yeah, I’m not on top of skin care over here.

As I’m approaching 30 (in July!) I thought I might want to consider taking care of my skin, and I’d heard of oil cleansing, so that’s what I tried.  I love it! It’s super simple, my skin feels great and glow-y afterward, and I started using items I already had at home: Just olive oil and coconut oil.

The oils dissolve the oils on your face and in the pores (remember? Like dissolves like? I love chemistry) and while dissolving them it takes away all the dirt and grime on your face as well.  The steamy washcloth opens the pores even more and loosens up any stuck in uck.  A light layer of healthy oil is left on for the skin to absorb.

Oil Cleansing Method Directions

1.  Mix your oils: I use coconut, olive oil, argon, and sweet almond. If you melt the coconut it will mix with the olive and stay liquid (again, like dissolves like- oils dissolve into other oils). You can also use fractionated coconut oil– lately I’ve just been mixing a few drops of each oil in the palm of my hand rather than pre-mixing them into one jar.

2.  Pour a quarter-sized amount of oil mixture or a small dollop of coconut oil in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and then cover your face, working the oil in in small firm circular motions for a full minute or longer.

3.  Get a wash cloth wet with hot (but not burning) water.  Gently wring out until it’s not too drippy, and then place over your face.  Cover with another dry hand towel if desired to keep the heat in longer.

4.  Leave the hot wash cloth on your face for 30 seconds or until it’s cool.  Gently wipe away makeup and excess oil and pat dry.  Don’t take off all the oil, leave a small amount.

5.  (Optional) If your eyes feel heavy or greasy from the oil, you may want to swipe them clean with a dab of witch hazel on the corner of the hand towel.

Repeat each evening after the children go to bed.

Choosing Oils

Don’t let obsessing over the perfect oils or perfect ratio of oils prevent you from trying this cleansing method.  I started with half olive oil and half virgin coconut oil and then added in some castor oil (about 1 tablespoon to 1/2 cup of my other oils).  Castor oil is  drying and very cleansing.  Grapeseed, sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, sunflower, and hazelnut oils can all be used and may work better for your particular body chemistry than others.  Castor oil is very drying, so it should only be used with another oil, but any of the others can be used on their own.