The Oil Cleansing Method: Get Clean With Oil
Friends, you trust me, right? We’ve built up a relationship of mutual respect and support, and you’ll bear with me if I hit you with an idea that might sound a little, well, strange at first? Okay. Here’s the thing. If you want to clean your oily face, the best thing to do might be to drench your face in a bunch of oil and then rub it into your pores. It’s called the Oil Cleansing Method, and celebrities like Alicia Keys are using oils to keep their skin glowing.
Let’s get into it.
The Oil Cleansing Method
We’ve all been told that in order to cleanse our skin of oils, we need a deep cleansing foaming wash that will strip all the oils away. Right? You’ve heard that? But that stripping can really mess with the delicate natural balance of our skin.
“The squeaky-clean feeling you may experience after using foaming cleanser or traditional bar soap is actually harmful to your skin,” Manhattan dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. told Vogue. “Stripping the skin of essential oils may disrupt the skin barrier, leading to dryness and inflammation.”
When we strip our skin of their natural oils, not only can we irritate it, but we can make it overcompensate, producing more oil than usual, clogging our pores, giving us pimples.
It turns out that if you want to really unclog your pores, oil can be a strong fighter. Why? Like cancels out like, and oil dissolves oil. So when you cleanse with oil, you dissolve all the dirty oil from your face and replace it with clean oil, keeping your face clean, moisturized, and fresh.
Picking an oil
Okay, you’re ready to try this oil cleansing method stuff out. But what oil to choose? You’re going to want to start with a base of castor oil. Yes, that’s right, the oil you see in drug stores as a remedy for constipation can also do wonders on your face. Castor oil is naturally astringent, and pulls the impurities out of the skin. But it’s very strong stuff, and for dry and sensitive skin especially it’s important to use other, gentler oils in combination. Generally speaking you’ll want to do at least two parts gentler oil to one part castor oil, but you’ll need to do some experimenting to see what ratio works best for your skin type.
What other oil should you use? Well I’m so glad you asked. Here’s our handy guide for pairing your skin type with your ideal oil:
The oil cleansing method is extremely simple, but may feel a little strange the first time you try it out. Once you’ve mixed your oil blend, stand over your bathroom sink and pour some out into your hand, then begin to massage into your dry face. Make sure your skin isn’t wet, because if it is the oil will just sit on the surface of your skin and not be absorbed. Use smooth, circular motions with your fingertips, moving them up and out to avoid pulling on your delicate facial skin. Massage for about two minutes. You can leave it on up to 10 minutes to really deep clean. And no need to take off your makeup first—one of the big benefits here is that the oil will completely remove it.
After 10 minutes, take a clean washcloth and soak it in hot water—you want the washcloth to be steaming. Wring the cloth out completely and place it on your face. The steam will remove the oils and any impurities and clogs from the skin. Leave the cloth on your face until it has completely cooled. After it’s cooled, you can complete the steaming process with the other side of the cloth if you like, and use the corners to gently remove any remaining oil. You will still have a very thin layer of oil on your face, and that’s great! That oil will nourish the skin and keep it moisturized. You can apply moisturizer after that if you like, but you probably won’t need to.
Notes on the oil cleansing method
Your skin will probably need some time to get used to this new cleansing method. You may experience some breakouts and some irritation. This is your skin figuring out what on earth you’re doing with it. If this persists for longer than a couple of weeks, then you may worry about it.
You’re going to need to fiddle around with your oil choices, your ratios, your application process. This is skincare playtime, and can be fun if you let it.
As with all skin care regimens, only do the oil cleansing method if it works for your skin. If this feels like you’re pampering your skin and giving it exactly what it’s been crying out for its entire life, you carry on. If it feels like you’re perpetually drowning in oil, don’t do it. Or if you’re afraid to put your face on your clothes or pillow cases, go on ahead and try something else.
A great oil for your skin
Even if you don’t stick with the oil cleansing method to clean your skin, there’s an oil you may not have thought of that’s actually fantastic for your skin: Styrian Pumpkin Oil.
One cause for acne-prone, irritated skin, is a lack of nutrients in the skin. Foaming cleansers strip them out, and one of the benefits of oil cleansing is it puts those nutrients back in. Pumpkin seed oil contains vitamins C, E, and K, which soften the skin and boost collagen production to keep skin supple and smooth. It also contains vitamin A, which is an excellent treatment for acne-prone skin, and alpha hydroxy acids, which brighten the skin.
It’s always important to put the very best products on your skin. Skin is very porous, so anything that you put onto it gets absorbed into you. You want to make sure you are using oils that are undamaged and pure, and highly concentrated for maximum benefits. Here at Activation, we use the oil of Styrian pumpkins, which are famous for the high nutritional content of their seeds. Every bottle contains thousands of perfectly pressed seeds, and our special pressing process ensures the seeds are completely undamaged. Zero damage equals zero rancidity, so this oil can be stored at room temperature—no need to refrigerate.