A few months ago I wrote a post about the oil cleansing method. I had been using the method for about a month at the time and was absolutely in love with it. After a couple more months I started noticing that my skin was clogging. Now, the problem with my skin is that it easily gets clogged, pair that with having a blog where I am creating and trying out many products and I never know what caused the clogs! I am pretty sure my skin does not like almond oil and that was what was in my mineral make up, but to be sure, I discontinued everything I was doing and using, including the OCM. I began to really pose the question to my common sense side, is the oil cleansing method really that good of an idea?
What I realized is that there are a lot of “iffy” habits that you can get into with this cleansing method. The oil cleansing method must be done right. It kind of reminds me of yoga. Hear me out…. If you don’t get the poses exactly right, you will probably be sorry. Like me, last week-I went to a ridiculously advanced class that moved way too fast for my level of yoga and I am still sore! If you don’t do the oil cleansing method correctly, you really could screw your skin up.
OCM-The correct way…..
- Washcloths can be incredibly irritating for skin. I recommend not using washcloths unless they are baby washcloths. I use THESE. Your washcloth might feel really soft, but over time excessive use and washing will stiffen and degrade the fibers and could cause tiny cuts in the skin. This is a really bad thing when you are trying to remove bacteria from your skin.
- Find a place you can hang your cloth properly. The bottom line-a wet cloth will quickly form bacteria. Best case scenario-buy enough cloths so you can use a clean one daily.
- Temperature is key-If you get your cloth too hot, you can exacerbate the appearance of broken capillaries and other skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and dermatitis. Hot water will also dry your skin out, causing your skin to produce more oil! That being said, steaming your skin is very beneficial when done correctly-it softens the skin and allows for easy exfoliation. I like to get my cloth really hot, then hold it right under my face. The cloth doesn’t touch my face until it has cooled to a lukewarm temp.
- If you are oily, washing off excess oil with a water based cleanser is a safe way to ensure no breakouts. There is controversy around leaving oil on the skin when you are prone to clogging. “Like dissolves like” is true, but honestly, it’s just too iffy when your skin is like mine and random ingredients cause it to clog.
- Jojoba oil is a wonderful oil to choose when you are trying to combat oil. It is the closest to the skin’s natural oils and therefore less likely to clog pores. Remember to always add castor oil to your oil. Castor oil is antibacterial and very drying. It is an excellent cleanser and unless you are bone dry, should be added to your oil cleansing cleanser.
- Get your proportions right! This can be tricky and you have to be ready for some trial and error. Basically, the more oily you are, the more castor oil you’ll need. Since I was not oily while performing the OCM, I put 1 tbsp. of castor oil in an 8 ounce bottle, then filled the rest with oil. If you are oily, you could very likely be using half castor and half oil. It all depends on your skin type and how your skin responds.
- Add in essential oils-bacteria is an issue for acne prone skin. Adding 20 drops to an 8 ounce oil/castor oil mixture is a great idea. I would add melaleuca, lavender and/or ylang ylang oils. This will help fight bacteria and fungus as well as balance the skin.
As you can see-there are a lot of opportunities for failure with this cleansing method. It must be done correctly to reap the benefits and not have negative side effects.
When I was using the oil cleansing method it was winter time. I was extremely unbalanced, meaning: I was very dry yet very sensitive to allergy bumps and blackheads-it’s complicated! Anyway, I loved it because it soothed my dry skin. It did away with dry patches and after the initial detox period, my skin seemed happy and smooth again.
When done right, the oil cleansing method is still a valid form of cleansing in my book. For many, many people, it works very well.
If you need more opinions on this method, I have compiled a list of posts from fellow bloggers about the oil cleansing method. These are from blogger’s I trust.
I will begin the oil cleansing method again once the winter dryness sets in. This time, I will use a new cloth daily and stick to jojoba/castor oil. I will also be very aware of the water temp. and use my cloth very gently.
I hope this post might answer some of your questions and apprehensions about this cleansing method. The bottom line is, everyone’s skin is different. This method is not for everyone. When you find something your skin responds positively to, you should stick with it!
P.S. If you are experiencing a “detox” period that lasts longer than 3 weeks, it is time to give up this method. Leave a comment below and I can suggest a commercial cleanser that worked wonders for my blackheads and hormonal breakouts.