Everyone told me repeatedly when I was a teenager that my severe acne would be a blessing when I got older, that my incredibly oily skin would prevent wrinkles and keep me looking young for a really long time. But no 17 year old girl wants to hear that, and neither does a 22 year old who still has acne.
I scrubbed my skin relentlessly with various exfoliants. I made sure everything that touched my skin was oil free and had some sort of acne medication in it, and I just couldn’t understand what was causing my skin to constantly erupt. I managed to switch to organic products which helped a bit. By my late 20s though, I was sick. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, and I was desperately searching for some semblance of control over my body and my health. In an act of desperation, I tossed all of my make-up and skincare products and was only using products I could make – that way I knew they wouldn’t cause a reaction.
I first heard of the oil cleansing method during this time, and I was terrified. Oil? On oily skin? The blogger Crunchy Betty assured me that it was simple physics: like dissolves like. Apparently, when I scrubbed and toned and washed my face to try to clean it, I was just stripping the oil away, which caused my face to create even more oil to make up for it.
I like to think that I’m logical and science minded, but I was terrified to try it. In fact, I read about all the fancy oils you’re supposed to use, and I was so sure that it wouldn’t work that I decided to test it out with olive oil, which is what I had on hand.
Note: olive oil and coconut oil both have the potential to clog pores and you’re supposed to test them out before using them on your face. I have never been known for my patience so I grabbed some olive oil and smeared it onto my face. I rubbed it around for a bit, and then I was washed it off.
The results were shocking. My skin was GLOWING. It was so intensely moisturized, and when I woke up the next morning, my skin continued to be hydrated and radiant. So I continued with the olive oil. After 2 or 3 days, I had another revelation. My skin is not oily. I had been making it oily with my attempts to improve it. It turns out my skin is DRY.
I never noticed before because I always thought that pinching and tight feeling after you wash your face was normal, but I had gotten used to the moisturized, glowing feeling from the oil. Going back to the pinching feeling felt less luxurious and very wrong. I finally decided to invest in some of the proper oils for your face, and I mix different oils so my dry skin feels nourished all the time.
Here’s a quick breakdown if you’re ready to give this a go and have gorgeous skin:
- Mix your oils according to your skin type. The recipe I use is below.
- Pour a tiny amount in the palm of your hand, and rub it on your face. This is an excellent make-up remover as well, and oil is the only way I remove my make-up now.
- Give your face a bit of a massage, and don’t be afraid to use a bit more oil if you’d like. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Lisa Eldridge’s video for a mini facial.
- Take your was cloth and wet it with hot water. Wring it out, and drape it over your face. This steams opens your pores and lets in more of the oil.
- Gently wipe the oil off of your face. Admire your skin.
- Rinse off your wash cloth with hot water.
I’ve been using various oils for the last several years, and I don’t use any other moisturizers at night, as the oils are enough for me.
If you have a different kind of skin, click here for more recipe ratios at the Oil Cleansing Method and suggestions on oils. Other great oils to check out include argan oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, and sweet almond oil.
Have you tried the oil cleansing method? I would love to hear your thoughts!