The oil cleansing method is my tried and tested skin care regime. It is very simple and very quick, perfect for daily use. Put oil on the face, massage in, rinse off. Some people are surprised at the notion of putting oil on your face to cleanse it but it is amazingly effective, especially for oily skins. The scientific bit here is that oil dissolves oil. When oil is massaged in to the skin, it penetrates the pores and dissolves the oil which is clogged there. It also adds a layer of moisture for healthy, radiant skin.
Most commercial skin cleansers contain chemicals such as sodium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphates, parabens and un natural fragrances which amongst other negatives strip the skin of it’s natural oils. Oil cleansing on the other hand adds whatever appropriate amount of moisture that your skin needs -the rest is rinsed away.
It is usually recommended to steam your face after you have massaged the oil in, in order to open the pores and allow the oil to really penetrate them. There is no way that I have time for that every day, and I don’t think it is fully necessary, though I’m sure it’s very beneficial. I put the oil on and massage it in. It completely removes all traces of make up. Sometimes I only have time to massage it in for 30 seconds, but if you want to have a really deep clean, I recommend massaging for up to five minutes. Massage alone is really beneficial for the skin and the facial muscles, but combined with the oil, it really allows the oil to do its job. My favourite part is a bit disgusting and a bit amazing in equal parts -after a few minutes you begin to feel tiny sand like grains underneath your fingers, these are the unclogged pores! The proof that it’s working is right there, and it’s very satisfying!
When I’m done massaging I rinse very well with warm water, and when I have time I wipe my face with a muslin cloth to really remove the oil and exfoliate the face. Afterwards I tone my face by spraying and wiping it with rose water mixed with some tea tree essential oil to ensure that all of the oil is removed. As with all new skincare regimes, if you begin this you might get a few more blemishes originally as your skin is cleansed properly and adjusts to the new regime, but stick with it and I am sure you will be pleased!
Oil cleansing has been around for centuries but it has recently been popularised by big brands such as The Body Shop, Loreal and Shu Umuera. I used to use the Shu Umuera one and liked it a lot, however after studying the ingredients list and realising it is full of mineral oil, I realised it’s not as natural as I presumed. Mineral Oil is a by product of the petrochemical industry. It sneaks it’s way in to a lot of beauty products, such as baby oil and vaseline, but it is not something which I want on my face! It’s production is also based on the use of non renewable resources and is about as environmentally un-sound as you can get.
While still wanting to continue to the oil cleansing method, I decided to seek out a more natural and organic oil to use on my face. There are several really gorgeous natural blends on the market by small, organic and natural cosmetics retailers. These are lovely products but I found the prices a bit steep for my liking, so decided to make my own blend. I use cold pressed organic sweet almond oil and cold pressed organic jajoba oil, at a ratio of about 90% almond and 10% jajoba. I add seven essential oils to the carrier oil due to their properties to support healthy, moisturised skin. I add about forty to fifty drops of essential oil in total to 100ml carrier oil, about 6 drops of each.
If you have sensitive skin, you might want to reduce the number of drops of essential oils to as low as 10 to see how your face reacts. Ten drops to 100ml will still be very effective as essential oils are so concentrated. Certain skins may also have reactions to some carrier oils so you might have to experiment with which suits you best. Generally sweet almond oil is well tolerated by everyone so this is a good one to start off with, even by itself. It’s also generally nice and cheap! Make sure to buy cold pressed and organic oils. It’s best to keep your oil in a dark coloured glass bottle as it can react to light.
The following is a list of the essential oils which I most commonly add to my blend, and why.
- Lavender -Anti bacterial, good for spots or blemishes, reduces inflammation, aids healing, tones, good for sunburn.
- Neroli -Good for scars and stretch marks, tones complexion, regenerates skin cells, prevents scarring.
- Rosewood -Good for dry, oily or sensitive skin, soothes itchy skin, spots or blemishes, heals scars, adds moisture to skin.
- Sandalwood -Good for dry, oily or sensitive skin, heals scars, soothes chapped skin.
- Geranium -Good for acne and dull skin, balances sebum production, helps to heal inflamed skin.
- Bergamot -Good for acne, cold sores, oily skin, psoriasis.
- Cedarwood -Good for acne and dermatitis.