Oil cleansing

I’ve been oil cleansing for a few years now and I find it suits my skin much better than any of the other cleansers I’ve tried in the past, I also love making my own products as they are so much more purer and natural than the majority of the shop bought ones. Everyone’s skin is different and reacts to different products in different ways so what works for one person my not be suitable for another so experiment and see if it suits you. Some experience mild detox reactions and find their skin takes a few weeks to settle down before they see the full benefits of oil cleansing.

So why cleanse with oil? Well oil dissolves oil just as like dissolves like, so its going to gently remove excess oils on the skin. Oil is also very good at breaking down make-up including stubborn and waterproof make-up without stripping too much of the natural oil from your skin. Harsh cleansers that remove too much natural oil can make your skin oilier because your skin starts to overcompensate for the lack of moisture and can end up producing more oil. My skin doesn’t feel dry after cleansing with oil, if your skin does feel dry you can apply a little of the cleansing oil to your skin after.

cleansing oil
I keep my oil ready made in an amber bottle and extract it with a pipette to keep it clean.

The main ingredient in an oil cleanser is a cold pressed oil such as olive oil (that’s what I use), you can also use sunflower oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, apricot kernal (or any base oil that suits your skin). Added to this is caster oil which has a strong cleansing action and is suitable for all skin types, Caster oil mustn’t be used neat on the skin, always dilute it with another oil.

I use roughly 3/4 of olive oil and 1/4 caster oil, if your skin is dry or you find this mixture makes your skin dry then reduce the amount of caster oil a little and add a bit more olive oil (or whichever oil you are using), if your skin is oily or you feel you want to increase the cleansing action then add a little more caster oil and less olive oil. The measurements don’t need to be exact just experiment a little with the guide and see what works for you.

The amount of oil that I use is a full squeeze from my pipette which is about the size of a ten pence piece. With the oil in the palm of your hand start by rubbing both hands together and massage all over the skin working into all of the corners of the nose and paying extra attention to any problem areas, spend a good minute or two massaging the oil into the skin.  I like to remove all of my make-up before the oil cleanse with a facial wipe as I don’t want to rub too much oil into my eyes so I get most of the eye make-up off before I start. Take a clean face cloth and run it under hot water and wring it dry, hold this cloth over your face (it should feel hot), leave it there until you feel the heat starting to go (about one minute). The heat will open the pores and allow the skin to start excreting which will deep clean the skin (the oil wont block the pores). Place the cloth back under the hot water, wring it dry and start to gently wipe the oil off the face.

Some useful tips:

  • Use a cold pressed oil as opposed to refined as it will have retained its micronutrients.
  • Use a fresh face cloth for each oil cleanse so there is no bacteria build up in the fibres (especially if you have problem skin). I collect up all of my face cloths and put them in the washing machine with my towels on the hottest setting (mine is 95 degrees) along with some antibacterial laundry cleaner.
  • Oil cleanse at night especially if you have been wearing make-up.
  • You don’t need to oil cleanse in the morning, just wipe your face with a hot face cloth. I spent about 20 years religiously cleansing twice a day, then read somewhere that it’s not necessary so I tried just a hot face cloth in the morning and the oil cleanse at night and so far that’s worked fine.



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