Oil Cleansing Method

Posted by Mrs Money on November 25th, 2009

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Oil Cleansing Method

It will probably not be a surprise to some of you that I don’t wash my face with soap. I use the oil cleansing method.  After all, I don’t wash my hair with shampoo, so why would I use soap on my face? I have a very frugal and green method of cleansing.  I actually use a blend of oils to wash my face. I know- it seems counteractive to use oil on your face, especially if you have oily skin or are acne prone. Hear me out on this one!

Your skin produces oil. When you use oil to cleanse it, you are actually removing some of the oils (sebum) and impurities with it. Oil dissolves oil. When you use traditional skin cleansers, you are removing a lot of the oil and then replacing the moisture with a water based moisturizer because you are scared of putting oil back in the skin because it causes breakouts, right? Well, it could be doing more harm than good because when you remove all the oil, your skin works harder to replace it, making the skin more oily and prone to breakouts. Yikes. The oil cleansing method combats that problem.

Ingredients

-Castor Oil

You can buy this at the drugstore or grocery store. It is commonly known as a laxative. Castor oil is the main cleansing oil, as it removes impurities from your skin. It also has potent anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

-Olive oil

Chances are that you have olive oil in your cupboards for cooking. Olive oil is the lighter, more moisturizing of the two oils. Have you ever noticed how the Italian and French women have beautiful skin and never seem to age?  They’ve discovered the secret of using olive oil on their skin.

What you want to do is make a mixture of the oils.  Here’s a general ratio of oils:

Oily Skin: Try a blend of 70% Castor Oil to 30% Olive Oil.

Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 50% Castor Oil to 50% Olive Oil.

Dry Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Olive Oil.

Acne Prone Skin: Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your mixture.  It is a natural antibacterial!

Obviously you’ll want to find a balance that works for your skin, but start with a small amount, try it, and go from there!

Method

Get a nice washcloth out and start running your hot water.  While waiting for the water get hot, put some of your oil mixture onto your fingers and start massaging it into your skin.  When the water is hot, take your washcloth and get it wet, wring it out, and place it on your skin.  Leave it on there until it cools down.  It’s almost like a mini facial! Repeat until your skin feels soft and clean. Afterwards, if your skin feels a little tight, you can use the oil mixture, or even some coconut oil for moisturizing.  Voila! You’ve successfully completed the oil cleansing method.

Have you heard of or tried the oil cleansing method?

image from cathyse97

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31 Responses to “Oil Cleansing Method”


  1. I’ve heard of coconut oil as a way to moisturize, but I am scared to try this, because my skin is just.. whacked out.

    I am going to buy a tub of coconut oil sooner or later and at least use it on my hair

    I don’t like using actual cleansers on my face, but what if I end up causing acne AGAIN?

    Gosh I’d cry….

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I was worried about that too. I have acne prone skin but it’s worked pretty well for me! The coconut oil is so light that it doesn’t cause problems. :)

    [Reply]

  2. Vee says:

    I used to use OCM, and my skin never looked better. I got lazy, though, as it takes a little extra time. I also felt awfully wasteful as I had about 4 half-used things of face wash lying around. Maybe when I run out, I’ll go back. I actually prefer the combination of castor and almond oil – it’s just a little bit lighter than the olive.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I’ve never tried almond oil but it I’ll bet it smells great!

    I know what you mean about it taking a little extra times- sometimes I just use hot water and a washcloth when I’m too lazy!

    [Reply]

  3. Tia says:

    Well I am going to give this a try. I use only a shampoo bar as I have been trying to get rid of our plastic consumption. Up to now I just use baking soda on my face and it works great (my skin is not sensitive) but recently I have been getting blackheads. I have both ingredients here at home so I can’t wait to see how it works.

    Thanks for the post.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    That is great! Let me know how it works and if you have any questions.

    [Reply]

  4. I have never used oil to wash my face. I rarely use soap or anything other than water.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I use just hot water and a washcloth when I’m too tired to do the whole method. I think it works just fine!

    [Reply]

  5. Catherine says:

    I SWEAR by the oil cleansing method! I have serious acne and it helps my dry/oily skin become actually NORMAL and HEALTHY! My mom was completely skeptical, but when she saw the healthy glow my skin developed she took all the bad things she said back. :-) I just need to keep up with it and not get lazy.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    That is so awesome! I know- it sounds so weird, but I am so glad it works. That’s the only downfall- that it takes too much time sometimes!

    [Reply]

  6. I’m interested in learning what is the benefit of using several oils. People recommend this, but no one seems to explain satisfactorily why this would be better than just one oil.

    I use plain olive oil. Because I cook with olive oil, too, it’s always at hand and I don’t have to make extra trips to specialty stores or order stuff on the Net.

    The stuff is wonderful on your face! It makes my skin feel SO MUCH better.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Castor oil is supposed to be more cleansing. I used it because I had some on hand. :) I am amazed at how well it works too!

    [Reply]

  7. Anne O says:

    Oh neat, I’ll have to try this! I have combination skin: Oily on my forehead and dry on the cheeks and around my nose. In winter it’s somehow dry and oily at the same time. Thoughts on what oil combination to use?

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I would do 50/50 in the winter if I were you. If your skin is still dry after you cleanse it, you can put some oil on as moisturizer. You may want to use the olive oil only to do that though. The castor oil is a little thick! :)

    [Reply]

  8. Liz says:

    I’ve been using olive oil to moisturize after washing with normal (chemically) cleaners. I’m trying to make a real effort to STOP relying on chemicals, so I am off to the store to hunt down some castor oil….I wonder about the sweet almond oil, would that work the same as the coconut oil for a light hair serum on the dry ends…Hmmmm.

    Anyway, I stumbled across your site, and I think it’s great! Thanks for the tips! I can’t wait to try this tonight!

    [Reply]

  9. Marjory says:

    Thank you for sharing this post, it was useful.

    [Reply]

  10. jen says:

    I tried the oil cleansing method but was very skeptical. My results – I only wish that I had tried it sooner. It is amazing! I have Rosacea and some trouble with acne so I was scared to make things any worse, but my skin looks better than it has looked in years. At this point I can’t imagine going back to face wash. Give this a try…you just might be surprised by the results.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    jen- Thanks so much for letting me know how it worked out for you! I think it’s wonderful too, and it’s definitely helped keep any acne out of the way for me. :) I’m so glad it’s working for you!

    [Reply]

  11. Brooke says:

    I recently came across an eye makeup remover that made me think of this post. It consisted of thin cotton pads (think Stridex) soaked in a mixture of soybean oil and aloe gel, in a screw-top plastic canister. 80 per package, for $5!

    [Reply]

  12. erin says:

    How often do you use the oil cleansing method & that do you use on the other days. I have oily skin/acne prone & I want to make sure that its getting cleaned on the other days/times. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  13. aj says:

    I have been using variations of the OCM for about 2 years now.
    My skin has never looked better! I am 40 years young and finally am acne free. My sister and I (and my teen daughter) have always had problems with breakouts. DS even did the Accutane about 10 years ago but still suffers with acne… My daughter & I have switched out all of our chemical laden hba’s with naturals and it has made all the difference in the world.

    I was using just EVOO to remove makeup & “wash” my face at night, then again in the morning to moisturize before putting on my makeup.
    I have found that in my case the Coconut oil sometimes causes little tiny red bumps so I do not use it on my face. Everywhere else it works great though! Right now I have been using olive oil mixed with just a bit of D-limonene oil (citrus oil…from oranges). I did not think of using a few drops of Tea Tree…but the Orange oil smells great and is antifungal also.

    I will try mixing some castor oil in too for some extra moisturizing!
    If you haven’t tried it you definitely should! Your skin will thank you for it!

    [Reply]

  14. tara says:

    I have been using this for a while and love it. after years of being unhappy with moisturizers and face washes, I figured it must be these products putting my face out of whack. The skin on the rest of my body is great and I just use some soap quickly in the shower and don’t do anything else… yet I tried so hard with all these products on my face, only to have problems again and again.

    Just wondering if you use a store-bought moisturizer ever? after reading pretty much everywhere that we “NEED” to use moisturizers, I am scared to not use one. I would love to just be able to use a bit of extra Olive oil as a moisturizer though :)

    [Reply]

    Muniyrah Reply:

    I have had much success with using coconut oil as a moisturizer, and extra virgin olive oil as well.

    [Reply]

  15. Dana says:

    I started doing this recently, since I lost my job and have to watch my money, and also because I had been breaking out horribly and nothing worked. I use about 1/3 castor oil, 2/3 sweet almond oil, and a few drops of tea tree oil. About two weeks after I started, I stopped breaking out! Even at PMS time! I still have some issues with sensitivity and rosacea, but now that I’m done breaking out I think I will use another essential oil instead of tea tree for my next batch. Thanks for the tips!

    [Reply]


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