Oil: Nature's Skin Cleanser


Take a moment to think about your skin care routine, particularly how you wash your face. Does it go a little something like this? You stand in the shower or at the sink. Get some soap or cleanser. Lather it up. Scrub it over your face. Rinse with water. Dry it with a towel. Maybe apply some moisturizer to your face. Sounds familiar? Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s a gentler, more effective cleansing method that is applicable for all skin types. It’s called, oil cleansing.

Oil cleansing uses natural oils (yes you read correctly, I said, “oils”) to clean and moisturize your skin. Before you think I’m losing my mind, hear me out. Most soaps and cleansers are chemical-laden. They strip natural oils from your skin leaving it dry. Then they overload the soaps and cleansers with artificial fragrances, probably to mask the chemical smells, which irritate your skin. Oil is natural to your skin. It lubricates, heals, protects and moisturizes our skin. By massaging natural oil, not baby oil or mineral oil folks, into your skin, you dissolve the hardened oil and grime that’s stuck in your pores. Then, when you apply steam, the hardened oil and grime is easily removed.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at it scientifically. Think back to chemistry 101 and the principle of polarity. That’s where you learned the expression, ‘like dissolves like.’ It means that polar solvents will dissolve polar solutes and nonpolar solvents will dissolve nonpolar solutes. Hence, natural oil will dissolve the oil on your face. Like dissolves like.

How to Oil Cleanse

Now that I’ve piqued your curiosity, I’ll explain the process to you. I promise you do not need to be a chemist to do this. First, create an oil blend specific for your skin type (oily, normal, or dry). Use a 1:2 ratio of castor oil to secondary oil. For example, use ½ teaspoon of castor oil to one teaspoon of sunflower oil. Keep in mind that one size does not fit all. Adjust the ratios according to your skin’s needs. If you have oily skin, you can use a little more castor oil. If you have dry skin, use less castor oil. In a small, clean jar or bowl, add castor oil (yes, the one your mom gave you as a laxative). It is anti-inflammatory, healing, and cleansing.  Next, mix in a secondary oil like sunflower, sweet almond, or jojoba oil. These oils absorb into your skin quickly so they can draw out dirt and grime. I must reiterate, do not use baby oil, mineral oil, or other refined oils. They do not contain the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids your skin requires.

Now that you’ve made your oil blend, let’s get cleansing. Gather your oil blend and washcloth at the sink. Pour a quarter size amount in the palm of your hand. Gently massage your oil blend over your dry face. Ladies, you do not need to remove your make-up first. This facial massage will remove your make-up and other products on your skin. Massage your face for at least one minute. Take your time and let the oil soak into your pores. Pay extra attention to areas that have breakouts. Don’t rush. Relax and enjoy your massage. Next, wet your washcloth with hot running water. Do not use scalding hot water. You do not want to burn your hands or skin. Wring out the excess water in your washcloth. Place the warm washcloth over your face until the washcloth cools. This softens your pores allowing them to release impurities. When your washcloth cools, wipe away the oil. Do not scrub your face. Repeat the washcloth process until you feel your face is free of impurities, make-up, and other products. You do not have to follow-up with a moisturizer. If your skin feels dry, use two to three drops of a natural oil, like jojoba oil or rosehip seed oil, on your face.

Oil cleanse once a day so as not to over cleanse your skin. It’s best to oil cleanse at night to remove all of the day’s grime. In the morning, wipe your face with a warm washcloth. If you feel your skin is getting dry, cut back to a couple of time per week. Remember; don’t use chemical-laden soaps and cleansers in between oil cleansing. Use an all-natural, organic, toxic-free soap like Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Bar Soap or a liquid cleanser like Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap.

It’s natural to go through a detox period, which is normal any time we purge impurities from our bodies. For me, this period lasted about a week. Just hang in there. You’ll soon reap the benefits of breakout free, acne-free, clear, healthy and glowing skin.

Voila, the oil cleansing method. Not so bad, huh? Trust me, you’ll like the results you see staring back at you in the mirror. You’ll wonder why you didn’t know about the oil cleansing method when you were a teenager suffering from acne. Happy cleansing.