The story I am about to share with you has been told and retold a million times. Guess what? I am gonna tell it again! The oil cleansing method is far and away one of the best facial cleansing methods known to man! Okay, maybe not known to man, but you get my drift.
I have battled with acne since I was a teenager. Engaging in battle with my sword and shield with a full suit of armor. By the time I got to school my face was reminiscent of a pan that had been filled with vegetable oil. I frequently swabbed with an infamous toner that burned due to the astronomical alcohol level in it, but it was working right? Wrong! It never seemed to be under control even with the oil-control powder I packed on.
When I hit my early 30's I read an article about OCM or the oil cleansing method and decided to give it a try. By this time I had fallen in love with natural skin care and was willing to try anything new. It involved using oils to cleanse your skin with the primary one being castor oil. I followed the steps: massaging a quarter size amount of oil into my skin gently for about one minute, wrung out a very warm wash cloth and pressed it to my skin (the steam from the cloth opens the pores), and gently wiped off my makeup (repeating 2 more times since I had on a full face of makeup). It was a pleasant surprise when I saw how soft and plump my skin looked, not to mention how relaxing it was. This method was stringently followed twice a day for one week and by the third day I did have a few more breakouts, but I stuck with it. By the end of the first week my new breakouts were gone. Within two weeks my pores appeared smaller and my skin looked "healthier and radiant". SOLD! Wrap it up and put a bow on it! I was in love.
We have been programmed to strip all of our natural oils from our skin when we cleanse. The problem with this is that we remove all of the needed oils that keep our skin moist and supple as well. When that happens our bodies are tricked into thinking that enough oil was not produced in the first place and often leads to an over-production of oil. Uh oh, we just made it worse. We repeat this crazy cycle of nonsense over and over again. You may also experience the polar opposite when your skin stops producing enough oil and your skin is now dry and flaky all the time.
The OCM works by using oil to dissolve oil trapped inside your pores. It is comprised of at least two parts: the primary oil and the secondary or alternative oil. Castor oil is derived from the castor bean plant. This is the primary oil and dissolves and releases trapped dirt and sebum in your skin. It is also a strong anti-inflammatory oil with healing properties. A natural emollient, it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the skin so you end up looking more hydrated. The secondary oil is used to dilute the castor oil and to provide a moisturizing benefit. Choose this one depending on your skins' needs. My secondary oil of choice was regular olive oil, but you could also use grape seed, sunflower, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, or sweet almond oil. Make sure that you purchase your oils from your local natural food market or trusted online vendor to ensure you buy a naturally cold-pressed or cold-processed oil full of fatty acids and minerals that will nourish your skin.
Suggested ratios for your cleansing oil:
Oily Skin: 30% Castor oil to 70% olive oil
Combination: 20% Castor oil to 80% olive oil
Dry Skin: 10% Castor oil to 90% olive oil
- Olive Oil (All skin types, EVOO may be better suited to very dry skin types)
- Avocado Oil (Dry and aging skin)
- Sweet Almond Oil (All skin types, especially oily as it is very light)
- Grape seed Oil (All skin types, especially beneficial for oily as it is very light)
- Sunflower Seed Oil (All skin types, especially dry skin)
- Use a quarter size amount of your oil blend and massage into skin for 1 minute.
- Using a very warm wrung out wash cloth, press against skin and leave until it cools.
- Gently wipe oil off of face-don't scrub! Repeat step 2 twice more.
- Moisturize and don't forget sunscreen.
Simply put, the dryer your skin is the less castor oil it will need. You can substitute any secondary oil you choose, just be mindful of any allergies you may have. This method can be used at least once a week, but adjust as necessary. Remember that oil is not the enemy. In time your skin will radiantly thank you for it and look lovely!