If you told my high school self that I could wash my face with oil and have my best skin ever, I would have said you were crazy. Everyone knows oil on your face makes you break out! And young Kayla avoided it like the plague. Now, older and wiser me knows better.
I recently started practicing the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), which entails combining certain oils according to your skin’s needs. The type of oil you use and the ratios in the mixture can vary, but I use 6 parts castor oil to 2 parts grapeseed oil and 2 parts jojoba oil, plus a drop or two of lavender essential oil.
First, I wet my face with warm/hot water. Not all OCM descriptions include this step, but I like to smudge the mascara off my eyes before I apply the oil, plus it’s easier to spread the oil on if your face is already wet.
Next, using my fingers, I apply the oil mixture to my face, taking time to massage the oil into my skin in outward circular motions.
Then, I take a washcloth (you might even want to use a softer baby’s washcloth) soaked in hot — but not scalding — water and hold this over my face. Or I lean over the washcloth with it very close to my face. This step helps open the pores so that the oil can draw out the dirt. It also feels amazing and is very relaxing. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and let the heat envelope your face.
Finally, I gently use the washcloth to wipe the oil (and my makeup) away and pat my skin dry.
This leaves my skin incredibly soft, and there’s no need to use moisturizer after the process. I also love it because it takes my makeup off, especially my mascara and eyeliner, so easily! It is above-and-beyond better than any store-bought makeup remover I have used.
And of course, I love it because my skin is so much clearer! I admit I did not have wild acne before trying OCM, but I did have the occasional blemish, those pesky blackheads around my nose and a bit of dry skin around my jawline. No more!
One thing you do have to watch out for is your hair — I’d keep it off your face during the process and even after. I recommend practicing this ritual at night, then keeping your hair back until you go to bed.
Like I said, I use a mixture of castor oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil and lavender. The castor oil is cleansing and draws the dirt out of your pores. The grapeseed and jojoba oil are moisturizing. They also dilute the castor oil (which can be drying) and provide nutrients for your skin. Grapeseed oil tones and tightens pores, has vitamin C and E and is known for anti-aging properties. It’s also quickly absorbed into the skin and isn’t as heavy a moisturizer as olive oil, which you can use in its place if you have drier skin. Jojoba oil has similar benefits: it’s moisturizing and has antioxidants. And the lavender, in addition to giving your new cleanser a pleasant smell, is relaxing and reduces redness.
But there are many different oils you can use. The base ratio (for “normal” skin) is 50 percent cleansing oil to 50 percent moisturizing oil. Like I said, if you want a little heavier moisture you can replace the grapeseed oil with extra virgin olive oil. And in place of or in addition to lavender essential oil, you could use tea tree for acne, geranium for sensitive/dry skin, or rosemary to tone/tighten. And there are a million more possibilities! A simple Google search on essential oils should help you out.
In addition to being a very pure, natural and effective way to cleanse and moisturize your face, this method is also cost-efficient! My grapeseed oil was around five dollars for a large bottle, and though essential oils like lavender can be a bit pricey, you only need a very small bottle, and if you want to go for a larger bottle you could split it with a friend, but truly, there are many uses for essential oil around the house, so you could probably find ways to use it up yourself. I recommend putting a few drops of lavender on your pillow at night. You will sleep like a baby!