The beauty industry would have you believe that washing your face with facial cleanser is a necessity. It promotes the idea that the only way to remove the residue left by makeup, air pollution, sweat, and oil is by using chemical-laden cleansers to strip it all off. The problem, though, is that our skin is not meant to be stripped of its natural oil. When it feels dry, it tries to repair itself, overcompensating for the lack of moisture by producing additional oil.
There’s also the temptation to apply a moisturizer to dry skin to recreate that soft, supple feeling, but many products, even those with ‘green’ claims, are full of toxins. Anything with fragrance is irritable, and even unscented products contain fragrance. If the skin is so busy working to detoxify the toxins being slathered on, it can hardly keep up with its real job of maintaining beautiful, clear, and healthy skin.
It’s possible to escape this cycle by using the Oil Cleansing Method. You will have fewer, if any, breakouts, and your skin won’t feel dry or stretched because its natural protective oils remain. It might seem counterintuitive, but oil dissolves other oil; by rubbing it into the skin, the cleansing oil loosens the ‘bad’ oil that has hardened and lodged in the pores.
There are different approaches to oil cleansing, so find which level of involvement works best for you. There could be an adjustment period, which is normal.
1. Basic Cleansing
Choose an oil. Coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, apricot kernel, olive, and avocado oils are all good options. Pour oil into your hand. Rub over your face in a circular motion.
Lay a hot washcloth over your face. Wait until it cools, then repeat. The steam draws out the loosened impurities from the pores. Gently wipe away the remaining oil.
2. Deep Cleansing
This method uses castor oil, which has strong cleansing, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties and can purge the pores, together with moisturizing topical oil. Use cold-pressed sunflower seed, olive, or hazelnut oil, or any of the above.
Oily skin: Blend 30% castor oil + 70% olive oil
Balanced skin: 20% castor oil + 80% olive oil
Dry skin: 10% castor oil + 90% olive oil
Apply in the same way described above.
3. Luxurious Cleansing
It can be hard to give up beauty products entirely, so here’s an option for those who don’t want to be bothered mixing their own oils, or wish for a real spa experience.
Kari Gran is an ‘eco-luxe’ skin care company from Seattle that makes a whole oil cleansing skin care system that consists of a cleansing oil, toner, serum, and lip balm. It’s made from natural, organic, hand-harvested, GMO-free ingredients, and hand-poured into glass jars.
I received a sample system, which I’ve been using for the past month, and I’ve been very happy with the results. While I suspect my usual grapeseed oil does as good a job at cleansing, Kari Gran’s smells divine, and the spray toner is a wonderful pick-me-up throughout the day. My favourite item is the tinted pepperment ‘lip whip,’ a thick balm that stays on my lips like a protective moisturizer. (You can purchase online here.)
Regardless of which OCM route you go, I highly recommend you give it a try. You’ll discover what your skin was meant to look and feel like all along.