Do It Yourself: Cleansing Your Face with Oil

Some folks will never make it past the title; cleansing your face with oil?! I know what you’re thinking. Some of you are cringing and protesting. The thought of lathering up your face with a dollop of olive oil makes you shiver. Nevertheless, there is a growing contingent of people who have taken the plunge and have found it quite refreshing.

The theory behind the switch to oil is that soap, aided by all of those ingredients you cannot pronounce in your regular facial products, actually makes your skin problems worse. When you dry out your face’s natural oils with soap, your face responds by creating an overabundance of oil, and so you use more soap, and so your face produces more excess oil, etc. All the while, all those big corporations are making big bucks off of this vicious cycle.

The trick, then, is to cleanse your skin of the bacteria that causes blemishes, not just to dry it out. After cleansing your skin with oil, you remove the oil with a hot wash cloth, and in just a few weeks your skin will be softer and clearer than ever.

Now, I’m not actually telling you to go to your kitchen and apply to your face whatever oil you happen to find there. That really would be pretty gross! Rather, I’m asking you to get the right ingredients and create a spa for yourself in your own home.

Your cleansing solution will require two ingredients: a cleansing oil and another oil to blend it with. Castor oil is recommended for your cleansing oil. The other oil can range from plain old olive oil to sunflower or safflower oil. Since this is a thrifty mom’s site, I won’t go into all the other expensive oils you could choose from.

The next thing you need to know is that in order for this to work, you’re going to have to keep your oil container really clean. I use a tiny glass vase. When I use up my solution, I put the vase in the dishwasher to sterilize it, and then I make a new batch. If you want a lid on your solution, save your vanilla container next time you go through one, and then use it for your oil cleanser.

Your solution will be unique to you. I recommend starting out with a mixture of 20% castor oil to 80% olive oil (or whichever oil you choose). The oilier your skin is, the higher percentage of castor oil you should use. No one would need equal parts, though. Too much castor oil can seriously dry out your skin. You’ll have to try this out over a number of weeks to tweak the solution to perfection. Only do an oil cleanse every other day or every three or four days, again, depending on your skin type.

When you are ready to cleanse, pull your hair back, run the water very hot, and pour about a nickel sized amount of your oil mixture on to your hand. Rub the oil in your hands and then begin spreading it generously on your face. I know it is counter-intuitive, but you will especially want to rub the oil vigorously on to the problem areas of your face, or if you have one of those painful bumps. Remember, the oil is cleansing your face.

After treating yourself to a little face massage, wet your wash cloth in water as warm as you can comfortably handle it. Wring it out, and then lay the cloth over your face. Don’t scrub your skin; gently wipe it with the hot cloth until the cloth has cooled. Repeat this process three to four times or until you think you have removed most of the oil.

Once you get used to the idea, cleansing your face in this way becomes a relaxing treat—a great way to calm your mind right before bed. And just wait and see: After you get hooked on oil, you’ll be saving tons of money and enjoying naturally beautiful skin all at the same time.

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