Natural Beauty: The Oil Cleansing Method

So, about two months ago, Sarah at Yes and Yes introduced me to the Oil Cleansing Method. Yes, it’s cleaning your face with a mixture of olive and castor oil. For real. Read up, I’ll wait.

{Michael Young Olive Oil Bottles}

Was I skeptical? Yes. My skin is historically evil. Acne as a pre-teen, psoriasis now… it’s dry, tight, and vengeful. I’d learned through experience not to wash it in the morning and only really cleanse at night – to get the make-up off before going to bed. However, I was still very dependent on moisturizers.

Two months ago, I had nothing to lose. We already had the main ingredients at home, so I could the method out with minimal cash outlay.

A few days in, I was hooked. My skin has never been more agreeable. The most noticeable difference is in the morning, post-shower. Normally, at that point, my skin is crying out for moisturizer. Now, it’s fine. Comfortable. Normal.

My face is also noticeably smoother, especially my chin and nose – areas that were previously a little sub-par.

While I’m hardly a crunchy-granola, chemical-free girl (hello, I love Diet Coke) there is something nice and refreshing about using such natural ingredients on my skin. After decades of harsh chemicals to combat acne and thick moisturizers to fight psoriasis, it’s nice to give my skin a break.

Now, I’m clearly not a dermatologist. My acne and psoriasis would likely have been a lot worse at their peak without medical intervention. If you are on a specific, doctor-regulated regimen, stick to it. However, if you are flexible, I’m loving the Oil Cleansing Method and I’d recommend giving it a try. The basic ingredients are household staples, so there is very little risk.

Currently, I’m loving experimenting with other oils. I’ve used Vitamin D and hear good things about Tea Tree Oil. The best thing about this cleansing method is that you can completely customize to get the best results for your skin.

20 thoughts on “Natural Beauty: The Oil Cleansing Method

  1. Adriana

    Interesting! My mom was telling me about this, but I wasn’t sure I believed her. Now I want to give it a try. I go through about 6 lbs of moisturizer every winter…

    Reply
  2. renita

    After hearing you and K commiserate on Saturday about your skin, I’m feeling lucky in that department! :)

    Yours definitely is looking good, and I’m glad to know this method is working for you… I’m curious how it might fair in the humid months of sticky Chicago summers. But either way… I am tempted to try it.

    Reply
    1. Helena Post author

      Ha, well, as I said, it can always be worse. I read about how to help my psoriasis online and in the course of so doing come across some terrible pictures of people far more unfortunate than me!

      Reply
  3. Belle

    I’ve been using this method for about 6 months now and I LOVE IT! I’ve only been using olive oil, though, as I’ve been to lazy to try and find Castor oil here, but that’s worked out just fine, especially since it’s winter and my skin gets really dry now anyway. Thanks for the link! I’ll definitely be trying out one of those other oils (maybe avacado?) just for fun.

    Reply
  4. Jess

    I, too, just recently started the OCM afte reading the following article.

    http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/

    They suggest using less castor oil but other than that, it’s the same concept. I started out using organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil but switched to organic, cold-pressed sunflower seed oil, as the article suggested. I really prefer the sunflower seed over olive oil. It rubs in much better. That said, it was a pain to locate & in the future, I will be buying from Amazon. Most sunflower seed oils I found were for cooking, not skincare use. But I finally found the cold-pressed organic type at a small local health store up by me. Yay!

    I may cut back with moisturizing, like your article stated. Interestingly enough, I also started making my moisturizer too & love it! It’s super simple, just organic jojoba oil combined with a few drops of lavender essential oil. You can also use other skin safe EOs. It’s the best moisturizer I’ve used in terms of really hydrating your skin using very little product & not leaving you greasy or with a thick coating of lotion on your face. I highly recommend it. About 5 drops is all you need for your face & it’s also customizable.

    Thanks for sharing this. I took away a couple pointers for my own routine.

    Reply
    1. Helena Post author

      Oh my goodness – I’ve been wanting to try making my own moisterizer! I have to do that! I figured as I go along with the oil cleansing method I can try different oils. I’ve added vitamin D to mine (because I had it on hand and figured “why not?”).

      Reply
      1. Jess

        Here is the moisturizer link I used. It seriously lasts forever so go ahead & splurge on the organic jojoba oil (Desert Essence is available at Whole Foods) & essential oils too. Totally worth the initial investment of $20ish.

        http://noteasytobegreen.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/diy-thursday-homemade-facial-moisturizer/

        I may try skipping the moisturizer in the evening after the OCM but slathering it on in the morning. My skin just soaks it up. I still need a structured routine for all these DIY products. Ha.

        Reply
  5. esther

    I’ve heard of this before, but was always leery because I have a rather oily face, even in the winter. (Or maybe my face is compensating for being overwashed…) Anyway, have you tried vitamin E oil yet? I’ve been using it instead of body lotion, & it does wonders on superdry spots.

    P.S. This post reminded me of a Garance post http://www.garancedore.fr/en/2011/11/22/skin/

    Reply
    1. Helena Post author

      It may be that your face is responding to being over-washed… they say that’s the case with hair (i.e., the more you wash it the oiler it actually gets). I haven’t tried Vitamin E, but should!

      That Garance post is interesting – I will be doing some reading there!

      Reply
  6. Jessica

    I had not heard of this! I actually use honey on my face, strange as that may sound. We get real honey from our CSA (as opposed to the stuff you can get from the store), and in the morning right before I get in the shower I spread it on my face. It has kept my skin really soft and free of breakouts, which is huge for me since every face wash I’ve ever used caused me to break out!

    Reply
      1. renita

        random side notes:

        honey is naturally antibacterial, and I’ve seen it used in facemasks … i can see how it would help with acne.

        also those reports of “honey isn’t really honey” were a bit overexaggerated. it’s still honey without pollen in it. filtering isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it gets the bits of bee wings and honeycomb and whatnot out. :) it is good to be aware of what you’re buying, though, certainly.

        /random

        Reply
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