In one of our previous articles ” Skincare Regimen for a Naturally Smoother Skin”, we devised a holistic skincare regimen which helps you achieve that elusive smooth, clear and radiant skin. We deliberately left out one very crucial aspect of that regimen which we believe requires a thorough article all for itself.
The “crucial aspect” we are talking about is the Oil Cleansing method. It has received much attention and hype in recent years. We acknowledge that the hype is well warranted. Not only is the Oil Cleansing Method incredibly efficient, it is very simple to learn and fit into your daily regimen.
We understand that it is totally natural to freak out about using Oil on your face (I did too – given my history of acne breakouts). But as we have explained in few of our previous articles (which you can read here and here), using the right oils can actually be helpful in your fight against acne. Just remember to select the right oil based on your skin type. (You can look for help here).
Now back to the Oil Cleansing Method, the fundamental idea of Oil Cleansing is to use a natural oils in a particular combination to gently cleanse the skin and balance the skin’s natural oils. From the website dedicated to oil cleansing:
” The basic concept of this skin care and cleansing method is that the oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores. The steam will open your pores, allowing the oil to be easily removed. Should you need it, the smallest drop of the same oil formula patted over damp skin will provide the necessary lubrication to keep your skin from over-compensating in oil production.”
But is it effective?
Oh boy! Are you going to love it.
When we tried it out our skin went through a brief ‘adjustment period’ where our skin got worse for about a week. Based on what we have read, this is a usual reaction because of the impurities being pulled from the skin surface. Post this you will see a gradual improvement over the next 3-4 weeks in your overall skin tone and texture. Remember this treatment requires, in addition to discipline, some amount of patience so as to will yourself through the 1st week or so where your skin will feel worse. Our recommendation is that you stick to the regimen and see it out for the first 3 weeks atleast.
Here’s what you’ll need
You are going to need a clean wash cloth and a couple of natural carrier oils. The first and the most important oil is the Castor Oil. Castor oil is naturally thick with strong cleansing properties. It is also highly antibacterial in nature. A little amount of it goes a long way and using too much of it will leave you with visibly dry skin.
Since it is quite thick in consistency we need to dilute it with some other oil (we’ll call it the secondary oil) which is thinner in consistency but at the same time nurturing to the skin. For the secondary oil there are a lot of options to choose from – Sunflower Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil. We recommend using an oil which suits your skin type. To find out which oil suits your skin best, take the skin quiz here and look in the basic regimen tab. Since I have oily acne prone skin, I used Hemp Seed Oil, which worked well for me. Remember to choose only natural cold pressed oils and avoid mineral and refined oils.
Having selected your primary (Castor Oil) and secondary oils, we can now move forward and deal with another critical component of the Oil Cleansing Method – The composition in which we mix the primary and secondary oils to create our own tailored blend. This composition depends on your skin type. Here’s your rule book:
Oily Skin: 30% Castor Oil and 70% Secondary Oil
Combination Skin: 20% Castor Oil and 80% Secondary Oil
Dry Skin: 10% Castor Oil and 90% Secondary Oil
You can vary these combinations based on your skin’s needs. If your skin feels too dry, you can reduce the amount of Castor Oil. My personal composition used 25% Castor Oil which I store in a flip top bottle. When replenishing the blend remember to wash the bottle thoroughly so as to avoid introducing any bacteria or dirt.
Ready to give it a try?
Here’s how you do it.
Oil Cleansing should ideally be done at night, prior to getting into bed. Once you regularly use this method to cleanse your face you will realize that deep cleansing is not required in the morning. You can just as easily use a warm wash cloth to clean your face.
Remember the objective of the Oil Cleansing Method is to deep clean while at the same time balance the skin’s oils at the same time.
- Pour a ₹2 coin sized amount in the palm of your hand. Rub it into your hands to warm the oil and apply it to your face
- Using slow, firm motions massage the oil into your face. Take your time and remember to focus on problem areas. There is no need to remove your makeup or wash your face prior to Oil Cleansing as this method helps easily remove dirt, sunscreen, makeup and even waterproof mascara or concealer
- Give the oil enough time to dissolve the impurities and once you are satisfied pick up the wash cloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. The water has to be warm enough to soften the pores and remove the oil – which would have already dissolved the impurities and dirt from our skin
- Hold the washcloth to your face, allowing it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores softening and releasing the dirt/impurities. Wipe the dirt and oil away with the washcloth. Repeat this step 2-3 times, while avoiding the temptation to scrub, as you will notice this is completely unnecessary
- Post completing this, you will notice there is still a thin layer of oil which remains on your face. This is actually beneficial
Using this method dirt, impurities, bacteria and dead skin cells will be gently removed from your skin. The oil blend dissolves the impurities from your skin which might end up clogging the pores. Our primary oil – Castor Oil – is the key ingredient here, which helps draw out dirt and grime to the surface of your skin. These are subsequently wiped away using the wash cloth.
Remember, you will require a brief adjustment period of about a week or so. During this time you will feel that your skin is secreting more oil. This is natural. You will see the benefits accrue post this adjustment period.
We will love to know how you found this regimen, please use the comments below.
To learn more about the unique demands of your skin, take the skin quiz to get a customized skincare regimen.