What is Oil Cleansing and Why you should start doing it today? Hint – Beautiful Skin

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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.

How to use Facial Oils as part of a Skincare Regimen

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Would it be an overstatement to say 2016 was a good year for facial oils?
With the benefit of hindsight, definitely not!

According to the NPD Group, the sales of skincare oils have more than tripled in these past 5 years. It’s hard for us to be surprised at these stats having seen so many of our Skincare-Savvy acquaintances give glittering reviews. Despite the obvious benefits, facial oils still haven’t hit the mainstream yet. Why is that?

Get a skincare regimen customized just for you, take the skin quiz here

The primary reason for this is the fear of breakouts that some people still have when it comes to including facial oils in their day-to-day skincare regimen.  In reality, though, many of the facial oils are non-comedogenic and can actually control the excess production of sebum.

The first step towards including facial oils in your skincare regimen is figuring out which oil works best for your skin type. You can refer our in-depth piece on this here which is all about selecting the right facial oil for your skin. You can also take the skin quiz here for a more intensive skin analysis and a holistic skincare regimen.

In this article we talk about the next step, Step 2 if you will, which comes after you have figured out the most suitable oil for your skin or better still a tailored skincare regimen for you that works.  Below we list a set of Dos and Don’ts when it comes to using facial oils as part of your daily skincare routine.

  1. Using oils at the right time

We always recommend people use oils at night giving it adequate time before going to bed. Night-time is preferable because the skin is at rest and the oil can work towards repairing the nourishing the skin while we sleep.

If using the oils during the day, always ensure that you use the more absorbent ones (avoid heavier oils like coconut and avocado during the day) lest you might end up with a visibly greasy face. It is also important to know that some oils like grapefruit and lemon essential oils are photosensitive, which means they react to light and can cause your skin to become inflamed. Therefore, it is usually best to use oils at night before going to bed.

  1. Using the right oil for your skin type

We at Osperi believe that your skin is as unique as your fingerprint. It is therefore important to use skincare products and treatments which are tailored to one’s skin type. With that in mind, we must be aware that only particular oils will work effectively for us. This article will help you choose the right oil based on your skin type. Although we recommend you take the skin quiz here to get a more intensive analysis based on your skin type.

  1. Giving it time

If you have been using harsh chemical laden cosmetics all your life, or if you are just starting to with an all-natural skincare regimen, we will recommend that you give your skin time to adjust. Typically you will start to see results in about 2-4 weeks time. It is therefore important to have patience and keep the faith.

  1. Using essential oils without carrier oils

Remember to use essential oils only when diluted in a carrier oil. Essential oils are volatile and can evaporate from the surface of the skin without even penetrating. More importantly, essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus and lemon are highly concentrated and can irritate the skin when applied directly.

It is therefore advisable to dilute these oils in carrier oils like Jojoba or Grapeseed Oil.

  1. Using the right amount

Oils as naturally concentrated compounds. Moderation, therefore, is desirable. We recommend using about 4 drops of the oil and placing it in the palm of your hand. Now using the fingers of the other hand dot the 4 quadrants of the face (1- Forehead and T-zone, 2- Chin and Lower cheeks, 3- Right Cheek and Right Temple, 4- Left Cheek and Left Temple). Massage the oil into the skin evenly.

  1. Using oil as part of a holistic skincare regimen

If we keep on using a harsh chemical-laden cleanser, then no matter the oil we are using, we will not see results. Similarly, if we keep on having a bad diet and then using paraben/preservative laden products, the oils will not help. We must understand that having a beautiful skin requires more than lathering a few products on your skin. It is more a lifestyle choice that requires healthier eating, exercising, and above all using a natural skincare regimen.

An important aspect of any such skincare regimen must be that, not only must it be tailored to your skin type, but it should have elements or treatments which are mutually synergistic and help reinforce each other.  We recommend you take the skin quiz here to get a tailored skincare regimen for yourself and follow it religiously for 31 days. We are sure that you will see visible improvements.