April 17, 2011

The Oil Cleansing Method-Have You Tried It?

Do not be afraid of applying oil to your face. Oil, alone, will not bring you blemishes. Pimples, cysts, zits, blackheads, whiteheads...these are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the buildup of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it. It is not a malicious force to be reckoned with; it is there for the benefit of your skin, allowing your largest organ to function properly. It is naturally occurring. Not only does your natural oil help lubricate, it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your skin so that it may function properly.

The Oil Cleansing Recommends the following combination of oils for the three skin types

  • Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil.
  • Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil.
  • Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil.
          *The above percentages are merely a recommended starting point, you can adjust to suit your needs.

While you do need the castor oil(it is the oil responsible for soothing inflamed skin and much of the cleansing)  you can substitute Sunflower seed oil with Extra Virgin Olive oil or I used Rice Bran Oil since it is very similar to olive and I had plenty of it around. Since Castor is so thick and can be drying you will need to dilute it with another looser, nutritive oil. 

OCM is best done in the evening before bed to help rid of any makeup or environmental gunk and as a way to wind down from the day.

OCM Steps to Follow
  • You'll need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water.
  • Pour a generous puddle of oil into the palm of your hand. Roughly, the size of a quarter, but more is acceptable. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and smooth over your face.
  • Begin massaging the oil into your face. This will remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities, so there is no need to use a makeup remover or wash your face prior to the massage. I've found that this removes even my stubborn waterproof mascara and concealor.
  • Using slow, firm motions across the skin, massage the oil deeply into your pores. Take your time and focus on your problem areas. You want the oil to work into your pores so that blackheads and the like can be dissolved and steamed away.
  • As you're massaging, let your mind drift off to something calming and breathe deeply. Take this time to relax and release some of the stress that your body is harboring. Sit down, breathe deeply, and take your time. Give the oil enough time to work on dissolving the impurities in your pores and give yourself enough time to unwind. Picture what your face would look like if it were completely clear and free from blemishes. Focus on that image and know that it is attainable. Trust that it is attainable. Accept that it is attainable. You can have clear skin, free of blemishes and you will have clear skin, free of blemishes. Focus on perfect skin and breathe deeply.
  • Once you're satisfied that your pores are saturated and you're feeling calm, pick up your washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. Cool water will not open your pores, nor will it remove the oil efficiently. We're not scalding our skin, we're steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. We're essentially steaming our skin as an esthetician would, but without the luxury of a steam machine.
  • Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores releasing the impurities. Wipe the oil gently away and rinse the washcloth well in hot, running water. Hold the washcloth to your face again, allowing it to cool. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub, as you'll find it's completely unnecessary and your skin will be soft, smooth, and free of flakes without the additional manual exfoliation and irritation that will result. Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.
  • Have no fear of the oil, as the steamy washcloth will remove it. The Castor Oil, though it is an oil, will help with the removal of the other oils, as well. It is our main cleansing oil and is easily removed with warm water.
  • If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend, rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow!
This deep cleansing method should be done regularly, but not too frequently. You'll know if you're deep cleansing too frequently by the dryness that your skin will exhibit. Don't be surprised if you find you've unblocked an oil flow for the first few days. Once you remove the plugs from your pores, they will begin functioning properly again. Perfect skin won't happen overnight and while it should take a few massages to achieve your goal, you should notice a huge difference in your skin after the first deep cleansing massage. Give your skin a few days to adjust and adapt to being clean and clear of blockages; understand that the new oil coming from your skin is actually a good sign and will balance out very shortly. You'll find redness and irritation subsiding. You'll find your skin losing that "congested," and thick feeling.
    Source:The Oil Cleansing Method

    I read about this method some time back, but have never tried it until tonight. I don't wear a lot of makeup,but I do like a clean face at bedtime and I typically wash my face in the shower every day. I do tend to have sort of problematic skin(even though I am in my mid 40's.) I have to say that since I have started using handmade soap my skin is very, very different than it was three years ago- and I mean for the better. I was one who always itched and broke out monthly if not in between - while I do still break out once in a while it tends to be very minor now. I am very interested in trying this for awhile to see what the results are. I think it might be a very good thing for my maturing skin.

    Have you tried the OCM? What were your observations?


    Jennifer Young said...

    Never tried anything like this! Wow! I think I will! xo jen

    The Soap Sister said...

    Hi Michele, I didn't know this was an official "thang" -but I actually do it at least once a week! It really makes my face feel clean -but I'm a little disapointed that I didn't "invent" it! LOL!

    Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

    Becky, how smart are you to have already been doing it. We can say you invented it-I don't mind. It's sort of a funny thing to me-it seems so counter intuitive yet, it makes so much sense when you read about it in this context. Lots of people use this method of cleansing.

    Amy Warden said...

    I did try it for awhile. What I didn't like was getting oil in my hairline. Couldn't seem to avoid it! I may have to try it once a week like Becky does. :)

    Briny Bar Soap said...

    Would grapeseed oil work in place of sunflower seed oil?

    Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...


    "The secondary oil that you choose is entirely up to you and should be determined by your skins needs and the properties of that oil. Choose from natural, cold-pressed vegetable oils, as these have nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids that mineral oil and other refined oils don't." The article suggests that you can use any oil of your choice for the secondary oil,it does suggest you select one that is absorbed easily by the skin so that it can get in there to draw out the dirt and grime.So,it seems like grapeseed oil would be a good choice if that is an oil you prefer.

    Briny Bar Soap said...

    FINALLY tried this! I used 20% castor with 80% grapeseed oil. I also added 2 drops each of tea tree and naiouli for their acne clearing properties. I think I'll add a little bit of carrot seed next time. Oh yeah, I used the one ounce bottle that my tamanu oil came in so there was a little bit of that in there too. I could feel the oil getting slightly gritty as I used it meaning that junk was coming out of my pores. I think I'll do this twice a week and tomorrow will be my second time. Can't wait!

    Thanks for sharing this. I had never heard of it before and love it.

    Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

    Briny,sounds like a great concoction of skin loving goodness. So glad you are finding it useful. I do think it works to get the gunk out of the pores. My skin seems to be going through sort of an adjustment period with it - it's been a bit funky. I am trying it a couple of times a week myself.

    Briny Bar Soap said...

    Mine's being funky too. It's a bit more oily than usual, but that was to be expected. Also, I added the apple cider vinegar rinse to my hair and like that too.

    You are a good influence on me, Michele. :)

    Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

    So glad to be a "good" influence on somebody.lol! Thanks Briny.