The solution to your pimple frustrations may be the Oil Cleansing Method. As a teenager, my skin was kinda tragic. There was no surface on my body where pimples were too shy to appear. I had pimples on my back, face, thigh, neck and even my derrière. My hormones did not do me justice. As I grew older, I didn’t get as many episodes, but I still didn’t have completely clear skin. One day, I went to the dermatologist and he suggested that I start using Accutane. That experience wasn’t pleasant at all. Even though, after a few months my acne cleared away, the side effects made it difficult for me to continue using it. One of the common side effects was dehydration, because of it I would sweat profusely. My body couldn’t regulate its own temperature. I stopped using Accutane and the acne came back again. At that point, I was tired of trying acne treatments and was looking for an alternative.
While reading another blogger’s post, I came upon the Oil Cleansing Method. My face has been smooth sailing (pun intended) since. In a nutshell, the OCM uses oils to dissolve pore clogging impurities on your face. I know, it seems counterintuitive to cleanse oily dirty skin with oils, but hear me out. I was skeptical about using oils on my oily skin too, but after using this method for over 5 years, I can testify that it works!
Oil Cleansing Method Basics
The first thing you have to accept is that oil dissolves oil. Remember that experiment you did in Chemistry class where you poured oil into water and realized it didn’t dissolve, but it floated instead? Water alone can’t dissolve oil; that is why most soaps have harsh detergents to “cut the grease.” Facial cleansers are no exception. There are a lot of harsh chemicals in facial cleansers to break down sebum (oil) and impurities on the skin and to deep clean clogged pores, but this also strips the skin of necessary oils to moisturize and keep the skin supple. However, if a cleansing oil blend is applied, it will not only dissolve the pore clogging impurities, but also moisturize and lubricate the skin.
The process is quite luxurious to me if I do say so myself. It feels like I’m giving myself a spa treatment every time. First, I massage my oil blend all over my face including my eye area to gently dissolve my eye makeup, which works like a charm. Second, I place a hot washcloth over my face to steam it until it cools down and I repeat this process like 3 or 4 times. The steam opens the pores and loosens up impurities clogged in the pores. Third, I take the same washcloth and wipe my face until all the makeup and impurities are gone. Sometimes, I follow-up with a toner like witch hazel.
Cleansing Oil Blends
There are some branded cleansing oils on the market, but I prefer to mix my own oil blend. In order to create an cleansing oil blend, it’s important to know which oils are best for your skin type. Some oils are better for dry skin versus oily skin and vice versa. Usually, two oils are blended together at different ratios to make the cleanser; however, the base oil usually is castor oil. Castor oil has so many great skin benefits. It cleanses by removing impurities and excess sebum from the skin. It’s anti-inflammatory and microbial, so it works against bacteria causing blackheads and reduces the appearance of pimples. It lightens hyperpigmentation and deeply penetrates the skin leaving it hydrated and supple.
Here are some oil recommendations for each skin type:
Rice Bran Oil, Jojoba Oil (a dupe for the natural sebum in our skin), Grapeseed Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado Oil , Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil
Grapeseed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernal Oil,
Grapeseed Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Neem Oil, Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Rosehips Oil
My personal blend is Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba Oil and a few drops of Tea Tree Essential Oils. Because I have oily to combination skin, my mix is about 30% Castor Oil, 20% Jojoba Oil, and 50% Grapeseed Oil with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil. If you aren’t the mixologist type, here are a few branded cleansing oil options, but make sure to choose based on your skin type and with few ingredients.