It’s a common misconception that you should avoid oils if you have oily skin. In fact, the opposite is true – the oil cleansing method can be great for acne-prone, oily skin. Oil cleansing can also be great for balancing for dry skin, dull skin and ageing skin. The answer is in the type of oil you use. There are drawing oils and moisturising oils – the key is knowing the right oils to use for your skin type.
What is the oil cleansing method?
If you haven’t already guessed, the oil cleansing method is a natural skin care routine that ditches the familiar foaming cleansers and instead follows the routine of applying oils to your skin for around five minutes and wiping off with a warm wet cloth.
Even dry skin contains oil. The oil cleansing method simply uses nature’s oils to remove dirty oils from your face and replenish with pure, clean, nourishing oil.
Why are oil cleansers better than foaming cleansers?
Most facial cleansers foam up to give you that soapy, cleansed feeling whether you’re removing make-up or removing the day’s impurities. Trouble is, at a minimum, they contain contain sulphates as a foaming ingredient, known irritants which also tend to upset the moisture balance of your skin and dry it out. Not good if you already have dry and sensitive skin! And if you think that sounds ideal for oily skin types, the consequences of oil-free cleansers are huge disruptions to your natural oil production, resulting in the overcompensation of oil production – not exactly what you want to achieve!
So before you screw your face up picturing your oily skin slathered in more oil than you already produce, let’s have a look at which oils are best for maintaining the balance your skin needs to glow all year round.
Which oils are best for your skin type?
- Coconut oil is a popular choice for beginners and it smells gorgeous, however it can be drying and it’s comedogenic so it can clog the pores eventually.
- Jojoba oil is an ingredient you often see in skin care products – this is because it’s suitable for most skin types, especially acne prone skin. Jojoba oil mimics our skins’ sebum closely without blocking the pores and without irritation, making it an ideal oil for cleansing.
- Hazelnut oil or sunflower oil help with acne.
- Avocado oil and apricot kernel oil are good for dry skin and sensitive skin.
- Tamanu oil is great for healing acne scares.
- Argan oil is a luxurious oil for normal to dry skin.
- Camellia oil is great for normal to dry and ageing skin.
- Evening primrose oil is great for normal to dry and ageing skin, but use in moderation as it can be comedogenic.
- Sweet almond oil and sesame oil are also good on normal to dry skin.
- Rosehip seed oil is a great all-rounder but especially good for problem skin.
- Castor oil can purge the pores for a deep cleanse, but it’s best used in combination with other oils to suit your skin type.
- Hemp seed oil is an interesting one. Hemp seed oil is a perfectly balanced cleansing oil for all skin types, containing the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 (linolei/LA) to Omega 3(alphalinolenic/LNA) essential fatty acids, determined to be the optimum requirement for long-term healthy human nutrition. In addition, it also contains smaller amounts of 3 other polyunsaturated fatty acids ingamma-linolenicacid (GLA), oleic acid and stearidonic acid. The EFA combination is unique among edible oil seeds.
Most essential oils are high in antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, making them great for cleansing the day’s impurities whilst still retaining moisture in your skin. Just remember to avoid citrus oils if you are going straight out into the sun.
Finally, when purchasing cleansing oils, look for organic cold pressed or expelled oils and avoid refined oils. Refined oils have been heated to extremes, destroying the beneficial properties of the oils. You may even find that you no longer need to moisturise with success from the oil cleansing method. It doesn’t get more pure and natural than that!
How to do the Oil Cleansing Method
Choose the oil or oils that you want to use. You can start with one oil, or you can blend oils together to get a perfect mix for your skin.
Pour some oil into the palm of your hand and apply it straight on to your face. You don’t need to wet your face first, or to remove makeup – just massage the oil all over. Leave the oil on for up to 10 ten minutes.
Wet a facecloth under hot tap water (not boiling water), wring it out and place it over your face to gently steam your pores. If you have dry skin, don’t make the face washer too hot or it will dry your skin out. When the face washer has cooled, gently wipe away the oil and repeat the steaming until all the oil and makeup has been removed.
Unless you have very dry skin, you probably won’t even need to moisturise afterwards – bonus!
Be aware that it may take a week or two for your skin to adjust, but once it does, you’ll be amazed at the difference this simple routine can make for your skin.
Image credit: Tim Sackton on Flickr