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Detox Your Skin:: The Oil Cleansing Method

What if I were to tell you that the secret to glowing, dewy, luminous (and poreless looking) skin is cleansing with OIL???  Would you think I had gone round the bend?  What is the first thing you think of when you think of putting oil on your face?  Does it conjure up zit-faced fry cook images?  Do you immediately think of your face turning into an oil slick shine fest?  Well, beauties, read on to find the real super hero of glowing skin and how the oil cleansing method (OCM) can give you the luminous skin you crave!

Let's look at why the oil cleansing method sends a lightning bolt of panic coursing through your veins.  The beauty industry and marketing companies would have you believe that you have to strip every ounce of oil off of your skin with one of their gel, foamy, or cream cleansers, then use even more harsh chemicals to "exfoliate" the skin, and finally, moisturize with some high-tech miracle sounding product guaranteed to take away the "7 signs of aging"  they helped contribute to in the first place!  Pardon my tangent.  The bottom line is the products you are using that are making all these claims want to sell you their products.  If their products worked like they say they do you would not have to buy another product.  Are you following me?  Making you a totally satisfied customer is bad for business.

The conventional beauty industry does not want you to have clear, glowing, radiant skin.  They want you to constantly aspire to perfect skin, sure.  And you keep those aspirations because the 15 year old (who has been airbrushed to look 10) trying to sell you anti-aging cream (or acne cream, or pore minimizer) is so believable with her "perfect" skin you actually think it could happen for you if you use their company's product.  Guess what?  You've been tricked.  All those chemicals meant to clear your skin, erase hyperpigmenation, sand away the hands of time are actually meant to "solve" some problem by creating another thus ensuring a purchase of another product to get rid of yet another problem.  All those mainstream products strip the skin of oil.  Skin needs oil to stay moisturized and protected so it compensates by producing MORE oil leading you to buy even stronger products.  By the way, blackheads, white heads, clogged and enlarged pores, redness, and other irritation are actually your body rebelling against these chemicals.

Have I blown your mind?  Are you good and mad yet?  Are you ready to tell the conventional beauty industry to stuff it yet?? Let me tell you how to do just that.

The Oil Cleansing Method is not new.  Women have been using it for centuries.  It is what is behind the radiant skin of countless little old ladies in Italy, Greece, India, the Middle East, and even Japan.  I say little old ladies because somewhere we stopped listening to our grandmother's wisdom when she told us that olive, argan, camelia, grapeseed, or jojoba oil cleanse and moisturize the skin in one.  We started listening to glossy advertisements convincing us science had all the answers and age-old wisdom had no place in the modern world.  I say again.  You have been tricked.

How does the  OCM work?

I am taking you back to chemistry class.  Like dissolves like.  In this case, oil dissolves oil.  Water does not dissolve oil.  {Suzanne LeRoux of One Love Organics  will be explaining WHY  tomorrow  in Water:: Should it be in Your Skincare? } Mainstream cleansers only do with the help of chemicals used in engine degreasers and anti-freeze.   So, oil dissolves oil and armed with that knowledge you know exactly how to cleanse and nourish your skin.  This is why oiling your hair makes it longer, stronger and healthier.

"But I have dry skin!"  Even if you have dry skin, your skin still has some oil on it.  By using oil on your face you are dissolving makeup,  dirt, grime, pollution,  and other "icks"  and replacing it with protective nourishing oil.

If you think you are pushing the "ick"  into your pores let me just tell you, most of it is sitting on top of your skin anyway.  The blackheads and other unsightly issues are actually your pores way of trying to protect your skin from environmental assaults (like conventional skincare)  by creating hard sebum plugs.  The oil dissolves that sebum, effectively emptying your pores (an oily vacuum cleaner if you will) and letting your pores shrink back to normal.

What the oil cleansing method does is it gently, naturally, and effectively removes the built up environmental gunk that gets on our skin during the day, exfoliates, and moisturizes the skin promoting optimal sebum production so your skin heal, balance and be healthy.

How do you use the OCM?

That part is simple.  Castor oil and EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) are your two new best friends.  Yes, you can use another carrier oil such as almond, jojoba, grapeseed,  argan,  or organic sunflower oil, too.  I reserve coconut oil for the oiliest of skins and even then only in the summer. (It IS fantastic on the hair though.)  I use olive oil simply because we get it by the barrel, the really fresh, high-quality stuff, and my skin just drinks it in. Olive oil also has a similar pH as the skin so it helps maintain the protective acid balance of the skin.  It also has a high antioxidant content so it is one of the best anti-aging moisturizers around. If you have severe acne, you could try flax or evening primrose oil which are extremely nurturing for problem skin prone to hormonal issues.  {For you divas who prefer pre-mixed formulas there are plenty of luxurious yet natural cleansing oils on the market today.  See Our Top Picks for Divalicious Cleansing Oils}

Castor oil is thick, viscous and awesome at pulling out all the "ick" from deep down in your pores.

Mixing the two is very easy.  The oilier your skin is to begin with dictates the ratio of castor oil to EVOO.  If you have oily skin, start with 3 parts (3 tsp.) castor oil to 1 part EVOO.  If you have normal skin try a 2:2 mixture.  If you have dry skin use 1 part castor oil to 3 parts EVOO and if your skin is super dry skip the castor oil altogether, just using the EVOO.

If you wish, as I do, you can add a few drops of essential oil to cut the "grassy" scent of the EVOO.  I use jasmine and orange, rosemary and mint, and sometimes even a hint of eucalyptus.

Here's a fun fact.....  After about two weeks using the OCM your skin will normalize.  If you have oily skin, it will be much more normal.  Same goes for dry skin.  The OCM is miraculous at normalizing skin.

What you will need

1 washcloth.

Hot, running water.

Your OCM blend.

What to do

1.  Prepare your oil blend using the appropriate ratio of castor oil to your choice of carrier oil.  Run the hot water to warm up.

2. Cleanse your face by rubbing oil all over (no need to pre-clean first even with a full face of makeup!) your face.  Massage in for at least 2 minutes.  Allow to sit on the face for a minute or two.  (Or longer)

3.  Remove oil by saturating washcloth with the hottest water you can stand.  You don't want it scalding, just hot enough where it is hot but not to the point of burning you.  Cover your face with the saturated washcloth  and press for 10-15 seconds or until cool. Rinse the washcloth.  Repeat the process 2 to 3 times until the oil and all the grime has been removed from your face.

You do not need a toner or, in most cases, even a moisturizer.  If you do find yourself craving a spritz of something, rosewater or aloe makes a good alternative to alcohol-laden astringents.


Pros and Cons of the Oil Cleansing Method

  1. It is completely natural and free of any questionable or downright toxic chemicals.  (Use cold-pressed, high quality oils, organic when possible )
  2. It is cost effective.  Think of all the money you will save looking for the perfect cleanser/toner/moisturizer.  (You only need a "quarter-size" dollop of oil to do the whole face)
  3. It works better than any commercial product on the market today!  Whisks away makeup, dirt, grime and all kinds of other "ick", leaving you with nourished, radiant skin.
  4. It leaves your skin protected and healthy.  Skin that is allowed to maintain its natural barriers is healthy skin from deep down meaning fewer breakouts, less wrinkling, and better tone.
  1. It can take a few weeks for your skin to adjust to the new cleansing paradigm.  It may be tempting to use a conventional cleanser during this time but I urge you to stick it out with the OCM.  Your skin will thank you.
  2. It can be a little time consuming learning how to use the OCM.  Think of it as part of your new Slow Beauty ritual which nurtures not only your skin but your spirit.
  3. You will do more laundry keeping up with all the additional washcloths.

For a complete list of oils for use in the OCM see Oils for the OCM.


The OCM truly is the secret to young looking, clear, radiant skin.   Have you ever tried using oil to clean your skin?  What was your experience?  Has this article convinced you to give it a try?


Wishing you peace and balance,








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Comment by Jacqueline Rizk on January 21, 2013 at 12:43pm

It's not easy to keep up with it when you have kids.... time consuming but worth it if you can hang with it!:)

Comment by Shane Shirley-Smith, Admin. on January 21, 2013 at 11:52am

PS - will share this on our EB fan page!

Comment by Shane Shirley-Smith, Admin. on January 21, 2013 at 11:51am

I have tried using oil before and I really love it.  For some reason I do not keep doing it though.  This time I am back on the wagon!! 

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