Talking about my skincare routine today, aka “how I wash my face.” Riveting, no?
Still, I don’t do your typical face wash routine so I thought I’d share a little bit about what I use, how I use it, and why! Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a blogpost full of curve balls, thrilling emotions, and suspense!
Just kidding. It’s not going to be any of those things. But it should be fun! Here goes.
I wash my face using the oil cleansing method. I should stop right here and mention a little history about my face.
I’ve never had acne. Please don’t hate me, I have plenty of other annoying-horrible physical struggles, acne just isn’t’ one of them. I am, however, incredibly greasy. My pores are huge. And I’m prone it dark circles under my eyes and redness on my cheeks. I also tend to not wear makeup. There really isn’t a great reason for this, other than the fact that I just feel like I look WEIRD in makeup. I love lipstick and will wear that fairly regularly. I wear mascara every day. Other than that, I don’t really wear much. Because I have fairly even skin I can get away without too much makeup. But because I have oily skin, it doesn’t really matter if I wear makeup or not — it still looks oily. Such is life, people.
I’ve used all kinds of skincare products in the past. Probably many of the same ones you’ve used or are currently using. Many would work ok enough, but they would often leave my cheeks way too dry and would do little to shrink the crater-sized holes that are my gaping pores.
I learned about the oil cleansing method a few years back when I was trying to get rid of as many store bought products as possible and switch to more natural, homemade, and simple products. Although it sounds crazy to use oil on your face, in fact, it’s MAGIC! Just kidding. It’s not magic. It is science, though! Or more specifically, chemistry.
Oil cleanses oil because as we may or may not remember from chemistry class (I remember nothing other than our tie-dye project), like dissolves like.
The key ingredient to the oil cleansing method is castor oil. Castor oil is what does the heavy lifting for your skincare. Many people say that castor oil will leave your skin in better condition than it finds it, and I tend to agree. It’s incredible.
Castor oil has strong cleansing and healing properties, but it’s thick, so we have to cut the thickness with another oil. There are a lot of thoughts out there as to what oils are best. Some people use extra virgin olive oil. I’ve had success with sunflower oil. But I’m currently loving almond oil the best. Regardless of what oil you us, make sure it’s cold pressed and pure.
- Jojoba (all skin types, but very desirable for acne-prone skin)
- Sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)
- Grapeseed (all skin types, especially oily)
- Avocado (dry and aging skin)
- Sunflower Seed (all skin types)
- Olive (all skin types)*
- Apricot Kernel(from crunchybetty.com)
From there, all you have to do is figure out the ratio to mix the two oils. Most oil cleansing experts follow the rule of thirds:
- Oily skin: Use 2/3 castor oil to 1/3 carrier oil. (Or measure out 2 tsp castor oil and 1 tsp carrier oil.)
- Normal skin: Use equal parts castor oil and carrier oil. (Measuring out 1-1/2 tsp castor oil and 1-1/2 tsp carrier oil.)
- Dry skin: Use 1/3 castor oil and 2/3 carrier oil. (Again, 2 tsp carrier oil and 1 tsp castor oil.)
I mix up my oils in a small container with a pump. (The Dollar Tree sells travel sized toiletry bottle kits and these work great!) I add a few drops of bergamot essential oil, as it helps to smooth and tone skin, heal scars, and further assists in cleansing oily skin.
To clean your skin using the oil method, you kind of need to experiment. Some people only use the oil cleansing method a few days a week. I tend to do it once a day because that seems to be what my skin requires. I will wash my face with my Norwex Body Cloth in the morning, and doing the oil cleansing method at night (or vice versa).
To use, I simply pump a few drops of my oil blend onto the pads of my fingers and massage the oil into my skin, particularly focusing on my trouble spots (forehead, nose, chin). Then, I get my washcloth really saturated with warm water and lay it on my face to allow the steam and the oils to open up and cleanse my pores. I do this anywhere from 30-60 seconds. I then rinse my wash cloth and use it to gently pat my face and remove excess oil. I don’t need to get rid of it all because a little remaining oil will actually help moisturize my face.
Next, I wipe my whole face with Witch Hazel. I buy Thayer’s with rose petal. It’s dreamy. I find that my results aren’t quite as stellar if I don’t use the witch hazel because I need something to close my pores after all that steaming opens them up. I then follow up with a little bit of moisturizer around my eyes (because helloooo dark circles) and that’s it! So easy. The oil cleansing method leaves my skin dewy and soft and clear. I love it it so much.
Oh, and speaking of another thing I love so much. I’ve recently started skipping my normal moisturizer a few nights a week and instead, mix a few drops of organic rose hip oil with a drop or two of Myrtle essential oil and HOLY MOTHER OF MAGICAL GOODNESS is this stuff a miracle worker! I mean…this stuff, combined with my oil cleansing routine is the ONLY thing that has actually worked to shrink the size of my pores. Yes, other stuff has kept me relatively break out free, but my pores remain large enough to flip a quarter into. As large pores are not “in fashion,” they have always been a source of major discontent. I do a little heel kick every night when I put on my rose hip and myrtle oil because it’s just so dang nice to find something that makes you feel like a woman, you know? (Also, myrtle essential oil is good for a whole bunch of other lady business things, so just buy it already.)
Ok, why do I do this? Most products marketed to those of us with oily or problematic skin do too effective of a job. They strip away everything, causing our bodies to go into oil producing hyperdrive. It’s counterproductive. Also, even the most “natural” of commercial products tend to be full of additional ingredients that our bodies just don’t need or want. Preservatives, for one thing. Like my food, I want my skincare routine to be made up of single item ingredients. My face wash is made up of three oils. Not three oils, several preservative, a colorant or two, and then something else that I can’t pronounce. Less is more. If grandma couldn’t recognize it than I probably don’t want it. That’s how I roll!
A few notes. This is oil, and oil stains. Should go without saying, but I’m just saying: this will stain your wash cloths. This method doesn’t travel well unless you do what I do and make up a batch in advance in a travel sized bottle, which I recommend even if you AREN’T traveling. It’s just easier. Do what’s easy, people.
Like I said before, this does require some experimentation and tweaking. Also – if you’ve used commercial or even prescription products in the past and now want to do something more natural and decide to give the oil cleansing method a go – yay, first of all, bust ALSO, be forewarned. Our bodies store up all kinds of junk from the commercial products we consume because they contain things that our bodies can’t absorb or properly dispose of. Plus, if other products have been telling our bodies to produce more oil, then our bodies need some time and grace to sort of even themselves out. So…there is a transition period where it might get worse before it gets better. Think of it almost as a skin detox. That castor oil might be pulling all kinds of things out of your pores before you get to a point where you can start simply maintaing your gorgeous skin in a more natural way. Does that make sense? Message me or leave a comment below if you have questions. I’m here to help, people. None of us should have to be on this journey to blemish-free skin alone. I’ve got your back! errr, face? You know what I mean…