When you watch TV nowadays, it’s hard to escape a skin care ad that promises to give you oil-free, clear skin like never before. While we do agree that the computer-generated effects that happen on screen will never occur in real life, we all buy into the idea that at least the product will make our skin less oily and at least a little clearer. Unfortunately, the very basis of these claims goes against our body’s natural lubrication system, and the onslaught of chemicals from various skin care products only furthers the damage already caused by pollution and an unhealthy lifestyle.
What is Oil Cleansing?
The basic idea behind oil cleansing is that ‘like dissolves like’. This method work on the theory that to dissolve excess oil on your skin, you don’t need detergents or washes; you need more oil. The oil used for cleansing will dissolve the oil that has been hardened with impurities and stuck in the skins’ pores, thereby making it easier to remove.
This way, the impure oil from our skin get replaced with cleaner, natural oils. When the skin finds itself moisturized with a natural oil, it does not work overtime to produce any more oil, and a balance is achieved.
How is Oil Cleansing done?
Oil cleansing is rarely done purely with oil alone; it usually uses a blend of oils which varies depending upon your skin type. Even then, the blend will need to be customized to your skin’s particular needs, which is another benefit of using oil cleansing.
For oil cleansing, you’ll need a soft washcloth, a larger towel, hot water and your oil blend. The basic method is as follows:
- Wet a washcloth with water that is hot, but not scalding.
- Place this washcloth over your face and feel the heat working on your skin.
- Take a coin sized amount of the oil blend and massage it all over your face, in circular motions.
- Take the hot washcloth again and press it on your face, allowing the steam to work on the pores. You can keep the heat in longer by wrapping a larger towel around the hot washcloth.
- When the washcloth cools down, use another hot washcloth to place on your face. Repeat this process 2-4 times till all the oil has cleared away, leaving behind a very light layer to protect.
- Use a cold washcloth over your face to close down the pores and firm up the skin.
What kind of oils can be used for Oil Cleansing?
The most common oil blends for oil cleansing include the use of an astringent oil and a moisturizing or conditioning oil. Castor oil, almond oil and hazelnut oil are good astringent oils, while olive oil or vegetable oils work well as moisturizing oils. A usual ratio that is recommended for each skin type is:
- Dry Skin – 1 part astringent : 10 parts moisturizing
- Combination Skin – 1 part astringent: 4 parts moisturizing
- Oily Skin – 1 part astringent : 3 parts moisturizing
It is important to use pure, organic cold pressed oil, or else you’ll just be putting more impurities into your skin.
When considering an oil cleansing routine, begin small, especially if you have oily or sensitive skin. Finding the perfect oil blend for you will take some trial and error, so it is recommended to begin with the combination suited to your skin type first and then adjusting as you go. Skin that has only been used to cosmetic skin care products will take a while to get used to oil cleansing, and you many notice an increased oil production in the initial days. With a regular routine, based on listening to your skin’s cues, you will be able to unearth clear and beautiful skin.
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