The oil cleansing method seems almost counter-intuitive, especially if you have any kind of acne. I mean, putting oil on your face on purpose? Weird. BUT applying oil to the face actually helps dissolve the sebum plugs that form in your pores. It will also make your wrinkles less noticeable, and the massaging makes your botox last longer!!!!! From Acne.org:
Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to desolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.
Pour it on, girl.
The trick is to find the right kind of oil for your skin.You'll see a lot of advice about using castor oil and other types of oils, and that's okay, but for those of us with very clog-prone pores, it's best to stick to hemp or sunflower. I'll tell you why.
Two considerations: comedogenicity and linoleic acid content (these two things are related)
Comedones are the little sebum plugs that form in your pores. A couple of factors are at play when you have clogged pores. For me and many others with this type of acne (closed comedone or cystic acne), it's a matter of sebum CONTENT. Normally, sebum is comprised of linoleic acid. This is a fatty, flowy substance that emerges freely from a healthy pore and spreads across the skin, moisturizing it and maintaining a bacteria-free surface (the acid mantle). When a person does not produce enough linoleic acid, her sebum is comprised of oleic acid. This is thicker and dryer and MUCH more likely to clog the pores because it is not free-flowing. It gets caught in the pore and causes a blackhead (open comedone) or whitehead (closed comedone) that can become a cyst (horror show). If you have clogged pores and a DRY complexion, this is almost certainly the problem. So you want to add linoleic acid to your diet and topically. It works. I'm not kidding. This is crucial stuff.
Comedogenicity refers to the likelihood of a substance to cause clogged pores. This relates in part to the proportion of linoleic to oleic acid in the substance. Different substances have different comedogenicity ratings. If something is rated a 5, it means that it is very likely or almost certain to clog pores. If something is rated a 0, then it will not clog pores. They figure out these ratings by testing the substances out on bunny ears. Not nice, but there you have it.
Here's an excellent list: comedogenic ratings.
A lot of people, most people, probably, can get away with using oils that are higher on the comedogenic scale, but if you are prone to clogged pores, it's important to stick with oils that are rated 0. Not 1. 0.
A couple of oils are rated 0 on the scale. These are sunflower and hemp. I chose hemp for personal reasons. I take a spoonful of it daily to get my dietary linoleic acid, and I use it as a moisturizer and cleanser for my face and body. A lot of people SWEAR by this oil, including myself. This is the best thing that ever happened to my skin. I use it two ways. I use a drop or two as a moisturizer on my face after my cleansing and toner step in the morning and evening, and once or twice a week I use it as a cleanser. Hemp is very volatile; it goes rancid quickly. I keep mine in the freezer. This keeps it from going bad. I've had mine in there for 5 or 6 months and it's still fine. It will start to smell funny when it goes rancid, and you'll have to throw it out.
Benefits of hemp oil:
- It is very high in linoleic acid;
- It contains more essential fatty acids than ANY OTHER PLANT IN THE WORLD, meaning that it is super beneficial for your entire body, manifesting in shiny, strong, healthy hair and skin;
- It is anti-inflammatory;
- It is a non-greasy moisturizer. Seriously, my face has never looked so dewy and lovely;
- It has healing properties for eczema, psoriasis, and any skin lesions;
- It makes a GREAT base for makeup.
So here's how I do it:
You don't have to remove your makeup or anything to start, as this IS the cleanser! Don't be afraid!
Take a tablespoon or so of oil in your palm. Rub it in circles on your face. It seems like a lot of oil, but that's okay. Massage it into your face for at least 10 minutes. You will start to feel the little sebum plugs coming out. It's amazing. They feel like little grains on your fingers. Place a washcloth that you have soaked in water (as hot as you can stand it) over your face and let it steam until it grows cool. Wipe your face with the washcloth. Wet the washcloth again in hot water and steam one more time. Wipe your face again. It's really important to get all the oil off your face, so you may have to repeat the steam and wipe a few times. I find that the best time to do this is in the shower. Your skin is warm and steamy and all your pores are open.
Hemp oil from Conscious Skin Care on Etsy.
If I've worn makeup during the day, I will use oil to clean my face that night. I only massage it for a minute or so then, and it works fine. It really does clean your face.
And that's it! I don't follow that with toner or anything.
There are some AWESOME forums about the oil cleansing method. I'll post them in the links section on the side of the page. Good luck with this, people! Please share your experiences with me and ask me any questions you may have.
I want you to know that it took me almost 4 months to get my face into shape with this method. I almost gave up many times, but somehow I hung on. I'm SO GLAD I DID! Now I spend, like, pennies per month on my face, and before I was paying over 150$ per month and my skin looks MUCH MUCH better than it ever has.
You can purchase a starter kit with everything you need for your regimen right here on Miri!