Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What do you want to know? The oil cleansing method (part 1)

Lauren asked this question in the What do you want to know postIt would also be great to see a post on the oil cleansing method and a recipe for oil!

What is the oil cleansing method? It's a method by which you cleanse your face using oils. The logic is that like dissolves like or that oil will dissolve the oils on your skin. What about things like comedogenicity and breakouts? One site notes that "oil, alone, will not bring your blemishes" (something that, I admit, gives me pause for thought, but more on that shortly).

How do perform this method? It's suggested that you do it before bed, but some like to cleanse in the shower because of the suggestion that we use warm, steamy water. Pour  a small amount, about the size of a quarter or a 5 pence piece, into your hand and warm it with your hands before applying to your face. Massage it deeply into your pores with special focus on your trouble spots. Leave it on for anything from a minute to up to 30 minutes. Soak a washcloth in steam, clean water to open your pores and remove the oil. Hold the washcloth on your face until it cools, then repeat two to three times to remove all the oil. (It is recommended that you use warm water because cold water doesn't really remove the oil.) If you need a little extra moisturizing, it's suggested that you use a little of the cleansing oil as a serum and massage it into your skin.

What do I use to perform this method? A blend of vegetable and seed oils that will help cleanse and moisturize our skin.

The suggested base oil is castor oil at up to 50%. I've seen a number of reasons, but one of the main things that comes up is that it's a cleansing oil. How can this be? Ricinoleic acid is an interesting fatty acid. It's a hydroxy acid, which is why it is soluble in alcohol (but not water) and oil. It's a humectant (look at those lovely OH groups!), which is another reason we see it so often in cosmetic products! The ricinoleic acid makes it both a drier type of oil and increases the viscosity of the oil.

Why 50%? Some people use it neat at 100% and others at 20%, but the general consensus is that too much castor oil can dry out your skin. I've seen the average at about 30% castor oil and the rest other lovely oils, which is what I'll work with through this short series.

What else can we use with the castor oil? I've seen all kinds of suggestions - sunflower, olive, grapeseed, and everything else. People with oily skin tend to prefer more astringent feeling oils, like hazelnut, macadamia nut, or grapeseed. People with dry skin tend to prefer more greasy feeling oils, like sunflower or olive oil. But it really is all about your preferences.

The Oil Cleansing Method -
The Dish Forum thread - Help, facial skin help needed! (must be a member)
The Dish Forum thread - Deep cleansing oil (must be a member)

Join me tomorrow to take a look at the various oils we could use for an oil cleansing method cleanser!


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, I love the oil cleansing method before i go to bed because i don't really need to moisturise afterwards. I use a combo of rice bran oil, jojoba and shea and it does a great job of removing makeup and leaves my skin dewy.

melian1 said...

i've been using the ocm for a couple of years now. i find that castor oil is seriously drying and i don't use any at all. different folks like different oils on their skin and olive oil seems to be a major one to cause breakouts for many, tho i love it. if the oil combo makes you break out, change up the oils you're using.
plus, it just blazes thru blackheads. i had some across the top of my nose and it took only a couple of weeks of regular use to get rid of every single one of them. my mom (83) had a lifetime of them on and around her nostrils. it took a month for all of hers to be completely gone. it is dynamite!!
i like to add an emulsifier to my oil combo to help with rinsing it away.

Lalla said...

Japanese/Korean brands use oil based cleanser as makeup remover. After this, they cleanse their ski with a foaming cleanser.
I really like using sucragel for oil cleanser. You get a clear gel, that transforms into an oil when you massage it and that rinses off very easily. I love it.

Unknown said...

Hi Susan,

What do you think about turning a cleansing oil into a balm that's travels more easily? I'm thinking of using FCO, Poly 80 (emulsifier), Cetearyl Alcohol, and maybe a bit of Cera Bellina to make it more solid. Do you think this is viable? Thanks! Your blog has been a tremendous source of knowledge and inspiration!

- Amy

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Amy. Give it a shot and let us know how it turns out!