Thursday, December 19, 2013

What do you want to know? The oil cleansing method (part 2)

We took at look at the basics of the oil cleansing method yesterday, so let's take a look at how we might create a cleansing oil today.

The base of the cleansing oil is usually a portion of castor oil, which can range from 25% to 50%. I've seen people using it at up to 100%, but the general consensus seems to be that castor oil can be drying at higher amounts, so using it at lower amounts is a good idea, at least to start. As castor is an astringent feeling oil, those with dry skin will want to start at a lower amount, while those with oily skin might want to start at a higher amount.

What oils to add to the mix? As usual, figure out the goal of your product and the answers will be much easier to find! We want something that will help cleanse our skin. We want our skin to feel moisturized afterwards, not too greasy and not too dry. We also want something that isn't too comedogenic or acnegenic.

Let's take a look at a few ideas for different skin types, starting with dry skin...

What oils are good for dry skin? We'll start by assuming we're using 25% castor oil because we don't want this product to be too drying. Then, I'd definitely choose a high linoleic acid oil as my main oil - sunflower, soybean, sesame, rice bran, pumpkin seed, or wheat germ oils - but these can feel a bit greasy on your skin. (I don't want to suggest grapeseed oil or hempseed oil as they have very short shelf lives - 3 months - but they are also high in linoleic acid.) Vitamin E is very good for dry skin, so my suggestions would be wheat germ or soybean oil as my first choices for dry skin, but these are both greasier feeling oils than sesame and rice bran, for instance.

You could choose a high gamma-linoleic acid oil, like evening primrose or borage oil to help with dry skin, or consider using cranberry oil or rosehip oil, although the latter is known to aggravate acne. These exotic oils will feel less greasy than the carrier oils (for various reasons), and it might be a bit wasteful to use them at high levels in a product we're - for the most part - rinsing off.

What percentages should we use for the oils? As I mentioned above, it seems like lower is better for dry skin with castor oil, so let's go with 25% castor oil. And we'll do a blend of a high gamma-linoleic acid oil - evening primrose oil at 10% - with one of the high linoleic acid oils - rice bran oil at 65%.

65% rice bran oil
25% castor oil
10% evening primrose oil

Blend together in a container with a pump or a disc cap. Follow the oil cleansing method cleansing method to clean your face. Rejoice.

What else could we add to this oil? You could add up to 1% Vitamin E or an essential oil that might work for your skin type at a low percentage - for instance, a few drops. (You don't want to be smelling lavender all night long!)

Please try making a very small batch of this product the first time as your skin might not like it. Enough for a few days. I think 10 to 20 grams should do it, so make this recipe something like 7 grams rice bran oil, 3 grams castor oil, and 1 gram evening primrose oil (unless you have a more accurate scale, then make it 6.5, 2.5, and 1 respectively). Try that for a few days to see how your skin likes it. It might not, and it would be sad to make a ton of something you won't use again. (Although I imagine it might make a nice body oil!)

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at some oils that might be nice for oily skin!


Lauren said...

Thanks for going into oil cleansing!
I have dry skin and have been using (60%) sunflower oil, (20%) castor oil, and (20%) apricot kernel oil. It seems to be doing really well, and I love how my face feels afterwards!

Carol said...

Your comment "Although I imagine it might make a nice body oil!" has encouraged me to ask this make a body oil would you change the percentages or oils used in anyway? Following your suggestion for normal/dry skin - I used 25% castor oil, 65% sunflower oil & 10% evening primrose oil - it works great on my face for the OCM. I tried it as a body oil & it doesn't spread on the skin, it would take a ton of it to coat the whole body. I found a body oil product I LOVE & I'm interested to reverse engineer it - any guesses on percentages here or suggestions? Ingredient List - Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter & Meadowfoam seed oil extract, sunflower oil, avocado, fractionated coconut & hemp oils, lavendar EO, vit E, rosemary extract. (This is directly from the company site, so not sure if it is suppose to be avocado oil & it is a misprint? Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lauren! I'm really glad you found something you loved!

Hi Carol! I've answered your question in today's Weekend Wonderings. There really isn't a short answer, so check it out at that link!

Amy Escobar said...

It would be extremely useful if posts had a link at the bottom for follow up posts (the "next week" posts).

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

At the bottom of the comments section there is an "older post" and "newer post" link. Were you thinking of something in addition to these?

Katie said...

Hi Susan,
I'm wondering if you could shed some light on how a new type of oil cleanser on the market works. It is an oil cleanser that goes on dry skin, but when you add water it emulsifies and then rinses clean. There are a few brands that make this, I'm not sure if it's ok to list them here? If not could you please delete this post and email me? (
One is Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil. These are the ingredients: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Fragrance (Natural), Phenoxyethanol.

Which ingredients make the emulsifying in water happen?
Thank You!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Katie! This product contains oils, some water soluble ingredients in small quantities, and some emulsifiers. (I encourage you to do a Google search to see which ones are doing all the work. I think you'll find it really interesting!) There are other emulsifiers you could use if you wanted to make a product like this. You'd want something liquid, so probably Cromollient or PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil or polysorbate 80, although the latter would be a bit sticky. I have a feeling the water and glycerin are there for the extracts. Nice to see they're using preservatives!

Katie said...

Thanks for the answer! I just saw it now, because I somehow missed the notice that you answered.

Angie T said...

Hi, love your blog, have learned so much and learning more everyday. Question... I am wanting to make a oil cleansing, but I want to add a mild surfactant like Cocamidopropyl betaine. I notice its water soluble, do I need to add Polysorbate 80?? I would also like to add some Squalane and Licorice Extract. I would assume I would need a preservative as the licorice extract has water in it. Would Capryly Glycol EHG be enough or would you suggest using another with it? Thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Angie! No, you can't use a solubilizer to incorporate water into oil. They don't work that way. Polysorbate 80 and the other solubilizers are water soluble, so they can't incorporate water into oil. They are used to incorporate oil into water. Why don't you try making a cleanser into which you add some oils?