The most popular post on this blog to date is “WHAT?! No shampoo!! Why I use coconut oil, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar for body care…”. So I guess I’m not the only crazy hippie out there wanting to avoid unknown ingredients and nasty chemicals in my body care routine! Although I’ve dumped a lot of those products, one thing I was hanging on to was a “natural” and organic face wash. Not sure why it took me so long to jump on board with the oil cleansing method, but about 8 weeks ago I gave it a try and I will NEVER look back!
I will admit that I am very lucky in the breakouts/acne department. I rarely have an issue, but I often deal with very dry and/or flaky skin. Probably related to a history of eczema, although I’ve never had it pop up on my face. My dry skin improved somewhat when I changed my diet to a Paleo/Ancestral style of eating, but I still deal with occasional flare ups of eczema. I’ve done several rounds of very strict elimination diets and have not really seen much change. At this point I’ve come to realize that I am likely reacting to external forces (dry and cold weather, medical grade surface cleaners at work, and other chemicals), and that the best thing I can do for myself is ditch as much of that stuff from my daily routine/home life as possible. So out with the facial cleanser and in with the oil cleansing method.
Here’s what you need:
Castor oil – known for it’s potent anti-inflammatory properties, it is excellent for healing and cleansing the skin. Castor oil on it’s own is drying, so it must be diluted with a secondary oil. *Update 6/29/2014* – Since initially writing this article, I have stopped using castor oil when performing the oil cleansing method. I found that even in tiny amounts, my skin was feeling very dry. I now use one of the secondary oils straight up and am loving the results!
A secondary oil of your choosing to dilute the castor oil.
- Jojoba oil – has anti-microbial properties to help keep acne bacteria at bay
- Coconut oil – is also full of good anti-microbials
- Avocado oil – nourishing for dry skin
- Olive oil or grape seed oil – good for oily skin
A soft, cotton washcloth.
Here’s how I do it:
Combine the castor oil and the secondary oil of your choosing. You want a smaller portion of castor oil to secondary oil. I do about 10-20% (use less for dry skin, more for oily skin) castor oil and the remainder secondary oil. Total oil is about the size of a quarter in my palm. Rub the oils between your hands to warm them and then gently massage into your skin. I use firm, but light pressure and move in small circles. Massage for 2-3 minutes. Run a washcloth under hot water and then place it over your face to steam. Keep the cloth on until it cools and then repeat. After the second steaming, I gently wipe the oil from my face with a wet washcloth and warm water. Pat your face dry and apply a light layer of oil to moisturize. I use coconut oil or jojoba oil. In the morning I do a quick rinse with warm water and then a light application of coconut oil. If it’s a makeup day, I will let the coconut oil sink in for awhile before applying (10-30 minutes).
That’s it. And it works! I love how soft, smooth, and dewy my skin looks and feels. And without crappy chemicals – yay!
When I’m short on time, I’ll apply the castor oil blend and then jump in the shower. I let my face steam in the shower and then gently wipe off the oil at the end of the shower. Apply some coconut oil and hit the bed. Easy peasy.
Here are some of my go to sources for the OCM:
I also have a Pinterest board dedicated to Natural Home and Beauty that you might enjoy! Check it out.
There are a few other musts (in my opinion) for good skin:
- Good hydration – I’m not crazy about the 8 glasses of water a day thing, but when I skimp on my water, my skin feels dryer and doesn’t look as nice. Drink when you’re thirsty and maybe a little extra for good measure.
- Fermented cod liver oil and butter oil from Green Pastures – Contains Vitamin A in an appropriate ratio to Vitamin D and both are important for beautiful, healthy skin. Stop wincing and complaining. Buy it and use it. It’s not so bad.
- Homemade bone broth – Oh so many goodies in this liquid gold. Minerals, collagen components, gelatin – all needed for healthy tissues in the body. I’ll admit I don’t get enough of this stuff, but when I do, can see and feel the difference in my skin.
Have any of you tried the OCM? Let me know your thoughts and experiences!
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