Oil Cleansing Method

Three of my favorites!

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.

A soft, cotton washcloth.

Hot water.

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:

Liz Wolfe at Cave Girl Eats

The Oil Cleansing Method

Thank Your Body

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!

Related articles you may enjoy:

WHAT?! No Shampoo!! Why I use Coconut Oil, Baking Soda, and Apple Cider Vinegar For Body Care…

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  1. Marge, you are AMAZING! You are such an inspiration and have so many great tips and idea! Much appreciated!!

  2. Pingback: Banish Bad Skin! | Farm, Foodie & Fitness

  3. What do you use as a makeup remover? Or does this regimen do the job?

  4. Pingback: Paleo Skin Care | withlovedeidrelee

  5. Hello Marjorie!

    I found a similar OCM on pinterest, more than a half year ago, but I just pinned and forget it. Then, luckily, I went to Morroco. Since I heard good things about argan oil, I decided to purchase a bottle of 250ml (it is very cheap there, it is around 40euro/liter). Got home, forgot a little bit. But then I remembered a pin and decided to give it a try.

    My method is similar to yours: I boil water. Then I apply some argan oil on my face and massage it a little bit. I put washcloth in hot water. I also have additional towel, which I folded to be same size as washcloth. I put washcloth, which is very hot due to the hot water, on this towel. If it is too hot, I wait a little bit and then put it on my face. Wait, till it cools down. Again, I massage smaller amount of argan oil on my face, put hot washcloth on my face, wait and voila! My skin has never been so smooth. But remember, to change washcloth every day!

    I am using this method since March and I must say, that this argan oil will last forever. I can not tell how much I already used it… It is also really good for your hair but sadly, outside Morocco very, very expensive. So I really need to go back and stock myself for years 🙂

    I had and have breakouts quite often. So in the past, I really tried everything: from Decleor treatment for breakouts, to Ren and Clinique… All of the products are very nice but also very expensive (you have to buy cleanser, tonic and cream if you want results…) so when I run out I really did not want to spend so much money. Well, my skin is better now with argan oil, I really have fewer breakouts.

    I am lazy and I only do this before bed, because in the morning my skin is still soft. Maybe I will try using coconut in the morning, since I heard too many good things about it 🙂

    I am really glad that we are all turning into more natural products, I did also started using baking soda + vinegar for hair treatment and will try other things with BS from your post! Thanks for sharing!

    • I would love to try argan oil, but can’t bring myself to spend that kind of money! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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