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Oil Cleansing Method – What is it and how to make your own

I am a recent convert to the oil cleansing method. For those who regularly read my blogs you’ll know I am passionate about natural skincare. And even though I do have break outs I swear by oil-based products. It started when I decided to order a raw, natural moisturiser and found that I really enjoyed using it. My skin felt INCREDIBLE! A lot of ‘natural’ products have in fact been heated and almost cooked sometimes, which can damage the ingredients. I started thinking, why don’t I change up my whole routine…? Make it all clean? Cut out the junk that’s in most things nowadays? Why don’t I just make it myself…? I did some research into it and was amazed at how simple it was.

So, I had a good Google and ordered myself some cold pressed oils and turned my kitchen into a laboratory. What I found was so amazing! Even now I’m using oil to cleanse at night and to moisturise both day and night. My skin feels more balanced, cleaner and my breakouts have massively reduced. Its so exciting playing around with different combinations and it feels great to know exactly what I’m using. Later in this blog I will share two simple oil cleansers you can make yourself at home.

Oil Cleansing Method - Woman with bottle of blended oil

What is OCM?

The oil cleansing method is the term now used for using oils to cleanse your skin. So many people are scared of using oil in their routine, but you shouldn’t be. I feel oil has a bad reputation and I really want to get rid of that.

For many people, using a foamy cleanser gives the idea of ‘clean’ skin. However, it can often strip the skins protective layer, leaving it exposed and often making your skin oilier.

Oils have been used for centuries and are packed full of goodness and essential nutrients for your skin. They lock in moisture and work in harmony with your skins protective layer. Oil cleansing is even amazing for oily skin types as the oil can help to remove excess oil. Switching to this method can:

  1. Remove make up effortlessly
  2. Remove pollutants
  3. Help unblock pores and blackheads
  4. Remove excess sebum (oil)

What oil should I use?

Most skincare companies are producing ready mixed cleansing oils now, so they are easy to get hold of. Do be mindful of the ingredients as you need good quality cold-pressed ingredients and oils that won’t block the pores. And depending on your skin type, not oils may be suitable for you. I will be writing another blog soon and going into more detail into oils and which ones to avoid.

For me, castor oil is an essential ingredient. Even though it is an oil, it is astringent so will help purify and deeply cleanse the skin. However, you need to use a carrier oil as its very thick and unpleasant to use on its own. I use a 1/3 ratio of it but again you can adjust it to suit your skin.

I went for jojoba oil as my carrier oil as its incredibly healing for the skin. It helps to regulate sebum production and is anti-inflammatory and anti-free radical. It also helps to prevents acne and moisturises the skin… It sounds to me like a dream oil! I sometimes add in some grapeseed oil. In which case, I’ll add them in three equal parts. That’s what’s so great about blending your own oils, is that you can adapt it to your skin’s needs.

If you are going to make your own, do make sure you buy good quality, cold pressed oil. And if possible, buy Organic. It will make all the difference.

If your skin is normal/dry, use olive oil with the castor oil as it’s got a richer more nourishing texture.

Other suitable oils include:

  • Grapeseed oil – contains vitamin E
  • Avocado oil – anti-inflammitory, omega 3
  • Sunflower oil – contains vitamin E, rich in beta-carotene
  • Sweet almond oil – fights acne, vitamin E, antioxidants
  • Olive oil – antioxidants, healthy fats, skin smoothing
  • Castor oil – naturally antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, skin healing
  • Jojoba oil – reduce acne & pimples, vitamin E, oil regulating

These are just the basics. There are so many oil combinations you can experiment with, but this is a great starting point. Use the castor oil as the base then blend with your other chosen oil/oils.

How do I oil cleanse?

  1. Add a small amount of your mixed oils or bought oil cleanser to your hands. Then massage over your face and neck for about 1-2 mins. Apply to dry skin.
  2. Rinse a flannel in warm water then remove the oil.
  3. Repeat these steps again then follow with a natural toner, then your chosen moisturiser or oil.

I would recommend doing an oil cleanse once a day. Usually I do this step in the evening then just use warm water or a coffee scrub in the morning.

What should I expect?

Straight away your skin will feel soft and supple… And you’ll wonder why you have taken so long to try this. In the first couple of weeks you may find that your skin will have a purge. This is very common when changing skincare and especially when switching to a natural product. It means you may get a little breakout but that will be your skin having a clear out. It should pass after a week.

I would recommend doing a patch test for 24-48 hours just to make sure your skin is not sensitive to the oils being used.

Normal/Dry skin cleanser recipe

  • 1/3 castor oil
  • 2/3 olive oil

Make a small amount to start with. So, a tablespoon of castor oil then 2 of olive. Mix well and see how it feels. This is a great recipe to start with if you have a normal to dry skin, if your skin is very dry you could even lessen the quantity of castor oil.

Oily/combination/break outs

  • 1/3 castor oil
  • 2/3 jojoba oil or grapeseed oil

Like the previous recipe I would start with a small amount to see how it feels. Only up the quantity of castor oil if you have very oily skin, but I would not go over 50%.

These two recipes have easy to source ingredients and are perfect for trying out the OCM way. I hope you find this helpful and that you enjoy this natural and beneficial treatment as much as I do. I will be blogging again with more recipe ideas… And not just for oil cleansers.

If you’re confused about oil combinations or want more advice on anything in this blog, then leave a comment below. And I will do my best to help you. And if you try them out, I would love to know your feedback.

Here’s to clean natural beauty and radiant skin.

Keep glowing

Amy Kiss

Amy Walter

Working mum of two, Amy Walter has previously worked in Selfridges and the Urban Retreat Spa in Harrods. Specialising in Facials, Massage and Waxing, Amy set up her home beauty salon, KA Beauty, in Horsham, West Sussex. She has called upon her extensive experience in beauty therapy to create a range of luxurious and exclusive face and body treatments.