By now, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve heard of the oil cleansing method (OCM). Practitioners of natural skin care swear it will give you smooth, clear, perfectly moisturized skin. Those claims are in addition to the testimonials that say it provides the deepest clean you can get without a potentially damaging amount of exfoliation.
Still, a lot of people won’t attempt it because for many of us, oil is thought to cause breakouts. We’ll tackle that one in a minute, but let’s just do a brief rundown on how you actually perform OCM.
The oil cleansing method requires a few drops of oil or an oil blend, which you massage into your face without water. Users should really take their time here, since the oil breaks down and absorbs natural oils, makeup, and dirt on the skin. After several minutes, use a soft cloth moistened with warm water to complete the massage and remove excess oil and dirt brought to the surface.
What’s so beneficial about this method? First, we’re not using foaming agents and skin-stripping synthetic compounds which can damage the acid mantle of your skin. Here’s where the those with oily skin should be ready to change their minds about OCM.
When your face is oily, you are taught to believe that washing it all off will help it be less oily. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. If your cleanser is too harsh, it will just provoke your skin into producing more sebum. More sebum means more blackheads, more pustules, more of basically everything you hope to eliminate.
Another benefit is the element of massage - one of the oldest natural skin care methods there is. During regular cleansing, we aren’t paying enough attention and taking enough care. A lengthy facial massage increases circulation, improves muscle tone, and removes facial tension.
Those two benefits alone - maintaining skin balance and performing an anti-aging massage daily - indicate that yes, OCM is right for just about everyone. However, you must customize it to meet your unique skin care needs.
If you’ve tried OCM and ended up with dry patches or breakouts, it was likely the material, not the method. Very few oils are universally suited to all skin types. For beginners, castor oil is widely recommended. If you have dry skin, a more moisturizing oil should be blended with the castor oil.
Here’s a basic rundown of a few oils that typically work best among a range of skin types.
Oils for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin
Oils for Dry and Mature Skin
Oils for Sensitive Skin
If you currently have skin care concerns, patch test individual oils. Always opt for cold-pressed, organic oils. If you suffer from acne and would like to add a treatment oil like tea tree or neem essential, make sure it is high quality, and doesn’t contain a carrier oil of its own which would cause breakouts.
All in all, OCM is the best natural answer to a cosmetic industry that has filled products with irritants. Try it every other night with nothing more than nutritious, all-natural oils, and see the difference within two weeks.