The Oil Cleansing Method

I’m a big fan of oil cleansing. Not only is it an effective way of removing makeup and other grime, it also leaves my skin really soft, supple and settled. “It’s all very well if you have dry skin,” I hear you grumble, “but it’s not going to do us oily types much good.” Actually, that’s where you’d be wrong.  It may seem counter intuitive, but using oil to cleanse your skin can actually help to balance your skin’s own oil production, meaning it can reduce blackheads, pimples and other symptoms of oily skin.

Several seed and nut oils are very effective cleansers, working themselves deep into your pores to remove excess oil, dirt and impurities. Castor oil best blended with a secondary oil, such as olive or almond, tends to be the blend most recommended for oily or acne prone skin, but you might well find another combination suits you better.  The main oils to consider are….

Castor oil 

Naturally astringent, castor oil is good at drawing out impurities and minimising excess oil. It’s also gentle enough for sensitive skin. However, you do only need a little of the oil, as it is pretty thick and sticky! Around 30% of the overall blend is usually the maximum recommended amount, although you might want to try a bit less if you have dry skin. Mix 1 part castor oil with 3 parts sweet almond and see how you get on.

Extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil has been used for skincare for thousands of years, and it’s no wonder, as it leaves skin feeling uber soft and plumped. It helps to lock moisture into your skin, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

avocadogreenAvocado oil

One of the oils closest to your own sebum, avocado oil is ideal for really dehydrated, dull skin. Do you get flaky patches of white skin, or rough areas? This is the oil for you.

Rice bran beauty oil

A traditional Japanese cleanser, rice bran oil is one of the best oils to use on your skin in my opinion. It’s packed with antioxidants, easily absorbed and just really nourishing and gentle. It’s great for most skin types, but particularly beneficial for mature or sensitive skin.  It also doubles up as a superb facial moisturiser.

Sweet Almond Oil

An effective cleanser, sweet almond oil is packed with Vitamin E, so helps skin look more youthful and fresher. Super versatilie, sweet almond oil is also ideal for baby massage, and adult massage for that matter, so it’s always worth having a bottle to hand.

RosehipRosehip seed oil

Ah the wonderful rosehip oil. This is the oil you want if you have old acne scars you want reducing, or any wrinkles you want to tackle. Rich in Vitamin C and fatty acids, it’s recommended for most skin types, and can work wonders on dry skin. Do try to buy a good quality rosehip oil though; some of the mass produced ones are of a pretty inferior quality. Look out for a lovely amber, orange or ruby colouring.

Once you’ve chosen your oils and created your blend, pour a few drops into the palm of your hand. Rub between your palms to warm it up, and massage the oil into your face. Take your time over this; enjoy the feel of it. Soak a washcloth in hot (but not boiling) water, ring it out and lay it over your face for a couple of minutes. Gently wipe it across your face to remove some of the oil, rinse and repeat. Massage any remaining oil into your skin, and you’re done. If you get the chance to do this while soaking in the bath, or just after a shower, it’s even better, as the steam will help to open your pores.

Now, a side note here, when you first try oil cleansing, you may find that your skin actually feels worse for the first few days. Think of it a bit like a facial, which sometimes seems to unleash all those pimples that were waiting to surface in one go. But do persevere. I’m not saying it’ll work miracles for everyone, but stick with it for two weeks and see how you feel. I think you’ll be glad you did.

Top cleansing tip!  If you’re in a bit of a rush, moisten a ball of cotton wool with some sweet almond oil and 1 drop of tea tree. Use this to cleanse your face for a super effective grime removal. Your skin will thank you for it 🙂

Not sure where to start, or which oils to try? I’d be happy to offer some advice. Leave me a comment below, or tweet us @Akamuti.

Comments 14

  1. Hello, I am wanting to change my skin cleansing and moisturising routine. I have combination skin, I usually feel my skin is oily, as I get blackheads, but often get told that my skin is dry. I’ve been reading the info on this website, there seems to be alot of overlap with some of yhe benefits of the oils etc and I don’t know what to try first, the liquid black African soap or oil cleansing, the tea tree or which hazel cleanser, and then which mask and moisturiser? I was wondering if you could possibly point me in the right direction. Thank you in advance.

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      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for your comment and I hope I can help you. Dry skin can contribute to oiliness, so finding a good moisturiser is often key to helping bring balance to your skin.
      For cleansing, any of the above oils will be suitable for your skin type. I personally love using coconut, castor or sweet almond oil most. Cleansing regularly should help you to reduce blackheads and keep your skin feeling fresh and clean. A clay mask can be immensely helpful with this too – our green clay or neem mineral mask are ideal for this. Using a little every day over problem areas can have fantastic results.
      For moisturising I would recommend using organic golden jojoba oil. This oil is great for oily skin and dry skin, it is an excellent moisturiser and won’t exacerbate oily skin problems. Sometimes, oil feels like the last thing you want to apply to your skin – but jojoba oil in particular is very helpful for bringing balance to combination and problem skin types. There are a few other oils which are suitable for oily skin including Kalahari watermelon oil and sesame oil but I love jojoba for it’s ability to help such varied skin problems.
      I would also recommend using our Liquid African Black Soap Unscented as a kind and gentle facial wash.
      Our tea tree water or organic rosewater are fantastic skin tonics too – I would recommend using them before moisturising. They are both great for oily skin types. They are also helpful for dry skin.
      I’d be happy to email you if you’d like further information 🙂

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  2. Hi could you please help me I’m completely confused with all the oils ect I better start from the beginning I changed my shampoo and conditioner around Christmas last yr and gave me a reaction straight away but I ignored it thinking it’s just new stuff but it’s given me dermatitis think that’s the right word the medication I was given is basically a steroid in coconut oil I’ve been reading for awhile how good coconut oil is and read ur the best to go too on the first page of a Google search so congratulations to you for such great products but I’m confused on all the blending and use essential oils with a carryer I think coconut is a carryer but I’m now confused if I have to buy another oil to mix it with oh I also suffer with oily roots and dry to/and split ends due to medications I’m on
    Please any info will help me out would be greatly appreciated I’ve just bought ur coconut oil and can’t wait to see if it helps
    Thank you so much
    Speak soon

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      Hi 🙂 I hope I can help you. Unfortunately, medication can wreak havoc with the hair and skin. Coconut oil is classed as a carrier oil, any cold pressed oil can be used in this way. That includes oils like olive, almond, wheatgerm, etc. Essential oils need to be diluted in a carrier oil (like coconut or olive for example) because essential oils are very potent and you only need a small amount. Coconut oil is a fantastic hair oil. You can use it alone as it is – simply warm up enough oil to condition your scalp and hair, you could start with a tablespoon of coconut oil. You can leave the oil in your hair for as long as you like and it will really help with dandruff, itching etc. Then you just need to wash it out with a shampoo when you’re ready. Coconut oil is surprisingly easy to wash out. Oil treatments are really helpful for haircare, adding essential oils are optional. I have another blog post dedicated to haircare, you may like to check it out: I hope you find it helpful but please let me know if you need more information, I’ll be happy to help 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for replying so quickly
        So do I need an essential oil too and if so which ones would be best if u can advise as I have thought lemon oil olive oil can’t remember the name of the other one but there still oils tho but I know coconut oil is a carryer

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          You can use the coconut oil by itself or you can add an essential oil for extra benefits. There are a few really good ones – I would recommend lemon, tea tree or ylang ylang essential oil. They will all help to promote healthy, shiny hair and they will help with itching and dandruff too. You will need 3 or 4 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of oil. Hope this helps 🙂

          1. Thank you so much do you sell them as I’ve only found lemon oil or is that it sorry I’m new to all this plus I thought essential oils are in a small bottle

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  3. Hello. I’ve been using your oils for years. Think I’ve tried and tested most of them by now. I use sweet almond oil to remove my make-up. It’s nice and light. It’s glides off effortlessly using a cotton pad. I’ve never removed the excess oil afterwards. My skin seems to like it as it soaks it all up. I do have very dry skin.
    The other great idea is by mixing up some of the oils and adding essential oil combinations, I now have the best body moisturizer. I’ll have shower and whilst still wet I apply oil all over my body.
    I have suffered from very dry skin and my skin has literally never been in better condition.
    The joy of your oils are that you can mix and match to find the right combination for your own skin. Keep up the good work. My skin says thankyou for your wonderful oils. Xxx

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  4. Hi
    I’m a young woman at 32 from Denmark. Until now I’ve only tried your african black soap bar, which I really like. It was recommended to me by a danish blogger who also got me into oilcleansing. I’ve been using almond oil to clean my face and jojoba oil as moisturizer, but sometimes it just gets a bit too greasy I think. And since I ran out of jojoba a month ago, I’ve only been using almond oil, and it just seems to me that it takes quite some time for it to absorb. I read you blog on oilcleansing and want to know if I’ve got i right – do you mean that it’s not necesarry to moisturize after cleaning your face, since you clean your face with oil? I’ve never really had big skinproblems, but I do have sensitive skin which is prone to be dry. I never really get any pimples, only when I’ve been eating pretty badly and is dehydrated:) My skin also tend to blush sometimes, but i guess that’s normal for sensitive skin. When i’m not blushing I’m actually extremely pale, or maybe I just have very white skin, I just think I look very pale sometimes. Maybe you could recommend something, is there something you think I should try out? On you blog on oilcleansing I think this japanese oil, something with bran rice:)), looked interesting.

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      Hi Mette, Thank you for your comment 🙂 Some people find that oil cleansing is enough for their skin and they don’t need to use extra moisturiser afterwards – but it really depends on your skin type. Make sure that you remove all of the cleansing oil before moisturising. If you’re finding your skin is still feeling oily, you may need to use the hot cloth a few times to remove all traces of cleanser. Jojoba oil is a really wonderful moisturiser, I like to use a couple of drops after cleansing my face. It’s a good choice for unsettled skin types as it helps to bring balance, whether your skin is dry, oily or problematic.
      Our rice bran oil has had some good feedback as a cleansing and moisturising oil as it is well suited to do both jobs.
      I think the key is not to use too much oil at any one time. If your skin feels well moisturised after cleansing you could try applying some rosewater to your skin instead, to keep it feeling fresh and plump. I hope this is helpful.

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