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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.