Face Washing: The Oil Cleansing Method

I promised this post when I last wrote about my various oddities. The funny thing about being a little quirky is that it becomes quite normal after a while... and other people start to look pretty strange instead. (But that's a post for another time). Today, I'm writing about washing  my face with oil. Sounds strange for sure, but only until you try it.

I've been moisturizing my face with plain oil since 2013 and it first happened this way...

I have extremely sensitive and allergic skin and have tried every lotion under the sun with little success. I finally discovered a natural, handmade face lotion made by a Christian Etsy seller and I was hooked. Lovely, lovely stuff... it was the first time I had been able to use a face lotion in a long time without an adverse reaction. I highly recommend it. (Incidentally, this is also the only lotion that my mother-in-law can use without a reaction as well.)

Rosehip and Hibiscus Facial Lotion

The catch was that it costs more money than I like to spend on my face. As I neared the bottom of my bottle, something strange happened to me and I had a frugal fit.

I need this lotion... BUT... I bet I can make it myself.

So I purchased ingredients to make something of my own design and while I waited for them to arrive in the mail, I ran out of lotion. I needed something because my face would burn terribly and dry out after I washed with soap. I did a quick internet search and discovered that I could just use plain... oil.

I ran to my cabinet and pulled out a bottle of almond oil. This will do, I thought. And it did. I thought I would break out in horrendous acne. But I didn't. Instead, it felt lovely and did the trick. I never did end up making the lotion (although it is still on my to-do list) and I have since discovered the simple art of washing with oil as well.

The how-to of oil cleansing is beautifully simple. You need only two ingredients: castor oil (for cleaning) and a moisturizing oil such as 100% pure olive, hazelnut, almond, or grapeseed. A little research and experimentation will help you discover which of these oils is best for your skin.

I made my first batch with equal parts castor and almond oil. I was astonished to find that the combination was a little drying and I have since increased the amount of almond oil with happy results. Everyone's skin is different so this really does end up being a bit unique for each person.

The Ingredients

1. Castor Oil - Draws out Dirt (some people with sensitive skin might want to limit this almost entirely if it is too drying)

2. Olive or other moisturizing oil (My preference is almond oil)

3. Experiment with adding your favorite (therapeutic grade) essential oils for scent and skin benefits.


*Ratio depends upon your skin needs and sensitivities (see instructions and links below for greater detail)

You can find these ingredients at your local Walmart, grocery, or online. It cost me only $5 to make 6 ounces of cleanser, which will probably last me a very long time. It sits on the bathroom counter with a homemade label that reads (in red sharpie):

Mommy's Face Wash... Do Not Touch!

(Which, of course, made all the children want to touch it asap.)

The Method

1. Pour a small amount of oil (nickel to quarter size) into your palm and using your fingertips, massage it into your skin. Apply to a dry face. Gently rub it in for about a minute. No need to scrub.

2. Wet a washcloth with hot water (please don't burn yourself) and lay it over your face, letting it cool until it is about room temperature. This is where a lot of cleaning action happens. It has been so cold here that my washcloth cools off super fast... so I have been repeating this step with the other side of the cloth.

3. Rinse the washcloth out (or just use the corners) and wipe off the oil. Again, do not scrub... just wipe it off. You'll have some residual oil but you really do want that.

4. I will occasionally need a little extra moisturizer and will use some coconut oil or almond oil in the morning or after a shower. It is still my plan to make a gentle, organic lotion and I plan on adding some zinc oxide to defend against the Summer sun.

The Results

This stuff cleans extremely well. A pre-wash is unnecessary because the oil is the perfect makeup and dirt remover. Oil removes oil. I find that this method works much better than scrubbing with soap and water.

I have acne-prone skin. I'm a 38-year old woman with just as many problems as I did when I was a teenager! I assumed oil would make it worse but instead, I have experienced a very rapid improvement. Dry patches and oily patches are starting to equalize and breakouts have decreased. My skin is softer. I can't do anything about contact sensitivities but I can do my best to have a healthy baseline.

Before someone asks me how I have time to do this kind of stuff, let me say this... I need to wash my face. My face hates the ingredients in almost all commercial beauty products (including make-up which I also have to purchase on Etsy) and I have extreme reactions. So I do what needs to be done. I am no fashion or beauty guru. I do not wear much make-up and I do not wear it often. But as I get a little older, I'm finding that the face and body need a little extra attention. I know the Chief would love me even if I washed my face with mud, but he deserves a pretty wife on his arm. And since I'm the only wife he's got, I'll have to do the best I can with what I have. :)

*This post contains affiliate links {and I love when you use them}... but please know that I only post links that may be useful to my readers!

Posted on June 16, 2015 and filed under Beauty, DIY, Womanhood.