My Foray Into Oil Cleansing

Dec 11, 2013
Andrea Malins


After reading Patty’s post on oil cleansers and doing some additional research on the oil cleansing method, I decided I wanted to give it a shot.  I have oily skin with occasional small breakouts.  The most effective facial cleanser I’ve found also happens to bleach my towels when I dry my face off, so I knew that couldn’t be too good for me.  Naturally I was a little wary of rubbing oil into my face, but after all of the success stories I found online I figured I should at least try it.  Here’s how it works:

Combine Two Oils To Make Your Perfect Cleanser

The basic principle in chemistry is “like dissolves like,” and therefore oil dissolves oil.  In the oil cleansing method you use a blend of easy to find, everyday oils to cleanse your face (you can find these at the grocery store!).  You typically create your blend from 2 oils: one that has astringent properties (to cleanse deep in the pores remove gunk and bacteria) and one that has nourishing/moisturizing properties.  Make sure you look for organic, cold pressed oils.


  • Astringent oils
    • These include castor oil (the most commonly used), hazelnut oil (which I ended up using), and grapeseed oil

    • Castor oil can be found in most pharmacies

    • I found organic, cold pressed hazelnut oil for under $10 with a quick search on Amazon


  • Nourishing oils

    • The most common is extra virgin olive oil, and others that can be used include sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil

    • I got my organic extra virgin olive oil in the cooking section at Trader Joe’s for $8.  It’s also sold online, but it’s much cheaper to get it in the store.

Finding Your Perfect Balance

Here is the suggested blending ratio:

  • Oily Skin: 30% astringent to 70% nourishing oil

  • Balanced Skin: 20% astringent to  80% nourishing oil

  • Dry Skin: 10% astringent to 90% nourishing oil

You’ll want to play around with the ratios to find the balance that works best for you.

The Cleansing Process

  1. Pour some of the oil blend into your hands (about the size of a quarter or slightly more) and rub your hands together to warm the oil.

  2. Gently massage the oil into your face and let it sit there for a minute or two, giving it time to be absorbed into your skin and to deep clean your pores.  For a really deep clean you can even let it sit for 10 minutes.

  3. Take a wash cloth and run it under hot water.  Ring it out and hold it over your face until it cools to room temperature.  By doing this you are steaming your pores open, much like when you get a facial.  This will draw the bacteria out.

  4. Repeat this step again, and then use the washcloth to wipe the excess oil off of your face.

Your face should be left feeling soft and cleansed to the point where you don’t need any moisturizing lotion.  If your skin feels tight it’s recommended to take a small dab of your blend and massage it into your face for extra moisture. recommends doing the cleansing at night before bed.  In the morning you should just wipe your face with a warm washcloth as to not over cleanse.  The site has many other tips and helpful hints that I would recommend checking out.

The Good, The Great and The Awesome

The good: This process is extremely easy and doesn’t add any extra time to my routine.

The great:  Not only do I get a great cleanse, but the oil also removes all makeup from my face.  Now I’m only spending money on a couple of inexpensive oils and I no longer need my “fancy” facial cleanser, makeup removing wipes or creams.

The awesome:  My skin is more balanced that it’s ever been.  It’s not laden with heavy oils and it feels soft and smooth.

There were a couple of cons for me throughout the process, but nothing that I couldn’t get past.  The first was that it takes a couple of weeks for your skin to get used to the cleansing.  When I first started I had a few surface breakouts while my pores were purging themselves of everything that had been built up.  It was similar to after I’ve gotten facials and it brings everything to the surface.  Not the best couple of weeks, but it was well worth it to stick it out.  The second con was that it took a few trials to find the right balance in my oil blend and to figure out how often to oil cleanse for my skin’s personal needs.  Again, I believe that this was well worth the effort.

So there it is.  A cheap, easy, organic way to effectively clean your face.  At the end of the day, that’s all I could ask for 🙂


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