Cleaning your face with oil: An urbanMamas green thing
When I wrote about going shampoo-free a few weeks ago, I had no idea it would inspire such great discussion, action, and several more ways to release myself from the bonds of "product" I've been struggling against since adolescence. Joanna left a comment that once more set me free. "i also haven't "washed" my face in 10 months and no longer have the cystic acne which i was told once by a dermatologist would be with me for the rest of my life unless i took accutane, but i guess that's another blog post."
Indeed, said I, and emailed her for more information. She said she has been using the oil cleansing method (OCM). I Googled around a bit, and found this amazing and detailed post on Simple Mom. I chose to make my mix of about 1/3 olive oil and 2/3 castor oil (purchased at Walgreens, found among other methods of constipation relief) -- good for oily skin -- and tried it a few days later. I've been having trouble with painful blemishes on my shoulders and upper back, so I tried it there, too.
Within a few hours, my skin felt better than it has for a long time. It was already looking smoother and more even, too, and the next day I realized some of the acne on my back was healed entirely. It was such a simple, elegant use of natural ingredients; and the process is restful and relaxing too. I doubt I'll ever buy product for my face again and you can bet I won't be spending my luxury money (at that time in the future when I have some, that is) on spa facials again. After all, I have them right here at home.
Here's the process, simplified:
- Mix olive and castor oil in the right ratio for your skin
- Rub a small amount on dry skin with your fingertips (about a 'quarter-sized' puddle on your palm)
- 'Steam' your face by holding a washcloth, soaked with hot water, to it, for about a minute
- Rinse your face by rinsing washcloth and gently wiping off the oil
I'd like to try using some of the St. John's wort-infused oil (pictured above) and other oils such as jojoba and grapeseed (the castor oil had the benefit of already being in my cabinet; but it's probably pretty old and definitely not organic). And if you are looking for a good-priced source of organic olive oil, Jim Dixon sells it on Monday evenings from his warehouse at SE 9th and Main (if you have a bottle to refill, bring it!).
Have you tried the oil-cleansing method? Have you used different oils or different ratios? We'd love to hear more. And thanks, Joanna: what a change it's been.