Oil Cleansing Method

Welcome to the January 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener and gentler. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


It seems only a few short years ago I was working in the mall behind the counter at an upscale make-up counter. I must admit I really enjoyed working there. It was like playing dress up every day. I had fun playing with colors, doing make-overs and obsessing about skin care.
Now I look back at those years and the chemicals I was using on a daily basis and I shudder. I loved all the suds and bubbles to wash away all of my oil and dirt.  My skin did look good, it was squeaky clean, but what damage did I do? Eek!
Over the years, I have refined my daily skin care routine to be more eco-friendly by using organic, non-toxic products from reputable companies.I learned to do without the suds and bubbles.  For the most part, this has worked well, except for the fact that many of these products are quite expensive. Many of their ingredients are relatively simple to put together yourself. Could I do it?
When I was younger my skin was prone to breakouts, so I cleaned and exfoliated my skin pretty vigorously. I always had oily skin. I used all of the oil-free products. I had high hopes because as my oldest daughter starts to creep closer to those teenage years  I thought it would be fabulous if she could use a truly safe and natural way to keep her skin healthy. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to have learned a natural way to keep my skin healthy as a teenager?
I read about the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) on the Crunchy Betty website. I learned something. Like dissolves like. So oil is perfect to use to wash away oil. Hmm…
Now three children and many years later, my skin is on the dry side.  It’s like working with a whole new monster. I wondered if the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) would  work for me. It sounded simple, but could it be too simple? Would all of the oil make my skin feel greasy and clog my pores? Would it meet the needs of my now dry skin?
There was only one way to find out.  I was at the very end of my facial cleanser and moisturizer. So I figured there was no time like the present to try out the Oil Cleansing Method.
So here’s what I did:

  •  I started with organic extra virgin olive oil. I chose this oil simply because it was what I had in the house. Olive oil is full of anti-oxidants and vitamins, it’s good for your body whether taken internally or externally.  I filled my empty glass bottle from my previous cleanser 2/3 full with the organic olive oil.
  •  I filled the last third of the bottle with castor oil. Choose a cold pressed, hexane free oil. Castor oil is very nourishing for the skin and can help heal breakouts. It penetrates deep into the skin and works like many anti-aging products.
  •  I massaged about a tablespoon of the oil into my face in small circular movements. You can warm it up with your hands before applying to your face. Take your time using slight pressure to work the oil into your skin. This will remove makeup, dirt and oil. This part feels good, enjoy it, take your time.
  •  Warm water is what you’ll need next. Use a nice large cloth soaked in warm/hot water. Wring it out and place over your face. Ahh…this is my favorite part. I feel like I’m at the spa. The steam will open your pores. Let the cloth cool on your face. Gently wipe your skin clean from the oil, makeup, and dirt. Repeat two or three times.
  •  I then used a small amount of Coconut Oil or shea butter as a moisturizer. Depending on your skin, you may not feel the need to use additional moisturizer.
  •  In the morning, just use warm water to steam clean your pores and moisturize if needed. No need for the oil to cleanse.

I wish I knew about the oil cleansing method much earlier. It is so simple, works wonders and I feel like I’m having a mini spa treatment each day. My skin didn’t feel greasy and it didn’t clog my pores.
In the very beginning, it is possible to have a few breakouts while dirt blockages are being pushed from your pores. But then your skin quickly clears and you will have a lovely healthy glow to it.  It started as an experiment, but now it’s my daily routine, and I’m keeping it!.
The Oil Cleansing Method can easily be adapted to the needs of your skin. If your skin tends to be oily increase your ratio of castor oil, the drier your skin is, increase the olive oil. You can also experiment with different oils such as sunflower, jojoba and avocado oil to replace the olive oil. The castor oil is the essential part to success with this method.
I think this is a fabulous way to teach young girls ( and boys too!) to care for their skin. I’ve introduced this method to my daughter. She likes it because we do it together and she likes this spa time with mom.   No need for artificial fragrances and toxic sudsing agents to poison their delicate skin. They can have fun with the process and make it their own. Essential oils can easily be added to this OCM for a lovely scent. Lavender or rose oil would smell lovely, don’t you think?
No chemicals, all natural and organic skin care made from ingredients that you already have at home. What’s even better than that is the result of healthy, glowing skin. I’m hooked!
Have you tried the Oil Cleansing Method? Tell me what you think!

Photo by suzyq212


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Make your own moisturizer! — Megan at boho mama whips up a winter skin-friendly moisturizer.
  • Cold Water Only — Brittany at The Pistachio Project talks about how you do not need hot water to wash laundry.
  • Family Cloth… Really?? — After lots of forethought and consideration, Momma Jorje finally decides to take the plunge with family cloth.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle : 5-5-5 Things A Day — Luschka from Diary of a First Child writes about decluttering her home in an attempt to create a gentler living space. She takes on a new project where she sets a goal of reducing, reusing and recycling every day.
  • Pros and cons of family cloth — Lauren at Hobo Mama would love to continue replacing paper products with family cloth … if she could only get over how damp she feels.
  • Craftily Parenting — Kellie at Our Mindful Life finds that crafting makes her a better parent.
  • Changes — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen couldn’t choose just one area to experiment with, so she wrote a long post about all the fun changes initiated in her life!
  • Life without Internet: Not all it’s Cracked up to Be — Adrienne at Mommying My Way tries to go a week without the Internet, only to realize a healthy dose of Internet usage really helps keep this stay-at-home mom connected.
  • My Progression to Raw Milk — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares her natural parenting progression all the way to trying raw milk.
  • mama’s new little friend. — Sarah at Bitty Bird tries a menstrual cup to “green her period,” and is pleasantly surprised when she falls in love with the product!
  • Before you throw it out, try homemade laundry soap! — Jennifer at Practical OH Mommy shows visual proof that homemade laundry soap is cheaper, easier, and works better than the store-bought chemicals!
  • Oil, Oil, No Toil, No Trouble — K from Very Simple Secret talks about her foray into the oil-cleansing method.
  • I Need a Hobby — Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro couldn’t decide which experiment to run, so she did them all.
  • 7 days of macrobiotics for a balanced family — The Stones make a [successful] attempt to release the “holiday junking” with 7 days of macrobiotic meals to balance their bodies and souls. Elisabeth at Manic Mrs. Stone includes an explanation of macrobiotics.
  • Chemical Free Beauty Challenge — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction turned to natural alternatives for her daily beauty and cleaning routine, with great results.
  • Greening my Armpits!? My Green Resolution — Shannon at The Artful Mama talks about how she decided to give up her traditional antiperspirant and make the switch over to crystal deodorants and definitely isn’t looking back!
  • Going Raw (for a while) — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom shares her family’s experience with raw food.
  • Do we get to eat gluten today? — Sheila at A Gift Universe has been trying to figure out if her son does better with or without gluten in his diet … but it’s really hard to tell for sure.
  • Hippies Can Smell and Look Fabulous Too! — Arpita of Up, Down And Natural details her experience of going shampoo-free and overhauling her cosmetics to find the balance between feeling beautifully fabulous and honoring her inner hippie.
  • Our cupboards are full…but there’s nothing to eat — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud takes on the challenge of chomping through the contents of her storecupboard rather than going shopping — but there’s something that she just can’t bring herself to do …
  • Elimination Experiment 3.0MudpieMama recounts the messy adventures of her baby daughter trying to be diaper free.
  • Family Cloth Trial — Amyables at Toddler in Tow talks about making and using family cloth wipes in the bathroom for the first time.
  • Taking a Hiatus — Amy at Peace 4 Parents shares how her experience of much less internet interaction affected her family and how it will change her approach in the future.
  • Trying Out the Menstrual Cup — Lindsey at an unschooling adventure ditches the tampons and gives menstrual cups a try.
  • Managing Food Waste in Our Home — Tired of the holiday waste, Robbie at Going Green Mama takes a weeklong focus on reducing food waste in her home, and learns some lessons that can take her through the new year.
  • Going Offline, Cloth Tissues, and Simplicity — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama muses over her time away from blogging and social networking. In addition, she shares her newfound love of cloth tissues and simplicity.