Thinking Out Loud

…on all things wise and wonderful.

Oiling the Wheels of Skincare: All you need to know about Oil Skin Cleansing

This skin cleansing technique might sound a little bizarre, and I don’t blame you (especially those with oily skins) for recoiling at the thought of having to smear oil on your face to clean it. It’s almost unimaginable to do so; after all, won’t all the extra oil exacerbate breakouts and clog our pores further? Isn’t it more sensible to let strong antibacterial washes do the job for us?

Well, as they say, knowledge is power and information is wealth and with a bit of both, you’ll soon realize that the truth about oil cleansing is quite the opposite. Oil cleansing is actually a very smart cleansing method, because not only does it leave your face squeaky-clean and devoid of impurities, it also moisturizes and softens your skin, imparting a healthy glow to your face. Still unsure about how it all works? Read on to know more about this cleansing method and get your doubts cleared.


Image courtesy: thebodyshop

Why use oil to cleanse skin?

‘Like dissolves like,’ this is one of the most basic principles in chemistry and it is on this principle that this cleansing technique functions. The oil applied to your skin seeps into your pores and dissolves hardened sebum and impurities. When you wipe your face with a warm towel, or expose your face to steam, the freshly applied oil along with pore-clogging impurities are cleansed away and your skin is left free of impurities and well-hydrated. Hence, oil helps deep clean skin, but unlike harsh cleansing agents, it does not rob the skin off moisture and spark sebum over-production.

What kind of oils should I use?

Using a combination of natural oils is better than using a single one for this purpose. Castor oil is known for its purifying properties and hence makes for a great choice. Along with Castor oil you could use olive oil, Sunflower seed oil or any other vegetable oil of choice. However, refrain from using mineral oils or other refined oils as they do not contain the fatty acids, minerals and nutrients found in natural, cold-pressed oils. Also, the proportions in which you combine the oils will depend on the quality of your skin and your skin type. Trial and error seems to be the best method here.

Alternatively, you could also use organic cleansing oils offered by brands like The Body Shop. The effectiveness of these readymade combinations has already been proven, so all you need to do is apply them.


Proper technique for cleansing skin with oil:

  • Just massaging oil into your skin will do more harm than good. One needs to follow a proper method in order to reap the benefits of oil skin cleansing.
  • To begin with, carry out this cleansing routine at night, just before you hit bed. In the morning, rinse your face with a mild cleanser and cool water.
  • Take about a quarter-sized amount of the oil mixture in your palm and massage it into your pores. Move your palms firmly over your skin in circular motions. Keep doing this for a good 10-15 minutes; this will give your skin sufficient time to soak in the oil.
  • Apart from deep cleansing your skin, you can also use this time to relax and unwind. Whilst massaging your face, close your eyes and think of something calming and serene.
  • To wipe the oil off, dip your towel in steaming hot water and hold it over your face till it cools down. Avoid rubbing the towel over your skin and resort to patting instead. Between applications, wash the towel in running hot water and then reapply to face till all the oil comes off. However, don’t over-wipe your face as this will dry out your skin.
  • If your face feels very dry, take a dab of the oil mixture and apply it on your face. Do so when your skin is still damp as then your skin will be better able to absorb the oil.

Things you need to lookout for:

Nothing happens overnight and this statement holds true even when it comes to enjoying the positive results of a cleansing routine. You might not experience any ground-breaking changes in your complexion after the first application (though your skin will surely feel a lot softer and smoother) but after a week or two, you’ll notice a marked reduction in blackheads, whiteheads and breakouts. As a result, your complexion will look luxurious, radiant and healthy.

Also, after the first couple of applications, you might notice an oil flow, that is your skin will become a lot oiler than before. Don’t worry too much about this because it only means that your skin is trying to adjust to your new cleansing method. After a few applications, your skin will regularize and balance out its oil production and you’ll begin to enjoy healthy, acne-free skin.


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This entry was posted on February 2, 2015 by in Skin Care and tagged , , , , .
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