Oil Cleansing: The Lowdown


Meself and quite a few of the other girleens have been pondering the merits of oil cleansing in the Blather over the last little while. None of your Shu Uemura or L'Occitane or their ilk for us, though! We're thinking more along the lines of natural and cheap alternatives that you'd be more likely to find in the kitchen press than in the bathroom cabinet.

Oil cleansing is supposed to rebalance as well as deep cleanse the skin, ultimately leaving it clear and radiant. While some Oily Laydees might find the thoughts of slapping oil on their faces less appealing than the idea of Ian Beale in Speedos, remember that like dissolves like, and this whole oil cleansing thing is actually fab for all skin types.

If you don't believe me, ask reader Pixie who has very oily skin and swears by it. Sez she: "After about three weeks, my blackheads started to fall out and now I rarely have any breakouts or flakey episodes. People have asked me did I go to a dermatologist because there has been such an improvement." Princess Buttercup had a similar blackhead-busting experience: "Yup, they fell out of their own disgusting accord."

If the idea of your blackheads slipping right out of your pores - er, areas of congestion miraculously sorting themselves out appeals to you and you want to give oil cleansing a go for yourself, you'll need a mix of castor oil and a secondary oil like extra virgin olive oil, hemp oil, jojoba oil, monoi oil or sunflower seed oil. Castor oil is known for its cleansing properties but too much of it can actually dry skin out, which is why it needs to be diluted with a carrier oil. Your own perfect personal blend will depend on your skin type, but the recommended ratios are:

  • Oily Skin: 30% castor oil to 70% secondary oil;
  • Normal Skin: 20% castor oil to 80% secondary oil;
  • Dry Skin: 10% castor oil to 90% secondary oil.

To use, warm your preferred blend in your hands for a few moments, and massage onto your face, concentrating on problem areas. Wring out a facecloth in hot water and hold it over your face until it cools. Gently wipe the oil away, rinse the facecloth really well, and repeat two or three times until all impurities, make-up and oil are removed. If your skin feels tight, take a drop of your oil blend, pat it onto your damp skin and gently massage in any oil residue.

Apparantly, you can expect things to look worse before they look better, but all the ladies who have converted to this oil cleansing business assure me that it's worth sticking with: in 3-4 weeks, you should see a marked improvement in skin condition.

Oh, and if you find the smell of the oils puts you in mind of a chipper rather than a spa, you can always add a wee drop of an appropriate essential oil like lavender to the mix.

Let us all know how you get on if you decide to give oil cleansing a whirl!

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