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How to do Oil Cleansing

In a ‘keep it simple’ approach to skincare, oil cleansing can be one of the easiest approaches, especially if you want to make your own products. As this is now a ‘trend’ in skincare, a plethora of advice and techniques for it can be found online, but really it can be very straight-forward.

Breakouts are often blamed on oily skin which makes people nervous to use oil in cleansing. Contrary to this perception, in reality oil-free cleansers are potentially doing harm by stripping skin of its natural oils (which only encourages it to produce more). Using good, natural, plant-based oils in our cleansers can nourish skin and help it stay balanced. They can add antioxidants (to help combat signs of ageing) and vitamins; plus create even tone and smooth skin.

Oil cleansing is great for dry skin, but also perfectly good for oily skin (just use ‘drier’, less fatty, oils).

Taking some care over your oil selection, and blending your own combination of oils, can create a simple cleanser ideally suited to your skin. Look for things like their linoleic acid and oleic acid levels – higher levels of the first are good for acne-prone skin, the latter for dry skin. You can also respond to the seasonal fluctuations in your skin by adjusting your blend accordingly.

How to do Oil Cleansing

You can do basic oil cleansing by sweeping a single oil (for example, olive oil) over your face with one cloth or cotton pad, and then wiping away with a clean cloth. This was the way my mother cleaned her face daily having been recommended to do so by a dermatologist following reactions to many substances.

If you’ve taken time to select and create a particular oil blend or cleansing cream, it’s worth making your application of it something more of calming mini-ritual:

Put a little cleanser on your palm and use your natural warmth to heat it.

Massage it gently into your skin.

Then put a hot flannel over your face letting the steam from this help draw out the dirt from the pores.

Wait until it has cooled then flip it over and wipe your face clean.

Massaging a nourishing oil into your skin and then wiping or washing it off removes dirt and leaves your skin helpfully moisturised. Oil has no pH level so cleansing with it does not affect the pH of your skin. Follow your oil cleansing with a hydrating toner.

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