the oil cleansing method

The oil cleansing method has been a regular part of my skin routine for years now, but there was a time I wasn’t completely satisfied with the result and had stopped using it completely. I then found out about another way of doing the oil cleansing method through Nadine Artemis (Living Libations founder), which is more gentle to the skin and made my skin more calm and balanced then any other cleansing method.

This isn’t of which one is better, I use both in my routine to obtain a balanced complexion, one is more deep cleansing, and the other one is for everyday.

How does the Oil Cleansing Method work?

The method is based on the premise that “like dissolves like”. But truth is that plant oils aren’t that similar to our own oil produced by our skin, so that saying does not really hold up. On another note, oil does not have any pH (for something to have a pH balance it needs to contain water), so it can’t really disturb our skins acid mantel as many conventional cleansers do, keeping our skin balanced. Also, bacteria can’t grow in oil, for there to be any bacteria growth there needs to be the presence of water. Yes, we use water in these two methods, but the end result is that we’re still keeping your skin slightly acidic which in turn lets your skin do what it’s supposed to do. Most oils also have anti-bacterial properties.

As with the OCM clearing any skin problems, it won’t until you’ve checked your gut health and any food allergies. If you suspect your acne/skin problems may be caused from treating it too harsh and drying it out with harsh cleansers, then this could very much help bring your skin back to balance.

Check out the video down below for a demonstration of the two methods!

The Oil Cleansing Method #1

  1. Pour a generous amount of your selected oil
  2. Massage your face with the oil for a minute or longer.
  3. Hold a face cloth under pouring hot water and squeeze until damp but steaming.
  4. Put cloth over your face and hold until it has cooled.
  5. Repeat process until face feels clean and no longer oily.
  6. Moisturize face.

This is the most common style taught, and the one you’ll encounter on many blogs and on YouTube when researching the oil cleansing method. It’s traditionally used with a blend of castor oil, in different ratios depending on your skin type, that you mix yourself. But I advice you to find an oil that works for your skin and that you feel comfortable using, any oil could in fact do.

This method uses steam to clean your face from the excess oil and to remove dirt*. It’s very deep cleansing, but as much as many finds this method to work wonders, there should be a few warning signs with this method. Daily steaming your face can cause the skin to become dry. Therefore it may not be the best solution for oily skin types, because it can have a negative effect of causing the skin to produce more oil. However, if you feel as if your oil production is more balanced by this method, keep on using it.
Another thing to be cautious of, that I experienced with having cystic acne, is that the constant steaming can aggravate your acne. As I’ve learned, acneic skin is also sensitive skin, therefore it can strongly react to overexposure of extreme hot and cold.
I suggest that any cleansing method that involves stripping off your natural oils that’s already there should be handled cautiously and not abusively.

And that’s where the second method comes in…

The Oil Cleansing Method #2

  1. Soak a cloth in water and squeeze out the excess.
  2. Put a few pumps of oil on the damp cloth.
  3. Wipe your face, neck and d├ęcolletage clean with it using circular motion.
  4. Repeat process a second time for more moisture.

This is the more gentle version and it’s also quick! Depending on the material of your cloth, you’ll get some soft exfoliation happening. The oil on the cloth will pick up any dirt and leave your face clean and moisturized. Because you’re not stripping anything away with steam, except dirt in this case, this benefits both oily and dry skin types. You also get dual action of not just cleansing but at the same time moisturizing. If you’ve got oily skin, this could be enough for moisture, while dry skin types may want to add some extra.
This is a great method for for all skin types, and especially sensitive skin because it doesn’t involve stripping or exposure to extreme temperatures. During the year of using this method I haven’t experienced any cons so far. It just generally works, and you can use it several times during the day!

Method #2 is also great to use with a muslin cloth to clean and exfoliate your body instead of using soap.


 From my experience, the only negative with the OCM is that it is not a solution to remove heavy make up with.
*For instance, I did quickly notice the very importance of doing method #1 with a clean face, or you’ll be opening your pores for bacteria and dirt to come inside. Method #2 could be used as a help to take off stubborn make up-rests, like mascara and concealer around the eyes, from the first cleanse, but generally it’s a refreshment for natural skin. Another reason to stop using too many products on ourselves ;)
The oil cleansing method works great for me because the only make up I use on most days is concealer, which is quite stubborn to be honest, and will only come off using method #2.
You can read more about what products I use, how I use these two methods in my skin care routine and what oils I’m using it with for the moment here.

What is your experience with the oil cleansing method? Which method to you use?
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