oil cleansing 101

Your skin is your biggest organ, we all know this. Now, “why is my skin so oily?” “why is my face so dry in certain spots?” “why am I breaking out?” that’s something we’re all still trying to figure out on the daily. Our skin is made up of many layers and is full of bacteria (good & bad) so it runs off a PH system. Finding the right balance is often difficult but well worth the try.

Personally, I have combination skin that leans more toward the oily side so the thought of using oils was always a little weird to me. But after educating myself on the skin and learning and understanding more about it, it started to make more sense. When our skin is dry it overproduces oil to help fight the dryness. When you choose oil cleansing you avoid harsh chemicals, alcohol and other nasty additives that sneak their way into even the most “natural” face cleansers. Using an oil to cleanse wipes away dirt, excess sebum, clogged pores, pollutants and make up without interrupting the good bacteria that lives on your skin. After a few weeks of hemp oil cleansing I noticed it had balanced the dryness of my skin and it is now oily (as usual) but not excessive like it’s been in the past.

something that stuck with me was this passage I found on, https://www.acne.org/

“Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that like dissolves like. The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin.”

How to pick the right oil for your skin

There aren’t as many oil options as there are facial cleansers but the large selection still doesn’t make it that easy to choose. Different oils have different properties. Just like we all have different skin types.

Here’s a little breakdown of 11 oils that may help you decide

-Jojoba oil: full of nutrients like vitamin E and B. closest to our skins natural sebum. great choice for oily or sensitive skin

-Hemp seed oil: non comedogenic meaning it wont clog pores. full of omega 3 fatty acids. great choice for oily or acne prone skin *my personal favorite*

-Extra virgin olive oil: full of fatty acids and antioxidants, high concentration of vitamin E. extremely moisturizing. works very well when mixed with castor oil. great choice for dry to well balanced and/or aging skin

Rosehip oil: contains many antioxidants, high concentration of vitamin C. great choice for aging or discolored skin

Avocado oil: full of antioxidants and omega 9 fatty acids. super moisturizing. great choice for aging and sensitive/dry skin

Coconut oil: naturally and antibacterial and anti-fungal, but very drying. great choice for oily skin *Coconut oil is moisturizing, yes, but is also extremely drying and has a comedogenic rating of 4/5 meaning it WILL clog your pores*

Grapeseed oil: full of fatty acids like omega 3s & 6s and antioxidants, high concentration of vitamin E. great choice for aging or discolored skin

Sweet almond oil: full of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A & E. works very well when combined with apricot seed oil. great choice for aging or discolored skin

Apricot seed oil: full of omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin E & K. works very well when combined with sweet almond oil. great choice for aging or discolored skin

Sunflower oil: full of antioxidants and rich in vitamin E. great choice for dry, discolored and aging skin

-Castor oil: an astringent oil that should be diluted with any other oil listed above in a 2:1 ratio to avoid drying. works very well with extra virgin olive oil. great choice for acne prone skin

Adding essential oils into your base oil is a great way to add extra benefits into your oil cleansing method. Some beneficial essential oils for facial skin include; tea tree, grapefruit, carrot seed, lavender, and frankincense.

How to oil cleanse

  1. Remove makeup (I like to use a little of the oil to loosen up my mascara and then rinse off entire face with water)
  2. Apply about 1-2 teaspoons of your oil to your face rubbing in circular motions and leave on for at least 60 seconds
  3. Soak your washcloth in hot water, wring out extra water and apply washcloth to face (If I’m not in a rush I like to leave the hot washcloth on my face for another 60 seconds to really let the oil seep into the skin). The steam from the cloth will remove any left behind oil. Then use the washcloth to gently wipe off your face.

Simple as that! Practice this once a day and you’re on your way to glowing balanced skin.

*Make sure to be using organic, cold pressed, 100% oils*

Here’s what I use. You can get it at Whole Foods and many other grocery stores or order it online at Amazon or Vitacost.

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