When I was first introduced to the Oil Cleansing Method, OCM, I was more than a little hesitant to put oil on my oily skin. My entire life, Acne, Breakouts, Sensitive Skin, and Oiliness were just things I came to accept as normal.
Now, after almost five years, I consider is my most valuable skin secret. Well, it isn't much of a secret, since I am here telling you about it.
If you have been interested in the OCM, but hesitant, you should definitely keep reading.
Oil Cleansing is not anything magical, but pure science. Many of us accept that soap cleanses our skin, but not many people know what "soap" actually is. Soap is a combination of Oil + Salt (Lye) to yield a Fatty Acid, that has both a hydrophobic (dislikes water) and hydrophilic (likes water) end. Check out this article for a really clear explanation. (It's very short, come right back.)
So, the part of "soap" that is hydropobic is the part of soap that attaches to oil and gunk on your skin, and the hydrophilic end helps it rinse away. This is all well and good, except when the soap strips away the protective layer of oil on your skin along with the dirt. This is typically the beginning of oily + acne prone skin. Out bodies are made to regulate themselves, and our skin uses "Sebum" (an oil produced by our skin, similar in structure to Jojoba Oil.) to clean our skin. Think about a time when you were maybe camping, or weren't able to use all your products. For me, it was a week at camp without face wash. I remember thinking how strange it was that my normally oily skin seemed to be very balanced and I had almost no breakouts for that week. As soon as I was back home to my hardcore acne face wash, my skin was back to being an oil slick.
What I have learned over the last several years, is that the health of your skin depends on three factors.
1. Hydration - This is just what it sounds like. The more water you drink, the better your body is able to shed toxins, hydrate cells, and do all it's jobs better. The more water I drink in a day, the better I feel in general, and the better my skin looks.
2. Diet - A diet high in Omega Fatty Acids, especially those found in Hemp Seed Oil + Seeds, helps keep your sebum thin and not clogging your pores. You literally are what you eat, so if you are eating junk, that is all your cells have to build from. The more whole foods, grains, veggies, and protein you eat, the better your skin will look. I encourage you to incorporate healthy fats like Hemp Seed Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Fish Oil, and Coconut Oil if nothing else.
3. A Balance of Moisturization + Hydration on the skin's surface. - This is the big one for me. I had to totally change the way I thought about "washing" my face, as well as what I thought of my skin. Your skin "reacts" to what you do to it. Imagine you just washed your face with your favorite foamy concoction, and rinsed it. How does your skin feel? Tight. We all know the answer. This is because about 99% of available face washes use commercial detergents that strip all the oil from your skin, even the good stuff. This leaves your skin susceptible to all kinds of bacteria + environmental stressors. Sebum is naturally acidic, making it tough for bacteria to survive, without that protection, your skin can become broken out very quickly. The oil on your skin surface also helps prevent moisture loss. Without the protective layer, your skin quickly loses water, making it feel tight. None of these things are good things. They are especially bad when your body tries to compensate, via the oil slick that follows 1 - 2 hours later. Your skin needs a balance of Hydration (water) + Moisturization (oil) to be in ideal condition.
I know, it seems so strange, why are there so many face washes on the market that blatantly disregard this? :-? Money. The more you use a foaming face wash, the more other products you require to keep your skin in check. Toners, Serums, Creams, Masks, and Treatments all made by the same few companies continue to clutter your counter, and you fight with your skin. Its a nasty business, and one I refuse to be a part of. So, I choose to educate.
There is a better way to wash your face, and you only need 1 product to see a difference in your skin.
Cleansing Oil is that better way. Ancient Romans used to slather their bodies in Olive Oil and then scrape it off with wooden scrapers to clean their skin. This ancient technique, may be the beginning of Oil Cleansing. Anyone who has ever used oil to remove something sticky, knows that it breaks it down very easily. It is the same with the thick sebum in your pores. My Cleansing Oils are formulated with Non-Comedogenic Organic Hemp Seed Oil. Hemp Seed Oil is the perfect oil for Oil Cleansing because it is high in Linoleic Acid, a fatty acid that helps soften and thin other thick fatty acids (like the thick sebum that causes blocked pores.)
Unlike traditional cleansers, the oil softens the clogs gently, over time. This allows your body to gently clean the clogged pore, while also not damaging the skin. Over a period of a few weeks, your skin adjusts to the regime, and stops making too much oil. Oil Cleansing is great for all skin types, even dry. No matter what your skin type, there is a formula that will work for you.
Oil Cleansing DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A PROCESS! If you suffer from very clogged pores, or breakouts, you will want to try to steam your face each time in the beginning, but it is not necessary. My basic Oil Cleanser is a combination of Hemp + Sunflower Oils. These two oils make a great cleanser. You can massage into dry skin and remove with a dry cloth for a quick cleanse, or use a warm wet cloth to gentle massage and exfoliate while you remove the oil.
I do the OCM once a day, at night. I massage the oil into my skin for 3-5 minutes, wipe off with a dry cloth, and then hop in the shower and use my Sweet Citrus Face Scrub to exfoliate. If I skip that step, I just rinse my face with water, tone with Witch Hazel after my shower, and then apply a 5 drops of Cleansing Oil as my Moisturizer. Easy Peasy!
If you still can't fathom putting oil on your skin, I encourage you to check back soon for my Clean Rinse Oil Cleanser, a magical combination of 100% Natural Ingredients, no parabens, that cleanses like an oil, but rinses clean.
Check out my Etsy store for all the items I discussed. Also, email me for a consultation. BearsBeauty@yahoo.com.