Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Integrating the OCM into your Routine + Troubleshooting the OCM

Whether you use the OCM already or are just curious about integrating it into your routine, you have come to the right place. The OCM refers to the "Oil Cleansing Method."

If you are here, chances are you are interested in the OCM, but not sure what it entails. You may also already be using the OCM and looking to solve some issues you seem to be having.

First, I want to talk about why the OCM is so great for just about all skin types. Cleansing your face with oil may seem strange, until you consider to science of soap.

Soap starts its life a fat of some sort that is then mixed with lye to produce soap. Lye creates soap by making a molecule that has two ends; one that likes water and one that likes oil. The end that likes oil attaches to the oil on your skin, while the end that likes water rinses it away. While this is an oversimplification of the process, it does explain why soap can strip your skin. Soap does not discern between the oil-based protective layer of your skin (acid mantle) and grime from your day. If your skin feels tight after cleansing, that is water escaping your skin because the protective layer has been stripped. This layer not only keeps out environmental pathogens, but keeps moisture in your skin. When it is stripped, your skin is susceptible to breakouts and infections.

In the last several years of talking to customers, most people are just doing too much to their skin. Your body is made to work pretty maintenance-free. Clean your skin, exfoliate, drink water, and eat clean food. It is pretty simple. In a perfect world ... This is real life. The OCM is a perfect way to figure out just exactly what your skin needs. I like to think of it as "going back to zero." It allows your skin to balance and for you to see the natural state of your skin. For most people, it is healthy + clear + glowing + happy + thankful skin.

Many times what we believe is our "Skin Type" is actually a result of what we are doing to our skin. Your body is made to work in harmony. Left alone, the systems work well at keeping skin clear and balanced. I used to associate the tight feeling after washing my face with "clean." I cannot tell you the number of harsh chemical face products I have used in an attempt to "control." my skin.

Oil cleansing allows your skin to balance while also reducing signs of aging, breakouts, and dryness. I talk about choosing the right oil in the post linked in the intro, so please feel free to go read that when you finish this :)

No matter what your skin type, the OCM will benefit you greatly. Even if you have "Normal" skin and don't have any particular issues, the OCM is a beautiful way to remove makeup + cleanse + moisturize all in one easy step.

If you already have a cleanser, scrub, or face wash that you just adore; you can add the OCM into your routine. If you are unhappy with your current products, the OCM can be your entire routine. There is so much room to customize for just what your skin needs at any given time.

When I talk about what your skin needs, I mean that you should pay attention to how your skin reacts to different things. When I first started the OCM, I was using it every night before bed. A few months in, my skin began to feel a bit dry and got to the point where it seemed like nothing I used sunk in. I started using the OCM every other night, or following it up with a gentle scrub or clay wash when using every night. My natural oil production had balanced out, so I was no longer an oil slick (like before the OCM.) Now, after five years, I oil cleanse twice a day some days and switch up which cleanser I use.

If the idea of just washing your face with oil does not appeal to you, then you can also choose to use an oil cleanser before your normal face wash. This will help to protect your skin from being stripped, as well as help to deep clean your pores. To do this, you massage the oil into your dry face for 1-5 minutes and then massage your face wash right into the oil on your face. You can also choose to remove the oil with a soft cloth and then follow with your face wash.

Exfoliation is key for all skin, but when you are using the OCM, you may forget or be confused about when and how you should go about exfoliating. You don't want to use harsh scrubs, and you also don't want to use harsh soap on your face. Bear's Beauty offers several really gentle scrub options.  You can also make a super easy DIY scrub with very fine-grain sugar and honey. You want the finest possible sugar so that it will exfoliate gently without tearing or cutting your skin. The best time to use a scrub is either in the morning (when using the OCM at night) or right after oil cleansing. I actually use a gentle scrub every day.

When you are oil cleansing, you only want to do it once a day, initially. It may be tempting to use it morning and night, but it will not add any benefit when you first start. Using the OCM as your deep cleanse at night allows your skin to breathe while you sleep, and typically all you need is a swipe of toner or splash of water in the morning vs a whole wash. This is especially epic if you are busy.

Cleansing oil is not just for women, men will love this too. Think about it, one product that does the work of at least 3? Guys, if you have facial hair, all the more reason to try the OCM. For guys, you want to use the Oil Cleanser at night, Massage into dry skin for 3-5 minutes, remove with a dry microfiber cloth. In the morning, just splash with water and go! If you have facial hair, massage a few drops in your beard or stash for soft + smooth skin and hair.

Many "oil cleansers" on the market are just oil mixed with an emulsifier. While this is sort of a step up from soap, they can still be very irritating to the skin. My range is made using only oils and essential oils, offering you options for all skin types.

If you find that you get little white bumps, you are using a cleanser that is clogging your pores. This happens most often with Coconut or Olive Oil. (EDIT : This does not apply during the first three months of oil cleansing. There may be a detox period where the oil cleanser is loosening clogged pores and bringing them to the surface. If you have pain, itching, or redness, discontinue use.)

To add an oil cleanser to your routine, simply use it as a pre-wash.

You can use an oil cleanser 2-3 times per week as a deep cleanse. Massage into skin and let sit for 10-20 minutes before removing.

Oil cleansing is NOT scary. Rub some oil in your face, wipe it off with a soft damp cloth, love your skin. 

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