Monday, July 23, 2012

Shhh...Don't Tell!

I have very oily skin.  No, that's not the secret.  Anyone who came near me anytime after 3pm could easily see that.  That is, until this past February when I tried something crazy.

I stopped washing my face! Yep.  No more soap or facial cleanser.  Instead I have been cleansing my face with oil.  I know, I know.   It sounds crazy.  But, it isn't completely illogical.

oil cleansing method sunflower castor facial acne oily skin OCM
My secret weapon in the battle against oily skin
I decided to give it a try after reading this blog post on One Good Thing by Jillee. You see, when I said I have really oily skin, I meant oily.  It was so bad that I used to be able to take my nail and scrape the oil off my skin by around noon.   By the evening, I was a mess.  And my skin would break out like a 14 year-old's. 

I had tried everything.  I've been to the dermatologist and the stuff they gave me didn't help.  I spent a fortune on Proactive and other cleansers.

I counted the number of different cleansers, treatments, moisturizers, and medications I had for acne and oily skin before I started this.  There were 8 in my cabinet.  Those are just the ones I've tried in the last year or less.  None of them worked any better than any others.

When I read the blog post I figured I didn't have anything to lose.  My skin already looked horrible.  And the idea of replacing the dirty oil with clean, healthy oil so your skin won't need to produce as much sort of made sense.  After all, that is why you always read about how important it is to use a moisturizer when you have oily skin.  Because, if you strip your skin of its natural moisture (the oil) you have to replace it with some other moisturizer.

So, I decided to give it a try.   It has now been about five months and I love it!

Almost immediately, I noticed my skin being less oily.   Now, I still have a little shine by the end of the night, but I can't scrape the oil off and it isn't like that after just a few hours.  I can handle that. 
Then, my acne started to go away.   I still have the occasional blemish, but they aren't nearly as bad.  This holds true until the week of my period.  My skin does break out just as bad as ever during that time.  But, that is hormonal and it wasn't any worse than when I used all those cleansers.  My skin cleared right up after my period was over.

How to Get Started

You will need:

A container
A terry cloth headband (Optional)
That's it!

The Oil:
There are different oil combinations for different skin types.  You can find a detailed explanation at the  The basic combinations are listed below.  You can tweak them a little to adjust to your skin needs.
  • Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil.
  • Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil.
  • Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil.

I have oily skin, so I use 30% Castor Oil and 70% Sunflower Oil.  

The castor oil can be found in the pharmacy department by the stomach remedies.  

Castor Oil
Sunflower seed oil is one version of sunflower oil.  It is a bit more expensive.  I've substituted it for regular old sunflower oil which can be found in the baking aisle with all the other oils.  The only difference is that sunflower seed oil is cold pressed and sunflower oil is heat pressed.  They are both from sunflower seeds and both have more vitamin E than other oils.

Sunflower Oil
The Container:
You could use many different things for a container.  I just got a little, plastic, travel bottle from the Dollar Tree.  It isn't big, but I can mix enough in it to last a couple months.  It is easy to store and only cost a buck!

The Cost:
The oil is extremely cheap and I use very little of it.  My castor oil is about 3/4 empty after 5 months.  But, you can see how much sunflower oil I have left!  

I also no longer need a moisturizer.  I do still use under eye cream because I have horrible wrinkles under my eyes that I am trying to correct or at least prevent from getting worse.  I also have some tea tree oil that I use as a spot treatment for blemishes.

How to:

Well, according to Jillee, you are supposed to do it this whole routine at night.  You can read about how she does it in the link above.  But, I'm too lazy for that.  Really, I am just to tired when I get home from work at midnight and want to head straight to bed.

So, I started doing it in the shower in the morning.  I rub a little oil on my face (about a quarter size drop).  I message it in for a couple minutes, then I leave it on while I go about my other showerly duties (Except washing my hair.  I do that last in case I get any oil on my bangs.).  Then, I use the washcloth and gently wipe it all off, rinsing the washcloth often.  It takes a little while to get it all off, but less time than when I did it at night.  One thing I had to get used to was my skin not feeling squeaky clean.  The oil never leaves your skin squeaky.  But, it is clean.  It just still has moisture in it!

I started out doing it every day, but quickly learned that I don't need to do it that often.  Now, I can go two or three days between using the oil.  Other days, I just use water.  

For my eye makeup, I do still use an eye makeup remover at night.  The oil will remove it, but since I now "wash" my face in the morning, I need to remove my eye makeup before going to sleep.  I can't stand sleeping in mascara!

I love the oil cleansing method and can't imagine ever going back to the old way of washing my face!

Now, if I could just get up the courage to go "no poo!"

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