the oil cleansing method

IMG_1289A couple of months ago I started cleansing my skin with oil in the evenings, and the result so far wasn’t great. But I’ve just found out why on Crunchy Betty’s blog: Olive oil!

Haven’t I just told you that olive oil is great for almost anything, it’s like a magic fluid… it really is for a lot of things except for the oil cleansing method on your face… apparently olive oil can cause outbreaks, seems like this is quite a common problem. And this could be the reason…

But how does it work? 

As you may already know, your skin produces a sort of oil called sebum. So by cleaning your face with oil, you replace the dirty sebum with clean and nourishing oil.

This method is completely natural, no chemicals involved. Chemical soap, gel or foam facial cleansers usually strip your skin of its natural sebum and it goes into overdrive, trying to create more. And this will clog your pores -> blackheads, pimples and all that goes with it.

Are you convinced? Then read on and learn about which oils are most beneficial for your skin type.

How to choose your oils

IMG_1304 copyCastor oil should definitely be a part of your homemade mixture. It is naturally antibacterial and is easily washed off with water (compared to other oils…). All of my reference books/websites/blogs recommend this oil as the basis of the oil cleansing method.


Suitable carrier oils are the following:

  • Jojoba (all skin types, especially acne-prone skin)
  • Hazelnut (especially oily and acne-prone skin)
  • Sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)
  • Grape Seed (all skin types, especially oily)
  • Avocado (dry and aging skin)
  • Sunflower Seed (all skin types)
  • Apricot Kernel (dry, aging, and normal skin)
  • Argan (all skin types, especially aging skin – very expensive)

NB: Stay clear of coconut and olive oil for this method since it may clog your pores.


If you’re trying this for the first time, it might be advisable to prepare the mixture as you go in case you want to change the oil or the ratio after a while. But when you’re sure to have found your recipe nothing stands in your way to prepare a small bottle.

Just remember that you’re dealing with natural oils so you won’t be able to keep the preparations forever, take the expiry date of the oil as a reference.

  • Oily skin: Use 2/3 castor oil to 1/3 carrier oil
  • Normal skin: Use equal parts castor oil and carrier oil
  • Dry skin: Use 1/3 castor oil and 2/3 carrier oil

IMG_1307 copyYou can add essential oils like tea tree or lavender oil (for oily or acne-prone skin) or carrot seed or rose hip oil (for normal/dry skin) or even some rose or myrrh essential oil (for aging skin). But use them moderately they are very strong! Just use 2-3 drops (or even less) in a 30ml bottle.

My mix at the moment is: 2/3 castor oil, 1/3 hazelnut oil, 1 drop each of palmarosa, lavender and grapefruit essential oil.

Don’t hesitate to experiment until you found your perfect mix!

Oil Cleansing: 4 Easy Steps

  1. Prepare your mixed oils ahead of time, or have the bottles ready.
  2. Cleanse starting with a dirty face (no need to pre-clean, even if you’re wearing makeup), rinse your face with warm, clear water. Pour the oil into your palm and then apply gently all over your face. Massage gently for about 2 minutes, always moving upwards. Let the oil sit on your face for 30 more seconds or more.
  3. Rinse your face with a washcloth/sponge dunked in hot/warm water (careful not to burn yourself). Slowly wipe the oil off. Rinse your washcloth and repeat until your skin feels almost oil-free.
  4. Sprinkle some cold water on your face to help close the pores.

No need to apply face cream after this, just let your skin breath!

It is best to do this method in the evening. The frequency is entirely up to you, you can do it every night or just twice a week depending on how much nerve you have to make the effort  ;-).

Where to buy the oils

Castor oil you will most probably find at the pharmacy. Essential oils you’ll find also at the pharmacy or at a local organic store (depending on the country you live in) or you can buy them online. Vegetable oils you find at the supermarket, but be sure only to buy organic and cold pressed oils of good quality!

If you want more detailed information about this method, read this post on one of my favourite blogs.

Now all I can do is wishing you happy oil cleansing!


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