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!


young skin

Don’t you hate it when you discover one of those nasty pimples in your face in the morning? I do… and although I’m not a teenager anymore I still have bad skin days. Sometimes I wonder if my skin would be different today, if I hadn’t tried to fight it with chemical products when I was 15…

Nowadays teenagers with acne are prescribed aggressive lotions and antiseptics which unbalance the natural pH value of our skin. Or even hormones or antibiotics and this however doesn’t really cure the acne but keeps it under control as long as you take the medicine. As soon as you stop the treatment there’s a chance that the acne comes back.

How you can tackle the problem naturally: The allies of young skin

  • Essential oils, especially Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Tea Tree; antiseptic, repairing
  • Clay (green and white); purifying, helps to tighten the pores and eliminate excess sebum and impurities
  • Aloe vera gel; antiseptic, cicatrizing, hydrating
  • Hazelnut, olive and jojoba oil; balancing
  • Floral waters: rose (astringent), rosemary, lavender and tea tree (antiseptic)
  • Lemon, thyme, bur, cucumber; plants for oily skin
  • Propolis extract, grapefruit seed extract; natural antibiotics

In the morning: Wash your face with clear water or floral water, then put a mixture of aloe vera gel (3/4) and olive, hazelnut or jojoba oil (1/4).

Important: Let your pimples breathe, if absolutely necessary put some special antiseptic cover stick with tea tree oil.

In the evening: Remove your make-up with olive oil massage it into your skin for about 2 minutes and then use a little sponge to wash off, then massage olive, hazelnut or jojoba oil into your skin.

1 or 2 a week: Clay mask; take a spoonful of clay powder (available in a pharmacy) mix with just the right amount of water or floral water to get a paste. Put on your face, sparing eyes and mouth, wash off with warm water after 5-10 minutes. Optionally you can add a drop of essential tea tree oil to the paste.

1 or 2 a week: Micro-hammam; heat 5 dl of water, add a few drops of essential oil (lavender, tea tree, rosemary, thyme, etc.), put your face over the bowl with a towel over the head, stay for about 5 minutes, first wash your face with warm water then splash it with cold water to close the pores. You can also put a bit of honey on your face before the micro-hammam.

Micro-hammams are very purifying and at the same time not irritating, which is important when you have oily skin and a tendency to impurities.

Emergency pimple cure: Pure essential tea tree or lavender oil can be put directly on the spot (only locally!), or put a layer of clay on the spot over night.

Don’t squeeze your pimples and certainly don’t cover them up with lots of make-up, it’ll only make them worse!

It is important to remember that there is no quick cure for acne, if you want to get rid of it for good you need to be patient and let it break out. If you have very bad acne I recommend seeing a naturopath rather than your GP.

lip balm recipe

IMG_1291Honey is known for its antiseptic, hydrating and soothing properties, which makes it a precious ingredient for your lip balm. On top of it helps healing lesions and gives your lip balm a great taste.

Ingredients : (for about 3 regular tubes)

  • 7  tea spoonfuls of sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil or olive oil (only 6 spoonfuls if you use olive oil!)
  • 2  tea spoonfuls of yellow bee wax
  • 1  tea spoonful of liquid honey
  • 3  drops of vitamin E or essential oil of geranium (preservative, optional)

Instructions :

  1. Heat the bee wax with the oil in a bain-marie until the wax has melted completely.
  2. Away from the hotplate while stirring add the honey and the essential oil and pour into a lip balm tube or pot immediately.

NB: Make sure you sterilize the tubes with boiling water before use

Some recipes say that you can add essential oils for flavour. I’ve tried this and ended up using the lip balm about 20 times a day because it dried my lips out. So I wouldn’t suggest it.

lip balm recipe

the benefits of olive oil

indexAbout a year ago I made a lovely lip balm with honey and bee wax and I still have it! (Recipe will follow next time) It seems to last forever… Nevertheless I had the great idea to add a bit of olive oil to the original recipe, because I have made great experiences with olive oil for my skin care recently.

Scientists have been investigating this golden fluid for some years now and studies have reinforced the notion that olive oil is an amazing substance with numerous benefits. Extra virgin olive oil, all by itself, is one of the best beauty secrets. In addition to being a natural, hypoallergenic way to moisturize skin, extra virgin olive oil has the added advantage of providing strong antioxidants, like Vitamins A and E that help repair and renew skin that has been damaged from overexposure to sun, air pollution, and other modern-day environmental hazards – like cigarette smoke and fast food. These antioxidants have the natural ability to stimulate cells and return skin to a firmer, smoother, and healthier state.

Here are some examples:

1. Cure or reduce acne – Although it sounds counterintuitive to use oil to fight pimples and blackheads, using an olive oil and salt scrub helps some types of acne.

2. Treat sunburn – Olive oil soothes the pain of mild sunburn by helping skin retain its moisture. Use equal parts olive oil and water in a tight-lidded container. Shake well, then apply to mild sunburn. Shake the mixture often during application to keep it from separating.

3. Keep your lips soft and supple – Make your own lip balm by combining olive oil with equal parts beeswax. Put it into a small glass jar and apply it with your fingertip.

4. Condition your hair – Ancient beauties and warriors alike used olive oil to tame and beautify their locks. Olive oil strengthens hair and makes it more flexible.

5. Clean sensitive skin – The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans had no soap and didn’t miss it thanks to olive oil. They massaged olive oil into their skin, then scraped it back off, along with dirt and dead skin. Today, a wide variety of soaps, including some made from olive oil, are available. Yet many people still prefer to clean their skin with pure olive oil.

6. Make an inexpensive exfoliant that works like the most expensive spa products available – Exfoliating removes dead skin and prevents your skin from becoming dull. Mix a palmful of olive oil with a teaspoon of sugar or salt. Apply the mixture to your skin, then massage gently.

7. Moisturize your skin – Olive oil is closer in chemical structure to your skin’s natural oil than any other naturally occurring oil. Use it as you would a body, face and hand lotion.

8. Prevent your skin from aging prematurely – The same antioxidant properties that keep your red blood cells from oxidizing when you eat olive oil keep your skin cells from oxidizing when you apply it topically. The antioxidant hydroxytyrosol and vitamin E help to prevent cell degeneration in your skin.

9. Never clog your pores or cause pimples – Olive oil penetrates the skin, leaving your skin silky smooth with no greasy feeling. Cleopatra undoubtedly had many costly beauty secrets up her sleeve, but the most important of them can be yours for the price of a small bottle of EVOO.

10. Give you a safe sunless tan – Use olive oil as a medium to make self-tanners go on more smoothly and evenly. Mix equal parts of a commercial self-tanning product and olive oil. Apply the mixture to your skin and enjoy your streak-free sunless tan.

11. Remove makeup – Apply olive oil to a cotton ball and gently wipe your makeup off your face. You can safely use olive oil near your eyes.

12. Minimize cellulite – Mix used coffee grounds with olive oil for a topical cellulite treatment. Apply it directly to the skin.

13. Firm and tone skin – Combine equal parts water and olive oil in a jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Apply to your skin.

14. Prevent mosquitoes from breeding – Prevent mosquito larvae from contaminating rainwater by pouring a layer of olive oil on top of the water in your rain barrel.

So all you really need in your bathroom is olive oil, just make sure you choose an cold-pressed organic olive oil! Your skin will thank you.