This post has been a long time coming! I have been using product after product for years, trying to figure out what works well on my skin. I never felt like I found something that really worked for me. I know everyone has different skin types and their own set of problems that can come along with that. I happen to have very dry skin, and for years it has seemed like nothing in the world that I do sends enough moisture down into my pores. I just got used to having very chapped, often painfully so, skin. Sometimes I would cleanse my face and then just lob on tons of moisturizer and just lay down hoping it would seep down in and finally begin to moisten my skin. I ended up just falling asleep and getting tons of moisturizer all over my pillow…
About four or five months ago, I really started getting into the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) after hearing a lot of other people talk about it. Bear with me here, because I know it sounds so counter-intuitive, but what I’m actually doing is cleansing my skin with oil. And Oh. My. Goodness. My skin has never looked so smooth and dewy, and finally it is getting the moisture that it needs. I’ve also added some of my favorite Young Living Essential Oils to my skin routine, and I’m just blown away at the difference all of this has made. I’m going to walk you through step-by-step of what I do, but first just a little bit more info on oil cleansing (I want to win over all you doubters!!).
When we wash our faces, we’re hoping to remove oils and impurities, right? But a lot of the skincare products that are out there completely strip our skin of oil when we cleanse our faces, and then our skin goes into overdrive trying to produce oil to keep our skin lubricated, which causes our skin to produce more oil than it normally would if the natural oils were not stripped away. So in a sense we’re making the problem worse when using products that completely remove oil. Imagine that! Also, fragrance is a huge skin irritant (remember, our skin is our largest organ!). It can dry out our skin and trap toxins in our pores at the same time because we need something for those toxins to bind to in order to be pulled out. We don’t want gross toxins hanging out in our pores, right? We want smooth, clear faces!
Enter the OCM. I know that especially to those of you that have extremely oily skin, the idea of putting oil straight on your face just makes you shudder. By the thing is, oil dissolves oil. Your skin naturally produces oil because your skin needs it. So when you cleanse your face with oil, you are coming at your skin with methods that it already understands. Oil helps to lubricate your skin, and it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your face while removing toxins deep into our pores. When you apply a liberal amount of oil to your face and slowly massage it over your skin, the natural oil that you are applying is binding to the oil that is in your pores helping to dissolve the oil that has hardened in your skin and all the ick that gets trapped in there with it, stripping your skin of the toxins that build up without completely drying out your skin and forcing it to create more oil. You’re essentially aiding your skin in what it already does naturally.
Here’s how I do it. Keep in mind that I have very dry skin, so this is what works for me. I have some suggestions for those of you with normal to oily skin types as well. But I have a little pump bottle that I bought online that has my own personal oil blend in it–a mixture of castor oil and fractionated coconut oil. Castor oil is a cleansing oil that helps to remove built up oil and toxins, while coconut oil is a moisturizing oil. Because I don’t deal with a lot of blemishes, but more along the lines of very chapped skin, I use 10% castor oil and 90% coconut oil on my face. I have it already mixed up in a pump bottle, and use 1-2 pumps of oil to cleanse my skin every night. I start by removing my makeup with this same mixture–I pump it onto some organic cotton swabs and take off as much makeup as I can. I then use a warm wash cloth and wipe my face clean. You don’t want to use scalding hot water because that can damage your skin, but you want it warm enough to essentially steam your face and open your pores. Next, I use 1-2 pumps of my oil mixture and massage it into my skin, all over my face and my chest (somehow many people forget to cleanse their chest as well! Got to keep that décolletage looking nice!). Massaging it into the skin is getting it deep into our pores, where it is binding with the oils and toxins of the day and purging them from our skin. I then warm my washcloth back up again and hold it over my skin for about 30-60 seconds (until it starts to cool down), and then wipe away any excess oil. You can repeat the washcloth step a few times if you think you have too much leftover oil. You want to steam away the impurities and not scrub your face and irritate your skin. I’m left with smooth, dewy skin that feels SO clean.
Because essential oils are my jam, I also have my little oily routine that I do on top of my skin after I have already cleansed my face. I have put roller balls on top of all the oils that I use on my face because it just makes it so easy! I’ll start with rolling Tea Tree oil over any blemishes and spots on my skin to comfort and beautify my skin. I usually wait about a minute between each oil application–brush my teeth, get ready for bed, etc.–and then I apply the next layer of lemon to support the wellness of my pores (you could do these in any order, this is just my routine). A caution on lemon–I ONLY use this in the evenings on my skin because any of the citrus oils can have a reaction with the sun. Next I use Frankincense to help support healthy skin (ahem, trying to keep the wrinkles away for as long as possible!). Then I top it all with lavender to really soothe my skin. I just love the way that my skin looks after doing this and sticking with it for a while.
Like I mentioned, I have extremely dry skin, so I actually apply a little homemade moisturizer after I layer on all my oils just so that my skin is really getting all the moisture that it needs. I use equal parts of coconut oil (not fractionated), shea butter, and cocoa butter. I usually do 1/3 cup of each every time I make a new batch. I stick all of the ingredients in my stand mixer and whip them all together. I usually add some more essential oils to the moisturizer, because why not? The one I am currently using has Sacred Frankincense and Joy in it. And that is my nightly face cleansing ritual!
For those of you with different skin types, you will want to do a different blend of oils to truly meet your needs. This can take a little bit of trial and error to find what works for your skin, but generally I would suggest this:
— Oily Skin: 30% Castor oil to 70% Coconut oil (or other moisturizing oil)
— Normal Skin: 20% Castor oil to 80% Coconut oil (or other moisturizing oil)
— Dry Skin: 10% Castor oil to 90% Coconut oil (or other moisturizing oil)
You want to be careful with the amount of Castor Oil that you use, because it can be really drying for your skin if used in large quantities. Again, this is an oil that acts more as an astringent. Hazelnut oil works in the same way. I’ve used hazelnut oil in place of castor in my oil blend before when I’ve run out, and it works just the same for me. Other moisturizing oils include sunflower seed oil and olive oil. You can play around with these different types of oils and find what works best for you! Just remember that this is something that you need to do more than once to have results. At first your skin may not understand what you are doing, so keeping at it consistently will help your skin work with the oils the way it is supposed to.
Also, those with more oily skin–I can’t necessarily relate, but a lot of the research that I have done has said that once the skin has cleared up and balanced, many people find that they don’t need to do the OCM method every single night. Because my skin is so dry it works really well for me, but you know your own body!
There you have it–my nightly face routine! Keep scrolling to read about what I do in the mornings and for some fun recipes!
Morning Face Routine:
Every morning I grab a clean washcloth and warm it up and hold it over my face for 30-60 seconds just like I do at nighttime when cleansing my face. I don’t do the OCM in the morning, just in the evenings. But I steam my face and remove any excess oil that has accumulated over the course of the night. My skin still feels refreshed and perfectly balanced. So once I quickly wipe my face clean, I use this refreshing toner on my face. I bought 2 oz glass spray bottles online and make this refreshing mist:
— 10 drops Elemi to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles and support my skin
— 10 drops Jasmine for skin support
— 10 drops Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood to moisturize and normalize my skin
— 10 drops Geranium to calm and soothe my skin
— Rose Water until the bottle is full to balance the skins pH levels and to moisturize and revitalize skin
For those of you who need more of an acne fighting toner, I would suggest adding some apple cider vinegar.
Every once in a while, I find that my skin needs a little extra exfoliation. I will use this and follow the same massaging and steaming process of the OCM and then follow up with my oil blend and cleanse my skin. Feels so refreshing and clean!
— 1/2 tsp coconut crystals (coconut sugar)–if too coarse, I will pulse in the food processor first
— 2 oz coconut oil
Simply mix them together and keep them in a glass container!
To watch a really awkward video of my sharing my face routine on Periscope, click here. It was my first one ever and ahhhhh! I don’t know how to use the App that well–I didn’t even know to name my video haha.
There you have it! My oily face routine! If you have any questions about the OCM or essential oils or just want to be friends, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact me here or email me at email@example.com. To order your own Young Living Essential Oils Starter Kit, click here.
Any suggestions made in this post refer to Young Living Essential Oils ONLY. I do not recommend trying these recipes with any other oil brand as I cannot attest their purity.