One of the most basic principles of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve a nonpolar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another nonpolar solvent similar in composition: other oils.
By using the right oils, you can cleanse pores of dirt, grime, sunscreen, makeup - even bacteria and virus - naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones which heal, protect and nourish your skin.
When done properly, with the right blend of oils or single oil, over a period of time the OCM can help resolve skin issues, nourish the skin’s native microbiome, and maintain a well functioning moisture barrier (aka skin's Acid Mantle).
DEEP CLEANSING OILS: Astringent Properties
Yes, oils can be astringent! Astringent oils are rich in Linoleic acid and are light, easily absorbed. Astringency is an important property of an oil’s ability to cleanse and to be rinsed off quickly and easily. Highly astringent oils can cause dryness in certain individuals. Regardless of who is using them, they need to always be removed by wiping and then rinsing.
Oils rich in Linoleic acid have proven anti-wrinkle properties and benefits skin prone to itchy breakouts. If skin is deficient in Linoleic acid the sebaceous glands of the skin produce a type of sebum which is drier and more firm than healthy sebum. This dry, hard sebum easily becomes stuck, causing blackheads & whiteheads to form.
Fruit and seed oils high in Oleic acids are considered to be Emollient oils and are deeply skin “conditioning”. They have a heavier bodied and take longer to be absorbed making them vital to combating dryness in harsh, arid climates. Dry climates can dehydrate skin. Dehydrated skin can be easily damaged, making it vulnerable to bacterial penetration which may lead to itchy outbreaks and acne. Oleic acids nourish the skin and strengthen skin resiliency, this can help reduce breakouts in people with “dry skin” outbreaks by maintaining the skin's structure and function.
Infusing oils with medicinal wild plants
Bringing the power of healing plants to my cleansing oils takes these blends to another level of awesomeness. While the oils themselves do the hard part of cleansing, plant compounds infused into the oils adds powerful healing properties.
I wild harvest a variety of plant material from the local forest which I infuse fresh into oils such as Avocado, Almond and Jojoba. Once this infusion is ready I carefully strain it then blend 1/3 of this infusion with 2/3 of my CLEANSING OIL BASE BLEND which is detailed below. Once blended together with the infused oil the final cleansing oil includes 60-70% oils rich in Linoleic Acid, balanced with 30-40% Oleic Acid rich oils. This is a good choice for all skin types, especially beneficial for those with normal to dry skin, and mature skin.
You can learn about which wild plants I collect from the forest and the powerful healing properties they bring to my blends.
MY BASE OIL BLEND
Listed below is a brief introduction to the oils which I include in all of my cleansing oil blends. The wild plant infused component of each blend is combined with the following oils.
Grape Seed oil
Grapeseed Oil is a lovely light, quickly absorbed, slightly astringent oil, which is also considered a nourishing, penetrating oil. It is not known to clog pores. It is high in Vitamin D, C, E and beta carotene, and antioxidants which can help minimize signs of aging, reduce the appearance of fine lines, maintain collagen and elastin in skin, and may help reduce under-eye circles. High levels of antioxidants can help prevent clogged pores and reduce acne by regulating skin oil production. It has also been shown to stimulate skin tissue regeneration and improve wound healing. Grape seed oil is useful for skin toning and tightening and has been shown to minimize the prominence and size of scars, improve damaged or aging skin, and improve skin elasticity. It is a good choice for sensitive skin and is known not to cause allergic reactions. It has anti inflammatory properties, helping prevent itchy breakouts.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp Seed Oil (non-psychoactive) is the secondary cleansing oil. It is one of my personal favorites. It has a luxurious feel, sinks into the skin and aides the grape seed oil in transportation deep into the pores and allowing it to draw the dirt and grime to the surface of your skin where it can be wiped away. Hemp Seed oil is exceptionally high in Linoleic Acid which plays a crucial role in the maintenance of healthy skin tissue and resiliency due to to environment stress and the effects of aging on skin structure. Great for mature or damaged skin it is high in Vitamins A, D & E, lecithin, and omega 9.
Safflower & Apricot Kernel Seed
Both oils are rich in linoleic acid, offering softening, regenerating, and moisturizing properties, as well as some anti-inflammatory properties and skin barrier support which can help with dry, itchy skin.
Sunflower Seed Oil
Sunflower seed oil brings in Oleic acids to add balance to the fatty acid ratio, prized by early native Americans for addressing skin disorders.
Jojoba is not actually and oil, it is a wax. It has a weird and wacky fatty acid profile making it very unique for skincare. It sinks quickly into the skin in an interesting way - it penetrates through hair follicles - but it does not block those follicles where it actually mixes with the skin sebum to create a thin non-occlusive layer of Jojoba oil and sebum. This is one of the reasons it is said Jojoba allows our skin to "breathe". Despite the fact that Jojoba is consider very emollient, in a cleansing blend it has cleansing properites and held in high regard by those who use the oil cleansing method. Like all good cleansing oils, it penetrates hair follicles and pores, and dissolving trapped dirt and oil.
Sweet Almond Oil
This lovely oil is rich in BOTH Oleic and Linoleic acid so it is considered a "balancing oil". It has a light texture and can easily penetrate deep into the skin, softening and dislodging the dirt and debris accumulated in the skin pores helping prevents blackheads and acne and is said to help reduce acne flare-ups due to naturally occurring high Vitamin A content. It is known to be very gentle and not to aggravate problem skin or allergies and to balance skin oil production. It benefits all skin types and has been used for thousands of years for its proven ability to beautify and condition skin. It is also my recommendation for a nourishing treatment oil for those looking for an after shower moisturizing oil. It has a neutral scent and is quick to absorb.
Aloe Leaf Oil
Aloe leave oil is the universal ingredients for soothing and healing irritated, inflamed skin and for maintaining healthy skin texture. It is known to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral.
This interesting oil is a penetrating, astringent oil known to relieve redness and itching and to help lighten scars and hyperpigmentation. It soothes and moisturizes dry, cracked skin. Skin problems due to infection, fungus or parasite benefit from Neem. Neem is often used in spot treatment of acne as it is highly antibacterial. It is preferred to tea tree oil because it is less irritating and known to be cooling, soothing and to not cause dry skin. It has s strong natural odor that many find unappealing. I include in my blends at very low amounts.