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DO YOU VERY SENSITIVE, REACTIVE SKIN OR SEVERE ACNE?
PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
If your skin is inflamed, blemished, irritated or highly sensitive great caution is advised when making any changes to your routine. Proceed slowly and with caution, armed with knowledge, sound advice and rational expectations!
Before starting with oil cleansing, especially if you have problematic skin issues, please take a deeper look into oil cleansing and skin function before making any changes to your routine! Oils can irritate your skin and potentially make problems worse! I know you don't want to hear that but please be careful in your search for solutions especially when they are trying to resolve issues.
Those with severe acne should proceed with extreme caution and stop oil cleansing if your problems get worse so you can make changes to your routine, oils or method of cleansing. Many factors can be involved including the type of oil, method of application, length of time to let the cleansing oils soak in and more. At the very least you should start with just ONE gentle, high linoleic oil and to be very gentle applying and removing them.
Scroll down for more info and reach out to me if you have questions.
Scroll down for detailed instructions. And please reach out to me with questions.
THE ALCHEMY OF OIL CLEANSING - There is no book on The Oil Cleansing Method and there isn't a “one size fits all” approach. The steps I outlined below differ a little bit from most resources you will find in your search for information.
PLEASE RESIST USING VERY HOT WATER. Hot water is damaging to the facial skin and can make sensitive skin issues worse, which can lead to more skin problems and is especially risky if you have severe acne. Most OCM instructions recommend using a hot steaming washcloth pressed to your face to remove the cleansing oils, and to remove the oils right after they are applied and massaged into your skin for just a few minutes. Those with more severe acne, looking for a reduction in outbreaks make a habit of removing the oils this way. I suggest resisting the urge to use the steaming washcloth method.
REMOVING OILS WITH A DRY CLOTH: Removing the cleansing oils with a dry cloth before rinsing is part of this method.
EASY ON THE EXFOLIATING. Gently exfoliating is a vital step in any skincare routine. But care should be taken not to over do it. Those with very sensitive skin or severe acne will want to be very careful not to create more problems by over doing it. If you have strong, resilient skin you can safely exfoliate 4-5 times a week. Reduce how often you exfoliate if you develop any sensitivities.
CHECK THE pH OF YOUR WATER: HARD WATER ISSUES AND SKIN PH: Hard water has a slightly basic pH. This is not good for our skin and over time can take a toll. If you have skin issues or aging skin, you might want to take a deeper look into the problems associated with hard water. There are some simple adjustments you can make to your routine to help you skin retain a healthy pH, scroll down for details.
GOOD RESULTS WITHOUT USING CASTOR OIL: Due to it's unique properties, Castor oil is extremely cleansing, but it can also lead to problems such as dry, irritated skin and a worsening of their skin problems. We can get great results with oil cleansing without the use of Castor oil, or with a minimal amount. It should never be used alone, in a blend it should be included at less than 25%, which is still quite high - I suggest that Castor Oil be reduced to less than 10% of your blend or eliminated. If you have very sensitive, mature or aging skin, dry skin or get dry patches then I would suggest leaving the Castor oil out all together. I outline and describe my favorite cleansing oils HERE.
Who gets the best short and long term results?
If the skin an acid mantle are in good shape and you experience only minor skin issues every so often, like an occasional outbreak, clogged pores or comedones, or if you have aging skin or dry skin, then Oil Cleansing could become your new BFF! You will get the most benefit from many different oils, and my long soak method, as it provides the deepest conditioning.
You should see some immediate results; an increase in suppleness and ability to absorb treatment oils will be noticed quickly. In the long term your skin will become stronger and more resilient, and you may even notice a reduction in the development of new lines, wrinkles and sun damage.
~ STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS ~
END OF THE DAY: REMOVING MAKEUP, SUNSCREEN, DIRT, GREASE & GRIME
REMOVE EYE MAKEUP WITH YOUR PREFER METHOD.
PREP YOUR FACIAL SKIN. (optional) Pressing a warm washcloth (not hot) to your face for a few moments will soften the skin and prepare it to receive the oils. Just make sure your face is completely dry before applying cleansing oils with dry fingers.
Oils will only penetrate hair follicles and pores when APPLIED TO DRY SKIN.
USE PLENTY OF OIL! Don’t skimp, more is better! We want good slip and enough oil to get complete dissolution of the debris we want off our faces.
APPLY OILS TO DRY SKIN WITH DRY FINGER: Pour a generous amount, about a quarter size amount, of Cleansing Oil in the palm. Then using your fingertip, dip them into the oil and apply. USE PLENTY OF OIL.
Using your fingertips, massage the oils into your skin careful to avoid your eyes.
Pressing your fingertips into the skin as well as moving them over the skin surface will help force the oils into pores.
If you have sensitive skin be careful not to pull or irritate your skin.
TIP: If you are using one of my cleansing oils blends, place the mouth of the bottle on the edge of your palm and pour, spin the bottle a half turn to wipe the oil off the edge of bottle opening, like pouring wine. This will keep the oil from running down the side of the bottle. I do not use a dropper to dispense my oils simply because to get enough oil into your palm you need about 2 full droppers of oil. I find the pour method easier and less messy.
Quick Removal or Long Soak Method?
We have been using oils to condition and nourish our skin for thousands of years. We have continued this practice on our bodies, but have virtually stopped using oils on our faces. Fortunately, Oil Cleansing and Facial Oils are returning to our skin care routine!
How long to leave the oils on is a personal preference. Different approaches suit different people. Climate, age, skin status, personal preference - these will all play all in deciding which method is best for you.
AT THE ONSET: For anyone new to to oil cleansing, I strongly suggest that for the first few weeks you remove the oils within 1 minute.
If you have very sensitive skin or other skin problems, please remove the oils immediately after massaging them in. ALSO, please choose just one oil to work with at first to see how your skin reacts to OCM. Hemp seed, grape seed and jojoba are good choices, there are others you can try as well. Once the skin barrier has healed (1 month or so) longer soaking and more complex cleansing blends are an option.
AFTER A FEW WEEKS - 1 MONTH: As your skin adjusts and/or heals and you are happy with the results, try the long soak method for deeper conditioning. This is especially beneficial for those in a dry climate and/or have mature skin. Simply apply the oils, massage a moment, and then chill out while the oils work their magic for 10-20 minutes.
If your skin is really craving oils, you might find that they have mostly absorbed by then time you are ready to remove them! Apply a bit more oil to right before you remove them, massage in for a moment then continue to the next steps.
REMOVING OILS: DRY, WET or STEAM
The most important step in the process is removing the oils. And while we are not attempting to remove every last molecule of oil, we want to ensure that we are getting a good cleansing and not leaving debris behind.
How you will be removing the oils will depend on whether or not you have heavy makeup and sunscreen on, the status of your skin (healing or resilient) your personal experiences with oil cleansing and personal preference.
DRY METHOD: With a soft cotton cloth, cotton pad, or paper towel (I like VIVA Woven paper towels) very gently wipe away the majority of the oils from the surface of your skin before using any water. Just gently swipe or dab away the oil, careful not to pull your skin.
WET METHOD: Before wiping the oils off, get a little water on your face, or spritz lightly with hydrosol water. Massage in with your fingertips THEN wipe away.
With either the DRY or WET method …. soak the cloth or towel in VERY WARM WATER, NOT TOO HOT. Gently press and wipe your face, then splash, wipe a little more, rinse a few times … you are done and ready to move to the next steps.
STEAM? Remove the oils with either DRY or WET method, then press a steaming hot rag over your face before wiping and rinsing.
NOTE: Hot water can be sensitizing and I don’t like to use very hot water. However, some of you will like this method. I just would not do it every time. If you have sensitive skin to begin with, be very careful with this approach! If you develop sensitives over time the use of steaming hot wash cloths can be part of the problem.
NEXT: DOUBLE CLEANSING? Deciding to do a “double cleanse” is a personal preference. I do a double cleanse when I have heavy makeup or sunscreen on that day and I only do a double cleansing step at night.
What to use for the second cleanse? To stick within the bounds of the Oil Cleansing Method, I suggest that you choose to use (or alternate with) more cleansing oils, Perfection Scrub for Faces or my Foaming Charcoal Cleansing Powders mixed with oils.
Second Cleanse with Oils - With the second oil cleanse, we don’t need a lot of oils or to leave them on for very long. Just pat dry first, apply a little more cleansing oil to dry skin, massage for a moment, then remove with your preferred method outlined above.
Second Cleanse with Perfection Scrub: I provide detailed instructions for using my oil based, exfoliating butter scrub HERE. This whipped scrub is a blend of seed oils and butters with powdered salt and sugar. So you get the benefit of a deep clean along with gentle exfoliation. You will applying the scrub to damp skin - not dry.
Second Cleanse with Foaming Charcoal Cleanser: I created this botanical scrub with just a little gentle foaming ingredient. Mix the powder with oil in the small container which I send along with the scrub. For complete instructions on mixing and using this scrub FOLLOW THIS LINK.
EXFOLIATING, TONING AND MOISTURIZING
EXFOLIATING: Gentle exfoliation is very important for a variety reasons. Alternate between Perfection Scrub for Faces and Foaming Charcoal Cleanser a few times a week. Either as a Second Cleanse or the only cleansing step that night.
TONING: Toning is very important for quickly restoring restore the skin’s ph. Apply an alcohol free, slightly acidic toner after you cleanse with any method. Mild, gentle and alcohol free, PURE, STEAM DISTILLED PLANT HYDROSOLS are the perfect choice for all skin types for toning. BENEFITS OF HYDROSOLS.
MOISTURIZING/CONDITIONING with Facial oils and/or Dew Drops. Apply facial oils to skin dampened with the hydrosol to both condition and moisturize. For complete details and instructions on how to apply check out HOW TO USE FACIAL OILS FOR BEST RESULTS. DEW DROPS is a hydration lotion you can use alone, or with some extra facial oils on top. MORE DETAILS.
RINSING WITH DISTILLED WATER: 80-90% of homes in the USA have hard tap water, which can be at the root of skin problems and contribute to premature aging.
If you have more difficult skin issues consider rinsing with distilled water any time your facial skin comes in contact with tap water. This will help remove residue left behind (hard water doesn't rinse very well) and help your skin to recover it's acid mantle and acidic pH more quickly. Pour some distilled water into a bowl and rinse repeatedly, soak a washcloth and gently wipe. Try it for a month and see if skin issues improve.
FIRST THING IN THE MORNING: FRESHEN UP OR A CONDITIONING SOAK
FRESHEN UP: To freshen up in the morning, you don't need to leave the oils on for very long. Apply your oils with dry fingers to dry skin, massage, wipe and rinse. Apply your facial oils and/or Dew Drops to damp skin, allow to soak in for 10-20 minutes, then apply sunscreen/makeup.
DEEP CONDITIONING: For those with resilient skin and no major issue then morning is a nice time to do a long soak for deep conditioning, I make a habit of doing this. As I sip coffee and get my day started, I let my cleaning oils soak in for about 15-20 minutes before removing them and applying Dew Drops and/or facial oils, sunscreen.