IN THIS ARTICLE:
One of my very favorite nourishing tradition is making a big come back! And for good reason .... Check out my method of oil cleansing - it differs slightly from others! Whether you are a man or woman, old or young, new to Oil Cleansing, experiencing problems, getting unsatisfactory results, or just want to see if there are other things you could try to get even BETTER results - there is something here for everyone.
NEW TO OIL CLEANSING - OR GIVING IT ANOTHER TRY?
WHAT MAKES MY APPROACH TO OIL CLEANSING A LITTLE DIFFERENT?
WHO BENEFITS FROM OIL CLEANSING
IS YOUR TAP WATER (probably) DAMAGING YOUR SKIN?!
DO YOU HAVE VERY SENSITIVE SKIN?
We attribute the alchemy of oil cleansing to the principle that "Like Dissolves Like". Oils applied to the skin dissolves accumulated skin oils mixed with dirt, sunscreen, pollution and makeup so it can all be wiped and rinsed away. If you are familiar with "Oil Pulling" for a healthy mouth and clean teeth then you already know the basic idea of Oil Cleansing for your skin. Gentle, effective and nourishing for all skin types and ages - done properly with the right oils it doesn't cause acne, make you greasy, oily or breakout.
But it can absolutely support healthy skin functions and balance skin oil production, leading to cleaner, healthier, stronger skin. I can not promise you'll never get another pimple, bump, clogged pore, or comedone, or look ten years younger. But I can assure you that making adjustments to your routine, experimenting with different oils, patience and perseverance are likely to pay off.
Every skin type at any age can benefit from Oil Cleansing. When done correctly and given some time, Oil Cleansing can bring relief to suffering from many common skin disorders. People who have normal to dry skin, mature skin, those who experience occasional outbreaks and clogged pores but not severe acne. report the most success with oil cleansing and oils for conditioning. Those who breakout occasionally report a reduction in these episodes and that outbreaks are not as large, inflamed or painful, and heal faster.
There is a natural appeal to Oil Cleansing. But many people abandon it when they do not get the immediate results they had hoped for. I read blogs all the time in my search for knowledge, tips and tricks to improve my products, and to offer those seeking answers, advice and troubleshooting.
80-90% OF TAP WATER IS QUITE BASIC (ALKALINE) - WILL CONTRIBUTE, OR BE AT THE ROOT, OF MANY SKIN PROBLEMS AND WILL CONTRIBUTE TO PREMATURE AGING AND IMPAIRED SKIN FUNCTION.
My carefully researched version of what I call The Complete Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) comprises the "oil cleansing" step done correctly with the right oils, occasional exfoliating with oil based scrub, and correctly applying a variety of nourishing facial "treatment"oils. It also suggests reducing or eliminating the overuse of harsh chemical treatments and synthetically fragranced, emulsified facial products. With some time the complete approach provides skin with the nourishment it needs to heal and restore proper functioning.
Some benefits of oil cleansing and OCM can come quickly. Others take longer to manifest. They will depend on a variety of factors, including the state of your skin when you adopt this method, genetics, diet, age, and more.
Factors involved in the healing and restoration of skin function are outlined below. along with an introduction to the skin benefits possible with the Oil Cleansing Method.
The steps of "oil cleansing" are simple with some variation: astringent "cleansing oils" are rubbed into dry skin with dry fingers. Allowed some time to soak into pores and hair follicles. Some people will wet their fingers and massage to cleanse, others do not. The oil is then wiped away, rinsed or steamed away, along with the day's grime.
My method varies a bit from what you will read on the internet. I also recommend taking additional OCM steps to help ensure good short and long term results.
Confusion and frustration can arise when you first get started, but often problems arise later, after initial success!
I have some opinions on why this might be happening. Since there is no book on The Oil Cleansing Method all steps in the process are open to interpretation. I hope you'll investigate my approach and glean some information which will help you to continue, try again, or refine your process for continued success, or better results!
For the vast majority of people, oil cleansing and the OCM are absolutely worth the time and effort. I am passionate about this nourishing tradition and would like to help anyone who needs it. Reach out to any time for consultation - my cell is 970-209-6732 - don't hesitate! I am happy to offer my time and free advice.
NEW TO OIL CLEANSING - OR GIVING IT ANOTHER TRY? MY METHOD IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT!
If you are trying oil cleansing for the first time, perhaps you will give my approach a try. And if you have tried in the past and did not get good results, I hope you will try again! Those with acne and who break out a lot, those with blackheads, clogged pores or comedones have the most challenges when they get started. Still others have good results at first, then problems further down the line. If you have severe acne you will need to care as you proceed so as not to aggravate your situation.
SKIN CELL TURNOVER RATES: Age is a primary factor in estimating the time it takes for all the skin cells in the epidermis to replace themselves. Skin health, genetics etc also play a role. Sloughing off the upper most layers is happening continually night and day. It takes between around 20-40+ days for the turnover to be complete. In a a healthy adult at age 50 with no serious skin issue this should take about 40 days. No matter what you change in your skin care routine, or at what age, until all of the cells have been replaced, you can't evaluate the longer term benefits. This does not mean that you must suffer weeks if you begin to experience problems - large outbreaks, dry skin, bumps, or more problems than before. I suggest you need to reevaluate either your method, your oils, or both. And give serious consideration to the other products you might still be using and to other factors.
There is no "one size fits all" to getting good results and there is a learning curve when you get started. You'll need to embrace some trial and err such as how you cleanse and the oils you are using. Skin changes over time, and you may need to make adjustments to your routine or your oils as time goes on.
Since it takes about 20-40+ days on average for complete skin cell turnover, any change in a routine requires time to see results. This process is unique to each person. Regular, gentle exfoliation will speed this process along. A few new bumps and outbreak are not unheard of when you start but you should not see a significant worsening of conditions.
It saddens and frustrates me that so many initiates give up on oil cleansing almost as soon as they start. My personal experience, those of my clients and customers, and positive reports from those using my method, all point to a few mistakes being made which can cause immediate problems and a rapid abandonment of oil cleansing.
In my opinion there will be many possible reasons, including the chosen oil, the method of cleansing, and continued use of other products that don't meet the OCM criteria, just to name a few.
WHAT MAKES MY APPROACH TO OIL CLEANSING DIFFERENT? GIVE THE OILS TIME TO SOAK IN!
CASTOR OIL? If you have very oily skin and do not have sensitive skin you can get great results and deep cleaning with a blend with Castor Oil. If you have do not have very oily skin or have sensitive skin, then Castor oil does not need to be used. It is very astringent. Even at low levels (less than 25%) in a blend it can cause dryness and irritation, itchy dry patches, outbreaks and bumps. I prefer oils which have a more balanced blend of fatty acids and strive for 70/30 Linoleic:Oleic, or 80/20.
LET IT ALL SOAK IN. After you apply your cleansing oils and massage them into your skin I strongly recommend allowing some time for them to soak in before removing them. You'll rarely come across anyone recommending this. But the chemistry of my approach is very sound and those who try it are getting good results!
Oils are solvents and will dissolve skin oils and stuff trapped in them. But they are not fast at the task.A good contrast would soap or alcohol which both quickly dissolve oils. Let the oils soak in for 10-20 MINUTES. This give them enough time to completely dissolve debris.
The logic behind my recommendation is this: If you have a day's worth of grime to remove then your cleansing oils need time to soak in. Otherwise, you are not really getting a deep cleanse, your just removing the surface stuff. A quick oil cleanse might work fine for those who don't wear any makeup or sunscreen, who DO NOT have large pores, clogged pores, acne, comedones, etc. But for everyone else? Probably not. You could try my approach a few times a week, for a few weeks and see if your results improve.
An overlooked but very important benefit of the long soak method is the skin also needs some time to absorb the fatty acid nourishment contained in the seed oils, plant extracts or essential oils which could be in your oils. The skin is able to directly incorporate fatty acids from oils applied topically. Time to soak in allows them to penetrate deep where they bathe the cells of our skin in the nourishment it absolutely CRAVES!
WHO BENEFITS FROM OIL CLEANSING - EVERYONE AT ANY AGE WITH ANY TYPE OF SKIN
Return to a natural state
Maintain a healthy skin pH
Restore the lipid barrier
Nourish the skin microbiome
Reduction or resolution of skin problems
With regular use of oil cleansing and reducing or eliminating the use of soaps, foaming cleansers, harsh chemical treatments, not over cleansing, and given time to heal and normalize, your skin will become better nourished, stronger and more resilient.
It will be better able to withstand UV exposure, environmental stress and pollution, and to heal and repair itself from injury. Many report, including myself, a reduction in the size and appearance of pores and fine lines, healing of scars, softer more supple skin, oil balancing, and reduction in acne. Those who experience occasional outbreaks and clogged pores experience a reduction in these episodes and will find they are not as large, inflamed or painful, and heal faster.
The healing process is different for everyone and the time needed to heal the skin varies from person to person. Results will vary, we are all on a personal journey.
RESTORING SKIN FUNCTION & SKIN pH: is your tap water damaging your skin?
Oil cleansing can assist your skin in returning to a healthy state. By committing to this method and allowing the healing process to unfold your skin issues can diminish or resolve.
Dry skin and acne are just some indications that the skin is out of balance and not performing its functions properly. Other indicators are, outbreaks, bumps, clogged pores, itchiness, tight, flaky dry skin, redness, inflammation, premature aging, sun-damage and skin sensitivities.
FACTORS IN ACNE: Studies show that acne is associated with an imbalance in the ratio of lipids and fatty acids. Low linoleic acids levels in the skin impairs the skin's primary barrier, the stratum corneum. Barrier functions of the skin are dependent on sufficient amounts of linoleic acid to perform. Low linoleic acid also causes other skin oils to be over produced, oils which have a higher percentage of oleic acid can build up, clogging pores and hair follicles with harder sebum. Applied topically linoleic acid can help restore function. Palmitic acid deficiency has also been shown to be a factor in acne. Palmitic acid helps calm and balance the skin, hold moisture deep in skin layers, protect, sooth, and heal outer skin layers. High consumption of oleic acid rich oils, found in monounsaturated fats like olive oil & avocado oil can also make acne worse. Use topically they can do the same. For those with acne issues your cleansing blends must be rich in linoleic Acid, and low in oleic acid to get good results. Those with normal to dry skin which rarely breaks out or gets clogged have a much wider variety of oils to choose from and will be less likely to experience anything but the most satisfactory results from the OCM and the use of Oleic Rich oils for cleansing and conditioning.
Skin which is deficient or out of balance in certain essential fatty acids (EFA) are especially vulnerable to acne. Acne is an indication of impaired skin functions. Subsequently we turned to chemical treatments, over cleaning with synthetic foaming cleansers & soap,over use of emulsified facial products, over "treating" the skin ... these things can force the skin into a state of stress, or "dis-ease" making it vulnerable to penetration by acne causing bacteria.
Providing the deep nourishment contained in cleansing and treatment oils oils can help balance skin oil production. Along with gentle exfoliation and use of acidifying toners can help restore, heal and balance skin.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY SKIN PH. Maintaining the proper pH of our skin is of vital important. Simply over washing with any soap or detergent can disrupt the pH of the skins acid mantle, a slightly acidic secretion which forms a thin layer on the very surface of our skin. Constantly disrupting the pH is very undesirable and can lead to skin disorders, acne, rosacea, eczema, dry skin and other serious issues. Those with skin issue should be make special effort to maintain a healthy skin pH.
no matter what you are using to clean your face with, I recommend SPRITZ WITH your favorite toner or a pure hydrosol water anytime your facial skin comes in contact with tap water.
A deeper look at pH and the skin, and the benefits of pure plant hydrosol waters can be found in my blog post HYDROSOL WATERS - A ANCIENT SKINCARE TRADITION
Seed oils have ZERO pH. In and of themselves they will have ZERO impact on the skin's acid mantle. This aspect of oil cleansing is not widely discussed, but in my opinion it is a very important benefit of oil cleansing.
HOWEVER, Our tap water will disrupt the pH of the Acid Mantle for a period of time after bathing.
80% of all homes in America have hard water. In some some cities the amount of dissolved minerals in the drinking water can shoot the pH up as high as 9. That is quite alkaline or basic for bathing. The dissolved minerals make the water itself less able to rinse away soaps and cleansers, making matters worse by leaving behind residue on our skin, hair, and laundry. This further impairs skin functions.
The acid mantle does recover! But it takes up to 4 or more hours to do, depending on skin health, age and other factors. Oil cleansing followed with a application of a slightly acidic toner or hydrosol water will quickly restore a healthy pH.
A deeper look at our skin microbiome can be found in my blog post NOURISHING THE SKIN'S MICROBIOME
RESTORING & NOURISHING YOUR SKIN'S MICROBIOME. Your skin flora is a vital, and until recently, an unknown component of a healthy immune system. Our skin is literally teeming with a vast universe of microbial life that scientists are just beginning to understand! The benefits of a healthy skin biome depends in part on the slightly acidic secretion called the Acid Mantle. Our microbiome works to prevent pathogenic organisms from colonizing the skin surface, either by competing for nutrients, secreting chemicals against them, or stimulating the skin's immune system. Finding ways to nourish, maintain and replenish a healthy biome by supporting the host of microbes that abound on our skin will not only revolutionize the way we live, it will probably impact our overall health and longevity.
DO YOU HAVE VERY SENSITIVE SKIN? Please Consider washing and rinsing with steam distilled water
Those with sensitive skin take note! It is especially important that you are very gentle on your skin and take skin pH seriously.
Take care not to over exfoliate.
If you don't have sunscreen or makeup on, consider washing your face with a cotton pad soaked in steam distilled bottled water! (or maybe purchase a counter top distiller to make water for your face).
Hydrosol waters will be your best choice for a toner. Since they are so pure, gentle and mild they won't irritate your skin and they will nourish and maintain proper pH. Spritz your face with them anytime you come into contact with tap water.
Reducing or eliminating foaming cleansers and soap, emulsified preserved facial products to reduce synthetic chemical exposure, and over doing it with makeup and concealer.
If you adopt OCM please do not use any Castor Oil and do not over massage the oils, just apply gently, let soak in, remove with a soft cloth and never use hot water to remove, very warm water is enough to remove the oils and debris. If your condition gets worse you will want to take a break and makes some adjustments to your oils, routine, or both.
Hopefully you get through the first few weeks without any problems and get good initial results! Over time OCM can help reduce redness, irritation, sensitives and itch as it heals. In the long run, 3 months to a year, your sensitivities should improve and may subside completely.