08 April 2016

Facial Cleaning with Oil...

I recently posted about my shampoo free hair care regimen. It’s been several weeks and my hair is pretty clean…still.

My post did not include a bit of secondary information because this experiment was stopped and restarted. Basically, once I stopped shampoo, I also gave up on my traditional daily facial cleaning in favor of cleaning with a mix of oils, once daily.

Here’s the thing, my skin is fairly oily and has been extremely sensitive since I turned 30(yikes); new cleaning products, hands and fingers, a particularly hard look from a fellow human being could be enough to coax a pimple out onto my face. In recent years I have switched from cheap, to moderately priced, to expensive, to natural, to homemade cleaning products with marginal success…

To be honest, twice daily cleaning with baking soda (only) and spot treatment with banana peels has been among the more successful products applied to my face within the last 3 years.

I came to oil after a conversation about ancient Greek and Roman artifacts found in archaeological sites. These people—and the rest of the ancient world—did not have soaps, hypoallergenic or otherwise. Instead, they doused their flesh with oil then scraped it off, taking away dirt and grime. I was fascinated and went trolling the internet for any modern-day descriptions of ‘facial cleansing with olive oil’. Google turned up several websites and articles that instructed using a mixture of castor and olive oils in combination with hot steam. Intrigued, I mixed up some oil and got cleaning. This worked great for a week then I stopped because of an unrelated eye infection (it’s a long story about work-related stress that weakened my immune system). I continued with my usual baking soda cleaning until my eye was better then restarted oil cleaning last week.

It’s working out quite well for me. My oily skin is no oilier, there have been no unexpected eruptions, AND—here’s the kicker—my skin does not freak out after being touched by my filthy hands. It seems like my skin is less sensitive.

While I started oil cleaning at the same time as vinegar hair washing, It’s only been a few weeks—because of the break—and not months. So the experiment continues.

My Basics

  • Mix 2/3 olive oil with 1/3 castor oil (in a small container)
  • In evening on unwashed face (yes, with my days makeup still on) massage oil all over face; using upward and circular strokes (3-5 minutes). 
  • 1-5 minutes: apply steam to face. The instructions I've seen say simply use a hot wash cloth, I prefer having a full face of steam. I use a steamer, with a micro-drop of tea tree oil in the water.
  • Remove oil and sweat with a warm, wet washcloth—rinsing it several times to get it all off.

I also moisturize with about a drop of my favorite oil, coconut, to keep skin from feeling dry.

In the Morning…

  • I rinse my face with warm water and pat dry, then I moisturize with about a drop of my favorite oil, coconut, to keep skin from feeling dry.
  • Apply makeup and skip off through my day.

These two websites have been an excellent resources for helping me get started with oil cleaning (and allaying my fears about the process).