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My experience with oil cleansing

Week 4 of 52: Rainbow Explosion

A little while ago, Sal of Already Pretty posted about the oil cleaning method. According to the comments on that post, it sounds as if this is something that has been flying across the internet for a while, but not really being that interested in beauty, I had no idea. I was intrigued though, and I did a very uncharacteristic thing for me: I went ahead and ordered some castor and jojoba oils off the internet and tried it.

Sally’s method of oil cleaning involved lots of towels, ones being changed daily to wipe the oil off plus ones to dry being changed bi-weekly. Now I (1) don’t own that many towels (2) don’t want to buy any for space and money reasons (3) really really cannot be done with adding that much stuff to my laundry pile. I hardly keep up with my washing (or rather, my drying) as it is. So while I’m sure this is a great thing to do, it isn’t for me. What I did instead was to use cotton buds, probably not the most environmentally friendly, but I’d been using them anyway.

The other thing I do differently is I don’t actually wipe it all off, it’s really oil moisturising as much as oil cleaning. I just wipe it off enough for the make up to be gone, by which point there’s usually a fair bit of oil left. Because of this, I only actually use it in the evening, in the mornings I use Lush’s herbalism in the shower, which is a sort of scrub aimed at oily and spotty skin, but which is mild and also leaves a nice moisturising film. I’d been using that twice daily before.

So, what have been the results? Lets get the cons out of the way first:

  • As I wrote last week, my skin is a terrible mix of spottiness, greasyness and dryness. I would love to say it’s improved, but my skin is still changing so much and I moved country and everything, I don’t feel confident in saying that it has. The only positive thing I can say about the spottiness is that it definitely hasn’t made things worse, unlike some other greasy stuff I’ve tried in the past.
  • Some posts I’ve read also claimed that this method reduces pore size, but again I wouldn’t really say that it has.
  • It’s more time consuming and complicated than other ways of washing your face, and there’s a lot of stuff, two bttles of oil, plus cotton pads, plus you do need properly hot water. When I’ve stayed somewhere overnight I’ve stuck with the herbalism.

But more importantly the pros:

  • First of all, this gets rid of eye make up like nobody’s business. With the tender skin around my eyes, even super sensitive eye make up remover isn’t really great so in the past I’ve mainly just wiped it off with water which probably led to all sorts of eye lash breakages! But with the oil it comes off easily, and I’ve actually just rubbed some oil into my eyes when I’ve wanted to remove eye make up in the middle of the day
  • Second, the moisturisation. As I described above I leave some of the oil on after I’m done with it and don’t put any extra stuff on before I go to bed. And in the morning when I wake up my skin feels nice, neither tight not greasy. It’s really lovely. I also feel that scabby bits/ex spots are healing slightly more quickly, though I wouldn’t want to swear on that, I may just be optimistic.
  • Third, while the oils (or at least the organic ones I got) aren’t cheap, because I skip the night moisturiser, it’s actually really good value for money.
  • And finally, it just feels really nice to be scrubbing my face with the oil!

If you’ve been curious about this, I’d recommend giving it a shot! I can’t say I did much research into the science behind all of this, so this has been another ‘what worked for me’ type post, sorry mavenhaven.

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  • Rhianne 11 April 2012, 7:39 am

    Ohh, I’ve actually been thinking about doing this for a while too – I have really dry patches but if I use moisturisers for dry skin they are too heavy and then I break out in spots too. My skin is incredibly temperamental :/ I think I would do the same as you though and use cotton pads rather than towels, I’m exactly the same with washing lol.
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  • Desiree 11 April 2012, 8:36 am

    I’m glad you’ve given a new routine a try, I find things seem to improve when I use oil products. I have horrid skin – similar to the way you describe your skin (even though your’s looks beautiful to me!). You’d think my skin would have settled down by age 44! Nup! xo
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  • StephC 11 April 2012, 10:52 am

    Cool, I’m always interested in this kind of thing… I tried the oil method a while back and maybe I did it wrong, or it’s not good for my skin, but it started a horrid downward spiral of deep acne like I’ve never had in my life…

    But that did lead me into trying oatmeal masks.. I do them occasionally for a week or two on end, then ease back and do them once or twice a week. It’s just oatbran (ground oats) and boiling water, let it cool, and apply. I never had such clear, tiny-pored skin before I tried it. http://3hourspast.com/2010/11/11/vintage-skincare-ill-try-anything/

    I use sorbolene cream or oil of whatever description to remove eye makeup. Funny how they sell super expensive stuff, which I’ve tried, but plain old mineral oil removes it just as well… Picked that up from a Goth girlfriend of mine a few years ago… It’s amazing.
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  • Maven 11 April 2012, 4:54 pm

    hahahahaha, I certainly wouldn’t expect you to do a double-blind peer-reviewed study! When I said that “everyone” just keeps repeating the same stuff about how it works, I really meant beauty bloggers/people who present themselves as skin experts. I’m glad it’s (partly?) working for you!
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  • Sally McGraw 11 April 2012, 4:57 pm

    Glad you’ve had some good experiences, Franca! It’s definitely not an acne cure-all, but it has lots of benefits.
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  • Rebecca 11 April 2012, 5:29 pm

    Oil cleansing did not work very well for me, which made me sad. I get breakouts, and natural methods like tea tree oil don’t do enough to keep my skin clear.

  • Kirstin Marie 11 April 2012, 6:05 pm

    I tried the oil cleansing too – it did not work well for me at all. I have combination skin, but it’s mostly oily with the exception of my cheeks & nostrils. I got huge break outs with the oil cleansing. I’m actually having the most success right now using Beauty Mint and then spot treating the acne as they come. I’ve only been using it a month & I see a HUGE difference.
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  • Katie 12 April 2012, 3:33 am

    Have you tried a “cleansing oil”? I’ve gotten a sample of one before from sephora (http://www.sephora.com/cleansing-facial-oil-P251016?skuId=1218106). They’re a little pricier than using the types of oils that you mentioned, but my face felt really balanced after using it. Might be something worth trying if you can find a good deal!
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  • Emily 13 April 2012, 6:43 pm

    I’ve been thinking of trying oil cleansing as well. Did you link to Sal’s post about it a few months back? I can’t remember now how I stumbled upon it. Anyway, my skin is also a spotty/greasy/dry mess and I thought (after years of trying this, that, and everything in between) it might be worth a shot. Reading your pros and cons has been helpful (I think I’d opt for cotton pads over towels, too!). Thanks, Franca! 🙂