What is Oil Cleansing Method?
The Oil Cleansing Method is commonly referred to, as OCM and it is a method of cleansing facial skin using oil or a combination of oils. This treatment gained popularity in recent years and sparked a lot of debate over its effectiveness. Although it came to the limelight only in the last decade or so, this method of cleaning has been around for centuries and it can be traced to the ancient Romans. The Romans had large public baths where patrons would be massaged with generous amounts of oil. The oil would then be scrapped off with a strigil, which is curved blade with a handle. Oil cleansing has come a long way since then and today there are a wide variety of oils that can be used to keep your skin clean and well moisturized.
How It Works
The concept of washing one’s face with oil may seem counter-productive but the reason that the Oil Cleansing Method is so effective is because it relies on the principle that one type of oil can dissolve in another. When you’re cleansing your face with oil, sebum, the natural oil that your skin produces will dissolve in the oil you apply to your face and then you can simply wipe off the oil. This cleanses your skin of oil, dirt and grime without making your skin dry and lifeless.
The most commonly used oils for oil cleansing are castor oil and olive oil. Mix equal amounts of these oils in a small bowl and then apply it to your face. Wait for a couple of minutes and then slowly massage a little more oil into your skin. Soak a microfiber washcloth in very warm water and then squeeze out the excess water. Cover your face with this cloth for approximately 2 minutes and then use the cloth to gently but thoroughly wipe off the excess oil. If your skin is still oily, you can rinse the washcloth and repeat this step.
There are several oils that you can use as part of your oil cleansing process. You can try out a combination of oils until you find the combination that best suits your skin type. Here are a few oils you should consider:
Castor Oil: This oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which makes it a good choice for those with skin problems. When using castor oil for skin cleansing, make sure that you mix it in a carrier oil such as olive oil as castor oil is a very viscous (thick) oil.
Olive Oil: This can be used for all skin types. Many people choose olive oil for skin cleansing since it is a nourishing oil that is not viscous and will cleanse your skin and give your skin a natural glow.
Jojoba Oil: It is very similar to sebum in composition, which makes it good for all skin types. It is not viscous and so it is the perfect carrier oil if you wish to use castor oil, coconut oil or any other viscous oil.
Avocado Oil: This is obtained from the avocado fruit and has immense regenerative and moisturizing properties. This oil is high in Vitamin E and monosaturated fats and is readily and quickly absorbed by the skin. These properties make it perfect for oil cleansing for dry and aging skin.
Almond Oil: This oil contains oleic acid as well as omega-6 essential fatty acids which makes it perfect for dry and normal skin types. It also has emollient properties and so it helps to keep skin soft and supple.
Coconut Oil: Many beauty experts often recommend coconut oil for skin cleansing as it softens wrinkles, eliminates flaky skin and promotes healing. It also offers protection from UV damage and the antioxidants in coconut oil also help to reduce age-related skin damage.
Grapeseed Oil: This oil has anti-oxidant properties and is good for all skin types but is especially effective for those with oily and acne-prone skin.
- Don't Over-Cleanse: Do not use the oil cleansing method more than once a day as you might irritate your skin if you do it twice or thrice a day. Most people to do it at night before they go to bed. If you have oily skin and you need to clean your skin when you wake up, simply dip your microfiber washcloth in warm water and gently wipe your face with it.
- Clean Your Washcloth: Always use a fresh washcloth each time you clean your face. When you clean your face, the washcloth accumulates the oil and dirt from your face, so if you reuse this cloth you will simply transfer the grime from the cloth to your face.
- Find the type of oil that suits your skin: Certain oils can work miracles for one person but cause outbreaks for others. Experiment with a variety of oils until you find one that suits your requirements. Olive oil and jojoba oil generally suit most people but coconut oil and castor oil can cause negative reactions in some people. If you notice an increase in acne outbreaks or if your skin starts to appear oily and dull, switch to a different type of oil for a while.
- Avoid Heavily Processed Oils: Now that you know how to wash your face with coconut oil or any other oil, you should also know how to buy face-cleansing oils. Ideally, you should use oils that are marked as “cold pressed” or “first cold pressed” as this indicates that the oil has not been subjected to high temperatures.
- Do not use scalding hot water: The oil cleansing method is a gentle way of cleansing your face so do not use very hot water – the best case scenario is that your skin will be temporarily dry but the worst case scenario is that you burn your skin!
- Wash Your Hands Well: Wash your hands well with soap before you clean your face. We don’t realize just how dirty our hands are and massaging your face with dirty hands is a sure-fire way to rub dirt and germs into your skin, which will just result in more problems.
- Take Your Makeup Off: Do not massage your skin with oil if you have makeup on as this could result in blocked pores and blackheads. You can make a natural makeup removal cream by mixing equal amounts of fresh lemon juice and unflavoured yogurt. Soak a couple of cotton pads in this mixture and then gently clean your face. Rinse your face with warm water and then use the oil cleansing method.