If you put any effort into following beauty trends, you’ve likely heard of oil cleansing. After years of ignoring and downright hating oils, people are finally discovering how well they work in a skin care routine. Especially since mother nature is full of countless oils, all with different characteristics and benefits that make them effective for any every skin type imaginable.
It should come as no surprise to you that I’m an oil lover of all kinds. So I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about oils and their effectiveness as a cleanser. With so many boasting antibacterial qualities, I was pretty excited to discover the perfect fit for my oily yet also kinda dry skin. Not to mention all of the customization I’d be able to do with my favorite essential oils! That’s why we create skin care DIYs after all…to jazz them up with our own unique spin. Don’t worry, by the end of this post, you’ll be fully prepared for a jazzy spin of your own. Now let’s jump into oil cleansing!
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What is Oil Cleansing?
Sure you’ve probably heard of it but that doesn’t mean you understand what it is. I sure as heck didn’t. With a name like that it’s easy to assume it’s a simple process, but plenty have gone before you and gotten confused. So we might as well clear up the confusion from the very beginning.
Oil cleansing is the act of using a carrier oil blend to clean your skin of dirt, oils and impurities. The oils do an awesome job of dissolving any left over makeup and grime in your skin, leaving you with a clean face that also happens to be moisturized. Find me a conventional cleanser that can do all that! The best part of the process is the hot water and washcloth you use to cleanse your skin and open up your pores before applying the oils. Who doesn’t love a warm washcloth after a long day?? That combined with the oils is the perfect duo to open up your pores and really deep clean them.
Not to mention most carrier oils have a pH that’s more on the acidic side, which should keep the pH of your skin balanced. If you don’t understand how important that is to finally bring calm and balance to your skin, you should definitely read my post. It’s a game changer!
But we’re talking in a lot of hypothetical here. Why not get down to the oils that make this cleanser so luxurious and effective?
What Oils are Best for Oil Cleansing?
There are a lot of different choices when it comes to oil cleansing, especially since you can choose one oil or a blend of a few. But as always, you need to keep your skin type in mind when choosing. It’s also important to understand the difference between astringent and conditioning oils.
Astringent oils are the ones that are going to help clean your skin. They’ll cleanse away the dirt and grime of every day life. Astringent oils are a dream for oily skin. Conditioning oils on the other hand are more moisturizing and will cleanse your skin without stripping anything away. Dry skin types are going to love conditioning oils!
Astringent Cleansing Oils
This oil is good for sensitive skin and contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which helps with inflammation. Recommended for oily, combination and dry skin, especially if you have sensitive skin as well.
This astringent oil is great for acne-prone skin and helps control sebum production. It has a light, satin-like finish, but keep in mind it has a shorter shelf life. Recommended for oily and combination skin.
This oil is high in vitamin E and B and does a good job of minimizing pores and toning your oily skin. Recommended for oily and combination skin.
This oil is actually a liquid wax and closely resembles our skin’s natural sebum. It’s also rich in vitamin E and is great for a glowing, balanced complexion. Recommended for oily, combination and dry skin.
Conditioning Cleansing Oils
This oil is a well known emollient and used for its ability to soften and recondition the skin. It’s rich in proteins and vitamin D, but keep in mind it can stain sheets. Recommended for oily, combination and dry skin.
This oil has a lot of protein and vitamin content and is a rich and thick moisturizing oil. Recommended for combination and dry skin.
This oil is loaded with antioxidants like vitamins A and E as well as zinc. It also has linoleic acid which will help balance acne-prone skin. Recommended for oily and combination skin.
A lot of cleansing oil recipes call for castor oil. But I recommend avoiding it since the harvesting method for castor oil is not very sustainable, humanitarian or safe. Not to mention it can be a little harsh to use on your skin. Since this cleansing method is supposed to be gentle for any skin type, castor oil is not what we want.
Customize Your Oil Cleansing
The easiest and most fun way to bring a little customization to your oil cleansing recipe is to turn to essential oils. They’re an extra ingredient you can add that packs a punch with awesome benefits you definitely can’t ignore. The best part is, there’s no end to the different combinations you can create!
If you need a little assistance deciding which essential oils to dry, check out my posts about the best essential oils for oily, combination and dry skin. Honestly, you really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose. Especially since you can blend up the perfect carrier oil base and add different essential oils to fit the mood of your skin!
For example I’d probably turn to Geranium for it’s calming floral scent and it’s amazing ability to tone your skin and bring balance to the system. Or if I’m having more of a rough week with lots of acne spots, I’d add a drop or two of tea tree oil to help control my acne and clean out my pores even better. There’s even frankincense if you want to turn your oil cleansing experience into a grounding ritual that will bring calm to even the most hectic mind. There’s no end to the creations you can come up with for your oil cleansing!
Simple Cleansing Oil Recipe
Your final cleansing oil recipe is based on a ratio of astringent oil to moisturizing oil created for each skin type.
- Oily Skin – 1:3 ratio (1 part astringent oil to 3 parts conditioning oil)
- Combination Skin – 1:4 ratio (1 part astringent oil to 4 parts conditioning oil)
- Dry Skin – 1:10 ratio (1 part astringent oil to 10 parts conditioning oil)
Once you know the oils you want to use and have them blended together in the correct ratio, then you’re ready to start cleansing!
- Splash your face with warm water and gently pat dry.
- Using a quarter-size amount of your oil blend, gently massage into your face for 1-2 minutes. Give extra attention to areas with clogged pores.
- Wet a washcloth with hot water (you want it as hot as possible without burning your skin), ring it out and lay it on top of your face.
- To trap all the heat in, place a dry washcloth on top to keep all that pore opening goodness focused on your face.
- Once the washcloth cools, use the dry washcloth to gently wipe your skin.
- Repeat 1-2 more times. Once finished your skin should feel cleansed but still moisturized by the oil.
Feel free to use this cleansing method morning and night, you could even switch up your oil choice for each time of day. I really love how much customization you can get up to with this one! Just keep tweaking that recipe until you love the results. I have plans to create my own blend that’s perfect on days when my skin needs a rescue and another blend on days when I need a calming ritual to wind down after a long day.
As always, be sure to check out this post about safety with essential oils to make sure you use them safely in your skin care blends. Also, check out this post to find out my favorite essential oil brand (the only one I ever use!).
Let me guess, you’re a skin care lover like me?
You’re in good company around here! Why not stay a while and read about some more? Here are some of my personal favorites: