Cleansing with Oils

Read on to discover a huge game changer in the world of beauty!

This post comes to us from Meredith Baird!

Cleansing our face with oil seems counter-intuitive. Most of us grow up thinking that the best way to cleanse our skin, prevent acne and have the most glowing complexion is by eliminating any excess oil and stripping our faces clean. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When we strip our skin of its natural oils, we are essentially removing the beneficial barrier that exists on our skin. If you have oily skin, removing oil with harsh soaps will force your skin to produce more oil. If you have dry skin, soap may only further dry out your skin  and, if you have sensitive skin, you are increasing your its sensitivity by removing the natural oils that exist to balance your skin chemistry. Thus begins a cycle of skin irritation no matter what skin type you have.

Which leads to wake up and embrace the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). OCM’s basic concept — like dissolves like. Massaging a small amount of oil into your skin will dissolve excess oils, remove makeup and, at the same time, nourish and moisturize your complexion. Oil is able to penetrate your pores more effectively than water or soap, gently drawing out impurities. Oil has the ability to even and tone skin in one step, rather than three or four.

I have very dry skin, and my constant battle is to moisturize. Since I’ve been oil cleansing, my complexion is noticeably smoother and brighter, to the point that I rarely wear makeup or use moisturizer.


Finding the perfect oil for you is the only trick. Though it may take a week or two for your skin to adjust, it’s important to see the process through to give your skin the time to detox and regulate.

Hands down, my favorite oil for any skin type is coconut oil. Coconut oil offers a unique range of benefits that other oils do not have; I use it almost exclusively.

Coconut oil:

• is a natural moisturizer
• tricks skin into thinking it has enough oil to slow down oil production while locking in moisture, so it’s great for either dry or oily skin
• is antibacterial and anti-fungal, which makes it great for acne and eczema
• is non-irritating because it doesn’t change the pH of your face
• is full of antioxidants to help diminish fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots
• works as a natural SPF

Other great cleansing oils —  castor oil, olive oil and hazelnut oil .

Some suggested ratios to try:

Oily Skin: 1 part castor, olive and coconut oil
Combination Skin: 1 part castor, olive, hazelnut and coconut oil
Dry Skin: 2 parts olive to 1 part coconut oil

The method is simple.

– Choose your oil; or, if you are combining oils, mix them before hand

– You will only need 1-2 tsp of oil per wash

– Massage oil onto your face for at least 20 seconds. The longer you go the better. Sometimes I massage my face for up to 2 minutes. This increases circulation and boosts collagen production.

– If you are wearing eye makeup, make sure to gently massage the eyes and lashes. The oil has enough power to remove most mascaras and eyeliners.

– Wipe off makeup and cleanse skin with a warm washcloth. You can rinse your face to remove excess oil, but do not wipe off all oil — leave a little on your skin and it will feel glow and clean.


If you have extremely oily or acne-prone skin, try adding a little tea tree, oregano, bergamot or rosemary essential oil. Rose, frankincense, carrot seed and lavender essential oils are also wonderful to add in small quantities for most skin types.

Oil cleansing is truly a huge beauty game changer, while reducing your cosmetic bill drastically!

+Have you tried oil cleansing? Let us know!

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5 years ago

Been wondering when u guys were gonna do a post on OCM ;) I’ve been doing it for months and am Now starting to see n feel the benefits. A purging period is common, where your skin will most likely erupt with pimples Bc impurities are surfacing. My purging period took months. Months of skin eruptions and discoloration bc I was figuring out the right oil for my dry skin. Google OCM. They recommend avocado oil for dry skin. Initially I loved it but then I found that it broke me out a little so I mixed it with unprocessed organic sunflower oil bc it’s non comedogenic and great for every skin type. My dry skin loves it. A tiny amount of castor oil is recommended for your mixture and I found that makes a huge difference – more supple skin. Coconut and olive oils are NOT recommended bc they clog pores. Anyway I’m glad I didn’t give up on OCM through my months of purging and experimenting with the right oils bc I’m thrilled with my soft clear skin :)

5 years ago

That sounds interesting enough that I have to try it, I do love cosmetics with coconut oil so this is perfect for me!

5 years ago

Yes, coconut oil has a comedogenic rating (the rating system that categorises the level of clogging on a 1-5 skale) of 4 which means it’s been found to clog pores but not everyone’s skin reacts the same. I’ve been using pure coconut oil as well as an equal ratio of coconut, olive and cacao butter, both with great success. Some other oils that should be considered are neem ( it has a natural SPF of 15 and is great for breakouts and acne because of it’s antibacterial properties), Sweet almond oil (loaded with Calcium, potassium E, A and B vitamins) argan, shea butter and jojoba oil!

5 years ago

You forgot to mention Jojoba oil! The miracle oil from the cactus plant.
For years it has been proven to be the closest to our own natural sebum.
Jojoba oil is used for an all over face and body moisturizer that sinks into skin, not just staying on the surface, and is highly recommended in scalp treatments.
I learned about the benefits of Jojoba oil through Aveda classes.
Truly amazing and not overly expensive. A little goes a long way. :)

5 years ago

I have been oil cleansing exclusively for two years. I started with Coconut oil but it is Comedogenic, now I use sweet almond oil. I used to have very oily skin and very dry skin. Now my skin stays perfect all day until the end of the day when I get oily again. I also noticed regular cleansers dried me out at the end of the night and i would wake up oily. This solved my problems and I am very happy. I don’t have acne issues I should add. I’m not sure how oil cleansing affects acne.

5 years ago

I’ve been cleansing with oils and have seen quite a difference. I use mostly coconut and jojoba oils. I even make my own with tea tree essential oil. I will have to try with bergamot next time.

5 years ago

Interesting. My generation has been moving away from using oil on body, hair. As kids we had an oil bath every week – top to toe slathered in sesame oil and cleaned up with a herbal powder! And there are those who do the same in coconut oil. Maybe it is time to turn the clock back!

5 years ago

I love cleansing my face with oils! It feels very natural and I don’t feel like I’m ripping my skin off with a cotton pad.

5 years ago

I’ve been using coconut oil on my arms and legs to combat dry skin from the winter elements & it completely changed my skin after just 3 before-bed applications. I’m not sure if I would use it on my face as anything other than a wash off face mask -the oils are heavy & feel like they would block my pores.

5 years ago

I have been cleansing with oil for nearly a year after my daughter got me on to it. I am 62 so have ‘mature’ skin and have always had oily/combo skin. I use macadamia oil and I have really noticed a difference. My skin is smoother and softer. I wash my face in the shower and just leave it on and pat off what remains at the end. I might try the coconut oil. I use it for other moisturizing (great on the feet) , even as toothpaste, but will give it a go on my face.

5 years ago

I’ve been using organic argan oil on my whole body + face + hair for a while now and I am really happy of it! One product for everything :) Recently I even did my own scrub adding one tbs argan oil + one tbs brown sugar. It works amazing! I’m really into trying coconut oil now and after reading this article I’m even more convinced :)

– Marta

5 years ago

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing this! Oil cleansing is fantastic, I would highly recommend this method. :) However, I would also very highly recommend researching it a bit before you try it, especially if you have sensitive or acne prone skin. I did not have success the first time I tried this in attempt to find a natural way to clear up my mild acne… I used cheap drugstore castor oil (which somehow seemed like a good idea??) with some grapeseed oil and tea tree, but it actually caused a severe breakout of cystic acne all over my face that lasted months. (I’d read that some people have to go through a “purging period” where their skin breaks out for a week or two before clearing up, but this seemed excessive, and just wouldn’t heal, even a month or two after I discontinued using the method.) The only thing that turned it around was when I (reluctantly) tried the oil cleansing method again just using hempseed oil after reading this blog post that I randomly came across: Seriously, this was a HUGE game changer. My skin started healing within about 2 days, completely clear after a few weeks. Turns out the the oils I chose (and the type of fatty acids they contain) were a SUPER crucial part of what makes this method work (or not work). It’s been about a year and a half, and this method still works awesome for me as long as I use the right kind of oil for my skin. :)

(PS: If you are unsure how your skin will respond to this method – or any new beauty regime – definitely patch test it first. I know, it’s annoying, but I wish I had done that before… would have saved me a lot of tears and frustration.)